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

When I look back now over the span of the time it took to film the entire series of Amish: Out of Order, and I realize exactly how much went into making this show a success, I shutter at the memories of how fragile the hinges were for a while on it ever hitting the big screen.

There were four very important people who worked on this project! People who believed in the project, and once they committed to it, were going to see it through come hail or high water!

Each and every one of these four people was a huge piece of the puzzle in the making of and holding together of this show. I believe with all my heart, that if you take one of these four pieces of the puzzle out of the picture at any part of the show, the show would have certainly and soundly come to a screeching halt, and the world would have never seen this wonderful piece of inside information into the lives of myself and a handful of my ex-Amish friends. Truly by the teaming up of these four individuals, a masterpiece came together that will last forever, and one that I will never regret having been involved in and will always be proud of.

The first of these Four, Daniel Laikind, Owner and Founder of Stick Figure Productions, also a co producer of my previous series/reality show, Amish In the City, aired on UPN back in 2004, was the original turning wheel in this process. Without him behind me, encouraging me, supporting me, seeing potential in me doing future television work, when I thought I was a “has Been”, and finally believing in me, this show would never have made it past a mere whisper in the wind. Might I add that I fought this idea, the filming of Amish: Out of Order, for almost an entire year. Largely because I knew the criticism I would receive from people with whom I grew up with, Amish and even ex-Amish as well! Also,

I have a wonderful wife and 3 kids, a nice, solid job at Joe Machens Toyota in Columbia, Mo. Why jeopardize the wonderful life I already have? Why change what’s working for me? And finally, what if it fails? We film for a year, spend every single ounce of my time and energy and then some, Basically don’t have a family life for that year, and we get done, the network sees it, and says “NO”! Although this thought crossed my mind, the thought that the show wouldn’t be a success, was not exactly the front and foremost worry in my mind.

The second of these pieces of the puzzle was Jake Abraham. He Came on board several episodes into the show. At that time, we were still figuring things out. Things were in slight disarray with trying to find the glue or chemistry that bonds together a group of people who can make magic happen. Not to take away from Laikind, but what with running multiple other shows at the same time, putting in the required effort to make this show a success, was more then one man could handle.

When Abraham came on board, he immediately lifted a lot of this burden. he became the hands on guy back in NYC who was seldom seen, but the “go to” guy for every problem. He became the orchestrator, the voice of reason, and also the one guy I could depend on to have his cell phone handy at all hours of the night. Although there is a slight chance the show could have been done without him, the very thought of trying, makes me shutter! Might I compare him to a well greased Wheel.

Field Producer and Shooter Jeff Hoagland

Field Producer and Shooter Jeff Hoagland (Photo Courtesy Mose Gingerich)

 

The 3rd, and to me, the most important piece so far, was Jeff Hoagland. The reason I say “to me” is because he was the field producer/camera operator/counselor/brother/friend, including multiple other things. When I finally committed to do the series, one of my few stipulations was that the main person who comes out to run the show, has to be a country boy, laid back, patient, and someone who wants to make friends with my fellow ex Amish. Not someone who wants to come out, rush through a scene, and leave my good friends unsettled and feeling a distaste towards the show, but rather feeling proud that they met him. Proud to have participated, and wanting to remain friends.

Little did I realize that the chosen one would be a country boy from Kentucky, with the profile of a long haired, unshaven, Hatfield/McCoy look and demeanor. A person who never ate, never slept, and right from the start, had an unbelievable energy and enthusiasm for the show and it’s success. A person who right from the start, had nothing but the best of interests in mind for me and my friends. Who if I had an idea I wanted to film or introduce to the show, he was not afraid to tell me it was a horrible idea, and it would not come across well on the screen. Who protected me and my friends throughout the filming of the show from criticism, and multiple other dangers that one who was raised Amish could never have been prepared for by oneself without a Hoagland.

Still today, long after the filming is over and his job is done, he is still advising me and my friends on how to handle the fame, phone calls, Facebook requests, etc.

At the end of the day, all me and my friends wanted, was a person who cared about us and our well being more then he cared about the popularity or ratings of the show. My opinion right from the start was that if we find a person like this, the rest will come out in the wash. In other words, we will have our show and it will be the type of show I want it to be.

Here was a person who is actually quite private, bashful, and definitely doesn’t wish to be in the spotlight. As a matter of fact, if I could have gotten his permission, I would have blogged about him and sang his praises long ago. However, it took until now, for him to allow me to mention him even if ever so briefly.

Here is a person with whom I traveled the country during the filming. From Missouri to Ohio to Wisconsin, back to Indiana, from there to Pennsylvania, and finally back to Missouri. These long, grueling road trips have a way of breaking down the producer/cast wall just a bit. Although it would probably take a lifetime or more for any one person to fully figure out the complicated person that I am, I truly believe Hoagland has come as close as any one person ever has or probably ever will.

A person who was on the camera end of my scenes with Joe Keim in Ohio, The Lapp Brothers in Pa, The tragic accident of Cephas Y, and so many other events that shook me to the core. He was the rock that kept me grounded and focused on my story. Might I add that as a producer/camera guy, We shared together in the tragedy of Cephas Y. It was probably as hard or harder for him as any of us, to do a scene about a person in Cephas that he had come to love like a brother. A person whose job it was to just get footage, but who actually at my request, with the footage he had gotten earlier with Cephas, spent the night before Cephas’ funeral cutting together that DVD I played for the Ex Amish in my living room, and then again, with little to no sleep, filmed the scene the next day, and let me take all the credit for composing and showing the DVD.

Seeing him continue moving forward during these times, and trying to stay professional and not show too much emotion so as to give the rest of us the strength to remain strong, will forever be something I will respect about this particular individual!

A person, who was paid to film a very difficult project and then get out, but actually in a way, impacted and changed my life forever when he helped me in one year’s time to figure out who I am and why I believe some of the things I do. A person who finally and definitively showed me for the first time ever, that it is cool to be who I am, and how to be comfortable with the person that I am.

In my final tribute to Jeff Hoagland, this is the one person who I truly believe without him, this show probably wouldn’t have been possible. For someone to be able to commit his entire core and being to a project so thoroughly for an entire year in the trenches with little to no sleep, for something he believed in, is truly unmatched! I will be forever be grateful!

Finally, and I will make this short, there is the 4th piece. Me. To make a long story short, it is extremely difficult to get an Amish or ex-Amish person to agree to go on camera. It is even more difficult to convince them to continue to stick around long enough to make a nice story of them and there life. My commitment to sticking with this project until the finish was a thing of beauty, even if I do say so myself. Even with my full time job at the dealership, filming every night and weekend, time and time again, having friends criticize my decision to “expose” the Amish culture, I did what I believe the Lord led me to do. That was put this show into his hands, do it the best, most honest and sincere way possible, and trust that it will be well received by viewers. I remember at one particularly difficult time during the show, after a particular dose of criticism, I was asked “why?”  Why am I doing this? What drives me?

My reasons are hard to explain, but the short of my answer was this. If I can change or influence in a positive way, any one person’s life with this show, if I can lead just one more person to God, or if I can inspire just one person to make his or her life better, then I have accomplished my mission. I am very proud to say that that mission has been accomplished many times over. I did what and more then I set out to do. The show and the feedback exceeded what I hoped for. My mission is complete…… Or is it?

It is almost scary how boring my life gets on a day to day basis, but how many crazy things went down during this one year of filming the show. From Jonas’ accident, Chris L’s cage fighting, Michaela converting to Amish, Esther M from Ks following or not following her dreams to become an actor, My road trip where I found Christ in an even truer form then ever before, where I also found forgiveness, a long over due visit with my own mother, an answers I would have never found if not for this trip. The death of a dear friend, Joplin and the disaster of a tornado and our participation with that, along with numerous other events along the way.

What I have discovered about myself during the making of this show is that I am one complicated person. I am happiest when I have as many irons in the fire as possible. Being in sales and working a full 14 to 16 hr job 6 days a week isn’t enough for me. That bores me. As a matter of fact, during the filming of this show, I was more successful in sales then when before we began filming. I have found that I need multiple projects going on in my life. Sales, filming, blogs, and trying to help everyone that asks me to, and trying to be a family man all at the same time. The only down side to this is that sometimes, and more often then I care to admit, I stumble across a moment when all of these things cross paths at once, I try to balance all at once, instead of keeping my normal pattern, and all of a sudden I am engulfed by too much at once. I begin to feel a drowning sensation, and at that time, I have to take several steps back, watch a few cartoons (instead of movies that make me think) re evaluate, prioritize, and re approach my life. When approached with a new, fresh view, it usually flows better once again.

Many people ask me, so did Michaela actually go Amish? What I will say is that that is still a developing process. It is a complicated thing to make happen, and eventually I do believe she will live inside the Amish community forever. However, for now, it is still in the makings.

Will there be another season? There have been some rumors floating around. There is nothing set in stone. In order for me to commit to anything like a second season, I would have to go back through my process all over again. that is the process of me mentally evaluating myself, my life, family, and job. Evaluate the impact it would or wouldn’t have to viewers at this time in the History being written in America. Evaluate once again why I would or wouldn’t do this? Has my story been officially written, or is there still more left unsaid?

If I could work all these factors out, then would come the final and most important ingredient. See if I can mentally prepare myself for another long, grueling year of filming. See if I have the stamina to endure the same ups and downs that come with investing and submerging every ounce of myself into another project that I believe in.

Of course it is not entirely up to me. I am only contemplating on my side of it. There are many factors from other sources. Is Stick Figure Productions willing to do more filming on this subject? Is NatGeo willing to televise more? At present these questions and many more, remain a mystery, but stay tuned.

So what is next for Mose J Gingerich? Since I have now established that I thrive when I have TOO many things going, it only makes sense that I won’t just disappear into a hole in the ground. I am currently working with a person better qualified then myself, in finally and officially, writing my long anticipated book. This is a dream I’ve had for many years. As a matter of fact, Ever since I was a small child reading everything in sight, I knew this day was coming. The moment when something I have to say will be released and make an impact on many readers. Early expectations are for it to hit the shelves late 2012, to early 2013. The content of it… Well stay tuned. As usual, I promise I won’t let you down.

In the meantime, I will be holed up in good old mid-Missouri, in a relatively quiet office at a car dealership, with no idea where I’ll be in 10 or 15 years, but realizing that my life has the potential of going in multiple different directions right now. And as I sit here riding it out, I am perfectly content for the moment, to just relax, let the chatter die down, re coupe that part of my strained brain that has been beaten by too many things or too much coming at me too fast for the last several years, and as I take a deep breath, I realize that I am exactly where I want to be. I have done exactly what I set out to do. For the time being, I am content just sitting back and relaxing.

For this blog and more, go to Mose’s personal website at www.amishinthecitymose.com

Missed Amish: Out of Order while it was in premieres? Tune in on Thursday, July 5, for a repeat of “Can’t Go Home Again” at 7P, and “Amish 101″ at 8P.

Comments

  1. Gary McCoy
    Johnstown, New York
    June 30, 2012, 10:23 pm

    Thank you so much for your series on the Amish. We have a fairly large contingent that lives in the immediate area, mostly Montgomery County. The series gave great insight into the Amish way of life of which I have always been curious about. I thoroughly enjoyed the series and was sad when it came to an end. Hope there is more to come. Thank you Mose and all

  2. Gail L
    Unfortunately NJ instead of FL
    July 1, 2012, 7:29 pm

    I cant get enough of the Amish people and their shows. Now they are TRULY hard working people..WITHOUT a phone or computer..THATS GREAT..OLD FASHIONED RULES!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Donna June
    Newark, de
    July 3, 2012, 8:05 pm

    Hi Mose,
    Thank yo so much for allowing us to come into your life. You are a very special person, with a very caring heart.
    I did not know until today that your series was over. I am very depressed over it ending, as my husband and daughter and myself watched you faithfully every week. You gave a great insight of what the Amish are truly about. We live about an hrs. Ride from Lancaster,Pa. I have never seen such hard working people. I went to Lancaster last week and on my way home I thought of you as I stopped at a road side stand to purchase some tomatoes the young Amish girls were standing inside and they were all speaking German to one another.
    Thanks for the great show, have a great life with your family you deserve it because you are a very special person.
    another.

  4. Tina Mark
    lancaster county pennsylvania
    July 24, 2012, 11:59 pm

    Thanks alot for doing this series. I can not believe it is over I want to know how Michala is doing. I had close friends growing up that were Amish. We would go to their home on weekends. Our parents would ride in my dad’s car and us kids would go in the buggy – to market. Those were fun times. Taffy pulls and quiltings. Anyway…Thanks I will be looking for your book. Good luck in your vemture and God Bless you and your family.

  5. Lynn Burton
    Fairmount, Indiana
    August 26, 2012, 9:28 pm

    Mose,
    I’m sorry to see the show has ended and pray more will come in the future. I found your struggle and those of the other ex Amish to be heart felt and insightful and I applaud all of you for your search for the truth. I’m a Christian and a disciple and follower of Christ, but like you went thru much pain, loss and suffering before reaching the place that God has put me now, so I connected with you on many levels. God bless you and I will continue to keep you, your family and all the ex Amish in my daily prayers.

  6. joseph naes
    saint louis missouri
    August 30, 2012, 4:49 pm

    i love the show amish out of order perhaps in the future we will see more episodes i hope i recently was in a town near columbia missouri n i saw a amish family using bathroom at gas station the father was walking to get horse for buggy he turned and smiled perhaps showing a bit of curiosty about the english. i found that pretty cool.

  7. Jan Mansir
    Maryland
    August 30, 2012, 7:38 pm

    Thanks for the insight into the Amish community–both from within & outside. I grew up near Belleville PA, home of an Amish community, and am ashamed to know so little about neighbors. Whether you return to NG or not, God Bless you in your work with the ex-Amish.

  8. Sarah S.
    September 18, 2012, 9:29 pm

    Thank you for being available to God to open the door to share your story and the stories of the ex-Amish in your area. I loved every episode and would love for this series to continue. I will read your book when it is published and wish the best for you and your family as you pursue God’s calling. This series really amazed me as it is hard to comprehend leaving family for another lifestyle. God Bless you and your continual desire to care and love on those who are ex-Amish.

  9. Deborah Smith
    Lakeville, MA
    October 6, 2012, 6:32 am

    I can only say “ditto” to the thoughtful remarks above. Fantastic show and I have watched reruns over and over again. It is an addiction for me to learn about the Amish. I grew up in NE PA and made many trips to Lancaster area and remember the sweet teenagers in a horse and buggy one summer night at 10PM as we arrived in the area and followed them down the road. How soon will we know if there will be a second season. I pray that there will be. Thank you for the show!

  10. Diane Baker
    Delawere
    December 9, 2012, 2:02 pm

    really liked this show you and your family are so amazing wish you the best and all the kids on this show this is one show that i hope will do or show more of learned so much about the Amish and there way of life you are a good person you can see that in your eyes the kindness

  11. Michele Pursley
    FL
    January 19, 2013, 6:56 pm

    I feel your show is necessary for the rest of us to learn and grow in our own relationship with God. I certainly respect the beliefs and lifestyle of the Amish, even though it is a bit too extreme for me. I’ve studied with several religions, learning and growing in my own walk with God. What disturbs me is the threat they put on the Amish people that they will go to hell if you don’ t live there way. That doesn’t say much for the God of pure, forgiving love that I have come to trust in. Mose, I pray you come to know the Great God that we truely serve, and that God does have a crown waiting for you in Heaven when you have completed your work here with His ministry helping those lost and hurting young people trying to find their way. I don’t classify myself in any religion, I’m just another of God’ s kids! :) Keep up the good work!

  12. Michele Pursley
    FL
    January 19, 2013, 7:33 pm

    Mose, this is for you: You’ve done a great job in educating the rest of us about the Amish and have given me great respect for them. You have no reason to be unsure of your decision to come out in public. Lancaster, PA opened the curtains before you even thought to and I’ve seen nothing for the Amish to be upset about. I do pray that more Amish communities can learn how to love, even if it’s their own people, unconditionally as God loves. I believe God loves each of us right where we are in our life and is there to lead us to where we need to be and WILL NOT send us to hell if we happen to die while on this journey. I’m convinced that God has His soldiers planted in every community as well as in the prisons and ghettos. He created all of us worthy . :-)

  13. P. Verrey
    Honolulu
    February 19, 2013, 7:38 pm

    It was my good fortune to discover 3 episodes of this wonderful series on cable TV today. So meaningful to me. During high school, I thought very deeply about turning Amish, but set the idea aside and found other ways to follow my heart. Forty years later, I still wonder sometimes at “what if.” This show is not really just about being/not being Amish, but more about love, family, loss, treasure and hope for the future. I am grateful that this series was made. Mahalo

  14. chris fike
    odenton maryland
    February 26, 2013, 10:40 am

    Hey mose, love the show and and your inspiration. At this point do you still hold out any hope of your family accepting your decision to leave the amish and maybe taking part in your new family’s lives?

  15. Cathy A. Lorentzen-Perkins
    Prairie Home, MO
    March 28, 2013, 1:08 pm

    Mose, I knew by watching the show you were very knowledgable, but after reading this blog I hope you will continue with Amish: Out of Order.

    I want to see young Chris go to school and who he does, Jonas I worry he may go back, but with a mentor like and Hoss and Peggy I think he will suceed.

    I grew up at Sturgeon, MO and have serveral Amish friends and serveral Ex-Amish friends.

    Moses keep up the great work you are doing steering the Amish that leave to try and get an education or just better themselves

  16. Vanessa Ardan
    Brazil
    April 15, 2013, 7:01 am

    I am loving Amish out of order, very well done and it seems very real! It is so interesting to get to know what life look like after leaving the Amish. We all can relate in some degree, when it comes to rejection. Mose, you rock my socks off! Keep up the good work.

  17. joy mercer-corbin
    k.c.ks.
    November 30, 2013, 7:36 pm

    mose, i first became acquainted with you during amish in the city years ago and i thought so highly of you and your fellow amish costars and your openess and willingness to try new environments and experience. in fact,so much so that i named my now nine yr. old kitty after you. she’s always been incredibly smart,brave,and good-like her namesake! best cat i’ve ever had in my life. but enough about her, i’ve tried to keep up with what you’re doing over the years, as you are an inspiration even to a 60yr. old lady such as myself. i am truly looking forward to your book and what you have to say. best of luck in your life and dreams you are deeply respected and loved out here in the “english” world.