June 18, 2020
My name is David Renno, and I grew up in an Old Order Amish community. Like many, I really enjoyed and appreciated the work ethic, strong family ties, and community strength of the Amish. Everyone was always willing to jump in and help in time of need; if there was a storm or fire damage done to a neighbor’s property, for example, the Amish were the first to jump in to help one another!
One day, though, God took ahold of me and convicted me in things that greatly conflicted with the Amish. I had a brother named Ephraim, who left the Amish earlier. He helped direct me to scripture for answers and suggested that I buy a Bible, so I could understand understand more easily. I purchased a Bible, and even though the ministers asked me to get rid of it and use the Bible our forefathers used, I kept it. My brother and I had many phone conversations, where he would answer my questions.
At first, I was just tired of the Amish problems and wished to leave, but then my brother Ephraim helped me to read and understand the Bible. The first verse I really remember standing out is Galatians 6:15: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” Then, many others impacted me such as 2 Timothy 2:15: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” and Romans 10:8-13.
The Bible became really alive with many things explained that I didn’t know were there! I then realized how much we as an Amish community were actually missing. My eyes opened to being involved in occultist practices, and I realized that my sins were actually not taken care of (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12, 1 Corinthians 2:14, 2 Colossians 2:20-22, Ephesians 2:14-15,5:6-14, 2Corinthians 4:3-4, 10:4-6, 1 John 5:13). Jesus is the ONLY door!! We had false assurance, but now we’ve got power, love and a sound mind, minus the spirit of fear. Jesus is a powerful and great anti-depressant!!!
I had no desire to leave my family, but because I was excommunicated a third time, they decided to leave me. They moved out, and I was left alone for some time before deciding to move away at a later time.
I had a wife and children of my own. My wife was very opposed to anything that wasn’t Amish. She was heavy into the occult, which I was against.
I continued to attend gospel meetings and conference calls with gospel messages, which caused my community and family to deem me mentally disturbed. After my third excommunication, my community sent three men to try to convince me to accept their help, but I refused. The next step that they took was to call the police to help me with my mental help. Instead, the police helped me by ordering the men off my property and by setting orders to keep them away while I was at home.
With this new situation, my family moved out. It was very lonely without my family, but I kept turning back to Mark 10:30 and reminded myself that I have a new family.
I have ended up moving to a group in Flat Rock, Illinois. This group stepped out of the New Order Amish and have been a real blessing - I love it.
To this day, my family has fully shunned me. My wife and married son that she lives with asked that I don’t come and that I have no contact with the children, so I don’t mislead them. I do still go occasionally as legally they don’t have the authority to keep me from my children, but they usually see me coming and get the children out of sight.
Although my future looks to be a little bit lonely, it’s not nearly as bad as it would have been without Jesus, and I hold onto the hope that I can one day connect again with family. My greatest desire is to be able to reach my family and home community which is suffering greatly; there’s a great need for revival there.
I’d love to help reach out to others. May God open the door in His perfect timing!
This letter has been published with permission from the owner.
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