Today was a long day. We were finally able to come to a plan on how to help the family of focus. The community has really wanted to do the right thing for them but just didn’t have the expertise to tackle it. A plan now is set and I think it really looks good. The mother is in much better shape than when I first arrived and will be able to handle the issues at hand in a good way. I have told her that if at any time she feels confused or needs a resource to give me a shout. In fact, I have told all the leaders the same thing which they deeply appreciate.
Janice didn’t get to make cheese or make bread but she did enjoy helping out in the kitchen with all the girls. As you can tell by the picture I did get an opportunity to drive the buggy. We will add this to our list of unique experiences along side of teaching in a auction barn, washing dishes in a dry sink, and cooking on a wood burning stove. The picture is also special because of who took it. The Amish are not to have a picture taken of themselves nor are they permitted to take pictures. Someone did me a very special favor on the sly.
While I was sitting on the porch catching some cool air, Janice called me inside to see the “refrigerator”. Jake and Fannie had tapped into a spring which has never stopped since they arrived 15 years ago. They pipped it into their kitchen, collected the water into a custom built cabinet and used the water to keep their foods cool. It wasn’t frigid but it was cool enough to keep things like Mayo, butter, etc..
The Amish were into “green” before we even knew what it was. Everything is natural or organic. All the breads are whole grains. No pesticides or insecticides on their plants and no hormones in their animals. This community is very much into oils and natural medicine when possible but also not afraid to visit a doctor when needed.
Tonight was a very hot night in the auction barn but at least the mic was working. I had to change or redefine certain words so they could understand. “Inadequate”, “humiliated” and “intelligent” were just a few that I could remember. “Cooperation” is also a word that was foreign but not the concept.
The word that they did not understand that surprised me was “emotion”. They knew “feelings” but not emotions. I visited with one of the older men in the community (40’s) and he said the entire concept of designating words for feelings was hard. He wanted to learn but it was like learning a different language.
They sang Amazing Grace tonight in English, I think just for us. Janice looked in one of their German hymnals only to find no music notes. They had another hymnal that was thicker and it had many hymns that she recognized, but still no notes. We think the tunes have been handed down through the years.
The group is beginning to sense that our time together will soon be ending. Thank you notes and special gifts are coming our way. Some are small like loaves of bread and others are larger like the handwoven picnic basket.
Tomorrow will be our last day with them for while… only for a while. Bishop Sam said that he hoped that we were feeling as welcomed and loved as he did when he was at The Hideaway Experience. If he felt the way I am feeling, he really felt deeply loved.