When we relocated to northern Indiana, I had no idea we would be living so close to Amish country. If we travel south or east, we pass through Amish communities, requiring us to slow down for the horse-and-buggies on the road. Each time we passed a buggy, my missionary heart would wonder if the people inside were saved. Did they really know Jesus? Were they saved by grace through faith, or were they trapped in a world of legalism and tradition? I also wondered how one would go about breaking into their private and mysterious community. Often as I passed an Amish buggy, I would pray secretly that the Lord would give me the opportunity to befriend an Amish family one day. That day came on October 30, 2018.

On that day we were invited, along with a group from our church, to an Amish family’s home for dinner. The connection was made through a friend. The food was delicious and the conversation fascinating. Our hosts were friendly and open, and we were allowed to ask all kinds of questions about their life and beliefs. After dinner, they took us to a sports complex that Vernon, our host, ran for the youth of the community. A group of Amish young people were about to rehearse a presentation that they would perform to the community the following Saturday night. They invited us to sit and listen to several songs as they rehearsed. Before we left, we were invited to return for the full presentation on Saturday.

A few of us were able to return that next weekend. We were told that out of the 1,000 people in attendance, only 20 of us were not part of the Amish community. We felt privileged to have been invited. We were informed that the young people would soon be travelling to Lancaster County to share their program with their Pennsylvania cousins. But shortly before their departure in early December, Vernon sent word that he and his wife would like to have dinner with us. So we invited them to dinner along with the couple who had originally introduced us to them. We had another wonderful evening together, and after dinner Vernon asked us to tell him one of the stories that we had mentioned in passing back in October. The story was about the night a local pastor and I were under threat of being burned to death in the remote community of El Tablon, Ecuador, where we planted a church. Vernon asked for permission to tell this story to the young people as they made their way to Pennsylvania in a few days. I think our story resonated with him, because one of the skits in the youth program was about the persecution that the Anabaptists faced in Europe before they began to migrate to the US.

We have not been in touch with Vernon and Leona since their return to Indiana in December, but we look forward to seeing where the Lord will take this new found friendship and learning more about their faith and practices in the Amish community.

Contact / Location

Contact info

123, New Lenox, Chicago IL 60606

Gathering Times


8:00am, 9:15am, 11:00am

Events / Calendar