Saturday, December 8, 2007


Growing up Amish, we had no decorations inside of our house. I didn't have a christmas tree until after I married. So Ed and I had the biggest and bestest tree ever. Decorated beautifully! I invited my mom and dad and brother and sisters; but that year they had the flu and no one could come. So Ed and I enjoyed our tree alone.

Growing up we received gifts at Christmas. I so totally treasured that gift. I learned early on to ask for something that would last and last. I hated broken crayons, so that was on my list often along with a coloring book(big book!). I would color one page at a time so it would last longer. Another gift I ask for several times was a blackboard and chalk because I could play school with that and it would last. That breaks too and I didn't like broken or cracked boards so that was asked for several times.

My first memory of Christmas growing up, we set the kitchen table with a plate at the "spot" where we sat and in the morning we would have an orange on our plate. That must have been a "big" thing. Several years I remember my dad would hide our gift and we'd run around looking for it. I loved that!

One year my older sisters made cloth dolls for my younger sisters. These dolls were pretty modern because the arms and legs moved. Of course all the dolls had no faces. (graven image - - forbidden!!!) Sometimes English people would feel sorry for us "poor children", playing with dolls and no faces, they would bring us a plastic doll, my parents allowed us to play with them that day and than after we'd go to bed, they would forever disappear.

One year my dad built a big barn for the boys and a doll house for the girls. Another year he built a cupboard and dry sink for the girls. One year the "older" children received an ice cream freezer. To this day I love popcorn with ice cream. We would make homemade ice cream and pop popcorn. Yummy!

At our family reunions (the Amish can't call our get togethers reunions), my parents were excommunicated and shunned.

I loved Christmas growing up! We would have big family dinners. After we started raising turkeys for sale, mom would bake the biggest turkey for dinner. She would get it into the oven early in the morning so it would be cooked in time for dinner at lunch.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Dreams can be Dangerous

I am trying to read through the bible this year. Meaning that by the end of 2008 I want to have finished this task. In the nineties PF sold bibles that are set up to read Old and New Testaments, either Psalms and Proverbs every day. I never finished the year out back than so now with not so many distractions in my life, I should accomplish this small task.

But getting back to the title . . . I was reading about Joseph and his dreams this week and it reminded me of the first dream that I remember when I was either 5 or 6 years old. My family had a beat up bible story book and it had a great story along with pictures of Jacob leaving home after he stole Esau's birthright and his blessing. In a dream he saw a ladder going to heaven and God telling him that he was with him and would bless him and bring him back to this land. The bible says that Jacob saw angels assending and desending on this ladder.

I was either 5 or 6 years old when I remembered my first dream. My sister Anna who is about 2 years older than me, we'd talk about stuff and we talked about remembering dreams. Up to this time I don't remember remembering any of my dreams. So we talked about how to remember them.

Anyway, I had this dream around this time of my life. I don't know if I ate pickles and ice cream before bed or how it happened, but I was so shook up about this dream that I still remember it to this day. Along with several dreams that I have had over the years. Anyway I dreamed that something like a lion was chasing me down our corn field. Sometimes we would run through our fields of corn and play hide and seek, so this was nothing new but I had a lion after me and I saw a ladder coming out of the skies rescuing me.

I think somehow I heard the scripture found in I Peter 5:8 . . .your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (NKJV) So I might have been older like 9 or 10 years old because I might have heard the preacher in church preach on this verse. I don't know how it all fits together, I just know that I had this dream and I believe that it has an interpretation; since my family "got saved", I believe that it means that God offered salvation to our family and we accepted Christ and made him Lord of our lives. For me, I accepted Jesus and found God's safety and protection over my life. That even when I was a child God had his hand on my life.

So this Thanksgiving season I am very grateful to God for giving me "salvation", and that he protected my life down through the years and that He will continue to protect me and my family.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Mr. and Mrs. Clark

This picture was taken at our church in Sheboygan, WI on our tenth anniversary celebration of us pastoring 1st Assembly, which is now called Prasie Fellowship. The church invited family to come help us celebrate as a surprise to my husband and I. My mom fortunately couldn't stand not telling me that we would be having company over the weekend. Thank God she called me on Friday night, or the day before they arrived and let me know that we'd have company over the weekend. Mr. & Mrs. Clark drove my parents to Sheboygan. It was VERY nice to have the Clarks visit my home and see my family and our church.

Mrs. Virginia Clark is the lady that visited our home and would always talk about God. Eventually my parents attended the New Castle Revival Center.

Dick, Ginny's husband was not attending church during the time Ginny was witnessing to our family. Having known how the Amish are; he told Ginny she was wasting her time talking to us. But she felt that God wanted to work in our lives and continued to witness to our family. So Dick told her that if she got my family to attend her church he would start attending church too. So the first time my parents attended church with Ginny, she drove past their house and tooted the horn so Dick could see my parents in their car. I don't know how long it took, but after awhile Dick started attending this church too. He accepted Christ into his heart and life and started serving God. He became their Sunday School superintendent and became involved. So you never know what God wants to do!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Another Picture of our Farm

This is the other part of the farm I grew up on. The front building is the chicken coop and the back part the barn. They were connected. Dad built the little building in front of the chicken coop to sell the eggs and it had water in the back to cool the eggs (from a spring?) and to keep them cool until sold. Dad had a shop on the 2nd floor of the chicken coop too. In front of the chicken coop is what we called a skating pond. It had a drop of about 4 feet from the lane. We would sled down the lane from where dad had his saw mill and if we went fast enough we would fly over the drop off. Of course it was a challenge to go fast enough! I have many memories from this farm!

These buildings need paint. Saloma when she was still home painted all of our buildings. That's the only time I ever remember them being painted. That was the bad thing about living on a paved road that I felt shame, that our buildings weren't painted. All of my siblings and no one bothered painting!!!

The House I was Born in

This house is where I was born along with most of my siblings. This picture must have been talken years after my parents sold our farm.

What I remember . . . it was a one story house over a hundred years old, moved from somewhere else. When I was in school, maybe first grade? My dad put a 2nd story on our home. He had a frolic and when I got home from school, the 2nd story was on. I was impressed! Being very young it was so very exciting! Every day more would be done. Actually my dad never totally finished our home. The windows upstairs were never finished off. When we had snow it would snow onto our bed in the upstairs, south west bedroom.

I was always pretty happy because we lived on a paved road. St route 208. Many Amish live on dirt roads, but this was paved!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

My Visit with author Beverly Lewis

Beverly Lewis writes books about Amish and Mennonites in the Lancaster County area. She grew up in that area and moved away during her high school years. Sam & Judy Walker (owners of our Bible Book Store in Sheboygan) talked to me last year about growing up Amish and mentioned that they met Beverly Lewis. So they booked her in Sheboygan area while on a book signing tour. They arranged with Beverly to meet me and I also had an hour private interview time with her. I was anxious about our time together and right out mentioned that I wasn't expecting anything from her.

At General Council last August I saw in an Evangel College ad that she had gratuated from Evangel in 1972. Since Brent & Holly both graduated from Evangel I mentioned this to her when I met her at the end of the book signing at Sonlight. Sam invited me to have lunch with their selected people. At first I didn't know how I would feel about this but after talking to Sam again the day before her arrival I had decided to attend the luncheon. I was glad that I attended this event. It helped me to relax and not be too excited for our time together. About 25 people were at the luncheon. Beverly asked everyone to introduce themselves and mention something about themselves. Very interesting.

I bought her latest book published "The Parting" where it was written during the 1960's. The Amish in Lancaster County were "getting saved" through reading the Bible. I had Beverly sign that book along with "The Shunning". This was one of the first ones I read from her writings. I have always tried to stay away from any TV shows about the Amish. I do however own 2 videos that were done and one was a comedy and the other pretty well written and acted out.

Anyway, our time together I gave her my families testimony. She told me a little about herself too, that she has Mennonite relatives. Some continue to live in Lancaster County where she continues to get up-to-date materials.

I felt privileged to have this time together and I sent Sam and Judy Walker a thank you note for arranging our time together.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The House My Parents Rented

This was called the Greer Farm. My parents sold our farm and we moved here on my 16th birthday. Since my parents were excommunicated and shunned by my Amish relatives, including 4 sisters and 1 brother. When we left the farm our parents left whatever they wanted my older siblings to have. I heard either Saloma or Martha talk about going through the house after we moved out of it and talking whatever was left behind. This is all sorta sad with the shunning practice of the Amish.

Mom took her dishes when she moved from here and made 12 bags and randomly put dishes in these bags for her children. (If I remember correctly it was for everyone). This is the last picture I have of all of us dressed Amish. Mary Beth & Blair Clark are the other 2 children. Maybe my next trip to PA I'll drive past this house and see if it still sits up close to the road.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My Salvation Experience

Mr. Clark visited our home regularly. Sometimes just to talk and other times to buy eggs. By now I tried to make sure I was hanging around when she visited to hear the stories she told. Never hearing anything like it ever before in my life! She would have the most amazing stories about how God answered prayer. That in itself was fascinating! She would talk about prophecies, the promises of God and stories about how much God loves us.

Anyway, I was walking home from school one day alone. Thinking about some of the stories I had been hearing. About prophecies that were being fulfilled and I felt heavy conviction from God knowing that if I died that day I was not ready for heaven. Not knowing what to do about it I certainly tried to forget all this stuff!

So after our family started attending this church in New Castle, I was alone in the kitchen one afternoon, ironing. God started talking to my heart that day. It was like I could see "the world out there", it was like God said to me that I could now go "out there and do anything that I wanted to do". The world had sparkle and a glitter about it too. I am forever thankful for God coming and talking to me. I knew in that moment and I told God that I wanted to follow in the path he set before me, I never served God before in my life and I wanted to try God. I didn't have any peace following my own way, so I would try this life that was before me.

Growing up after I learned to read. We had this tattered Bible story book in the desk which stood in our living room. I would read that book over and over again. We didn't have much reading material and since I didn't have a Sunday School to learn these Bible stories, I read them out of this Bible story book while growing up. Several stories would stick with me and I would think about them. Because I always believed the Bible, believed in God, heaven and hell I didn't doubt any of these stories, I just didn't know how it all worked.

One of my jobs was to go daily to get a gallon of milk from our Amish neighbor. I would walk through our neighbors driveway, but than they got a mean dog and chained him close to the drive way, so I was scared to walk past him and I would cut through our little orchard next to the neighbors property. I would really be scared because in the winter it would be dark in the morning when I did this chore. So I would talk to God trying to not be too scared. Having out door plumbing and needing to go out before going to bed I would make a sister go with me. Growing up we would tell each other ghost stories and all kinds of scary stories. So I was really scared. (We didn't have a TV or radio for entertainment either.) After starting going to this church and making a decision to serve God, after several weeks, it came to me that I could go outside in the dark without any fear. I wassooo happy! I was happy about this for a very long time!

After my parents were excommunicated from the Amish church, my dad put electricity into our house so places weren't so dark any more. This will be another story for another day.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Exciting Events Happened

Looking back this part of my life I want to remember as closely as possible to the events that transpired. After moving to Sheboygan I went to many Mother/Daughter Banquets, did many special events for local churches and talked about "The Amish". I would tell how my parents left the Amish and other interesting episodes. I tried to write down my thoughts so that when I would start forgetting some day, it would be written down. So this is another form of getting it in a written form.

Mom became a good friend to Mrs. Clark. They spent a lot of time together. I don't remember talking to mom about this next part. My parents disappeared one day for several hours. Now parents don't need to report to their children where they go. I did many hours of babysitting or taking care of my siblings. Thats just the way things were done in our household. The oldest in the home would be responsible of thier younger siblings. So I noticed when my parents returned they were pretty excited about something. I remember asking my dad where they had gone. So he told me they went and got water baptized. Now I never asked about any details but I remember telling my dad that if they ever went back to a service at this ladies church that I wanted to go too. The name of the church Mrs. Clark attended was called the New Castle Revival Center. The congregation had around 70-80 people, it was a mixed congregation in the downtown part of New Castle PA. Not in to nice of an area either. This was in the early 1960's when people would through eggs at these types of churches. They were called names too like "holy rollers". Mom talked about how she felt when she realized that this was the type of church she was attending. But my parents decided to have God real in their lives and the Holy Spirit helping them walk through life, it would be worth anything that came their way.

Mrs. Clark brought another book to my mom called The Holy Ghost and the Mennonites. Something like that. The first time mom tried to read this book she felt the spirit of God in a powerful way and it frightened her and she quit reading it. After awhile Mrs Clark ask mom how she liked the book and mom explained that she didn't read it. After Mrs. Clark explained that the spirit of God is not to scare anyone, but to let the spirit move. Well, she did and she started to speak out in tongues like you never heard anyone do!!! Every day mom would pray and she would speak out - well this was certainly something new in our home. I sorta liked it! One of my older sisters came home for the weekend, it scared her! But she wasn't listening to the stories and wasn't experiences God like mom and dad were. I was certainly a believer even at that point. Soon after all of this happened mom and dad started going to the New Castle Revival Center. The Amish started visiting our house. Now I was either 13 going on 14 years of age at this time. After a while I also visited this church. The services were so different from what I was used too. I can't remember how I felt at that first service. Loud music. Music. Amish churches do not have any musical instruments. Everyone is white too. Men sit separately from the women and children. Amish have a pecking order. The older goes first and the rest follow. The men go first and the rest follow. The men eat first and the rest follow with the women and small children the last.

I should finish talking about the Amish visiting our home. It felt to me like every day for 6 weeks Amish people would be visiting our home when I got home from school. After the Amish couldn't convince my parents they were going to hell leaving the church, the Mennonites started visiting our home. The told my parents that if they were going to leave the church at least they could be Mennonite. Dad felt like God wanted him to attend the New Castle Revival Center. I thank God that is exactly what he/we did. So much could have happened, maybe it did but everyone is still going to church. God used my dad in many ways speaking to people about God. My Amish sister would sometimes mention this Amish person driving a car wearing Amish clothes. :-) The Amish said that my parents just wanted to change clothes, because they said that my parents didn't change clothes for many, many years. They never totally fit into the culture of today because they wanted to show the Amish the clothes were not the reason for them leaving the Amish.

My next blog I'll talk about Amish church.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

History Continued

I received healing from God when Mrs. Clark prayed for me. My father was a "bishop" and he started talking to other Amish about what he was hearing from Mrs. Clark about God. When my dad told the Amish that God healed me, they said that I was a child, it was . . . OK? Looking back I have a hard time believing they oked this. But they didn't think I made this up.

Mrs. Clark gave mom a book about healing written by an evangelist of that day holding tent crusades, he's still around but not "out there" any more T. L. Osborn. She told mom to take her Bible and look up the scriptures, not just read them out of the book. There was a prayer for healing in the back of the book, so mom prayed the prayer and believed that God healed her. She was bothered by congestive heart failure, looking back on this, her heart bothered her. I don't know because of my young age what was really wrong with her, but she doctored all my life with her heart whatever that might have meant. Martha, one of my older sisters who by the way is still with the Amish, would be able to explain all of this but that's not the point here. Anyway, dad went and told the Amish that God healed mom, well, they said that she could have made all of that up. (Several years later my dad ended up in one of Osborns magazines as a testimony)

So all this time, Mrs. Clark looked for any type of excuse to visit our house. She took her daughter Mary Beth out of public school and put her in the dutch school, (one room school) and got her to walk home from school most days, so Mrs. Clark would pick her up at our home. Poor girl, children can be cruel when people are different. In an all Amish school, this little innocent girl was the odd person! Looking back on all this I feel sorry for her!!! Anyway, we continued to hear "God stories" from Mrs. Clark. Walking home from school one day I felt a great conviction that if I died today I would not be ready for heaven. (Alone again? strange with 9 sisters and 2 brothers!) Many days passed while all of this was happening in our home. One winter night Mrs. Bright visited our home and spent the night talking to all of us. I remember at one point of the evening that we sang some hymns that we knew and she knew. I am sure that she closed the evening with prayer.

Remember I turned 14 in the midst of all this stuff going on in our home. I remember one Sunday when it was dads turn to preach that he mentioned stuff about God answering prayer today, I don't remember the stories he repeated, but I know that I sat up much straighter and couldn't believe my ears! Its easy to tune out the norm that happens around, but not this. I am sure I flushed and couldn't believe what I was hearing!!! I am sure the entire church flushed!!!

Part 3 will be coming up later this week.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Some History

Maybe I could talk about the beginnings. I was going through life minding my own business, I was restless, around 13 years of age. We sold eggs on our little thirty acre farm, on a main road for our area in New Wilmington PA, one day this lady stops in to buy eggs, she started talking about how God provides for her needs, regardless of what it might be. She started talking about this God how he's interested in people. I tried to be around whenever she would come to buy eggs, which started to become almost weekly.

One of the reasons I am remembering this is because I tripped and fell this week while walking. I have this ripped up knee, which will soon scab over. :-) The year that I was thirteen my knees were scabbed over most of the year. I kept tripping while playing hard at school. I must have been trying to prove something . . .

Anyway, one of my trips were BIG, I attended a one room school house out in the country, the name of the school, Cotton School. One dayI hurt myself pretty badly. I went inside to see how to get it taken care of and while I was putting something on my leg, it started swelling up right before my eyes! Whoa! This was going to be serious! Anyway, I limped home that day and crawled into my bed upstairs and stayed there for several days. Overnight my leg turned black and blue and got even more swollen and painful. It looked awful!!!

In the meantime Mrs. Clark visited again and asked my parents if she could pray for me, since she was continueing to talk about healing, she thought this might be an opportunity to see God is action. She prayed for me that day, and came backt he next day to see how I was. In the meantime, mom would have taken me to see a doctor in town, but one of my older sisters went into premature labor and mom went to spend the day with her. So Mrs. Clark came back that day to see how I was and mom was gone so dad gave her permission to go upstairs to visit me in bed. After visiting with me, she decided that day to pray the sinner's prayer, I repeated after whatever she told me to say, and than she laid hands on me and prayed for God to "save" me and left. That night I felt different deep down inside and I got out of bed to kneel, the only prayer I knew was what we call"the Lord's prayer". Anyway, when I woke up the next morning, getting out of bed as usual, as I put my foot down, the pain had gone away. Whoa!!! I realized that God had healed me in answer to Mrs. Clarks prayer. No, I didn't try to stay quiet, I ran downstairs and told my parents that God healed my leg! I went back to school and told my teacher that God healed my leg. (Remember, I was 13 years of age.) Anyway, the school nurse came and looked at my leg and said I had better get to a doctor to check my leg out. But I declared that I was healed by God. She said to me that later on in my life this could flair up again and I could lose my leg over not seeing a doctor.

So . . . I will post the rest tomorrow. This is only the beginnings of what brought me to where I am today. This is what changed my families life forever! Of course I could have made the story longer too. but for everyone reading this, I'll leave it like this.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


I grew up Amish in New Wilmington, PA. When I was 14 years old my parents left the Amish church and started attending the New Castle Revival Center. This happened in the early 1960's. My parents were excommunicated and shunned so my family split down the middle. My older brother and 4 sisters stayed with the Amish. After I started driving a car I would visit them at least annually. I love my family and always have. In my young life I looked forward to growing up because children should be seen and not heard was the motto at that time. (You can tell that I never taught my children this motto!!!)

What I wanted to talk about today was my family reunion held the end of June. There are many varieties of Amish today. The home that hosted our reunion (we aren't supposed to call this day "reunion" because the New Wilmington group aren't supposed to be "friendly" with the english people.) Anyway, this home was very modern according the the way I was brought up. They had gas piping all through the house (much like electric lights in our homes) . The kitchen floor was tile and they had an indoor bathroom along with a bath tub and shower!!! Wow! Another big surprise for me was the location of their farm, about 4 miles south of Greenville, about 5 miles from the Homer farm off of Colt Road! I had no idea I would have relatives that close when we got moved to Transfer!