Becoming Amish

Thursday, December 14, 2017
Jeff Smith
Becoming Amish

I have been intrigued by the Amish since I was first introduced to them as a young teen on a family vacation in Pennsylvania Dutch country.  I was astonished by their dress and that they used horse and buggies for transportation.  Years went by and I decided to take a solo vacation and as a single femail, wanted to go somewhere that semed relatively safe.  Low and behold, I received some literature on northern Indiana and their Amish area which seemed like a good place.  As it turns out, I met the woman that introduced me to my husband on the same trip but that's another story but I guess I owe some credit to the Amish for luring me that way!

Based on my fascination with the Amish, this was a "must read" for me when I saw it in our library.  While I have admired much about the group, I don't believe I could make the transition so I was curious about someone who was able to break away from all things modern and step back to a much simpler life.  This book tells the story of a family that originally lived in Livonia, Michigan and as childeren started coming along, they felt that need to keep their family close together and find a way for them to remain that way.  They initially moved to live more conservatively in the Thumb area of Michigan and tried to find a fellowship of other people with similar belief systems.  After visiting a number of places, they decided they wanted to move to an Old Order Amish community in Ovid, MI and become members of their church.  At that time, they had three children and only the oldest, a son named Tristan who was 12, has clear memories of the transition.  Oddly enough, when asked about the change, he doesn't focus on losing the TV or car but remarks on friendship with other children and the freedom that was granted as they lived in a safe community. 

I was surprised at the fact that the family made several moves during their years with the Amish.  I was under the assumption that most Amish stayed in their local communities although some marry and move and others have moved to places with more affordable land, etc. I have heard of splits within groups over technology or simply dividing church groups that have grown too large. (Most Amish church groups only have about 20 families) I didn't know that a number of communities have simply failed and the members have been forced to relocate.  Surprisingly, they seem to be much more mobile than I realized.  They have apparently been successful about keeping technology out of their homes although they certainly seem to be adapting it more in their businesses. 

In an effort not to give away everything in the book, I won't tell you about the family's biggest struggle but suffice it to say, it's definately significant and would negatively impact most people who were considering making a lifestyle change.  I still find the Amish amazing and even lucky to have such a focus on their faith, family and community.  It's definately an interesting read for anyone interested in the Amish.  Check our catalog

Dana, Admin

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