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I left the Amish when I was eighteen years old. Looking back, I now realize that one of the biggest things I missed out on when I left was being there to experience memories with my family. I have been so focused on myself for the past eight years that I almost completely forgot about my little brother. It wasnâ€™t until I recently visited my brother and got to help him a little bit around the farm that I realized this loss and the regret of not getting to be there for him. He was just ten years old when I left the Amish, but now he is eighteen years old, which is the same age I was when I left.
From the time I was a young Amish boy, I thought that I wouldn't mind being a preacher. In my early teens, I memorized large portions of scripture in German, and practiced quoting them as I heard them in church, imitating my favorite preachers. As I grew older, the desire to do something for God grew stronger. I wanted to rise above the ordinary, dull life I seemed to be destined for.
I was born and raised in a Beachy Amish community. I didnâ€™t really think much about growing up in the Amish culture; it seemed normal to me. My father was always very preoccupied and distant, but my mother was different; she was loving and very understanding. Considering that my mother had eleven children and still made each of us feel special always made me feel like I had the perfect mom.
I was born to Amish parents in Geauga County, Ohio in 1982. When I was six years old, we moved to a new community in Hart County, Kentucky because my parents didnâ€™t like the partying and immoral behavior going on among the youth in our previous community.I remember getting the impression that we were better than those in the old community.
I grew up Amish and was raised in a good family. I am the oldest of seven. Growing up, I always had questions and tons of them:"Why do we do certain things? Why are our clothes all to be of darker colors? If God created so many different colors why was it wrong for us to have them and not others who lived in more liberal communities?"The answer was usually the same: "Because that's what our forefathers did. That's how they were raised, and if it was good enough for them it's good enough for us." That answer never satisfied me.
It was a lot of fun to grow up on an old-order Amish farm! Feeding livestock and watching things grow was exciting, and being outdoors was something I enjoyed a lot. Going to church was something I also looked forward to; I always enjoyed seeing friends and having a good time.Growing up in a family of fourteen had its challenges, and I never really felt a strong connection between myself and my parents. Even though attention was often divided, I still had heart to heart talks with my parents sometimes.
My name is Nora Garrett, and I have kind of a unique story because I was only Amish for the first four years of my life. Even though I was really little when we left, I still remember loving visiting my grandparents every Saturday night and taking rides in my grandmaâ€™s buggy. My best friend at school was Amish, and we also had many fun conversations in Dutch at school and church.
I enjoyed growing up in an Old Order Amish home. I had a big family with lots of brothers and sisters, and I was also really close to many of my cousins. I am an outdoors-man, so I also really enjoyed all of the time spent working outside. As a young child, I had a decent relationship with my parents, but when I reached my teenage years, things went downhill fast. Our relationship was very strained during this time in my life. Because of the tensions at home and because I genuinely felt that I was going to hell no matter what, I eventually made the decision to leave the Amish behind in order to pursue a life in the English culture.
Growing up as an Amish boy, I was very close to God and nature. I was so close, in fact, that the whole world was pretty much blocked out in my mind. For instance, at one point in my childhood, one of my older brothers ran away and left home for a few days, and I had blocked things out so well that I didn't even notice he was gone until my sister told me. I was undoubtedly the black sheep of my family, and at times, I got picked on for it. In spite of being the black sheep, I still had a close relationship with most of my siblings.
I got married to Leroy Mast at the age of 19, and we had 5 children. Before the fifth child was born, Leroy got discouraged with the Amish lifestyle and drifted away from me, but kind of stayed on until the baby was born; then he left me and lived with another woman. He always came back to see us whenever he wanted. I stayed Amish because I thought I had to in order to get to heaven! After six years, our oldest three children decided that they wanted to live with their father, and so they also left, which caused me even more heartache.
Ray enjoyed growing up in the Amish, and he loved his heritage for some of the same reasons that many people are drawn to the Amish today. The characteristics of solid family values, simple lifestyles, and strong religious roots stood out to Ray as he was growing up. His relationship with his family, however, was not overly close. Most of the time, he didn't feel comfortable opening up to them and sharing. He did know deep down, though, that his parents tried to have his best interest in mind, and he always knew that he was loved and cared for by them.
I grew up in the Amish and lived with my parents until I was nineteen years old. At the age of seventeen, I was majorly depressed and suicidal. I had a job that involved farrier work, and one of my customers was a drug addict. One day, I told my customer that I wanted to kill myself, and he said, â€śdonâ€™t kill your-self; ask God what you should do.â€ť I just blew it off thinking â€śWhatever; thatâ€™s weirdâ€ť because my Dad had taught me growing up that reading the Bible could lead to crazy ideas.
I was born in Nunnelly, TN. Then, we moved to Homer, MI, Granger, MN, Downing, MO, and Keytesville, MO. We seemed to move about every five years! When I was seventeen years old, I took instruction classes and joined the Amish church. I enjoyed being with the other young folks, and so Sundays were always the highlight of my week.
I grew up in an Old Order Amish community. My childhood consisted of lots of wonderful fellowship and friendship among the Amish, open buggy rides in the summer, and tasty Amish cooking! I enjoyed being able to grow up in such a relaxed and friendly environment.My relationship with my parents was what you might expect from any typical child-parent relationship. We shared good memories, but we also had stressful times of disagreement and tension. Growing up, I would have never dreamed of not being Amish. However, as I grew older, as wonderful and as peaceful as my childhood was, I began to feel led by God to take some steps toward leaving the Amish.
My name is Samuel Yoder, and I grew up in an Old Order Amish community. Most people associate the Amish with good food, big families, and large groups of friends that make for a great sense of community. It was for these three qualities that I loved growing up Amish.
I was born and raised in an Old Order Amish community in Ohio. I loved growing up Amish and valued and learned much from the closeness of community, the importance of a good work ethic, and the value of family.My Dad passed away when I was sixteen. I never really had a very close relationship with him because I always thought that he was too strict. My Mom was a huge part of my life, but I never had a close relationship with her, either. Unfortunately, I could never really express my inner feelings to my parents.
I had a very fun and adventurous childhood! Growing up in my Old Order Amish community, I got to experience things that many do not get to experience, and I got to try things without always being told to be careful. I also appreciated the work ethic and family life that I was blessed with; I knew that my parents cared about me and what I did, and this meant a lot to me!As a married young man, I began working for an English couple and helped them remodel their house. One day, the family left me by myself to work on their house with the television on. As I was working, I heard an evangelist begin to speak and ask people to pray with him to accept God. At the time, I didn't know what that meant, but I was very drawn to it.
My name is Naomi Julien, and I grew up in an Old Order Amish community. The Amish culture does a great job of teaching the importance of being responsible, being respectful, and appreciating even the small things in life, and for that, I am very glad to have had the opportunity to grow up in the culture. In addition, I had a really good relationship with my parents right up until I decided to leave the Amish, and I enjoyed all of the time we had together.I ultimately decided to leave the Amish because I wanted my life to be of higher quality, and I wanted to be able to serve God as opposed to constantly being forced to obey man-made rules. Plus, my older sister had already left the Amish, and I knew she would be there to help me start out by guiding me and showing me which steps to take to start out my new, non-Amish life.
My name is Benjamin Beachy, and I was born and raised in an Old Order Amish community. Growing up, I loved to train horses and play volleyball, and I appreciated that I was taught the value of working hard.I knew about Christ at a very young age. I remember thinking that if He died on the cross for us, why did we have to do all this other stuff? Why did we have to follow all these lists of rules? If we still had to work our way into heaven, did He not die in vain? I had a Christian non-Amish family that pretty much adopted me since I was about twelve years old, and they would talk about Jesus. They will never know how much they impacted me.
I was born into the Schwartzentruber Amish sect, which is the strictest Amish group. I enjoyed many benefits from growing up in the Amish culture. I liked the strong sense of community that the Amish have, and it was a great experience growing up on a farm and helping to take care of the garden and the animals. I loved having chores and helping out around the farm. As with most families, my relationship with my family had its ups and downs, although for the most part we had a good, strong relationship with one another. There were, though, definitely certain subjects about which we disagreed and argued.
My name is John Schwartz, and I grew up in the Old Order Amish culture. There were definitely some things about the Amish culture that I loved and am glad that I got to experience. I loved the closeness shared between my family and my friends, and I enjoyed being the oldest child of a large family of ten. I also appreciated all of the hours spent outside working on the family farm. Many good memories were made during that early portion of my life.
My name is Andy Miller, and I am now seventy-two years old. God has been good to me!I left the Amish, and sixteen years passed before someone told me the truth about salvation, and I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior! I had become an Alcoholic by that time and relied heavily on alcohol consumption, but Jesus changed me overnight! After realizing the truth about salvation, I could not believe that anyone could be saved by living on a hope that they would make it (even though this is what I was taught all of my life).After I accepted the truth that Jesus is the only way to Heaven, I went back to my Bishop, Edward Nisley, a number of times trying to tell him about the truth of only grace being enough to obtain salvation. It seemed, however, to always go in one ear and out the other!
As a small child, I always prayed before I went to bed and asked God to take my brothers and sister and I to Heaven to be with my Mom and Dad, who were both killed in a car accident on October 17, 1946. I had simple the faith of a child and believed with all my heart that they went to Heaven. I also believed without a doubt that God would answer my prayers and take all of my eight brothers and sisters to Heaven someday to be with Mom and Dad too.
In January 2012, our lives changed in a way that we never anticipated. My husband John and I went to a John Regier seminar for marriage relationships. That day, we heard a lot of inspiring information. As I lay in bed that night, I asked Jesus to forgive me for my sins and to live in my heart. I remember thinking to myself just before I completely fell asleep, â€śHow am I going to tell John?â€ť
I was born a typical Amish boy. Growing up, my brothers and I did what normal Amish boys do. Since my dad did construction, and we only had a small farm, we got bored a lot. I have several brothers; one just older than me and one just younger than me. Iâ€™m sure we caused mom quite a few gray hairs, trying to keep up with us mischievous little guys. We had goats for milk, so often times we rode goats, led them around, hitched them to sleds in the winter time, chased cats, climbed trees, rode wagons.
I was born in 1982 into the Swiss Amish culture. My parents and grandparents were born and raised in the Swiss culture also. My grandfather moved out of Adams County, Indiana where there is a large Swiss settlement. I was an Amish single man, 30-years-old, who had everything any Amish man wanted of what their culture allowed. But often I was unhappy and depressed. I tried not to show it, because I knew it would worry my parents.
I grew up in an Old Order Amish setting where I still live, and I thought I had a fairly normal life. I am the oldest of eleven children, and I probably got more privileges because of that. Our family got along reasonably well, except for the fact that Dad struggled with controlling his temper. This resulted in much tension in the home. In spite of this, I took pride in the fact that I was able to handle it well. I was seldom irked or upset by anything, but I was never happy either even though it might have appeared like it to people around me because I did a lot of whistling.
I was born and raised Amish. I was raised on a dairy farm in Mesopotamia, OH. I am in the middle of six boys, three older and three younger. My sister is the oldest and I was very sheltered. I donâ€™t remember seeing a television until I was about sixteen or seventeen.When I was seventeen, I was allowed to date. That meant that I was allowed to go out all weekend and did not have to report to my parents. It was scary having been so sheltered my whole childhood and then suddenly be able to have the freedom to go out all weekend and not have to come home until early Monday morning.
I was born in Holmes County Ohio. I donâ€™t remember much about my time spent there. Soon after I turned three years old my mother died and thatâ€™s when everything changed. My Father decided to move to Seymour, Missouri. We had left the Amish but not left the lifestyle completely. I suppose my Father never really knew how to assimilate into society, so that was his way of leaving, but not completely. I grew up in a very violent household, my Father was a very strict man, and very headstrong.