Invited To Amish Dinner

Sep 05, 2021 2.3M Views 9.3K Comments

Quite often the Amish and Mennonite are misunderstood or a mystery to most of us outsiders. Join me in an enlightening conversation as we talk about relationships, the use of technology, what they fear, and how they see the rest of America. A truly eye-opening experience.

♪ country music ♪
Good early evening guys.
Here in Amish Country, Ohio.
Off to a family dinner
with an Amish/Mennonite family
and I think some friends.
Really, really looking forward to this one.
Getting into the conversation with them.
trying to learn more about their culture
how they approach the world,
look at the world.
Eat some really good local food
and pie, the pie is amazing
in this part of the country.
All right, let’s do this.
♪ country music ♪
This is great.
Beautiful out here.
Yeah, it is, it’s very nice countryside.
We meet again.
All right, Josh.
So this is your family’s home?
-Yes, this is where I grew up.
My parents house…
-Okay.
And now since since my dad has died mom
lives out here in the apartment
-Okay.
-And my brother in law
my oldest sister has bought the place.
The house, and farm, and everything.
-Wonderful.
Hello.
-Here is my Wife, Olya.
-Olga, Peter.
Nice to meet you.
Olya or Olga?
-Olya.
But my passport is Olga so…
We just go by Olya, but…
So you…
I didn’t think I was going to be
shaking your hand… That’s okay?
-Oh, that’s okay.
No problem?
-Yeah, that’s okay.
-Josh was saying on the phone
you’re from Ukraine, right?
-Yeah.
-Where from?
-Chernivtsi
-How did you guys meet?
-Well, my uncle was
missionaries over there
in Kiev for eight years.
You’re Beachy Amish.
Which is more like Mennonite.
Am I getting that right?
-Yes, yes, you’re right
and a lot of her family is Amish.
Like Marcus D who is coming tonight.
He’s Amish.
So it’s not like we’re
estranged from each other.
We have a relationship.
We work together
and that type of thing.
But probably the main difference is
we drive cars, they drive horse and buggy.
That’s the main difference.
-We have electricity.
-Electricity off of the grid.
-Yeah.
So you would be on the
conservative side for the Mennonites?
-Probably, yes.
-And then on the liberal side for Amish.
-Yes.
-Definitely.
-So you can have the
John Deere here obviously.
-Yeah.
-Well, that could be Amish, right?
This house?
-Yeah.
-Just without the power.
-You take out the electricity.
-You take out the electricity.
-It depends what kind of Amish.
There are Amish who can’t have porches.
-They can’t have porches?
Not porches that have
an overhang.
-Is it so the public can’t see them?
-I don’t know why.
-Traditional.
-That’s another thing.
The house has carpeting.
A lot of the Amish would not.
They wouldn’t want
carpeting inside of their house.
-Did you know I was gonna
follow you to Holmes County?
-No, you sure don’t
know everything, do ya?
-I don’t know anything.
[laughter]
That’s why I’m here.
Peter.
-Hi, Karen.
-My wife Karen.
-Nice to meet you.
-Lord, I thank you for this
food that we’re about to eat.
Help us to use the strength
we receive from this food.
So what do we have here, chicken?
We have chicken.
This is chicken breast
white meat and this is the dark meat.
And your favorite…
-Oh yeah.
-He doesn’t like salad.
-I like salad, I just don’t eat dressing.
Oh the dressing.
Dad didn’t either.
He would eat salad dry.
-Yeah, that’s the way to do it.
You’re missing out.
Okay, so we have…
Chicken
chicken drums
potatoes
zucchini, asparagus
Horses cost $8,200?
Or it depends the horse?
-That’s probably an
average price right now.
-Okay.
-But there’s people buying
buggy horses paying $30,000.
Actually, for buggy horses.
It’s ridiculous. They just print
money like it’s going out of style.
-It got dropped into our checking account.
-Marcus is looking into having more kids.
[laughter]
All right we’re talking about tax credit
I didn’t know about, $250 per kid.
Marcus, you only have…
-Trying to figure out my options.
[laughter]
Okay, so what do you
guys all think of this?
-It’s ridiculous.
-So it doesn’t matter the income,
everyone gets it?
-I guess.
-Yes, everyone gets it.
-Is it tax credit?
But it’s a total of $3,000 per child
and they’re dividing it up
into $250 payments per month.
And it extends through the year.
We have five children so we get $1,250
plopped into our bank account.
-For not doing a thing.
-You’re not happy about that?
-Might as well stop working.
-That’s why nobody has workers.
-Right.
-‘Cause people don’t have to work.
-You’re not happy about that?
All that money going
into your bank account?
Money isn’t worth anything anymore.
-Not if you just get it.
You don’t even have to work for it.
-Right.
-That’s what’s causing all these problems.
With people not…
You can’t hire anybody because they’re
all sitting at home
because they’re getting
paid all this money.
Why would they go to work?
It’s not just other
places in the country…
Holmes County, you’re
having a work shortage?
-Oh yeah, we have a work shortage here.
There’s
ads run in the paper, you can…
-Never seen anything like it.
-No, you can go clean somewhere
for $40 an hour.
-You can go clean something
like a hotel or whatever.
-Yeah, it was a lodging place in Berlin.
$40 an hour to go clean.
Have you ever heard of something like that?
That’s twice of what I get paid.
I should go start cleaning.
So basically Marcus you’re going to
start cleaning and having more kids.
[laughter]
-Start cleaning and have more children.
-Clean up after you children.
-We did raise six of ’em and
I’m not looking to do any reruns.
-Peanut butter pie?
Is that chocolate peanut butter?
-Yeah.
-This looks like it’s great.
-On the golf cart…
-Oh, we’re gonna take the cart?
-Yeah, we’ll just make a quick run.
-Yeah, this is homemade ice cream.
Your wife made this?
-Yes, she made the pie.
Peanut butter cream, homemade ice cream…
Wow.
-Good stuff.
-Olya, very good
Very good.
Quite often with peanut butter pie
you don’t have that strong
peanut butter flavor
but this has it.
-Jump on the cart take a run real quick.
-What’s down here?
-Where?
Down where we’re gonna go look at?
-Yeah, where are we going?
So you guys all live
very closely to each other?
-Well
he does, I do, and Bryson does
Jerry’s lived here.
-Oh wow, man.
This is all your property?
What about the field?
So this is the mode of
transportation around here
the golf cart.
-For me it is.
You go work.
Leave the car for the wife.
What a place you got here, Josh.
-I like it.
-Beautiful.
So if you go this direction
your family came from Amish.
You went more towards Mennonite.
It’s really hard to go back
the other direction, right?
-Well, I would say.
I mean I have never gone the other way.
-Because you have all these
comforts and how do you
get rid of a car at this point?
-Right, how do I go
to driving horse and buggy?
And with my business that I do.
I’d have to change everything.
-Right.
-Yeah, I mean I’ve…
-So is there a trend with
what’s happened with your family?
Like again, going from Amish
the generation before
more Mennonite, more convenience
are a lot of people doing that?
-Yeah, there are.
There’s a trend.
There’s always people from
the lower conservative Amish
moving to less conservative.
Yeah, there’s a trend.
There’s people who go through the system
and they start out conservative
and end up all the way to the
complete most liberal Mennonite
that there is.
-Okay.
What is that?
Going to concerts and bars
stuff like that?
-Yeah, probably.
-Really?
-Oh yeah.
We just drove past a big church today
I should have stopped there
and shown it.
Grace Mennonite they’re called.
They just look like the world do.
They dress like the world
and they have concerts
and they do whatever they want.
-Just like the world meaning
people from outside?
-Yes, English people.
-English People?
If that’s not offensive…
-Oh, I don’t care but that’s what you call
everyone outside of Amish,
Mennonite are English?
-Yes.
-No matter what they are?
-Yes.
-Why is that?
Do you know?
-What else would we call them?
Just by they’re Catholic
or they’re foreigners or…
-Like we have a Dutch word for it
and it translates to English.
-Oh, okay, okay, okay.
So the Dutch word,
we would say they’re Hogue.
-But if someone was Pakistani
you would call them English?
-Yeah.
The world needs a place like this
an environment with two parents
teaching their kids
not some daycare teaching your kids
not some public school teaching your kids
but the parents.
-What do you mean?
Your kids aren’t going to go to school?
-Yeah, they’re gonna go to
school but we’re teaching…
What I’m referring to is from day one
sending them to daycare so
both parents can go get a job.
From day one…
When they’re that young they
have to be taught by their parents.
That’s more like what I’m referring to.
-Okay, so in
in your culture
completely taboo
to outsource your babysitting and daycare
that sort of stuff?
Yes.
-Okay.
-And this is the environment obviously.
Your kids can play here no problem
they don’t need supervision even.
-No, not out here.
They can run.
My boys play outside all day.
They’re not inside playing video games
at three years old or five years old.
Can I tell
the camera what you told me about price?
Or is that confidential?
I don’t have to.
-Let me think about that.
So guys
This place
What is it one, two years old?
-2018, two years.
-Okay.
-It was at the end of 2018.
-Okay, all in with everything…
$300,000 which means roughly
a $1,000 mortgage.
How many bedrooms?
-Five.
-Five, and a basement.
That’s quite unbelievable.
And all this space.
What I’m seeing out here is
the American dream is not dead.
If you can make enough money
I mean that’s not even the price of a room
in a bad apartment
in a major US city.
Like a room.
-Couldn’t even imagine that.
It’s crazy.
I wouldn’t trade it.
Wouldn’t trade it for a room.
And teaching…
‘Cause if I would have
had a single parent
my single parent that I
would have would have a job
and wouldn’t be teaching me anything
How would I turn out?
-Right, and because you only
go to school ’till eighth grade?
-Right.
-So you need more
parental teaching in there.
-And then as soon as we’re
out of school we go get a job.
When we’re 16 we start working.
-Okay.
-So by the time we’re
20 we can learn a trade.
And it’s hands-on.
-The trades are alive and
you do very well out here.
-Yes, whatever our dad is working
or people are hiring so we just go work.
-Yeah.
-And we learn a trade,
whatever we want to
or whatever’s available at the time
or whatever suits
whatever, you name it, we go do it.
-And this is the back side of
your family home growing up?
-Yep.
Should maybe quickly turn
back and look at the pond.
-Oh, you even have a water slide going in.
-Yeah.
Custom, homemade, yeah?
-Oh yeah, it’s all homemade.
-So you know what I’m feeling out here
is not much helicopter parenting.
Have you heard of that term?
Just let ’em loose.
-Oh yeah, they’ll learn.
You’re going to make all
the English people jealous.
-Send them our way.
-For what?
Just to show the places.
Maybe they’ll move out here.
-Would you want that though?
-Well, not really.
[laughter]
-Didn’t think so.
-I’m just kidding.
The guys are going to do some singing
and then I’m going to try and get into some
thicker conversation into some
deeper topics.
Watch out?
-Yeah.
-All right, I’m watching
Here, you hold this.
You gonna be the camera man?
Okay, here we go.
Ready, guys?
Where is it, guys?
-Right there.
-Oh geez.
I speak Ukrainian.
-You speak Ukrainian?
-Yeah, and English
[speaking Ukrainian]
All right, buddy.
Let’s get it.
All right, man.
Ooh.
Here you go.
You’re Mennonite, you identify
with a religion and your culture
when I say “America” what do you all think?
What’s the first thing that comes to mind?
Do you identify closely with
the US, let’s say?
-I think we’re really sheltered from
what goes on in the US.
We’re probably kind of dumb.
To what’s going on outside.
Like it’s not even a thought
process that we think about
-No.
That’s part of our normal
thought life or whatever.
-So what do you think is going on
outside of Holmes County?
-We just live our life.
[laughter]
We don’t think.
We do think, that’s not right.
-I don’t follow the news that closely
I would say the main reason is
it hasn’t ever
affected my life that closely.
-What’s going on in
the rest of the country?
-Yeah, knowing that there
has been a mass shooting
in a city somewhere or
somewhere apart from where I’m at
has not…
I think it affects your brain negatively.
Now, my sympathies go out to someone
who’s experienced something like that.
-But you feel like a disconnect
between what’s going on here
and what’s going on out there?
-I would.
-I would too.
-I definitely would say so.
-I’m not troubled by it.
-Okay, so this last year…
-No, it’s a way of life for us.
-So this last year
COVID
all the craziness that’s
gone on with the politics
you’re not even…
-The worst part of it for us
was the annoyance of having
to wear a mask everywhere.
-Okay, for how long?
-Well, we still have to
to fly but we haven’t…
-Whenever we went to a public
place like a restaurant or a Walmart
or gas station.
-Okay, you had to to fly.
Where are you flying?
-We travel a lot.
-We just came home from a funeral.
-In Wisconsin.
-Okay.
-We traveled in the last year
I
I traveled to Haiti twice and to
the Dominican Republic once.
-She was actually a
missionary in Haiti for five years.
Her and her husband.
So we do get around but as far as…
-So how does it feel
when you go into an airport
a major US airport when you fly
and when you get out
of this part of the country?
What are the things that come to mind?
How does it feel?
Is it very interesting?
-Oh yeah, it is very interesting.
We enjoy…
-It used to feel a little intimidating
but it doesn’t anymore.
-Okay.
-She travels more than I would.
I’m happy at home.
My husband is very happy at home
and he grew up on a farm.
We live on a fruit farm
and he just likes raising fruit
and that’s what he does.
He has a really small world.
-Coming out here is
about as far as he goes.
[laughter]
-Give him fruit,
give him pie, he’s good to go.
-Our daughters, we had three daughters
who
just got back from
doing vacation in Boston.
-Okay.
-And they could just feel
the people staring at them.
Thinking they were Amish.
There was just something about them
they just felt the stares of the
people almost everywhere they walked
people just looked at them.
-They were wearing the bonnets?
-They were wearing their coverings.
-Were they hospitable?
Were they nice
or just cold stares?
-Curious, yeah, just curious.
Okay, I think that’s because
the English world, being the outside world
is very curious about
the Amish because I think
it’s either portrayed negatively
or it’s just not really known well.
That’s my understanding at least.
It’s a community that’s sort of closed off.
Not everyone is going to allow a camera.
I mean you brought me in and
everyone is open with it here.
So it’s a bit of a mystery.
I guess whatever is not known
is always interesting.
That’s how I’d say it.
Do you feel in the US…
Well you all were born here,
everyone is American but
it’s very accommodating to your religion?
-It is.
-Yes.
It’s a blessing.
At this point it is.
Now it hasn’t
at times in war
when a draft comes around…
So we would not support taking up arms
and fighting
in the army.
-Why not?
-Because of the same teaching.
-We are not in that kingdom.
As Christians we do not…
There’s two different kingdoms.
The Kingdom of the world
and the Kingdom of Christ.
-The Kingdom of Christ?
-The Kingdom of Christ.
-Okay.
-And being
followers of Christ
we could not
bear arms
and kill anybody because
it’s a different kingdom.
-Okay, so nobody’s
joining the military here.
-No.
-If there was a draft no one would go?
-No.
Our people have suffered
because of refusing to take up arms.
it’s not that we’re
not law abiding.
We obey the law here in the United States.
We pay our taxes and all that.
And if there was a battle or a war
our people have
worked in hospitals
helped out in hospitals
in that type of way.
Where we could do good and feel
okay about our consciences in that way.
But we would not be okay with
taking up and killing
and that sort of thing to stop evil.
We see that as using evil to stop evil.
-There is a big difference
from believing the Bible
and obeying the Bible
You can believe the Bible and not obey it.
So this is your guys’
full compass for life?
-That’s a song book.
[laughter]
Well that too.
-Hymns have a huge part, actually.
Hymns have a huge part in worship.
-It connects you guys?
-It connects in worship.
-Okay, this is the compass
-Yes, I would say so.
-Yes.
-Just imagine Jesus taught or
teaches us
to love our enemies
pray for them that despitefully use you.
Just imagine how this world would
be if everyone would practice that.
-Amen.
-Who…
This sounds a little
aggressive, but who are
the enemies of the Amish?
Or the Mennonites?
-Well…
We don’t have
enemies that are coming
here and trying to hurt us
but as in…
like I’m trying to think of an example.
-Would you say ideology could be an enemy?
Or modern culture?
Or social media?
Is that fair to say?
-Yes.
-Anything that gets in the way
between me and God can be an enemy.
Okay.
-I think that’s what Jesus would preach.
-Is anyone being left out in the community?
Like I don’t see any homeless.
We are in the countryside
but
are there some serious
dysfunctional families?
Is it like the rest of society
or is it really too good to be true?
-Absolutely.
-It’s not too good to be true.
We are common people.
We are like the rest of the world
as far as
-Family life…
relationships…
-I don’t want to paint a too rosey picture,
but there are things about…
So for example
if a hospital bill comes up…
-We had a girl
a single girl in our church, 55 years old
who had ended up with a lung disease
-Mm-hmm.
-And…
It was a process of maybe about a year.
She had a lung transplant
and ended up
getting COVID
and a lot of complications
and she lost her life, she passed away.
And our church…
She was hit with a
$1.3 million hospital bill.
-She didn’t have insurance?
-We have what we call church fund
but it maxes out at $180,000.
-Okay, so Amish people
don’t have health insurance?
-No, we have our own Amish plan
but it maxes out at $180,000.
-That’s through you not
through the government at all?
-Not through the government at all.
-So no Obamacare going on here?
-No, not at all.
-Why is that?
-We’re not part of that kingdom
and that is also why
we don’t see this government handout money
as an…
as something that…
-Very reluctant to accept.
-It’s not a good feeling?
-No, we’re reluctant to accept that
because we also don’t…
We don’t have insurance.
We don’t have life insurance.
We don’t use government
money and all that kind of things.
-You have car insurance though, right?
You have to have that.
-Within the church is what we…
-Oh, your own Amish car insurance.
Okay, and Marcus I apologize.
I cut into the one point something million.
-Getting back to this girl
with the lung transplant.
Ended up with a $1.3 million hospital bill.
Which
we as a church felt pretty helpless
as far as covering that.
And I think our church
we ended up with a couple
hundred thousand dollars.
We paid towards that bill
and then word was put out
to the whole community
that we needed help with this bill
and in a matter of a couple months
that bill was paid off.
Unbelievably.
From the Amish and
Mennonite in Holmes County?
-Through anonymous donations.
No one knew who paid it.
We don’t know who paid it,
the money just came.
-We, as a church felt
very humbled about that
-Wow.
How do the Amish
and the English
the non-Amish
get along out here?
-Very well.
-Good.
-There’s no problem between the two?
-Not typically.
-Yeah
you have your individuals
that cause trouble
but I would say for the most
part it’s a very good relationship.
-It’s always been that way?
-As long as we can remember.
-In our lifetime it has.
-Let’s say a draft comes around.
and so then our different values
different values come up.
-We’ve had it very nice here in America.
As far as living out our Christian life.
-So for example in World War I.
-We’ve been blessed.
-But that’s just in your lifetime
even in America already there have been
especially during the time of the draft
it was
it was not
a nice thing to be Amish or to be Mennonite.
-Exactly, because patriotic
feelings come to surface among
the world society in general
and we wouldn’t participate in that.
-Gotcha.
And so that puts us onto
almost as traitors to the country
to America.
-By the time World War II…
-That’s tough for you guys because
your religion is saying
there’s no way you can
take part in conflict.
-Absolutely.
But then the country
which allows these freedoms
for you to practice your religion
is asking for it.
-Yes.
-So there is friction there.
-Yes.
-But by the time World War II rolled around
there was programs set up
that satisfied our government
and satisfied us
as our beliefs.
-Okay.
-That we could participate
not in the actual fighting
like Bret was saying
but working in hospitals
and other programs that
everybody was satisfied with.
-How much does the modern world
press on your values
your beliefs
your lifestyle, your way of life?
You live in a very nice house
Beautiful house.
All the nice amenities outside.
So you’ve adopted the modern
world obviously to some degree.
But the world in 2021, social media
all the digital space
is that pressing
hard on the culture?
Or are you guys standing very…
-Very, very hard.
-Okay.
-We’re not standing strong.
Actually, it’s separated a lot of
churches, groups,
it’s actually like a…
I don’t know what you would call it.
-That’s true.
-A separation to our people.
-I would say the digital world…
Is probably
what’s the controversial subject
among our society right now.
See we’re grappling with
this and trying to figure out
as a whole, trying to figure
out how should we handle it?
Do we want to embrace it
or do we want to
push it out because
we never embraced television.
The plain people never
took television into their home.
-Okay.
-Now things like internet
smart phone and that
type of thing comes up…
-Everything that we pushed away is now
all on one thing and that’s internet.
Like we never accepted TV, radio
things like that and now it’s
everything on one small gadget
-When did it really take off?
Recently or?
-Gradually.
It came into our churches gradually.
Some people got it
and some people did not want to have it.
-Okay.
-And then it caused conflict.
-That’s exactly right.
-So how do you guys handle it?
I’m sure everyone’s different in here but
you have smart phones.
-So I have a smart phone.
-Yep.
-I do not have a browser
on my smart phone.
I erased the browser and it’s intentional.
I took the browser off
I have a smart phone
so that I can call and text
-Yeah.
-Otherwise I don’t have access.
I’ve got maps.
But I don’t have access to
the internet on my smart phone.
Now
see what he has to say.
-I talked about it today.
-Tell us quickly.
-Okay, so I have a smart
phone as well and I have
a blocker on here that blocks
all pornographic and all of that stuff.
-Okay.
-And I can customize it
to what apps I can have…
Like I would have YouTube.
I would have that.
But then
it’s just
it’s up to the individual then and then
I have a blocker on here and we
accountability groups in our church.
And I’m accountable to
what I use on my phone
to other brothers from the church.
-Okay, what about you, ladies?
-I have the same thing Josh has.
Same.
-Okay.
-I have a flip phone.
I’m actually not sure where it’s at.
And mine
doesn’t have any data on it
my husband shut off all the data
and so what I can do
with my phone is I can call
and I can text
but I cannot receive any pictures
or even group messages
because all the data is cut off
-He shut yours off
do you shut his off?
-He shut his off too, yeah.
We’re on the same page.
-So you guys regulate each other?
-No, we don’t have any
internet access on the phones
and we actually don’t have
any internet at all at our house
or anything.
-You’re offline completely?
-We’re offline.
By ourself, we choose
to live that way because
we enjoy being simple and…
-We see a lot of dangers in having it.
-So as you can see
you’ve hit among the topic where there’s…
where there’s different feelings.
-And that’s within this
group that’s sort of…
-This is one family like this.
-We’re all in the same church.
-Okay.
-We’re all in the same church.
-The more
conservative it is
the more rules there are
they come from the top as far as the priest
or the bishop, whatever
you want to call it.
When people say, “The Amish” in my world
the English world…
they put one label.
Amish people are XYZ, right?
And what I’m learning is it’s
very complicated.
It’s many things.
For an outsider it’s very complicated.
-It’s not a homogenized entity.
-We don’t just live for ourselves.
There are things that I do
or things that I do not do
because
of what my brothers and sisters say.
-Like a sacrifice
-It’s a sacrifice and
it’s something that you
submit to each other
we agree
we’re not going to
do this and it might not be something…
like there are churches where no one has
any phone.
Because they all agreed
“We’re not going to.”
And even if some people
think that it might be okay
They still choose not to
because the others…
that’s the agreement.
And they’re happy about that
that’s the way it should be.
-And you guys are growing, right?
As a population?
-Oh, very much, yeah.
-You see all the little children?
-Yeah.
Few of them back here.
-The Amish population doubles
every 20 years I think.
-So where are you going to expand?
Ohio?
-Everywhere.
-There’s Amish in about every
state in the United States almost.
Maybe not quite.
-I know you’re gonna start
the California movement, Marcus.
[laughter]
-I could feel it.
-As soon as you get rid
of that governor I might.
-They love him.
[laughter]
Marcus for Governor.
You know he’s got a recall?
I’ll vote for you, Marcus.
-On the buggy.
-From Brazil, his name was Pedro.
We still have contact with him.
And he spent 9 or 10
months living in this house
Somebody in the county here
got mom’s name and called
here and asked if they would house him.
He stayed here for a school term.
When that boy came
mom and dad picked him up at the airport.
His face went white.
He had never heard of
Amish or Mennonite people.
He came home with them here.
He was
freaked out.
And he was
On his phone.
-Glued to his phone.
When he first came.
Glued to his games, his electronics.
That’s all he did.
It took him some time
but he got away from those things
and that’s one of the
things he admired most.
Or one of the things he
he thrived in that environment.
-Yeah.
-He loved going outside.
He loved
going to church with us.
We would sit here playing
games every evening.
We’re game players.
All those things were so different
from growing up in the
city in that little apartment
on his electronics all the time.
and
just lately he got in touch with us again
and he misses that.
It’s been years but
he’s back in that world of
insanity.
And he misses this.
I had to think of that when you…
-I understand because I
am stepping into this world.
I can feel it, I can admire it,
I can appreciate it.
But then I’m very much
in this digital world
’cause I’m making videos.
-Because that’s what you do.
-‘Cause that’s what I do and so
I love that
but I see the danger in it too.
What else do we gotta say?
We’ve touched a lot of topics.
Marcus, do you have any
wisdom you gotta drop?
-Five, six years ago we had two boys
from Germany who stayed at our house
for maybe about two weeks
and just what Janet was saying.
In the evenings we’d build a
fire and we’d sit around the fire
talk, and eat, and…
They just…
They were just so amazed.
I remember one boy
told me that
I come home from work and
nobody talks to me.
I mean we just look at
each other and nobody talks.
And this is the way things should be
as a family.
We can sit here and
talk, and have fun and…
He was so excited about that.
-I think we take it for granted.
-Things like that we just take for granted.
-It’s just normal for us.
It’s interesting the
foreigner comes to the US
even though Germany
is a very modern country
Comes to the US to feel,
let’s call a primitive
off the grid lifestyle.
And that exists in this country.
That’s what I find beautiful about the US
is we have so many
different types of people.
So many different lifestyles.
Like how you guys are living
is the polar opposite of how
say people are living in Los Angeles.
The average person, you can’t
even say the average person there
because that’s a whole another universe.
Just in that one city people are
living in so many different ways.
So the more I do this work,
the more I realize how beautiful
it all is.
And it works.
It’s like all the animals
from the zoo in one cage
and we sort of get along.
That’s how I feel.
[laughter]
Because this country allows
you to be who you want to be.
I feel.
With the least amount of resistance.
Nobody is telling you guys how to be.
-Very much so.
Nobody is saying,
“You gotta do it this way.”
Is that a fear at all?
That anyone will try to change the life?
-Yes, it is.
-What’s the term for it?
-We’re aware.
That things could change.
-And things are changing
but we also trust God.
That’s what I mean by saying
we shouldn’t fear…
-Very much fear or dread
more government control
in our lives.
But like Janet said, “We still trust God.”
Things will work out.
I think we take for granted, our heritage
and our
upbringing and all of that.
-Being raised by two parents even.
-It’s normal for us.
We don’t think about it every day.
-Even like for divorce and remarriage
we didn’t even talk about that today
but like
that’s not even an option for us.
That never crosses our mind.
To leave our spouse.
-Ever.
-What if they’re really
unhappy with each other?
-You still live in the same house.
You don’t leave.
-No, you work through it.
-You get marriage counseling
and you get help.
-People can show you, see…
Commitment keeps people together
and there are people within our circles
who help people who
have struggling marriages
if they want help.
-But are there unhappy marriages?
-Yeah, there are unhappy marriages but
people stay together.
-Just recently there was a marriage…
where I heard that
the one who performed the marriage
part of the vows that he pronounced
he said, “Stay together as
long as your love doth last.”
-As long as your love lasts?
-Stay together as long
as your love doth last.
That’s completely false.
-That’s the first time I heard that.
-See, my mom said,
“The reason you get married is because
when you fall back in love
again that person is still there.”
[laughter]
Is that a good way to look at it?
-That’s pretty good.
Yes it is, yep.
-Okay, so the divorce rates are very low.
-They’re almost nonexistent.
-In the Amish and Mennonite
community nobody divorces.
-Nobody gets divorced.
-What about
are the marriages arranged at all?
-No.
-How do you find your partner?
-You find a cute girl and ask her.
[laughter]
Usually the boy will say…
will maybe tell his dad that
he has his eye on a certain girl.
He’s interested in her.
-Yeah, the boys ask the girls.
-Girl never asks the guy.
-But are you marrying families?
Is that a big thing?
Like the family has to approve.
-Yeah, usually.
-Should approve.
-Okay, so what do you guys not do good?
-What do we not do good?
-Okay, you do community well.
You do pies well.
You do gardens and lawns really well.
-We don’t always do relationships well.
That would be probably
the number one thing.
-I told him we marry our second cousins.
-We try not to.
-I know but wouldn’t that come under
the category of something we don’t do well?
-Yeah, I’d say
-There’s something that we don’t
do well that we want to do well
but we don’t do well and one of those is
when other people from society
someone like you or
someone who hears about us
comes and wants to join our group
we want them to come.
But we almost…
We have a family.
We aren’t used to people who
don’t come from these families.
-Okay.
-And we want to welcome them.
We want them to be here.
We want them to be a part of us
but we
generally don’t do well with that.
We try to keep learning
and keep working at it.
-Do you think that’s a
strength or a weakness?
-Weakness.
-It’s a weakness.
-Marcus, weakness?
-Probably.
-But how do you keep so close?
Humans are tribal.
You guys stay so close
because you’re so close.
-Well, it’s not an option.
I mean getting along
with family, with community…
-It goes back to the Bible.
It’s like staying married.
-It’s part of our heritage.
-But the Bible also teaches us
Jesus command before
he left was to reach out
go out into all the world
and teach all nations.
Baptizing.
We have to stay open to
reaching out to other people
and sometimes we can miss that
by just…
-Because we’re so close
we protect ourselves.
-Can somebody become Amish?
-Absolutely.
It’s happened quite a few times.
-We have a couple in our church.
-I got another couple
years like this last one…
I might jump over.
-Yeah, we have a couple from our church.
-You know what I think it is?
People are dying.
The modern world is going
away from communities
so when they see what you guys have
they want that because
it’s the most natural thing.
-Yeah, community.
-And believe it or not those forces enter
our community as well and
those forces want to drive our community to
nothing as well.
Individualism is a problem.
I see it as a problem
and so that’s another problem where
I think we as communities need to
actively deal with
to keep our bonds and brotherhood strong.
-So nobody thinks
an individualistic mindset here?
-Yes.
-Yeah, we do.
-You do?
-Yes.
-Okay.
-But I would say it’s a problem.
-You’re asking for one of our weaknesses
or one of our
problems, what we’re not good at.
That’s something we’re not good at.
-Because we live in the society that we do
we tend to become individualistic
or have that mindset as well because
things do rub off on us
but we work against it because
we see that the Bible teaches
there is value in community
in
being with our brothers and sisters
and making decisions together
and listening to what they have to say
not just choosing what looks
good to me and right to me.
-Right.
-That’s even maybe one reason
we would not want to have internet
is because if you get
involved in stuff like that
you can just help yourself in
whatever you want to online.
The need for each
other isn’t there as much.
-The instant communication
digitally breaks down
the face to face
real relationships.
-It has the potential to for sure.
-It has that potential.
-If you had any advice…
-Go on an internet fast and read the Bible.
-What if someone is not
going to read the Bible?
‘Cause a lot of people
aren’t going to read the Bible.
Go on an internet fast?
-Go on an internet fast and
spend time with your family.
Spend time with the people you love.
-Okay.
-Observe nature and think
about who created the world…
and you.
What’s your purpose?
-What are you doing with your life?
-God, I’m…
-In an airport put your phone
down and talk to your neighbor.
-In the airport?
-Don’t just sit there on your phone.
Build relationships wherever you’re at.
Talk to someone.
Care about their life, not just your own.
-All right guys.
This was good.
You gave me a lot to think about.
A lot to work on actually.
[laughter]
We need to work too on things.
-We’re actually telling
ourselves all these things too
-We’re by no means
better than anybody else.
-We do not want to be condemning at all.
-All right I’m going to close in on Marcus.
Marcus, last words?
-Very good advice from everyone.
-All right, perfect.
All right, guys.
Thanks for joining the dinner
even though I didn’t shoot
you guys don’t eat at once.
You sort of eat here and there, right?
-Summer nights are an
exception, big crowds of people
We do it more this way.
-Okay, well fantastic food.
Thank you chefs.
Love the pie especially.
-Good.
-Amish pie is unbelievable.
Mennonite pie, Amish pie,
same thing, right?
[laughter]
All right guys, thanks for coming along.
‘Till the next one.
Okay, who decides to dress green?
Whose decision is that?
-Mine.
-Why?
-I don’t know, I just picked
the dress out of the…
Should I improve my style?
‘Cause white is sort of boring maybe?
Yeah? Little boring?
My style is not so cool, huh?
Thank you.
[laughter]

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