The following is written by ex-Amish community leader Mose Gingerich who’s featured on the new series Amish: Out of Order:

You know you’ve become too involved with a show when you are walking down the hallway at the dealership, walk by the door to the men’s room with a sign hanging on the door that says, OUT OF ORDER, and you feel an overpowering urge to get your sharpie out and write above it, AMISH: That’s when you know it’s time to get out of Dodge for a while.

In this part of my blog, I wish to point out that I was thrilled to see that not only did I not get as much face time on Episode 8 (“Family Affairs”), but the times I was on there, I at least wasn’t bawling my eyes out about some past experiences or some future unforeseen dilemma. Rather, I find myself co-signing for Albert Y, the father of 4 ex-Amish boys who live in and around Columbia, Mo: Reuben, Levi, Chris (featured), and finally the last one, Joni. I might add that Albert wasn’t the first ex-Amish that I’ve co-signed for, and probably won’t be the last either. My motto has always been that every ex-Amish that leaves, deserves one chance. What they do with that chance, is up to them. A few have come back to bite me, but most of them, including Albert, are very responsible!

Although I had no way of knowing this when I co-signed for some of them, now they are coming in to buy vehicles from me with the very same credit that I helped them to establish. As a matter of fact, between Albert Y and his 4 sons, they have bought a total of 9 vehicles from me in the last year. This is when you know that there is such a thing as karma, no good deed goes unnoticed, or “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.” After all, how could I have known back in the early 2000s that I would, in the future, be selling cars?

Michaela finally gets a fair chance at the Amish life in a place where they were lenient enough to allow the cameras in and actually show faces. However, she learned the hard way, same as I, that just because that particular community was more liberal, doesn’t exactly mean that they are more liberal in their rules. On the other hand, I’ve learned that often the Mennonites are much stricter and quicker to excommunicate than are the Amish.

As a side note here, this episode was filmed right after I came home from my road trip last September of 2011, and I made it known to Stick Figures and NatGeo that I needed some serious time off. That would explain why a story of Michaela disappearing into the confines of the Amish community in Sarasota, FL became possible.

Although I have met almost all of the people featured, I personally didn’t make the trip down to Sarasota, and so I will let the viewer figure out how I might have then personally met these people.

As I sit in my basement on my day off from work, writing randomly what comes to mind for this week’s blog, I actually find myself somewhat relieved that we have just 2 more episodes of Amish: Out of Order left to air.

When I, after many months of arguing with myself and the owner of Stick Figure Production, Mr Laikind himself, finally committed to doing a whole series of Amish: Out of Order late in 2010 and early 2011, I went to my manager at my car dealership to see if he would allow me to even take time off, and my manager challenged me to be able to whittle 2 major things at once.

As anyone who has ever been in sales might know, if you want to be successful in sales, you have to give 150% of your focus and time to it. I’m talking 14 to 16 hours a day, 6 days a week. Now looking back, remembering all the late nights of filming, the Sundays when my brain and body were absolutely screaming for some quiet time at home with the family, but I’d drag my sorry rear to the next place to film, I finally realized why my manager, bless his heart, was concerned about my managing 2 things at the same time. I will add that I did successfully, out of 18 sales people, keep my position as one of the top in our store during this time. That is, all except September, when I took off on my road trip.

I tell you that behind-the-scenes story to get back around to my original topic. My thinking process was that when I finally wrap up the filming process, I can sit down, relax, sell cars, spend time with the family, and watch it come across the screen. Did I say RELAX? Boy was I wrong! In the months since the show has been airing, I am receiving mail from all corners of the world, over 5,000 emails a week, 2,000 facebook requests per episode, and probably 50 people a week just randomly driving in from any Midwestern state to meet me. Although I appreciate the support, and am mighty glad that the show was such a huge hit, for those reasons, the distraction has been multiplied since the show has been airing, vs. when we were filming it. In other words, I will take the time after Episode 10 has crossed the screen, to finally for the first time in 1 1/2 years, breath for a while.

After tonight’s episode, I will for the first time post a spot on my website for viewers to actually send mail to a P.O. box. I will make a valiant effort to in time answer each and every email and letter, and for the people who out of the kindness of their hearts are sending money to help the ex-Amish, bless your hearts. It is another step in my already busy life, but one that I more then gladly accept, and I am in the middle of forming a not-for-profit organization for just this purpose. To help ex-Amish get an education and get started in the outside world when they first leave. More info will be available on my personal web site www.amishinthecitymose.com after tonight’s episode.

In tonight’s episode, I will try to remain rather short so as not to give it away. Let me put it this way. For anyone who has ever lost a dear, loved one, you will know exactly what I am speaking of. The first thing you say is, “it’s not possible.” “It must be a mistake.” And for myself personally, “surely God would’ve given me an opportunity to say good bye one last time.” Because Verily I say unto thee, the disconnect when you realize that a great friend in surely gone from this earth, and in this life you will never have another chance to speak with this friend, that shock is sometimes greater than any one person can absorb at once.

Although I will not mention ahead of the episode the name of this friend, I will tell you that you have seen him in previous episodes, and that you will be torn by “WHY” as I was for a long time, and still sometimes am.

I struggled for just a short time on participating in doing an episode about his passing, but realized very shortly that this is not my or any other person’s decision to make. The decision is “WHAT WOULD THIS PERSON HAVE WANTED,” and it became clear immediately that this is exactly what he would’ve wanted and exactly how he would’ve wanted to go.

As a matter of fact, I remember when I first approached him about participating in filming, his eyes lit up, and he told me that one of his dreams was to one day become a star and have major parts or roles in films.

Although a community grieves, and many will never understand why, an angel went home sooner then expected and is now doing exactly what he always wanted to do, and he is doing it sooner then the rest of us. Heaven can surely use you more than we could here on earth, and may your lofty dreams and goals forever come true!

Until next time: “Es is nach evich nicht zu schpot”! “It is forever, never too late”

You can also see more blogs on Mose J. Gingerich’s personal website at www.amishinthecitymose.com

 

Amish: Out of Order: “Living Fast” premieres tonight at 9P et/pt

Comments

  1. Richard Fuentes
    Clever, MO
    June 14, 2012, 10:03 am

    I am disturbed by how these Amish kids drive. The last episode i watched they where drag racing, passing on the shoulder with a semi in the lane. All i could think was what would happen if i was in a car with my daughter and this kid looses it and crashes into me or another family! I live in Missouri not far from Columbia and it bothers me greatly that they are on the road drivinh like this. Its just stupid and wreckless and should not have a license if that is how they are going to drive on our roads!

  2. Julia Carter
    Doerun, GA
    June 16, 2012, 12:10 pm

    I can’t find a better place to post my concerns over Michaela’s search and choice. From the little that’s been shown about her family life and background, I can understand her need for a different lifestyle. But that’s my concern: she’s looking for a LIFESTYLE, not a commitment to God. She didn’t even know the religious implications and requirements of becoming Amish. Amish isn’t a different culture, it’s a RELIGION and shouldn’t be chosen lightly or without full and complete understanding of the ramifications.

    I strongly feel that Mose and/or the show’s producers should work with this young woman or should offer her and her blood family options to heal their rifts rather than condone this choice made by a young, naive, inexperienced girl who is searching for a stable home life. To allow Michaela, at her young age, to leave her mother and siblings to live in the Amish world is doing an injustice to them all and is no way the same as an Amish youth leaving that life. Michaela obviously has deep issues to address, as evidenced in her reaction to the perceived disapproval of the FL Amish father. She doesn’t have the coping skills necessary to make such a decision on her own and it shouldn’t be encouraged. What a devastating blow for her when she ultimately finds that her issues are still with her and aren’t magically resolved because she’s “living Amish”!

    Get this girl and her family the help, the counseling, the resources that they need to become a healthy, stable family. Running from them isn’t going to make Michaela happy in the long run. And it’s obvious, too, that she has some misgivings because she’s mentioned several times not being able to see her mother.

    I’m also concerned that her mother has so little control or influence over Michaela and seems to be unable to or unwilling to persuade her daughter not to make this choice. Of course I don’t know all the details and no, I’m not judging anyone, but I hurt for this girl and her family and I would really like to see them stay together and fix their family issues instead of separate and make ill-informed, emotional decisions. I think it’s unconscionable that for whatever reasons, this show isn’t offering or showing the offering of a solution other than converting to the Amish. Give Michaela tools and skills to fix and be happy in her current situation rather than observe her running from it and seeking a new life. How can she be happy in a strange family when she can’t accept her blood family? Her unhappiness is internal and will go with her.

    Written out of genuine care and concern, not judgment and criticism.

  3. wendy
    June 16, 2012, 3:30 pm

    I have watched a few episodes and noticed Mose seems to really want a family connection. So why did he not reconnect with his brothers seeing how they are ex-amish too. You can’t whine about not having family when you don’t see the family that is available to reconnect with.

  4. Dori
    North Carolina
    June 19, 2012, 1:37 am

    Thank you so very, very much, Mose, for doing this show. I grew up with Mennonite roots (Brethren In Christ), even baptised with 3 times under water, seeing foot washing & even going to a camp in Ohio on a family trip, being around Old Order Amish & not thinking anything unusual was going on. In fact, later going to other denominations, I could not understand for years how they did not baptise the way I was; that is how normal I viewed what I grew up with. I know there are differences between myself as a Mennonite (one you could not distinguish unless I told you), and Amish & even ex-Amish, but there is enough I can relate to in a highly significant connection. I grew up having Mennonite beliefs, but physically in Hollywood, CA. I called myself a “Hollywood Mennonite.” I still have that core of Mennonite beliefs which at this point in life, I could not do without.
    Even not being conservative in dress or wearing a covering, one can hold to positive values in faith and practice, to reject practices (like shunning) and elsewise that is counter-intuitive, but to have a deep personal faith relationship. I have found that I can identify myself as a Mennonite without apprehension; it is not the coverings or lack of, it is how we feel as an individual with our faith.. I think the Amish of Lancaster have struck a better balance & it was refreshing to see how they manage. They seem to be on a better track. When I encounter more conservative Mennonites, I go up to them and say “I’m a Mennonite also”….I am not dressed as they are; I get a variety of reactions. I don’t do it to shock or confuse but to reach out to those who down-deep inside, probably have very similar faith as I do. Even years ago, when I encountred Old-Order in Ohio (at a Holiness Camp), I walked right up to them & talked with them. The only thing that bothered me was their heavy woolen clothing which was scratchy as I bumped up against a few of them.
    Anyhow, your show means a lot to me, you have done the right thing making it happen. Thank you so much again!

  5. Tina
    MD
    June 19, 2012, 9:30 pm

    I have started watching this show and think it’s great and very interesting/educational. I’ve definitely learned things about the Amish and Ex-Amish that I would never have known. I do have to agree w/another post about the kids and the driving. I think it’s great that Mose tries to help the kids transition to a brand new way of life. In some ways you can see the immaturity and lack of experience of these kids so they need help w/that also. Their reckless driving should be addressed. The other thing that really bothers me and I see it in every episode is the smoking! All the kids seem to smoke and do it in a “cool” way. I wish that there was some education on the harms of smoking and that it’s not cool to do. Those kids should definitely be free to make their own choices but in respect to driving and smoking and probably drinking, they need some adult guidance/education. I hope to see that changed or at least addressed in future episodes.

  6. william quiros masis
    costa rica
    June 25, 2012, 3:48 pm

    mi familia y yo admiramos mucho el estilo de vida que tienen los amish, nosotros pertenecemos a una iglesia menonita, anelamos poder compartir un buen tiempo con una comunidad amish, para conocer y tener en nuestras vidas sus valores y buenos conceptos de como conducirse en la vida en busca de la presencia de Dios.

    Dios primero se nos pueda conceder en poder compartir con una comunidad de bien como son los amish

  7. Nilda M. Givens
    June 26, 2012, 7:29 pm

    I’ve been enjoying watching “Amish, Out of Order” from the beginning. Every Tuesday for weeks now, I’ve looked forward enthusiastically to tuning in to the program, but I noticed that it’s not on tonight.

    Is it discontinued? Did it not do well? I hope not.

    Thank you and I anxiously await your response please. : (

  8. Patsy
    New Jersey
    August 26, 2012, 5:41 pm

    Loved the show and feel so much for everyone. I’m confused, though, by
    “Michaela finally gets a fair chance at the Amish life in a place where they were lenient enough to allow the cameras in and actually show faces. However, she learned the hard way, same as I, that just because that particular community was more liberal, doesn’t exactly mean that they are more liberal in their rules. On the other hand, I’ve learned that often the Mennonites are much stricter and quicker to excommunicate than are the Amish.”

    What happened to Michaela? Did she get in trouble with her new family/community? Was she sent back? That’s one loose end that I would have liked to seen cleared up before reading this, and now I really wonder what happened to her.