January 10, 2013
The following testimony was written by Samuel Girod
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 was the oldest in my family of 13 children. I belonged to small church group of about 15 families. We didn't have fellowship with any other church in the nation, so it made it hard for someone to try and find a date outside the community. I tried once in another church that didn't shun as strongly as we did, but my church wouldn't allow me to date that girl. So in order to keep my church together I broke up with her.
On May 17, 2012, two of my younger sisters had a double wedding. Six of my siblings were now married, and I, the oldest, was still single. So after my sisters’ wedding I would go and have dinner and hang out with some of my English friends. I watched TV with them, an activity forbidden in the Amish faith, but I did it anyway. My English friend told me about a show on TV called Amish: Out of Order. I had thought about leaving the Amish before, but was too scared and I didn’t know where to go for help. We were always told we should not talk to former Amish because they were of the world and would lead us the wrong way. After watching the show I contacted Mose Gingrich. He told me about a man in Ohio named Joe Keim who helps people leave the Amish life. I thought: How could this be possible? A former Amish man reaching out to others who wanted to leave?
My first thought was what a bad person I am; however, I kept the number Mose gave me for a couple days until I had enough guts to make the call. When I called Joe a few days later I was so scared I was shaking. But every time I talked to Joe, I sensed a calmness in him that told me something about him. We talked on and off for four months or so. Then one night in September, I called him, and we made arrangements for someone to pick me up. On September 22, 2012, at 9:30PM, I walked away from two houses and half-ownership of a construction company with my father. I went to Joe Keim to live. Two days later, on September 24, Joe led me to the Lord after explaining Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
Also, my eyes really opened up when we read Col 2:14, “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.”
I praise God every day for leading me to Mission to Amish People.
Once I understood the liberty I had in Christ, it became fairly easy to adapt to the “English” world. It was and still is, however, very hard for me to know that my parents and I will never have the same relationship we had growing up. When someone leaves the Amish, parents and family respond in a very similar way that they would toward a funeral or death of a loved one. They have very little contact with me, but I go see them every once in a while since I live in the same community with them now. I praise God that I can know why they do and realize that they just don't understand my life I have with Christ .
I am married now with a beautiful wife, a daughter, and a newborn son. My future looks very bright. In the future, I would really love to go to a Bible college, and I have a long term goal of being in the mission’s field one day. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me and my family!
Note to the reader:
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