Mission to Amish People is a site dedicated to sharing information about ministries, services, testimonies, and opportunities to Amish and non-Amish (English) communities alike. There is a threefold purpose of Mission to Amish People. read more...
The Amish populate some parts of Michigan and many parts of the Hoosier State. Indiana is one of three states where the group primarily resides in the United States, according to the Young Center at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. As a sect of Anabaptism, the Amish believe in voluntary adult baptism.Therefore, Amish youth have the choice whether or not to stay with the church. At the age of 16, youth will enter a coming-of-age period called Rumspringa. The Amish have an 85-90% retention rate, meaning most youth choose to stay with the church, despite continuous evolving pressure from the modern world.
Sugarcreek, Ohio - Andy Yoder is a bona fide doctor. Seven years after graduating from Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana, he has completed medical school and his residency at Ohio State University, and is working as a hospitalist at Aultman Hospital in CantonThere was never any doubt that Yoder would complete his goal of becoming a doctor, but the path that led him there was difficult.
Emma Gingerich said the past nine years have been the happiest she's been in her entire life. That's all because, she said, she's committed to her dream of abandoning her Amish community, where she felt she didn't belong, to pursue a college degree."I didn’t fit in," Gingerich of Texas told ABC News. "Other girls my age were a lot happier than me. For Amish women, they're very secluded and always kept in the dark."Gingerich, now 27, grew up one of 14 children in the small town of Eagleville, Missouri, where her parents sold produce and handmade woven baskets to passerby.
By 8 a.m. on a June day, the stables clustered around The Meadows racetrack, 25 miles south of Pittsburgh, are buzzing with activity. Standardbred horses pulling jogging carts — two-wheeled chariot-like contraptions with a seat for the driver — clip-clop back and forth between the stables and the track for their morning workouts. Veterinarians make their rounds, stable hands muck out stalls. Dozens of horses, vehicles and people are heading in every direction, with right-of-way always going to the horses, the stars of the show.
Albert Lee, 23, who was born Amish and has since left the community, spoke with KMZU’s Shaylee Miller about the charges of child abuse coming from the Bogard Amish community.
Albert Lee left the Amish community at the age of 15, after being mistreated his entire youth by an abusive father and an enabling mother. His father has since been convicted and incarcerated for his years of neglect to his children. Lee’s father, Andrew Lee, was arrested while living in Lamar, Missouri and currently remains incarcerated.
Marion, Ohio – Since she was 9 years old, Emma Lister had helped her mother, Sarah Schwartz, bake cookies, pies and breads in the kitchen of their home near Lancaster.Her father, Levi Schwartz, then would take their wares to roadside stands, farmers markets and flea markets, where they would be sold."A lot of it is Amish heritage," said Lister, who "grew up Amish" before leaving the community with her father and four of her sisters over differences about speaking to non-Amish people about the Bible.
As a young Amish girl in Bowling Green, Missouri, I had the joys of living on a farm and learning to work hard. I learned how to do many things at a very young age…...Milking cows, hanging out the laundry, hoeing the garden, caring for chickens, and walking to school… these were some of the things I did, and even enjoyed. We had no running water, no electricity, and we used “horse and buggy” for transportation. I must say I enjoyed a good life, in that respect.However, there was one subject that always concerned me. I remember looking up into the sky, and knowing that someday I would die.
Third-world people groups aren’t the only ones that need God’s Word. As Hank and Ruth Hershberger of Wycliffe Bible Translators USA can attest, the Amish need Scripture, too.Hank says he became aware of this fact while serving the Lord in Australia. The Hershbergers spent a quarter-century in the Land Down Under with Wycliffe USA, translating the New Testament for the Gugu-Yalanji Aboriginal people.“The Lord seemed to tell me, ‘Your own folks don’t have the Scriptures in their own language.’ And more and more, I was convicted that following our translation work in Australia, we should come home and do a translation in my own language,” he states.
Richland Center, Wisconsin - Five years ago, Marlin Yoder’s idea of fast was a horse and buggy. Now, he dreams of turning laps at 200 mph.The sport he discovered on a smuggled radio he hid under his mattress has set him on fire. In the years since leaving his Amish family, he’s honed his skills on the go-kart tracks where racers like Danica Patrick got their start, winning himself a shelf full of trophies. But he aspires to something bigger.
Ervin Byler, Salida, retired from a 20-year career in the U.S. Navy at the rank of senior chief petty officer.For a young Amish boy, the Navy provided a way to see the world.Born in Dover, Del., in 1941, he moved to Kentucky at age 17.“I thought there was more to life than viewing horses’ behinds, so I decided to join the Navy,” he said.
Stuarts Draft, Virginia - I was baptized at the above Stuarts Draft, Va., Amish meetinghouse on a warm Sunday morning in June, 1954 — 60 years ago. At justStuarts Draft, Virginia - I was baptized at the above Stuarts Draft, Va., Amish meetinghouse on a warm Sunday morning in June, 1954 — 60 years ago. At just under 15, I was the youngest member of a baptismal class of about a half-dozen teens who gave a public witness to their faith and joined the church that day. It was a memorable experience for a 14-year-old who had always experienced church as a central part of his life and who was now received as a full-fledged fellow member of it.I’ll never forget kneeling at the front of the congregation and having our good Bishop Simon Yoder cup water in his hands from a bowl and gently pour this sacramental sign of cleansing and commissioning on my head — “im Namen des Vaters and des Sohnes und des heiligen Geistes” — and then taking me by the hand and having me stand as a new born and newly welcomed adult member of God’s family.
An Amish buggy, it's not exactly 80 tons of monstrous truck.A grocery store job frying doughnuts and decorating cakes, it's not exactly hauling twin beds of freight 10 hours in the dark, wee hours overnight.But Verna Gillen, a 49-year-old Columbus, Ind. woman took a definite U-turn in life, and now she lives her dream on the open roads."I decided I wanted to drive a truck, but I never thought I'd really be doing it," she said. "On my 40th birthday, I thought 'You know what? It's now or never.'"
St. Joseph, Missouri - Graduating from a public high school is a part of life for many, but for those in the Amish community their educational journey can be a little different."I had an 8th grade education and then three and a half years of theology school," said Jacob Yoder who grew up in an Amish community. "When I was 13, mom and dad moved to Missouri."But after the move, Yoder was not able to graduate from high school.
So after losing his job and watching his brothers earn theirs, Yoder decided to get his G.E.D.
"As I got older, I realized that Amish life was not for me...(I) realized there was more out there, and I wanted to leave," said Emma Gingerich. This was just the beginning of her journey into the modern world.Gingerich spoke to a crowd of about 80 Spring Grove residents and others from the surrounding communities on Thursday, April 23, during a question and answer session and book signing of her memoir, "Runaway Amish Girl: The Great Escape.""I was mostly at home all the time; I didn't have the opportunity to get to know other people and branch myself out, so I worked on finding my way out (of the Amish community) for three years," Gingerich said.
Spring is in the air and with spring comes thoughts of graduation and heading off to college. But that seemingly simple act of growing up means more to Emma Gingerich than most.At 18, Gingerich left her entire family and the only life she'd ever known in the middle of the night, hidden away for weeks before coming to Texas. The strong, young woman remembers the trip to South Texas not like a refugee fleeing, but like any other teenager heading to college and the beginning of the rest of her life."I thought about the rules as I cruised down Highway 499 in my maroon 2001 Dodge pickup truck, air condition and radio both cranked up," writes Gingerich in her new book, Runaway Amish Girl. "I had no clue what I was doing, but finally escaping from so many pointless rules filled me with a sense of relief so deep no one else could ever fully understand — unless, of course, that person grew up Amish as well."
Amish life is more than plain dress, a Germanic dialect and an aversion to modern technology. It is also an insular faith which demands that adherents live, worship and marry within the community.Those strict expectations, along with a troubled home life, were too much for one Ohio Amish woman. Saloma Miller Furlong was 20 years old in the 1970s when she first ran away from her Amish community in Ohio and sought refuge in Burlington, Vt. It’s a story that she tells in her new memoir, Bonnet Strings: An Amish Woman’s Ties to Two Worlds. Miller Furlong recently spoke with Vermont Edition about her experience
Ray Beechy is a cowboy who has overcome many obstacles. When he was 12 years old, he was involved in a sawmill accident, which resulted in his right arm having to be amputated below the elbow. The loss of his hand did not slow him down for long, however. It served to make him very competitive and he quickly became adept with using one hand. “It’s never kept me from much of anything other than shuffling cards - or clapping,” Ray said with a laugh.As Ray grew up Amish, he did not start competing in rodeo until after he moved away from the Amish community when he was 16. He tells the story. “I was 16 when I really took an interest in the rodeo circuit. A friend of mine that lived close by was riding bulls at the time, and got me interested.” Ray was given a boost into rodeo by Galen “Peewee” Helmuth. “He got me started way back in the day and has taught me more than anyone else,” says Ray. He has also been inspired by Ray Cox, owner of Lazy C Rodeo School in Jacksonville, Ill.
Los Angeles, California - It all started with a truck, says 22-year-old Levi Shetler.“When I was 15, I was fascinated with trucks – any vehicles, really. I thought they’d be really cool to drive.”When family members pointed out that Amish don’t embrace flashy cars or high-powered trucks, the wheels started turning.
Jan Edwards has many fond memories from the more than a decade that her family spent living among the Amish in Guernsey County.She talks of weaving hats with friends and entering neighbors’ houses without knocking. The pictures she has painted in her Groveport home show things such as a baby being diapered, children playing with kittens and an after-dinner checkers game.What the paintings don’t show is the pain Edwards and her family endured when they were shunned — she calls it an excommunication — by the people with whom she had become so close that they knew her shoe size. It’s been about 25 years, but she still remembers feeling lost when the community turned its back on her for skipping church.
My parents were born Amish, and both come from typically large families — each with seven siblings. My grandparents on both sides left the most orthodox group when my parents were young, but they stayed close to the Amish and Mennonite communities. I grew up in the heart of Lancaster County, near the little towns of Gap and Intercourse. My earliest memories include hours of outdoor play with our next-door neighbors, an Amish family that lived beside ours for 28 years. My buddy was Gideon. We played horse-and-buggy using my mother’s garden cart.
My name is Lisa Yoder and I’m married with three children. I was the recipient of a scholarship from the Amish Descendant Scholarship Fund in 2013. I’m currently in my junior year of college, working on my Bachelors of Science degree in Registered Nursing. I grew up in an ultra-conservative Swartzentruber Amish church in central Ohio. I came from a large family and growing up we were poor but generally speaking we had what we needed at the time, and what we didn’t have we didn’t miss. My family was very close and I never thought I would leave the Amish, but time has a way of changing and re-shaping the way we view things. Sometimes circumstances in our lives shift and clarify our view and our destiny and sometimes those circumstances serve to change our views and we, in turn set out on a path to discover who we are and what our purpose is. In looking back, I have gone from one end of that road to the other as I continue to search for my own purpose.
Growing Up Amish is a moving memoir of a life and lifestyle that is foreign to most of us: the Amish. Ira was born and raised in the Amish tradition, leaving and coming back several times before leaving for good when he was twenty-six. Years later, Wagler writes this heartwarming memoir that gives us a vivid picture of Amish life.
Dear Readers,Last week, I received this message from a young woman who read The Outcast . She had grown up in the Amish church but left under the protection of her family when she was nineteen years old. This is what she had to say:
Eau Claire — Here in western Wisconsin many of us wouldn't be too shocked to see a horse drawn buggy roll through our town, we know there are Amish communities mixed into our rural communities. One Eau Claire woman is breaking from tradition, as she pursues a life outside of her Amish family.When she's not busy studying or working her job at Menards, 26-year-old Sarah Borntreger volunteers her time at the Trinity Equestrian Center in Eau Claire."I'm definitely a country girl. Growing up on a farm, we had horses, we had cows, no electricity, no TV, none of that," says Sarah.
For many Amish teens, Rumspringa means hard partying, dating, cars — and Facebook. So much for “What happens in Rumspringa stays in Rumspringa.”Since kids on Rumspringa are determinedly social (they are looking for spouses, after all), they don’t spend hours alone online. They use tech and social networking with purpose bordering on urgency. When I asked Noah what’s different about how the Amish use Facebook, he suggested that they use it more so than non-Amish do. It’s critical for a Rumspringa social life.
Sarah Borntreger didn't have a traditional education.Growing up as one of more than 20 children in an Amish home, Borntreger said she attended first through eighth grade in a one-room schoolhouse.At age 18, Borntreger left the Amish community. Over the years she learned that she needed more education to get where she wanted in life.
AUGUSTA, IL. — In a family that was Amish for generations, Mattie Mullet did the unthinkable.She left the community with its rigid rules after the age of 50 -- and then wrote a book about her experiences.
MILLERSBURG, OH — Lena Schlabach of the Millersburg area had a dream to own her own company, and in July 2012, the dream became reality when she launched Lena’s Amish Granola.“I was raised Amish, and my parents are Amish,” said Lena, who recently celebrated her 40th birthday. “I wanted a quality product to offer to the community and collaborated with an Amish family to make the granola for me, which I market it.”
MESA, Ariz. — Growing up Amish on a farm in rural Ohio, Elsie Keim was told from an early age that all she could expect to do in life was bear 10 or more children and live a simple, traditional lifestyle that rejects most modern conveniences.A self-professed "adrenaline junkie," Keim knew she wouldn't be happy. So with only an eighth-grade education and little knowledge of the modern world, she went looking for the ultimate challenge and the best job to fit her personality.
Pinecraft resident Katie Troyer teeters between the English world, the media and the Amish.It's a delicate balance, but she manages it between taking photos for the Pinecraft Pauper, blogging and following her own relationship with God without attending church.