Wednesday, June 29, 2011
A Day with the Amish
Pulling up to the Amish farm it appears as any other beautiful farm, with a distinct "farm smell" and all.
There is a large barn full of horses and cows and even a mother dog with a new litter of puppies nursing.
The difference is the people. (Here they are butchering chickens for those who were buying...)
Their kitchen is HUGE! This family has 13 children. So the kitchen/eating area must be able to accommodate 15 for meals... and many many more when company comes or they host a meal for the youth or house church service. They have no electricity but you can't hardely tell. Much of it is ran off of gas. There is no TV, no radio, no kitchen aid mixer or toaster...
Elle is getting a buggy ride. The oldest son (20 years old) trains horses, he was working with this one. We also went on a large wagon that they use for hauling hay. The horses are MASSIVE and so beautiful! They took us on a ride through the field, around to the grandparents field and to the Amish school and back. It was such a beautiful ride.
The girls cooled their feet in the water from the Artisian well that they have set up to pump out and stream down through their yard. There is a cup there for the kids (or anyone else for that matter) to drink from it at any time, and it is so refreshing for cleaning your hands or dipping your feet in as you needed.
And here are the boys cooling off in the big tub that was originally bought to raise fish in, but the Amish boys have made it their own! It is filled from that same Artisian well.
The day with this Amish family was life changing. They were such an incredible family. All that you see here (and I didn't take many photo's because the Amish do not like having their faces in photo's) is ran JUST by this family. They do not have hired hands, no employees. Really try and grasp this.... a family of 15... with the oldest child being 23 and the youngest just turned a year old a week ago.... they milk 50 cows (each of which they know by name- they are trained to go to their specific stall when they come in from the pasture. They are just called and they come in and go to their stall.) They clean around 500 DOZEN eggs A DAY! They take care of over 30 horses, 3000 laying chickens, 50 meat chickens, 50 cows, make their meals from scratch, train dozens of horses, and care for all of the young kids, on top of regular daily life stuff, selling all those eggs, tending a HUGE garden.....etc...etc... WOW! And all of this while the sun is shineing... they can't work in the dark. =) It is truly an incredible example of what can be done with a family that works together. (not to mention the lack of a TV or computer! ha!)
Even with all of this, the thing that really effected me the most was the dad, Harry is his name. He is the happiest man I have ever seen. I mean actually, really, truly happy- overflowing with pure joy. I didn't exchange many words with him, but I saw his face, and I saw him smile. It is hard to find a man with real joy these days. Even through their smiles, their jokes and their laugher if one looks close enough, they'll see the weight they carry, the burdens of their job, struggles within their family, poor choices coming back to haunt them, financial responsibilities, pressures of temptations etc... But not this man...this man was free. He was weightless and solid at the same time. The kids too. I spent a good deal of time with the oldest daughters (they helped at the "camp" for the first couple days). They were so geniune, so joyful and I really can't think of a better word than "free". They weren't nieve, quiet and "robotic" like some may think of Amish women. They had excellent sense of humors, were smart, but not above learning a new way of doing something, they were kind and EXTREMELY hard workers. The oldest son, who was just 20 years old had the confidence and sureity of a "successful" man twice his age, and yet the humility and kindness of a girl half his age. He too had that same freedom about him as the father did. They all did. Let me tell you, you really can not believe the depths of it unless you see it- and look.
They are FREE. It was without question that if something tragic were to happen in their lives they would be unchanged in their joy and peace. They have a solidness about them I have never experianced. Their eyes hold what "freedom" looks like. They do not carry the burdens of this world, only the joy of hard work and real love for others. I want that same freedom, now more than ever... I can no longer convince myself that it doesn't exist. It does. I saw it, undeniably so, with my own eyes.