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...
Kelly Krabill with Ideasream Public Media recently published an interview in which she spotlights Mission to Amish People, Beyond Measure Market, New Beginnings Homestead, and Rhoda Schmuker, one of our New Beginnings residents.
It was supposed to be a new start when Misty Griffin - just shy of 19 - went to live with the strict Amish community. After an isolated childhood on a remote mountain farm – raised in Amish ways and dress since she was around aged six – Griffin was initially hopeful. However, her new community’s emphasis on forgiveness, she says, meant they allowed a convicted sex offender to live nearby and the way they dealt with molestation and rape was up to six weeks of ‘shunning,’ what they called placed in the Bann.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker is hustling down a dizzying spiral staircase in the United States Capitol. He’s cutting through the cavernous basement hallways and around security guards, up more stairs and down others.
LANCASTER, PA - A new nonprofit, the Amish Heritage Foundation, will hold its first conference, Disrupting History: Reclaiming Our Amish Story, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, at the end of September. Over two days, more than a dozen speakers will speak on topics ranging from Amish culture, to Navajo sovereignty, to women and the #MeToo movement. Their goal is to remove barriers between the Amish and the rest of society, bringing in multiple voices that have been marginalize
AN EX-MEMBER of the Amish community has opened up about why she left the religious group. Misty Griffin currently happily resides in Pasadena, California with her husband, however she had an incredibly strict and difficult childhood where her parents enforced an Amish-style life.
Feeling like ants in a cornfield, we meandered down the wide, needle-carpeted trails between the gigantic redwood trees at Jedidiah Smith State Park. Our six children, all adults now, scattered out ahead of us. One stopped to count rings on a log, another climbed up the roots of an enormous redwood to peek in a mysterious hole in the side, another marched far ahead and returned at a brisk pace, trying to tally as many steps as possible for the day.
“Would you ever have imagined this, 33-and-a-half years ago?” my husband, Paul, asked me quietly as we lagged behind. We were taking a family post-Christmas vacation in the same area of the southern Oregon Coast where we had honeymooned, back in 1984, which caused much reminiscing, even for Paul, who looks forward more than back.
ST. CLAIRSVILLE, OH – A former Amish community member previously convicted of rape of a minor, is going to prison again for sex crimes involving two Amish girls.
Jacob Weaver, 65, of Jerusalem appeared before Belmont County Common Pleas Judge John Vavra on Monday and was sentenced on two counts of gross sexual imposition, a felony of the fourth degree, and one count of attempted gross sexual imposition, a felony of the fifth degree. Vavra imposed a sentence of 17 months for the first two counts, to be served consecutively, and an 11-month concurrent sentence for the third count, for a total of 34 months.
Reuben Kauffman had seen his father cry only once.
Then came Feb. 20, 2012, when Kauffman walked into the kitchen of his family’s Wisconsin farm home. His father sat at the dining table he helped build, reading a well-used Bible. A kerosene lamp dangled from the ceiling. Kauffman’s mother prepared scrambled eggs and homemade granola.
The spartan kitchen was full of wonderful memories for Kauffman, one of nine children. The cinnamon rolls his mother made were treats that remain unmatched. The mashed potatoes and chicken were just as good.
ELKHART, IN — After visiting 450 Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores around the country during a 30-year span, Ray and Wilma Yoder decided it was time to set a goal of visiting all of the company's restaurants.
Now, the Goshen couple is just one stop away from enjoying their favorite foods at all 645 Cracker Barrel locations in 44 states. In less than two weeks, on Aug. 26, they'll mark off the last location when they visit Tualatin, Oregon, a suburb of Portland. Company officials will send them to Portland to visit the nearby Tualatin Cracker Barrel location, as a way of thanking them for visiting the 644 sites.
Parents whose children are taken from them often fear that their children will forget them, especially if the children are very young when Child Protective Services steps in. However, there is a deep need inside human beings to know our biological parents, even if we don’t remember anything about them. There is something inside that longs to know where we came from and wants to connect with the truth.
Elizabeth Byler of Pennsylvania is a mother of medically kidnapped children who has prayed that her children will not forget her. She also understands this longing from the perspective of the child, because she was raised in the Amish community by people who were not her parents.
Since Elizabeth’s story broke on Health Impact News, there have been some interesting developments with regards to finding her biological father.
COLUMBIA, MO - Albert Lee had his right arm around Jack Howard’s throat. With his left arm, Lee secured his hold. He wrapped both legs around his sparring partner, ensuring Howard couldn’t get up from the mat.
This is a normal Thursday night at the Hulett House, a Columbia gym operated by Rob Hulett, who has trained mixed martial arts fighters here for 20 years.
Thorndike, ME - With rain in the forecast, hay on the ground and high stakes in front of him, Kenneth Copp was racing the clock.
The Thorndike furniture-maker and farmer was beginning to feel desperate about his chances of getting the first hay cutting inside his barn before the predicted rains came. His horses will eat hay from the bales all winter, and he can’t afford to purchase supplemental hay if his crop is lost to mildew and rot. So the wiry 57-year-old rolled up the sleeves of his thin cotton shirt, adjusted the turquoise sweat band beneath his straw hat and got to work on the huge task ahead of him — alone.
LANCASTER, PA - Forty years sounds like a lifetime. It also can fly past in the blink of an eye. Just ask the Rev. Sam Smucker. In 1977, Smucker and 30 other people gathered for worship in a room at the former Sheraton Conestoga Hotel on Oregon Pike. Three years later, they were renting space at the Lititz Rec Center for services.
Today, Smucker preaches to a weekly audience of 2,800 in an auditorium at the Worship Center — a 106,000-square-foot building along New Holland Pike complete with rooms, chapels and cafe. Adjacent is the first church building, now accommodating Lancaster County Christian School students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
On a recent morning, Smucker talked about how he, a former Amish youth from Ronks with only an eighth-grade education, became the pastor of a modern megachurch.
Learning about other religions and cultures will help create a better understanding among people. During the April 22 presentation of "A World of Faith and Cultures in our Neighborhood" at the Batesville Memorial Public Library, three individuals explained how their lives changed after following a different path. “Samuel Girod, the oldest of 13 children, was born into a Swiss Amish culture,” read Katherine Taul, Ripley County Tourism Bureau executive director.
“At the age of 30, he suddenly realized that he had everything an Amish man is allowed to have … (but) was very unhappy and depressed. In September 2012, he walked away from his two properties and half ownership in a construction company. With a duffel bag in each hand, Samuel traveled from Indiana to Ohio, where he met up with Joe Keim (a former Amish member who helps people who left this religion). For the next two days, the two of them discussed God’s plan of salvation. Finally, on day two, the Lord opened Samuel’s eyes and saved his soul.
DUBLIN, VA — Ammon “AJ” Miller’s journey of faith has taken him from the horse and buggy to a 2004 turbo diesel Volkswagen Jetta. The same journey led his twice-shunned family from an antiquated Amish village in Pennsylvania to their modern farm in Giles County. And now the 22-year-old is set on a path toward a previously unimaginable future — working with robotics. The fourth of seven children, AJ Miller will be the second in his family to earn a college degree. His brother Reuben Miller earned degrees from both NRCC and Radford University on his way to becoming a middle school math teacher and his sister Sarah Miller is currently enrolled at NRCC.
SUWANNEE COUNTY, FL - Jeremiah Raber is in trouble. Again. The man appears to be unable to stay out of trouble. The 37-year-old star of TLC's Return to Amish and former star of TLC's & Breaking Amish has been arrested for #Domestic Violence. The latest domestic violence charges were filed against him by his current wife, Carmela Raber. She accused Jeremiah Raber of throwing hot coffee on her lap. The alleged event happened during one of their many arguments.
NEW WILMINGTON, PA - A mother who is fighting the Child Protective Service system to get her children back was threatened during a mediation hearing last week. Elizabeth Byler of Pennsylvania, who grew up in an Amish community, appeared at the hearing last week. Elizabeth Byler of Pennsylvania, who grew up in an Amish community, appeared at the hearing without her lawyer present, due to her attorney’s scheduling conflict. Byler was allegedly given an ultimatum by court officials—to take down the Facebook page “or else,” they would “come after” her.
LANCASTER, PA - Daniel Stoltzfus, 43, and his wife Savilla Stoltzfus, 42, both of 10 Locust Lane in Quarryville, are accused of providing their then 14-year-old daughter to Lee Kaplan as part of a 2012 agreement.
Daniel Stoltzfus told police he "gifted" his daughter to Kaplan, 51, of 428 old Street Road, Feasterville, as a thank you for helping his family out of financial ruin.