First Missionary Journey

Hello, and welcome back to JohnShrock.com!

Today, I am super excited to talk a little bit about my first missionary journey that I will be taking this week to my old Amish community in Wisconsin! I am going back to try and reach some of them by telling them Bible truths. With this, I am sure that there will also come much confrontation and opposition, but I want them to know the truth, especially with the Amish religion being such a life-absorbing cult.

My first mission while I am there will be to find my three siblings. They have moved to a different community than my Amish parents, and so I am not quite sure where they have settled within their new community. I will have to do some searching and asking around and see if I can find them. However, I will also have to be careful when I am asking around so that the people do not know who I am, otherwise they probably will not tell me.

So join me this week as I take a trip to Wisconsin! We will be putting up little snippets of my adventures back in Amish country, so check out our Facebook page here to watch those. I will be there for a week, so please be in much prayer during this time that God would be at work to free up their minds from the cult that they are in. I have my German Bible all ready and marked up to go and share saving truth, and we will see how the Lord will work!

Make sure to check out our YouTube video here, and to follow us on Facebook so that you can stay up to date with all of my crazy adventures!

John Shrock

More Questions Answered

Welcome back from last week! We will be answering the second half of the questions in this post. If you have not read the first post yet, click here to get up to speed on everything or you can click here to watch the video from last week.

  1. Do you have any other friends who left?

Yes, I do have several friends who have left. A few of them left before I did, and then several after as well, but not very many. I was considered a “good” Amish kid, so the friends that I had were all on the better side, and they probably will not be leaving. However, you never know. Especially with my efforts to go back and to reach the Amish people and give them a way out if they want to leave, you never know. They might want to leave.

  1. Do you think that the Amish youth are leaving in greater numbers today compared to 20 or 30 years ago?

Absolutely, yes! It is a lot easier to leave now. Some communities are doing what the Amish call rumspringa, where they are allowed to leave and test out life outside of the community. That has certainly been another gateway to allow them to leave. Of course, that being said, very few communities do that and most of those that do are out East, so there are a ton more Amish that you will never hear about that don’t allow that. For my community’s case, I was not allowed that but instead had to just run away.

That also being said, the more people that leave, the easier it becomes to leave because many of us who have left want to help those who want to leave. Of course, I don’t want to just help them leave, but I want to help them to get established in life so that they can enjoy life out here. Lots of them actually leave for a month or something, but end up going back because they do not have any friends that can help and support them. I know one who has gone back and left again as many as seven times, so that really does happen.

So yes, there are certainly way more Amish leaving because it is getting easier with how much more modern this world has gotten. Some communities are actually allowing them to have cell phones, and that is another thing that is helping them to be able to leave more easily.

There are a lot more girls leaving the Amish compared to 20 years ago, but compared to the number of guys leaving the Amish, it is not nearly as many. For one thing, it is harder for them because they do not work outside the community like the guys sometimes do. Lots of Amish used to just work on the farm, but now many work for construction companies and other similar trades outside the community, which has also provided another way for them to leave.

  1. Is Dutch your first language?

Yes, Pennsylvania Dutch is my first language. Ich Fages a lot vas ich net so lang scwetcha hab.  Which means, “I forget a lot of it because I haven’t talked it in such a long time.” It is actually around 5 years now of hardly speaking it at all. I now have to think about what I am saying. Even when my family speaks to me, such as the last time that I was home to visit when my grandmother died, I was able to understand what they were saying, but I just had to think about how to respond. For lots of things then, I just responded in English, which didn’t make them very happy, but I think that they understand that I am forgetting it.

  1. Were you taught a trade while still living Amish?

Yes, I was. I was taught farming from a very young age on the family farm. Basically, I was managing the farm for several years. My dad might say to do this or that, but for the most part I managed it. I also worked in my dad’s engine shop with him quite often. In addition to that, I worked for other Amish people, so I learned construction work as well as many other things. I really learned lots of things while I was there. I was somewhat of a jack-of-all-trades while I was Amish.

  1. What are you pursuing in Bible College?

I am pursuing a Pastoral degree, with a missions emphasis because of what the Lord wants me to use it for. Many of the things that I learn are so that I am prepared to be a missionary to the Amish, and also to prepare me to eventually be a pastor someday. I have considered double-majoring, but I don’t necessarily like school that much, so I don’t know if I want to do that.

Thank you so much for reading! We will see you in the blog on next Wednesday! Please comment below with any more questions that you may have.

 

John Shrock

Some Questions Answered

Welcome back this week to JohnShrock.com! This week, I am going to answer a few questions asked by Glenda on our blog post page. Thank you so much for your questions Glenda! I really appreciate all the questions that I have received so far and please keep them coming!

 

  • How many siblings do I have?

I have seven brothers and three sisters. I was the third son and the fourth child. My oldest brother is around 27 now, and my youngest sibling is 8.

 

  • Have you been in contact with your family since you left?

Yes, I have been in contact with them and have talked with them several times. My mother actually still sends me letters every few months. As far as actually visiting them goes, it is only about once per year at this point. They visited me once about two months after I had left when they found out where I was, and I also visited them a few times after that, but after that it has dwindled down to once per year. The first time that I visited, they were really nice so that I would want to come back. They allowed me to talk to my siblings and eat dinner with them, as long as I put Amish clothes on. I put an Amish shirt and suspenders on, but I didn’t actually do everything the way that they wanted me to. So I went with a little bit of it, but really did not want to go all the way with it.

The second time that I came to visit, they did not want anything to do with me. They were more mean you could say this time. They didn’t allow my sibling to talk to me really in an effort t to make me miss being Amish and miss my family. Really, in essence, that was their goal the entire time. The first time, it was more of a seeing if I liked it and wanted to come back, but when that didn’t work, they thought that by being more stern with me, they would make me come back.

 

  • Can you return home to visit?

Yes, technically I can return home to visit, but even at the once per year, at around twenty minutes, they tell me to leave.

 

  • Are you shunned?

No, I am not officially shunned. I never joined the Amish church, so therefore they do not have to shun me. However, most of the people do take the same actions as they would if I was a shunned person. For example, one time I was at this place where my cousins saw me, and they did so much as to look the other direction specifically so that they would not acknowledge me. So no one is forced to shun me, but they pretty much do the same thing as if I was shunned.

 

  • Do you wish that you could go back?

This one is a somewhat complicated question. I am ashamed to admit it, but there are some days in which, yes, I do want to go back. I do not want to go back and be Amish; that is not the part that I miss. My friends and my family: those are the things that I miss the most. It makes it really hard when you lose your family and friends, along with everyone else that you had grown up with. I have lots of new friends now, and I enjoy that, but I just cannot seem to forget those that I knew the longest in my life. Because of that, sometimes I do want to go back, but at the same time I know that I could not do it. I have a friend of mine who left and came back for a day before he couldn’t take it anymore and left again. So no, I do not think that I could go back and be Amish again and not have everything that I have now like cell phones and cars. Even just from the fact that when I look at them and see things that they do that I know that I couldn’t do, I know that I could never go back. I find myself asking, “How in the world could I do that?”

So do I miss being Amish? No. Do I wish that I could be with my family? Yes. Are there even certain things that I miss such as food and things like that? Of course. But no, when everything is put together, I do not wish to go back.

 

Thank you so much for reading! Please continue to ask questions on our Facebook page, our YouTube channel, or even here in the comments below! Stay tuned for the rest of your questions being answered next week.

John Shrock signing off. I left!