The following is written by ex-Amish community leader Mose Gingerich who’s featured on the new series Amish: Out of Order:
I remember exactly the time and place I was walking when I got the call from a private number. I answered and a voice said, “Is this Mose Gingerich? This is Highway Patrol Officer ____.” Anytime I get a call like that, my heart drops out of my bottom. I knew someone was in serious trouble, if not dead. There is also some calming sense that washes over me when some completely unexpected tragedy like that pops out of nowhere. Instead of folding up on the floor or panicking, I remember asking details in a clear voice. Over the next few moments, I gathered that Jonas S. had had a pretty severe car accident, had responded when officials arrived upon the scene, but was not responding now. I was also told he had been thrown out through the moon-roof of his car, landing right over the edge of the shoulder of the road. The car had sailed over the top of him and landed up against the fence. He was en route to the hospital.
Episode 102 “Culture Clash” in review:
As before mentioned, I was in the air to hang with Anderson Cooper when 102 was being aired. I apologize to readers and Twitterers for not being available during this time, and hopefully this won’t happen again. I did, however, watch the episode. Obviously one of the most talked about topics was about the chicken getting slayed by a quiet looking Kansas girl trying to show an English girl the ropes of being Amish. I was neither for or against the airing of this. In other words, I grew up on a farm seeing and helping my mom and sisters do hundreds of these procedures during each summer for English people who would then come in and buy them dressed. I felt if this was in some way educational to Michaela or viewers, then rock on!
Watch a clip of Mose talking to Anderson Cooper:
Speaking of Michaela, when she contacted me through Facebook early in 2011, and told me her story and sincerity of going Amish, I was skeptical. However, she didn’t go away, and after a month of communicating back and forth, I agreed to meet her and give her a few lessons on Amish life. I think the reason I was drawn to her and helping her was because I saw myself 10 years ago–a kid who needed help, needed change, and was reaching out to someone for that. To me it really doesn’t matter whether you’re English, Amish, or any branch of numerous other religions or sects of people. What’s important is that–if you are miserable or unhappy with the life you are leading, and you feel you can be a better person and make a bigger difference somewhere else–I will do what I can to make that happen. For way too long in my life, I needed someone in my life to help me reach that place and achieve those goals, and for that reason, I have always had a soft spot for the underdog struggling to get his or her head above the surface.
Many, many of you are emailing or asking me if she then went back? I guess the end of the episode did make it sorta look like her story was over. My answer to you is this. Her story continues. Making that transition is one you can’t make overnight. She will be a pretty big part of the rest of this series, so of course, I don’t wish to ruin the end of the book for you in the first chapter.
As far as Cephas, him and myself would have long, heated debates on credit and do you need it or not in life to get somewhere. All in good fun of course (whereas the note he showed to the camera, of which I still have a copy of). He was a very opinionated kid with huge aspirations, which I’ve never faulted him for. A kid with more dreams, goals, and potential then most ex-Amish kids I know. He was elated when he got his “good faith” loan to buy his first house, and promptly called me to “rub” it in to me that he succeeded without credit.
My birthday party came after a very long, stressful day at the dealership. My lovely wife asked me out to dinner, and afterward she wanted to go dance at Whiskey Wild, probably the largest Country bar in Columbia. I halfway suspected something, but wasn’t sure I had the energy. However, it is amazing how a fifth wind can kick in when you walk through a door and see a bar full of close friends who want to celebrate a birthday with you. I turned 32 on July 27, 2011.
Coming up in Episode 103 “Can’t Go Home Again”…….
Jonas’s accident, which I touched upon above, and how difficult it can be for someone like him struggling already to make it in the outside world, and then still have past doors closing even harder on him. [Watch a video clip.]
We see some of the outside influence of people from around Columbia or other parts of the country coming into Columbia and trying to convert these kids to different beliefs and religions. Let me state for the record that I have had thousands of people contact me for these kids’ numbers or emails because they seem to see innocence, vulnerability, or someone who they hope to convert to a religion or belief they strongly believe in. I have never, and probably never will, give out contact info for these kids. They have gone through way too much by leaving the Amish, and need to learn a certain amount of things on their own.
Once again, thank you for all the people who are hooked on Amish: Out of Order, or people who even watch not because they’re hooked, but because they are curious or wish to educate themselves on this culture. Always feel free to respond to my blogs! No questions are too dumb, and myself, Amos, Jonas, and the rest of the group love to hear thoughts on the show.
I will be doing “Live Tweeting” again Tuesday night during episode 103. Follow me at @AmishNCity.
Until next time… Auf Wieder Sehen!
Watch a preview of TONIGHT’S EPISODE: “Can’t Go Home Again” – When ex-Amish teenager Jonas S. finally passes his driver’s test, he’s overjoyed with his new-found independence. But just weeks later, he has a terrible car accident– and the news that Jonas may not survive sends shock waves through the Columbia ex-Amish community. Premieres Tuesday at 10PM et/pt