Meet the amish interview

Interview of a {former Amish} Woman (Part 1 of 2) - Mission to Amish People

meet the amish interview

When Amish children turn 16, the rules change. Iced coolers of beer are put out ; Amish teenagers reach for bottles with both hands. . Interviews with youth going through rumspringa, and with their parents and others in the. Author and interviewer, Tammy, has graciously given us permission to repost her interview with Deborah (not her real name, for the sake of protection), a former. When Emma Gingerich left her Amish community in Eagleville, Missouri, She grew up without light bulbs, but she met her boyfriend of seven.

Or when there is an accident, disaster or a death in the community and all the buggys start to pull in immediately with food, supplies and support for as long as it takes. This kind of community life was a part of my life for many years but I am now an "outsider". They expect nothing from me and would be uncomfortable if I tried to be a part of these interactions.

I believe the Lord wants to bless His people with "community" but it is difficult to find it among His people today. True "community" is relationships that are based on the love of God for each other and the freedom of the Holy Spirit in our midst. In conclusion, if I would have known before I left, how hard it would be to have all those emotional ties severed, I may not have had the courage to leave. Nevertheless, looking back from the vantage point of freedom, by the grace of God I would do it all over again.

Once I tasted of the all-encompassing love God has for me, I also began to experience from Him the value and acceptance my soul was so hungry for. Based on what you know of spiritual abuse, to what extent do you think the Amish community may experience this? Rules are enforced by varying degrees of isolation for those who do not obey them.

All the rules are a part of a religious belief system that controls the people through shame, fear of man and lack of understanding or knowledge of God.

The people are taught and many truly believe, to leave the Amish Order and disobey the rules, is to leave God.

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There is usually a kind of grace period where the use of persuasion is employed, which means the leadership will be making numerous trips to your house to talk to you about your "disobedience".

This is an awkward and embarrassing thing to endure for all involved. Then there is the ordeal of confessing your "sin" publicly to the rest of the congregation when you finally do comply and come back into obedience to the rules. This is the method most often used in "correction" and is very effective because it causes such a feeling of shame. If this process fails and a person persists in refusing to comply, they will eventually be excommunicated. This means they will not be allowed to partake of communion, and in many communities, no longer allowed to sit at a table and eat a meal with any other Amish church member.

An Amish person who eats a meal with an excommunicated member is considered to be violating the rules. The Amish culture is held together and revolves around their religious belief system. That belief system consists of traditions and good Biblical principles, mixed with misinterpreted scripture and superstition. They are a society within a society, or a culture within a culture, just like the Black communities or Hispanic communities of America have their own cultures or societies.

They have their own language and traditional rules to follow, some are written and some are not. The rules that are not written are no less powerful than those that are, and all community life and behaviour is governed by the rules. What sect of the Amish Order were you in?

The particular order I was born into is known as the Old Order Amish. What does the Amish faith look like? What is considered sin? Sin is considered to be disobedience to the rules. There is a lot of emphasis on submission to authority with the attitude that submission to authority is godly even if authority is wrong. In the event of excommunication, the Scripture in 1Cor 5: But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner--not even to eat with such a person.

However, many of the actual sins listed in the verse are considered minor offences if considered to be sin at all, and many of the rules that govern daily life have nothing to do with behaviour the Scriptures would actually call sinful.

As Jesus said in Mark 7: The bishops make the rules for the community. There are no women in any positions of leadership or authority. Because of this, the rules for the women's everyday lives often do not keep up with the rules for the men's lives, in terms of ease and convenience. For example, the rules for the men may allow them to use machinery that is powered by a gasoline motor for their work in the field or barn.

In contrast, the women may not be allowed to use tillers or gas engine powered lawnmowers to do their work in their lawn and gardens. The women are seen as a vital part of the family and community but not expected to give any spiritual counsel or input.

meet the amish interview

They are expected to "be silent" and they are not involved in any decision making concerning the rules for the community. As in all societies the most dependant are the most vulnerable and most likely to be abused. Within any self governing society there is usually a hierarchy and the same is true of the Amish.

meet the amish interview

There are some families in the community who are a lot more influential then others. So, would you say the Amish faith is based on how well you obey the rules vs. Yes I would say that. A relationship with Jesus Christ is not emphasised and in my experience, many Amish lack a personal relationship with the Lord. They are sincere and have a zeal for righteousness but it is not according to knowledge.

meet the amish interview

I would also say, "The harvest truly is great but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into His harvest. Did you find Grace in your Christian life and how did you form a healthy view of God?

I have found the grace of God to be vital in true forgiveness or any real change in my inner man. For instance, I can mentally know I need to forgive and I can make a mental decision or choice to forgive, but only by the grace of God that comes through the working of the Holy Spirit, can true forgiveness take place in my heart. Wondrous Grace, that supernatural ability to be like Jesus. One pair of girls walks westward, another pair eastward toward the destination; a threesome travels due south.

Although not yet baptized members of the church, these young ladies all wear traditional "plain" Amish garb: A few carry small satchels. Though they are used to exercise and walking strongly, their demeanor is demure, so that they appear younger than non-Amish girls of the same age. The walkers pass homes where the women and children in the yards, taking in the last of the wash off clotheslines, wear no shoes, as though to better sense the warm air, grass, and dirt between their toes.

Along these country lanes, while there are a few homes belonging to the "English," the non-Amish, most are owned by Old Order Amish families. As the shards of sunset fade, electric lights are turned on in the English homes, but only the occasional gas lamp pierces the twilight of the Amish homesteads, illuminating buggies at rest in driveways, silhouetting horses in small pastures against high clouds, and here and there a dog and cat wandering about.

No music can be heard coming from the Amish houses as the girls walk past, no faint whisper of broadcast news, no whir of air conditioners. All that disturbs the calm is the occasional animal bark, whinny, snort, or trill, and every few minutes the rapid clop-clop-clop of a horse-drawn vehicle going past; the girls' peals of laughter sound as innocent, as timeless, and as much a part of the natural surround as birds' calls.

meet the amish interview

From their several directions, the walkers converge on the home of another teenage Amish girl. There they go upstairs to the bedroom shared by the young females of the family, to huddle and giggle in anticipation of what is to happen later that night, after full dark.

In a window visible from the lane, they position a lit gas lamp, and they leave open an adjacent side door to the house and stairway. These are signals to male Amish youth out "cruising" that there are young ladies inside who would welcome a visit, and who might agree to go out courting-a part of the rumspringa, or "running-around," tradition that has been passed down in Amishdom for many generations.

Such activities usually go unseen by tourists, despite Shipshewana in Indiana, Berlin in Ohio, and Intercourse in Pennsylvania having become tourist destinations for millions of Americans each year. Shipshe, as the locals call their town, has only a few streets but these are lined with nearly a hundred attractive "specialty" shops that sell merchandise as likely to have been manufactured in China as crafted in Indiana.

East and west of the sales district, the area is rural and mostly Amish. The young ladies gathered in that upstairs bedroom, waiting for young men to come calling, work in Shipshe, Middlebury, Goshen, and other neighboring towns as waitresses, dishwashers, store clerks, seamstresses, bakers, and child-minders.

All have been employed since graduating from Amish schools at age fourteen or fifteen, or leaving public schools after the eighth grade, and have been dutifully turning over most of their wages to their families to assist with household expenses.

After their full days at work, and before leaving their homes this evening, the young ladies have also performed their chores: In the upstairs bedroom, the girls play board games and speak of certain "hopelessly uncool" teenagers in their age cohort, girls and boys whom they have known all their lives but who are not going cruising and who seem content to spend their rumspringa years attending Sunday sings after church and volleyball games arranged by parents or church officials.

An hour later, when the girls have had their fill of board games, and when the parents of the house are presumed to be asleep, cars and half-trucks are heard pulling into the dirt lane. The battered, secondhand autos and pickups are parked well off the road, to be less visible to passersby in horse-drawn buggies.

Interview of a {former Amish} Woman (Part 1 of 2)

Out of the vehicles clamber males from sixteen to their early twenties, most of them Amish-born but at this moment trying hard not to appear Amish, wearing T-shirts and jeans, some with long hair or crew cuts instead of Amish bowl cuts. A few English friends accompany them. The young Amish-raised men have day jobs in carpentry shops, in factories that make recreational vehicles and mobile homes, in construction, or at the animal auction and flea market in town; none are farmers, though most still live at home, some on farms and the rest on "farmettes," five- to ten-acre homesteads that have a vegetable garden and areas of pasturage for the horses and the occasional family cow.

The young men shine a flashlight on the upstairs room where the lamp is lit, and at that countersignal one girl comes downstairs and greets the guys, who then creep up the stairs. After introductory banter in the crowded room, the girls are invited to go with the boys, and they all troop back out to the cars, the Amish girls still in their traditional garb.

meet the amish interview

A few words pass between the daughter of the house and her parents-who have not, after all, been asleep-but while these include admonitions to be careful, they do not specify that she is to come home at a particular hour. If the parents are worried about this pack of teenagers "going away" on a Friday night -- perhaps not to return until Sunday evening -- they do not overtly display that emotion.

Once the young ladies hit the cars, and the cars have pulled away from the homestead, appearances and behaviors begin to change. While riding along, each Amish girl performs at least one of many actions that have been forbidden to her throughout her childhood: Coursing past a small schoolhouse where a few of the riders attended classes in the recent past and into the small, nearly deserted center of Shipshewana -- whose restaurants stop serving at 8: In addition to vehicle parking spaces, the station has a hitching post for horses and buggies.

There are no sexually explicit magazines here at which the boys might glance, because such magazines are not carried in local stores, in deference to the wishes of the Amish and Mennonites in the area. A few young males shove quarters into a gambling machine, the Pot O Silver, which has the potential of returning them five or ten dollars for every half-dollar they put in. No one wins more than a quarter. When the girls emerge from the bathrooms, only two of the eight still look Amish; the other six have been transformed.

They wear jeans, T-shirts, and other mainstream American teenager outfits, some revealing their navels. Hair coverings have been removed, and a few have also let down their hair, uncut since childhood. The counter clerk, an older woman in Mennonite garb, seems unabashed by the changes in attire.

In the cars once again, cell phones -- also forbidden equipment -- emerge from hiding places, some from under the girls' clothing. Calls to compatriots in other vehicles, buggies as well as cars, yield the information that many dozens of Amish teenagers are now roaming the roads while trying to ascertain the location of this week's "hoedown.

The cars pass a young woman in a buggy heading in the direction of the party; she is smoking a cigarette and talking on her cell phone; the buggy's window flaps are open, to disperse the tobacco smoke and perhaps to facilitate the cell phone connection. As they would in similar settings in Holmes or Lancaster County, the young Amish on the road to a party in northern Indiana pass familiar territory composed of quiet Amish homesteads and farms, suburban-looking English homes, a few factories and assembly buildings, and some small workshops.

Here is a roadside stand operated by a Yoder family; there is a quilt boutique run by a Miller family; the small-engine repair shop of a member of the Esh family is nestled on a side road but has a sign visible from the main route; over yonder is a Weaver family furniture-making factory. Around midnight, scores of Amish teenagers and twentysome-things converge on the back acres of a farm south of Shipshewana, several miles from the nearest town, a third of a mile from the farmhouse, and hidden from the nearest road by a forest of cornstalks.

A used-car-lot inventory of cars, trucks, buggies, bicycles, and motorcycles is already parked here. Iced coolers of beer are put out; Amish teenagers reach for bottles with both hands. Young, mechanically adept men hook up portable CD players and boom-box speakers to car batteries.

Rumspringa: Amish Teens Venture into Modern Vices

Shortly, rock and rap music blasts. Heads nod and bodies sway to the beat. Many of the Amish kids know the words of the most current rock songs, even of black rap recordings that speak of mayhem in inner-city ghettos and anger against whites, songs they have learned from listening to battery-powered radios that they bought with the first money they earned, and that they have kept hidden at home.

Its bright light and stark shadows crosshatch partygoers at the edges of the center, where various transactions are occurring. Most of the Amish youth are from northern Indiana, but some have come from across the state line in Michigan or from many hours away in Missouri and Ohio.

There are about four hundred youth at this almost-deserted site, out of about two thousand adolescent Amish in northern Indiana. Some of the kids are what others refer to as "simmies," literally, foolish in the head, young, naive, new to rumspringa -- and, most of them, willing to work hard to lose the label quickly. Beer is the liquid of choice, but there are also bottles of rum and vodka, used to spike soft drinks.

Some of the younger kids do not know the potency of what they are drinking, or what it might do to them. Many will be sick before long. Most guzzle to mimic the others, while gossiping about who is not there or is not drinking. This night, one young woman will wonder why she always seems to drink too much. In one corner of the party, joints of marijuana are passed around, as are pipes of crank crystal methamphetamine.

Lines of cocaine are exchanged for money. A handful of the partygoers are seriously addicted, while others are trying drugs for the first time. Crank is incredibly and instantly addictive, and it is relatively simple and cheap to make; the only ingredient used that is not available from a local hardware store, anhydrous ammonia, is a gaseous fertilizer easily stolen from tanks on farms. Those few partygoers interested in doing hard drugs gather in a different location than the majority, who prefer drinking beer or smoking pot.

As the party gets into full swing, and beer and pot are making the participants feel no pain, a few Amish girls huddle and make plans to jointly rent an apartment in a nearby town when they turn eighteen, as some older girls have already done.

Others shout in Pennsylvania Dutch and in English about how much it will cost to travel to and attend an Indianapolis rock concert, and the possibilities of having a navel pierced or hair cut buzz short. One bunch of teens dances to music videos shown on a laptop computer; a small group of guys, near a barn, distributes condoms.