The following is written by ex-Amish community leader Mose Gingerich who’s featured on the new series Amish: Out of Order:
I feel it is safe to say that an edited version of my road trip to Ohio, P.A. (and finally to Indiana University) did not do it justice. The trip, indeed, was much more fulfilling than it was edited down to. For those of you who I visited and filmed with so far, even for those of you that did or didn’t make the cut, I want you to know that it was a pleasure and I do really appreciate meeting you and spending time with you. If you didn’t make the cut it very likely wasn’t anything you did or said, but rather my own fault or that once the footage got to the editing room we discovered that it just didn’t quite fit into where I was at that point in my journey and the story I was telling.
Take for instance my trip to Wisconsin coming up in Episode Six. A large part of it was spent filming with some friends in Willard, W.I. who have an organization called the “Christian Motorcycle Association”. They went out of their way to give me a warm welcome and I did enjoy my time and had some life changing experiences with them. I would not have guessed that a motorcycle group could be so nice and God fearing! God Bless you guys, and you will not be forgotten!
Another example is when I tracked down one of my old scholars that I taught in school when I was Amish. We spent a Sunday together at the school grounds talking about old times and why he left, and how I may or may not have changed his life. There is only one problem: During most of the time we were filming, we were sitting on opposite ends of a teeter totter board, going up and down. As you can imagine once this got into the editing room there was no way to make this scene, that has two grown men playing together on a child school playground, work – if you know what I mean.
I was truly impressed by the differences in the Amish communities the farther East I traveled. It would appear that the communities that have been established longer have truly adapted to the world much more. To have someone like Elsie, who is baptized in the Amish church, work in a place like Kettle Village and drive tourists in an Amish buggy was a miracle to me. I do not at all disagree with how the Amish live out there. As a matter of fact I can appreciate it. In my area of the world, where the Amish are much more strict, they coincidentally are not as loved by the outside world. It seems like there is a disconnect in this area, compared to a place like Ohio and P.A., where they interact more with the outside world, they are more accepted and loved. Could it be that at the end of the day all it would take is for outsiders to understand the Amish and become a little more educated about them, their ways and their beliefs, to bridge the gap a little?
Might I add that during this time, although it has seldom been touched upon since Episode One, I maintained my regular job at Joe Machens Toyota as a sales professional. It was anything but an easy undertaking to go through this period in my life where I needed answers and traveled quite a bit to get these answers, and still between events, churches, and buggy rides with Elsie I was also closing sales on my cell phone with customers back home who needed a car. Truly a challenging time for me to whittle this many things at once, but I wouldn’t do a thing different.
I have never been prouder of Esther M. than when she decided to follow her heart and the message from the Man above. I look at Esther M. like a sister, and to me I was neutral on whether or not she should pursue filming. All I wanted her to do is be happy and comfortable in whatever or where ever her path led her. I do have a strong feeling that her filming days aren’t over just yet though. At some time in her life, when the time is right, when she and God have found a medium for her, her career will take off.
My trip to Indiana University started anything but what I expected. I remember the day before the Lecture I was coming down sick, and woke up the day of the lecture throwing up, with a migraine, and didn’t eat anything. After battling numerous demons and talking to the man above at length, I decided to go ahead and do it anyway. I had written down about ten topics to discuss and since I had never done anything like this before I figured I would do what “Mr. President” does: Stand in front of a podium, look at my paper most of the time, and look up once in a while. I discovered ten seconds into it that I was gonna suck at this, so I disregarded the paper and winged it. I actually spoke for probably forty-five minutes, and took Q&A’s for another fifteen or twenty minutes. It was a blast, and quoting the words of my very worried field producer and cameraman: I knocked it out of the ball park.
What’s ahead in the next episode of Amish: Out of Order:
Over the next few episodes, I will literally crawl into a hole and not answer any electrical device at all. Episode Six will be the hardest thing I’ve ever done! It is the most “Out of Control” of myself and my life that I have ever been! It will follow me going further into my past for answers which leads me to some unlikely places where I meet some unlikely people. As many of the viewers may have gathered by now, I have always struggled with my spirituality and whether God does or doesn’t love me since I left the Amish faith. I have always suffered and probably will never be a truly happy person in the outside world because I have an Amish family and many, many Amish people back in the communities who disagree with the life I have chosen to live.
Will I find any answers during this trip, and will I mend any fences or close the gap even a little? Like I said earlier, I have never done anything this personal on television before and I am still torn up over it! I have no idea how it will be received and speaking quite frankly, I will once again leave it to the Man upstairs. At the end of the day he is the reason I am where I am in my life and why I am doing what I am doing. Let’s call it a mid-life crisis. I think most people who have gone through some traumatic times like I have reach a point where they can no longer push out or ignore those issues. Whether or not it was right or wrong of me to let a camera follow me during this personal time in my life I may never know. However I have never regretted any of it. And frankly I wouldn’t go back and change any of my life. I am right where I am supposed to be! Might I add, however, please keep the Emails and feedback coming. Hearing how I have inspired or changed someone’s life makes it all worthwhile.
Until next time, Bleib Fescht in Glava.
Check out my personal blog at www.amishinthecitymose.com
Catch the next episode of Amish Out of Order: Mending Fences, Tuesday, May 29th at 6P & 8P et/pt