April 15, 2019
My name is Dennis Stoltzfoos. Growing up as a young Beachy Amish boy, I really enjoyed the simplicity and community that came along with the Amish culture. I also really took to the farm life and had fun helping with chores around the house.
Although my relationship with my parents was good, it could have been better. My parents were rebellious by nature, and as a result, almost all of my brothers and sisters have now left the Amish behind. We do remain faithful to Jesus, though! In fact, I received Christ as my savior when I was twelve years old in the Beachy church we were attending.
I ended up leaving the Amish because I had so many unanswered questions. My parents always stressed that it wasn’t our plain clothes that saved us, but when I asked why we still had to wear them, I never got a clear answer. There was also a lot of hypocrisy in our church.
My brother had left the Amish before me and was a youth pastor at a local church. The day I left the Amish, I showed up at my brother’s church in full Amish garb. Everyone in the congregation including my brother was shocked. My brother quickly helped me to adapt to the new culture; he took me under his wing and became a father figure to me as I transitioned into the “English” world.
Since leaving the Amish, a lot of my Amish friendships have continued with deep love and respect. I have also received many scathing letters, which has been very hard, but I have also received many with strong loving caring concern which I appreciated very much. In addition, since leaving, I had some really good conversations with my former bishop; he is very kind and understanding.
Currently, I am an organic farmer in Florida. I want to help others and have a desire to take others in to help them with the same transition that I went through when I first left the Amish. Hopefully, God will open the door and bring the right individuals in his timing.
This letter has been published with permission from the owner.
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