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Friday, March 25, 2011

A Day at Amish Farm

"Welcome to our community", said  Mr.Sam, our Mennonite guide during our buggy ride and visit to an Amish farm in Strasburg, Pennsylvania. His voice made me feel welcome and and a very tranquil spirit surrounded us as we traveled and met some of the people along the skinny streets. Mr. Sam narrated  a short history about Amish People and we were allowed to ask some questions. Little boys and girls were playing along the roads and some are selling shoe horses near the souvenir store. We saw some women hanging clothes and some tending the garden and some putting hays in the barn. We passed by a gentleman spraying an organic (manure) fertilizer to his huge vegetable garden which made us cover our noses because of its very offending smell. As we continued with our carriage ride a great a appreciation for this group of people formed into my heart....

The Amish lifestyle is based upon the belief that one must reject worldly affairs and the trappings of man in order to love God. This practice pervades their work, home , education, worship, travel and all aspects of life. To seek wealth or honor, or to elevate one's position above another through fashion, education, or office-holding is to be avoided. It is necessary only to provide sustenance and basis of life. Luxuries must be shunned. They hold on to Romans 12:2 "And be not conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is good, and perfect will of God."

The Amish have chosen to follow the simple life of their ancestors. The concept of home and family is very dominant and is the cornerstone for maintaining the faith. Amish society is composed of four social units-the family, the settlement, , the district and the affiliation. The basic tenet of Amish faith is that God expects man to work in harmony with the soil and nature and to keep the land and protect it from harm through the use of his labor and oversight.

Our Mennonite Guide kept us all focused and enthralled throughout the trip.. He gave us so much knowledge which made my companions and myself to further discuss even when we reached our hotel. Alone, I remembered my childhood, life was simply then.  It was similar to the Amish way of life...I  wonder, I consider my ways, do I hold on to my present luxuries? Having washing machine and dryer to wash our clothes, vacuum cleaners to clean our carpets, car to travel, clothes and shoes in the closet that many of them I don't even wear, ( I found out Amish women supposed to only have 4 sets of dresses, one to wear, one to wash, one dress and one to spare), oven to cook, etc, etc.. Can I live without them now? Can I live like the Amish people?

Lord , have mercy! Cultivate in me humility, simple living and submission to your will. May I not be entangled by the possessions of this world but always be a courageous pilgrim looking forward to be in my real home.

Lord, thank you for the Amish people, You use them to open my eyes, to confront me of my ways....

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