Friday, May 27, 2011

Amish Who Leave, Holmes County Ohio

The Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast is seated amongst the largest Amish settlement in the world; Holmes County, a community where 85% of the population is Amish or Mennonite.  Having come out of the society, my husband and I answer many questions of human interest; one being, "What about Amish who wish to leave the order?"  Long standing traditions and customs dominate this society, a people group so uniquely different from the world outside.  For those wishing to leave, the transition is an undaunting journey.  With permission from Mission to Amish People, I'm publishing this article, written by Eli wherein he refers to the world outside the Amish as an "alien planet".  He writes...

The ability to adjust to life outside Amish culture varies greatly from one individual to another and sect as well. That adjustment is hard in itself, not to include the condemnation heaped on those who have left.

The condemnation is not so direct, since you are out of communication from the old community, but you know it's there.  Some members will now give you "The look" which is a condemnation in itself.

Huge decisions have to be made as soon as you land on the shores of this alien planet.  What about education?  Job?  Driver's license?  Health insurance, since you will not be covered by the old community.  Do I need a living will?  In event of death, who will bury you.?  Would you still want an Amish funeral?  What church, if any, will you seek?  Whose Spiritual advice do you trust?  Am I simply trading one set of rules for another?  What is the proper way to date? (for singles).

Very few, upon leaving, are equipped to make any of these critial decisions.  Until now, all of thse things were decided for you.  If we look stunned for a while, try to understand.  We are trying to find our way in an alien world.  Your heart pounds within your chest as you try to make sense of all the choices.  Did I just do or say something stupid?  Different people give different advice.  How do I know what to choose?  These are my thoughts recalled from the time of adjustment from years ago.  -Eli

We support the ministry of MAP and encourage you to visit their site, and when considering a trip to Amish Country, plan your stay at The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast.

Loretta Coblentz, May 27, 2011

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