Mission to Amish People is a site dedicated to sharing information about ministries, services, testimonies, and opportunities to Amish and non-Amish (English) communities alike. There is a threefold purpose of Mission to Amish People. read more...
Amish life is more than plain dress, a Germanic dialect and an aversion to modern technology. It is also an insular faith which demands that adherents live, worship and marry within the community.Those strict expectations, along with a troubled home life, were too much for one Ohio Amish woman. Saloma Miller Furlong was 20 years old in the 1970s when she first ran away from her Amish community in Ohio and sought refuge in Burlington, Vt. It’s a story that she tells in her new memoir, Bonnet Strings: An Amish Woman’s Ties to Two Worlds. Miller Furlong recently spoke with Vermont Edition about her experience
Salina, Kansas - Tired after a long day at work, the last thing Ron Brunner expected to do the night of March 7 was rescue a group of Amish people in a burning bus.Brunner, who is head mechanic at Reece Construction in Salina, was driving east on Interstate Highway 70 just after 7 p.m. when he noticed flames coming from underneath a passenger bus as both vehicles passed the Ohio Street exit."The fire was coming from their rear axle," he said.Brunner flagged the bus driver, and the driver pulled the bus to the side of the highway. Brunner stopped behind the bus. Tired as he was, he couldn't abandon a vehicle and passengers in trouble, no matter how much he wanted to get home.
Ray Beechy is a cowboy who has overcome many obstacles. When he was 12 years old, he was involved in a sawmill accident, which resulted in his right arm having to be amputated below the elbow. The loss of his hand did not slow him down for long, however. It served to make him very competitive and he quickly became adept with using one hand. “It’s never kept me from much of anything other than shuffling cards - or clapping,” Ray said with a laugh.As Ray grew up Amish, he did not start competing in rodeo until after he moved away from the Amish community when he was 16. He tells the story. “I was 16 when I really took an interest in the rodeo circuit. A friend of mine that lived close by was riding bulls at the time, and got me interested.” Ray was given a boost into rodeo by Galen “Peewee” Helmuth. “He got me started way back in the day and has taught me more than anyone else,” says Ray. He has also been inspired by Ray Cox, owner of Lazy C Rodeo School in Jacksonville, Ill.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania - Anabaptists — those who observe adult rather than infant baptism — define Lancaster County in many ways and yet remain a mystery in many ways.Why do the Amish live apart? Why do some Mennonite women wear those little white caps and dresses, never slacks? Why do some Anabaptists ride scooters, while others ride bikes? What's the difference between members of the Brethren in Christ Church and of the Church of the Brethren?"Anabaptist Faith," the topic of the Spring Senior Life Institute at Highland Presbyterian Church, 500 E. Roseville Road, will delve into these and many more questions in four sessions beginning next month.
Adams County, Indiana - On April 12, 2012, a buggy driven by the wife of Martin Schwartz was hit by a car while traveling on Indiana 124 in Adams County. Three of her children were killed, and the other occupants of the buggy were seriously injured.It wasn’t the first time members of the family had been involved in a buggy-car crash. Martin Schwartz had been hit by a car while traveling on Indiana 124 not long before the fatal crash.Schwartz said after the crash that killed three of his children, “A lot of people came to me and said, ‘Surely you’re going to quit using 124.' "But he said that even though he dreads using the road, which has no shoulder, forcing buggies into the traffic lane, he has no choice but to use it.
Asheville, North Carolina - A group of men from the Union Grove Amish Church in Hamptonville, N.C., were the driving force behind a barn raising this past week at Hickory Nut Gap Farm.Located in Fairview, the nearly 100-year-old farm was a hive of activity on Thursday, as a storage shed and farm workshop were assembled in a process that would end up taking just a handful of days.The barn pieces were cut in the Amish community then shipped to Fairview by a driver — the only thing these Amish drive are tractors.
Oshkosh, Wisconsin - As the Amish community grows in the U.S. so do the misconceptions about its people, students learned at Amish of Wisconsin: A New Wave of Immigrants to the Badger State, held in Sage Hall Tuesday.The presentation, along with the Pennsylvania Dutch Documentation Program, is touring different universities so students and communities can understand the Amish culture as its population continues to grow.Mark Louden, co-director of German American Studies at the Max Kade Institute, said this event is meant to clear up any confusion about the Amish community.
The owner of a Wilmington-area furniture store named The Amish Mill has been fined $23,000 for violating Delaware’s consumer protection laws. The Delaware Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit found that he assessed undisclosed fees and willfully misled customers who waited months for orders that never arrived.After receiving numerous complaints from customers, Biden’s Consumer Protection Unit filed an administrative complaint last year against Michael D. Wharton, The Amish Mill’s owner. The administrative complaint centered on allegations that Wharton would promise customers to have furniture ready by a certain date but never deliver and that he charged customers additional, undisclosed fees if they called to check on the order or complained about the store’s business practices.
Fort Wayne, Indiana – It will cost almost double to buy an Allen County license plate for your horse-drawn vehicle.The Allen County commissioners on Friday voted to raise the annual licensing fee from $30 to $55. Commissioner Linda Bloom was absent.Officials first proposed the increase in November, but it was delayed after concerns were raised by the Amish community, administrative assistant Chris Cloud said.
Palatine, New York - Authorities say a 1-year-old girl is expected to make a full recovery from injuries suffered when she was trampled by a horse on her Amish family's farm in the Mohawk Valley.State police tell The Daily Gazette of Schenectady that the accident occurred Sunday while the girl's parents were milking cows at the farm in the Montgomery County town of Palatine, 45 miles northwest of Albany.
Leon, New York – An Amish man accused of shooting his 8-year-old brother has pleaded guilty to fourth degree criminal possession of a weapon.Eli Wengerd, 20, accidentally shot the boy while playing with an unregistered handgun that he did not have a permit for. A pre-sentence investigation will be conducted by the Cattaraugus County probation department.Wengerd is due back in court in April. His brother did survive the shooting.
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.
East Lampeter Township, Pennsylvania - Police today announced charges have been filed against a Pennsylvania man in connection with the fatal drive-by shooting of a horse pulling an Amish buggy.Timothy Antonio Diggs, 22, is facing seven misdemeanor counts, including reckless endangerment, cruelty to animals, and firing into an occupied vehicle, according to the East Lampeter Township Police Department.
Fort Wayne, Indiana – After a long legal battle, the Bluffton man who admitted he was texting and driving shortly before his van plowed into an Amish buggy, killing three people, has finally met the family.It was in April 2012 when Chandler Gerber hit the buggy on S.R. 124 in Adams County. The crash killed Jerry Schwartz, Barbara Schwartz, and Enos Schwartz.
Parkman Township, Ohio - An Amish man was sentenced Thursday to the minimum three years in prison for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in Parkman Township after watching porn.Raymond F. Miller, 18, of Parkman Township, previously pleaded guilty in Geauga County Common Pleas Court to rape.The incident occurred June 7. Miller knew the victim from the neighborhood and the rape occurred in a shed in a wooded area.“I am sorry I broke the law,” Miller told Judge Forrest W. Burt. “I am going to try and be a better person; try and get some treatment.”
When was the last time you sat down with pen and paper and hand wrote a letter? The art of penmanship and scribbling down your thoughts in a journal or sending them on to someone is not as commonly practiced among "Englishers" (non-Amish) as it once was.Cell phones and the internet have made connecting with friends and family as easy as a click of a button. A person could be over a thousand miles away but it can be hard to tell when their response to your last text message was within the second.In a culture where technology is very minimal and the simplest forms of communication still exist, it is no surprise that letter writing is still a prominent form of communication among Amish communities. Amish families are often quite large and spread out. For the Old Order Amish, letters are one of the few ways in which Amish families can stay in touch with each other.
Los Angeles, California - It all started with a truck, says 22-year-old Levi Shetler.“When I was 15, I was fascinated with trucks – any vehicles, really. I thought they’d be really cool to drive.”When family members pointed out that Amish don’t embrace flashy cars or high-powered trucks, the wheels started turning.
Jan Edwards has many fond memories from the more than a decade that her family spent living among the Amish in Guernsey County.She talks of weaving hats with friends and entering neighbors’ houses without knocking. The pictures she has painted in her Groveport home show things such as a baby being diapered, children playing with kittens and an after-dinner checkers game.What the paintings don’t show is the pain Edwards and her family endured when they were shunned — she calls it an excommunication — by the people with whom she had become so close that they knew her shoe size. It’s been about 25 years, but she still remembers feeling lost when the community turned its back on her for skipping church.
Middlebourne, Ohio - Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers with the Cambridge post made an odd discovery Thursday night while investigating a report of a wrong-way driver on Interstate 70 in eastern Guernsey County.Troopers discovered an Amish horse and buggy -- but no driver -- when they arrived at the scene near mile post 193.The horse and buggy were found unoccupied near the ramp to Route 513 approximately 15 minutes before the owner arrived at the scene.
Collegeville, Pennsylvania - Anne Beiler, the founder of Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, says she’s still a little Amish girl at heart.While speaking at Ursinus College’s Lenfest Theater Wednesday night, Beiler attributed her success in business and triumph over personal struggles to the values instilled in her while growing up in a Lancaster County Amish community, coupled with a drive to achieve her purpose.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania — An Amish man who led state police on a chase that hit speeds of up to 120 mph through northern Dauphin County was sentenced to 2 years of probation after pleading guilty to multiple charges Wednesday.Sylvan M. Stoltzfus wasn't driving a buggy during the pursuit. And no, he didn't have a really fast horse, either.He was driving a car.
My parents were born Amish, and both come from typically large families — each with seven siblings. My grandparents on both sides left the most orthodox group when my parents were young, but they stayed close to the Amish and Mennonite communities. I grew up in the heart of Lancaster County, near the little towns of Gap and Intercourse. My earliest memories include hours of outdoor play with our next-door neighbors, an Amish family that lived beside ours for 28 years. My buddy was Gideon. We played horse-and-buggy using my mother’s garden cart.
Medina, Ohio - An attorney representing a Homer Township Amish family said there are constitutional protections that should prevent the state from appointing a guardian to oversee 11-year-old Sarah Hershberger’s medical care.Maurice Thompson, an attorney for Anna and Andy Hershberger filed a brief on Friday arguing that judges overseeing their case, now before the 9th District Court of Appeals, should allow them to make the argument that their constitutional rights were violated.
Rochester, New York – A poignant and penetrating look at what it means to be cut off from faith and family, The Amish: Shunned follows seven people who have chosen to leave their closed and tightly knit communities for the outside world, knowing that they can never return. Each has paid deeply for this decision. Estranged from loved ones, these former Amish find themselves struggling to make their way in modern America. Interwoven with their stories are the voices of staunchly loyal Amish men and women who explain the importance of obedience, the strong ties and traditions that bind them, and the heartbreak they feel when a loved one falls away. Through its sympathetic portrayal of both sides, the film explores what is gained and what is lost when community and tradition are exchanged for individuality and freedom. Produced, directed and written by Callie T. Wiser, The Amish: Shunned, an American Experience presentation airs Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV. It encores Sunday, February 9 at 2 p.m.
My name is Lisa Yoder and I’m married with three children. I was the recipient of a scholarship from the Amish Descendant Scholarship Fund in 2013. I’m currently in my junior year of college, working on my Bachelors of Science degree in Registered Nursing. I grew up in an ultra-conservative Swartzentruber Amish church in central Ohio. I came from a large family and growing up we were poor but generally speaking we had what we needed at the time, and what we didn’t have we didn’t miss. My family was very close and I never thought I would leave the Amish, but time has a way of changing and re-shaping the way we view things. Sometimes circumstances in our lives shift and clarify our view and our destiny and sometimes those circumstances serve to change our views and we, in turn set out on a path to discover who we are and what our purpose is. In looking back, I have gone from one end of that road to the other as I continue to search for my own purpose.
Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania - Nearly three dozen residents from the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Penn., were in Newtown last Friday. The group spent about nine hours in town, offering support from an unfortunate point of view. These were people who were also affected by an act of violence that took the lives of five children while they were at school. The incident has forever put the name Nickel Mines into a category that Sandy Hook joined 13 months ago, that of communities rocked by gun violence.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania - The first time Beth Graybill saw Lizzie Zook, Zook was riding down a country road on a motorized scooter with a tall, orange safety flag.Zook was 70 at the time and had had a stroke. But that didn't stop her from running five businesses, rental properties and property holdings; going on regular buying trips to New York City; and helping out her friends."She was one of the first Amish women in business," says Graybill, a member of Community Mennonite Church. "But all she wanted to talk about was giving all the glory to God."
Lancaster, Pennsylvania - It was a different technological world when Lancaster County-based Esh Computer Center started 25 years ago.It's still a different world, culturally speaking, for the company's considerable roster of Amish clients.But through it all, the company has flourished, adding both people and divisions. In 2012, according to Business Journal records, it had revenues of $3 million.
Logan-Simpson County, Kentucky - Sixteen members of an Amish community living around the Logan-Simpson county line attended the Jan. 13 Auburn City Council meeting to voice opposition to an amendment of one of the city’s ordinances, requiring collection bags to be placed on all horses that ride through town. A first reading was held Dec. 9.The highly anticipated passing was tabled reluctantly, however, to allow the Amish one more chance to do the right thing and clean up their mess.