By Rosie Moore
Most of my friends and readers know that I’m a Yankee transplanted down here in the South from up North. I spent my early years in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, but, after I married I became a member of quaint little towns that were encircled by Amish farms.
In Switzerland, two sects of the Anabaptist movement had a falling out and, led by Jakob Ammann, they went their separate ways. Those who followed Mr. Ammann became known as Amish. They’re closely related to, but distinct, from Mennonite churches. The Amish are known for simple living, plain dress and reluctance to adopt many conveniences of modern technology. In the second half of the 19th century the Amish divided into the Old Order Amish and Amish Mennonites. The latter mostly drive cars as does the main society whereas the Old Order Amish continue to retain their traditional culture.
In the early 18th century many Amish and Mennonites immigrated to Pennsylvania for various reasons. Today the Old Order Amish continue to speak Pennsylvania German also known as Pennsylvania Dutch. They do not have churches but hold services in different homes each Sunday. They are a hard-working people, grow most of their own food, dress plainly and adhere to the principal that worldly conveniences are wrong. Most of all, they have a genuine love for each other. When one family needs help, all the other families are at their side.
If you want to know some more information about their way of life, there are some fictitious books written by writers who imparted some of the language and beliefs of this sect. Some left their religion but returned later in life. “Looking for A Miracle” by Wanda Brunstetter, “Though Mountains Fall” by Dale Cramer, and “Running Around (and such)” by Linda Byler will give you an insight into their way of life and their different pronunciations of everyday words.
One of my favorite movies is “Witness,” the story of an Amish mother and her son going on trip to Baltimore but are derailed by a scene of crime in Philadelphia. A few years ago, when I visited in Lancaster County, out of curiosity, I drove to the farmhouse where the movie was filmed. I didn’t get far, a nice lady came out of the barn and said that they don’t like people “noseying” around. It also showed that in the movie; the Amish don’t like their picture taken, but I did get to see the house and barn.
They have their ups and downs, just like you and me, but their faith in God gives them strength and courage to withstand any obstacles that life brings them. After reading these books, I thought of one word. “Peace.”
Thought for the day: Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
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