Mission to Amish People was founded in 2001 with the purpose of evangelizing and discipling Amish and Former Amish as well as assisting those that leave the Amish by providing education, housing, and basic life skill training. read more...
ELKHART COUNTY, IN - While Amish buggies may be a quaint sight along country roads, those horse hooves are causing damage to asphalt surfaces.
Ruts or troughs cut into the road an inch or two deep-- that could cause problems for scooters, motorcycles, or other vehicles.
Extra money is being spent to fix the damage.
BUCKS COUNTY, PA - A cult-like figure whose spiritual and financial hold over a formerly Amish couple enabled him to have sexual relationships with six of their daughters has been sentenced to up to 87 years in prison in the United States.
The sentencing of Lee Donald Kaplan on multiple counts of child rape, statutory sexual assault and other charges that authorities said were committed during at least six years marks the end of a set of criminal cases that have landed the victims in protective custody and their parents in prison.
"Corrupted, perverted, atrocious. Use what adjective you would like to use," Bucks County Judge Jeffrey Finley told Kaplan, 52, adding that the court has classified him as a sexually violent predator.
A young woman, wearing a traditional full-length Amish dress and white bonnet, stepped away from a farmer’s market, opened her palm and revealed a smartphone. She began to scroll through screens, seemingly oblivious to the activity around her.
Not far away, a man in his late 60s with a silvery beard, wide-brimmed straw hat and suspenders adjusted the settings on a computer-driven crosscut saw. He was soon cutting pieces for gazebos that are sold online and delivered around the country.
The Amish have not given up on horse-drawn buggies. Their rigid abstinence from many kinds of technology has left parts of their lifestyle frozen since the 19th century: no cars, TVs or connections to electric utilities, for example.
In October of 2015, Emma Drummond left her Orthodox Mennonite community in Gorrie for the modern world. Her aunt and uncle picked her up just after midnight and drove her to their home in Hanover.
Two years later Drummond wrote about her experience for the CBC Nonfiction Prize and was selected alongside 28 others for the long list.
"Growing up in the Mennonite community I was always a little different and didn't have someone to talk to, so I put it into writing," she said during a phone interview. "I did a lot of journaling ... I have this love for books. It's kind of an escape from the real world."
Dauphin County, PA - An Amish bishop pleaded guilty in Dauphin County court last week to a charge of failure to report child abuse.
Christ M. Stoltzfus, 70, of Elizabethville, entered the plea Thursday before Judge Deborah E. Curcillo and was sentenced to three months probation, according to the Dauphin County District Attorney's Office.
State police launched an investigation in January after a confidential source alleged child sexual abuse in the Amish community.
Andy Yoder believes there are lessons to be learned from the ashes that were once his home.
Someday soon — before anyone has a chance to begin cleaning up the charred trees, molten metal and other burned debris — the 34-year-old Amish man will take his family back to its 20-acre parcel that was ravaged on Sept. 2 when the Caribou fire tore through a portion of the state's oldest Amish community in West Kootenai just west of Eureka.
He knows there will be tears.
Auburn, KY - An Amish man stood trial Wednesday for violating an animal ordinance in the city of Auburn.
John Mast was tried by a jury in District Court on four counts. The ordinance requires all large animals traveling through the Auburn City limits to wear collection devices to capture manure.
According to County Attorney and acting prosecutor Joe Ross, Mast was found guilty of three of the counts and not guilty of one.
CARTER COUNTY, KY - Kentucky State Police troopers in Ashland arrested a Carter County man on multiple charges involving the sexual abuse of a child.
According to a release, Levi Hershberger, 39, of Olive Hill, was arrested after troopers investigated a report of illegal sexual activity involving a juvenile in June 2017.
Troopers obtained evidence that Hershberger was involved in sexual intercourse and sodomy with a female relative while she was under the age of 12.
REXFORD, MT - The wildfire that ran roughshod through West Kootenai west of Eureka on Saturday evening wreaked havoc on Montana’s oldest Amish community.
“Everyone’s kind of in shock. We’re just kind of dazing around here,” Darinda Yoder said Tuesday from her family’s temporary home near Rexford across Lake Koocanusa.
The house and adjacent Kootenai Kraft and Grocery that Yoder and husband Dean own weren’t among the 10 homes burned by the Caribou fire when it came roaring down the mountain within three miles of Canada.
Andy Weaver had always loved his quaint Amish community in West Salem, Ohio, United States. He treasured the joys of simple life and the natural rewards of hard work and communal living.
It was his people’s Christian religion, however, that presented him with some challenges.
“I never found peace in the Amish religion,” said Andy. In his communal church, he heard a lot of “fire and brimstone” preaching. How can a merciful God torture sinners in the lake of fire for eternity? he wondered. How can I know whether I will end up living with God or burning for ever?
OSWEGATCHIE, NY - Two Amish men were charged with third-degree criminal mischief, a class E felony, by St. Lawrence County sheriff's deputies Monday, Aug. 28.
A press release from the sheriff's office said the Amos F. Gingerich, 45, and Henry A. Gingerich, 16, both of 595 Horseshoe Road, Heuvelton, allegedly cut hay on another person's property without permission on Aug. 4.
MORRISTOWN, NY - A second drowning victim pulled from the murky waters of Black Lake near Edwardsville about 8:30 a.m. Friday has been identified as 47-year-old Menno L. Glick of Hammond, according to the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s office.
On Wednesday, the body of 67-year-old Eli Yoder was pulled from the water. Mr. Yoder, a member of the Lisbon Amish community, had been fishing with Mr. Glick when their boat apparently capsized, according to St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s deputies.
Terri Roberts, the mother of Nickel Mines shooter Charles Carl Roberts IV, died Saturday after a battle with cancer.
Roberts, 66, was under the care of Hospice & Community Care when she died, according to an obituary posted Monday by Bachman Funeral Home.
The Strasburg Township woman was remarkably open about her son after he barricaded himself in a rural Amish schoolhouse on Oct. 2, 2006, killing five girls and wounding five more before fatally shooting himself.
Pennsylvania does not require the Amish to purchase or display a license plate on their buggies, and it would take an act of the state Legislature to change the rules.
But that law could soon change.
That’s the short answer to a question posed by a reader as part of LancasterOnline's reader-powered journalism project, We The People.
DARLINGTON, WI - An Argyle teenager was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison for breaking into a residence and raping an underage girl in the Town of Fayette in 2016.
Daniel Esh Fisher, 18, was sentenced in Lafayette County Circuit Court to concurrent sentences of five years in prison with seven additional years of supervision on a Class C felony count of second-degree sexual assault with the use of force and a sentence of one year in prison and two years of supervision on a Class I felony count of exposing genitals to a child.
RUSSELLVILLE, KY – Two men who are part of the Amish community living in Auburn were found guilty of violating that city’s ordinance requiring large animals to be fitted with bags to collect their droppings.
Wilbur Mast, 20, and Rudy P. Miller, 31, were convicted by separate six-person juries in Logan District Court on six counts of violating the local ordinance.
Mast was acquitted of one other count. Both men will be required to pay $300 in fines – $50 for each violation.
LANCASTER, PA - What if a diverse bunch of Mennonites and Amish got together for a faith-building vacation on a cruise ship?
It’s not hypothetical. The Sail and Sing Cruise has been happening each year since 2012, when Ryan Bomgardner of Lancaster, Pa., got the idea.
This year’s voyage was to Alaska in June. About 650 people took part.
“Everybody goes on vacation to refresh and relax,” Bomgardner said. “What if we put together a vacation for people to come back spiritually refreshed, as well as honor our heritage?”
RUSSELLVILLE, KY – A total of 37 cases involving members of Auburn’s Amish community who have been cited for violating the city’s ordinance requiring them to clean up after their horses will be headed to trial next month.
The cases involve citations against 12 men dating back to last year.
Auburn’s ordinance requires owners of large animals to fit them with devices to catch their droppings while they’re in the city limits, citing a need to promote public safety.
WISCONSIN RAPIDS, WI - An investigation is still underway in Wood County into a fatal accident involving an Amish buggy.
Rebecca Helmuth, 20, of Arpin was killed Monday evening after the Amish buggy she was riding in was hit by an SUV driven by Audrey Hanson, 43, of Granton. Hanson and the 17-year-old female operating the carriage were also injured.
GLADWIN COUNTY, MI - Two Amish men recently confessed to shooting a snapping turtle in rural Gladwin County.
According to an official report by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the incident occurred in mid-to-late June when Mark Papineau, a conservation officer in DNR District 5, investigated the report of a snapping turtle that appeared to have been killed by gunshot.
MEXICO - In 1948, I lived in Laredo, Texas, on the border of Mexico. I learned about the Amish coming to Mexico to establish a colony somewhere in high in the mountains of northern Mexico.
They asked about some land and the Mexican government gave them land that was desert, unproductive, and nothing else, I was told. What I was told by Mexicans about the Amish was their admiration for the Amish. They told me that the Amish made the land productive and shipped thousands of freight car loads of apples to Mexico City every year. This is all hearsay as I did not visit the colony or check any records about them.
DAVIESS County, IN - Many of the roads across Daviess County are gravel, but that’s starting to change.
The county recently bought a surplus paving unit to convert some of the more heavily-traveled roads to pavement. But, it’s not making the roads much smoother.
The county has a large Amish population that relies on horse-drawn buggies for transportation. And the steel horseshoes they use are hurting the roads. Daviess County is searching for a solution to prevent significant damage to its paved roads.
Kalona, IA - This small town has become a landmark in the organic-farm movement, and it has nothing to do with foodies or hippies.
Instead it has been Amish farmers who, in their suspenders and wide-brimmed hats, have helped develop one of the densest clusters of organic farms in the United States. More than 90 operations certified by the Agriculture Department have emerged within a 10-mile radius, producing, among other things, corn, soybeans, eggs and, perhaps most important, milk.
Lexington, KY – An Amish farmer has been sentenced to six years in federal prison for selling improperly labeled herbal salve.
U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves handed down the sentence against Samuel Girod on Friday in Lexington.
Outraged supporters of the rural Kentucky farmer pledged to seek a pardon from President Donald Trump.
Holmes County, OH - Sitting on the back of a wagon pulled by two beautiful horses in Holmes County OH, I finally had a chance to speak directly to an Amish teenager about the Rumschpringe experience. With the beautiful green scenery passing by us, the young teenager described to us his plans and options and this juncture of his life and how Rumschpringe might affect it. I also realized that some aspects of Rumschpringe carry with them a valuable lesson for Jewish teens, while others do not.
Wooster, Ohio - Ohio police had to make an unusual stop after finding a driverless Amish buggy going down the road.
In a Facebook post, the Wooster Police Department says the horse apparently decided to take a morning run Sunday without its owners.
Fossil Hill, Ontario - Manitoulin’s relatively new Amish community is dealing with its first horse and buggy accident on an Island roadway, thankfully not involving a motorized vehicle.
On Saturday morning Manitowaning’s Shirley Hamilton and a friend were on their way to breakfast at JD’s Garden Shed Café in Tehkummah when they made a starting discovery while cresting Fossil Hill on Highway 6, just before New England Road.
Frankfort, KY - About 50 members of the Amish faith — men, women and children — from Bath County descended on the Kentucky Capitol on Tuesday, seeking help for a friend convicted of violating federal laws.
Samuel A. Girod, a member of the Old Order Amish faith, is scheduled to be sentenced June 30 in Lexington for selling improperly labeled health products and 12 other charges, including threatening a person in an attempt to stop him from providing information to a grand jury. The most serious charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.
Washington, IN — Gravel roads in a rural southwestern Indiana county recently paved with asphalt to boost economic development are being damaged by horse teams used by the region's large Amish population, according to frustrated county officials.
Daviess County has more gravel roads than any other Indiana county, with nearly 600 miles of such roads, the Washington Times-Herald reported. County officials have been using grant money to pave some of those roads with asphalt, but the newly paved roads quickly suffer damage from the impact of steel horseshoes worn by horses pulling Amish buggies.
Kinzers, PA - One man was injured after his horse-and-buggy was rear-ended by a box truck in Paradise Township midday Friday, an official said.
The crash happened just before noon on Lincoln Highway East, according to Lancaster County-wide Communications.