23 responses to Jim Cates: The Real Story of How I Met the Amish
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    Rich and Polly Stevick
    Comment on So glad to hear your story (December 15th, 2014 at 08:51)

    So glad to hear your story

    Thanks, Jim, I’m saddened that we never met your wife. She obviously endeared herself to her Amish families and developed lifetime relationships that were passed on to you. I too would wake from those early, early calls, frightened about what accident or death had occurred, only to find Amos, or David, or Jakie wide awake and ready to talk on the other end. When David called me at 4:30 one morning and recognized my groggy voice, he asked if he had wakened me. “That’s okay, David,” I answered, “I had to get up to answer the phone anyway.” We laughed together–and he never called me that early again. But you were obviously blessed by your Amish friend’s concern, even in the pre-dawn hours. Thanks for writing, Jim. I can hear your voice loud and clear. Keep blogging. Rich

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    Comment on Jim Cates: The Real Story of How I Met the Amish (December 15th, 2014 at 09:44)

    I look forward to more articles from Jim Cates.

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    Mark – Holmes Co.
    Comment on Jim Cates: The Real Story of How I Met the Amish (December 15th, 2014 at 09:57)

    I got a chuckle about the early morning calls. As a morning person, I need to remind myself not everyone is wide awake just because I am. Our favorite taxi driver does not like phone calls before 6:30 AM unless it’s an emergency.
    I do feel for you, Jim, in seeing your wife suffer… It does say a lot about you that your friend cared enough to call like that.

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    Debbie H
    Comment on Jim Cates: The Real Story of How I Met the Amish (December 15th, 2014 at 09:59)

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful story with us Jim. I look forward to reading more stories.

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    Comment on Jim Cates: The Real Story of How I Met the Amish (December 15th, 2014 at 10:02)

    Thank you for sharing your story with us, Jim, and I’m so sorry for your loss. I can tell your wife was a very special, loving woman many were blessed to have in their lives. What wonderful experiences you two must have shared! I’m looking forward to reading your entries in the future, too.

    And, Erik, thank you for adding Jim’s writings to your great blog! I’m so glad I found your site, and I appreciate all your insights and stories.

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    Osiah Horst
    Comment on Jim Cates: The Real Story of How I Met the Amish (December 15th, 2014 at 10:08)

    Thanks, Jim. I guess I need to purchase your book now. One of my daughters is working half time as a Christian counsellor with an organization called Caring for the Heart. She may not exactly be a professional but she has had experiences and training that help her as a plain person working with Amish and Mennonite women who are hurting.

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      Jim Cates
      Comment on In response to Osiah (December 15th, 2014 at 19:25)

      In response to Osiah


      Your response leads me to two further comments. First, I am loathe to say to someone “Don’t purchase my book!” but if you are a plain person and are purchasing the book to better understand your daughter’s work, some of the information may hit you as “Duh! Well, of course!” The book is primarily designed to assist English professionals. Second, I hear a sort of, kind of, half-apology there when you say your daughter is “not a professional.” One of the “professionals” I know whose opinion is so important to me when it comes to tough cases has a high school diploma. She is one of the most intuitive people around, and I would much rather have her insights than 3 Ph.D.’s. I suspect we agree – caring about people is not something you can learn, and that’s a huge chunk of what counseling involves. Thanks for your response!

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    Comment on Jim Cates: The Real Story of How I Met the Amish (December 15th, 2014 at 10:21)

    Jim, I am sorry to hear about your wife. Your loss is the community’s loss as well. The world needs more compassionate and intuitive people like her. I look forward to many more of your stories.

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    Alice Mary
    Comment on Many thanks for sharing! (December 15th, 2014 at 12:58)

    Many thanks for sharing!

    Thank you for sharing this story with us (or, I should say, the beginning of your story). I, too, would have liked to have met your wife, caring professional and former Iowa farm girl that she was! It’s always so interesting to find out how people “made it” to their chosen profession (or how that profession found THEM.) I look forward to your contributions to this ever-expanding, interesting, educational and oftentimes FUNNY blog!

    Thanks to you, too, Erik, for keeping it all running as smoothly as it does.

    Alice Mary

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    Comment on Jim Cates: The Real Story of How I Met the Amish (December 15th, 2014 at 13:58)

    What a beautiful, touching story! I look forward to more posts from Jim Cates.
    Jim, your wife must have been a very special person. I am glad you shared a bit of her with us.

    Erik, I cannot thank you enough for arranging for Jim to post here. I look forward to more of his writings.

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    Comment on thanks (December 15th, 2014 at 15:29)


    Thank you so much Jim for sharing this moving story with us.
    To me it is clear that your wife must have been a very special one.
    Hoping the thankfulness she was yours helps you in getting through pain that you are missing her.

    Kind Regards,


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    Jim Cates
    Comment on In response to all these responses! (December 15th, 2014 at 19:28)

    In response to all these responses!

    Thanks to everyone who has responded. I didn’t expect so much sympathy for the loss of my wife. That means a lot to me as well. Looking forward to dialoguing with you in the future!

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    Comment on Welcome (December 15th, 2014 at 20:49)


    Welcome, Jim, to Amish America, I look forward to your contributions.
    Those early morning phone calls are scary, I’ve received several with bad news. Please accept my sympathy on the loss of your dear wife.
    We just have to keep moving forward and create a new life, and it sounds like you have done that. I’m hoping to read your book sometime in 2015, I have a stack of TBR books that I’m working on now.

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    Debbie Rhoades
    Comment on Jim Cates: The Real Story of How I Met the Amish (December 16th, 2014 at 17:31)

    oh, Jim. Tears are running down my face at this article. I am so very sorry for the death of your dear wife. What angels your Amish friends were. They would probably not accept that characterization, but such goodness, kineness, and true concern, and reaching out, is angelic in my book. It is being true believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, as we are to love one another as He has loved us. I am looking forward to reading whatever you choose to write. Oh, and by the way, you have quite a gift for writing.

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    Comment on Welcome Jim (December 16th, 2014 at 23:49)

    Welcome Jim

    Welcome to Amish America, Jim. Sorry to hear of your loss. Fortunately I have never been through anything like that, I pray that I never do. I am not sure I could face it without a strong support system. Sounds like that is EXACTLY what you had, though 4:00 AM might not have always felt like the IDEAL time to get that support!

    I think you will find that this is one of the most unique sites around. Amazing the things that I learn here nearly every time I visit, today was no exception. Well, maybe today I re-learned something. The story about your wife developing a relationship with the lay leader and his family reinforced a lesson that I learned years ago when building a business that is entirely trust based.

    I was worrying about my knowledge base and if I had enough understanding of the technical aspects of the business when my mentor told me something that I will never forget. He said: “You know, no one ever cares how much you know … until they know how much you care”. Sounds like your wife cared and her new friends picked up on that pretty quickly. It’s ALL about relationships, isn’t it?


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    Al in Ky
    Comment on Jim Cates: The Real Story of How I Met the Amish (December 18th, 2014 at 20:02)

    I really enjoyed this interesting story. You are a good writer and I am looking forward to more posts by you. I also would like to read more posts from non-Amish who have long term friendships with Amish people and how those friendships developed.

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    Comment on Thankful (December 19th, 2014 at 17:01)


    I’m happy to hear this story & to know that you’ve not only helped the Amish but have published a book for other professionals. Thank you.

    Our son-in-law, who grew up and left the uber-strict Swartzentruber Order, was never immunized. As an infant he suffered whopping cough. Having no immunizations is a concern to us now because if our daughter becomes pregnant, we will be on guard that our son-in-law won’t expose her and her unborn baby to a communicable disease.
    Our “adopted” son, Monroe, likewise wasn’t immunized. My experiences, family, and friends are mostly from the Swartzentruber Order, which is most resistant to outside doctors and medical care. Even when there was a recent measles outbreak among the Amish here in Ohio, and the Health Dept offered free immunizations, the Swartzentrubers refused. Their attitude is: if they or their child gets sick and dies, it was God’s will.

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      Comment on Jim Cates: The Real Story of How I Met the Amish (December 21st, 2014 at 08:27)

      After reading this string of comments I was just about to ask if I were the only one being a bit surprised at how easily those folks, despite being christians and all, let some nurses come and put needles in them. I think the Swartzentrubers are doing right to refuse that stuff. Mercury, for example, is a common ingredient in many vaccines from what I’ve read. Apparantly it’s used as a preserver. Where I live, they had some (it was voluntary, but the media propaganda for it was fierce) mass vaccination against a simple flu a couple of years ago. What happened was a bunch of people ended up with narcolepsy after taking that poison shot they call vaccine!

      And this is just simple poison they’re using right now to experiment on humans, if you wan’t to study what’s coming go search for “nanobots” on the internet. The wickedness of those things is just indescribable. Then I suggest you study the locusts in Rev. 9, also look at Daniels description of Nebukadnessars dream in Dan. 2, where we see the iron mixed with miry clay (the human seed). All this stuff is predicted in God’s Word, and it has everything to do with mans quest for immortality using his own means. I think it says for itself just how such a thing would turn out. Like this verse describes it:

      “And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.” Rev. 9:6 (KJV).

      So what can I say. I’m also a vaccine refuser, my body is my temple and I do NOT want to inject strange things into it! The Swartzentrubers are wise to stay away from those needles. We don’t need them to live our lives with the Lord. We will live here on earth for as long as he allows for anyway, with or without vaccines. The only thing I want to have that near me is the Word of God, that I welcome in me but for anything else, my body is off limits!

      “{11} For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. {12} It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? {13} Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? {14} But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.” Deut. 30:11-14 (KJV).

      May the Lord be with you all. Amen.

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        Comment on Jim Cates: The Real Story of How I Met the Amish (December 21st, 2014 at 12:20)

        Just to clarify, the Holy Ghost is of course also welcome and much needed to reside within me, or else I would be finished. But other than that, I would rather live alone in a hut in the woods than let some nurse sting me with their poison, for whatever reason they may come up with! It’s bad enough that they tricked me (and everyone else) into it when I was a defenseless kid attending the public grade school during the 1990’s. I don’t ever want to get stained by that again!

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    Jim Cates
    Comment on Response to Marcus (December 21st, 2014 at 12:49)

    Response to Marcus

    Marcus, your comment raises several important issues: differing views among Christians, the right of the government to insist on a citizen’s welfare, and (indirectly) how to respond to these concerns. I am particularly interested in your comments because I was reading an article last night on nonviolent approaches to contest policies. In the wake of Ferguson, it again raises the difficult issue of responding to perceived injustice. How do we, as people who want to remain calm and compassionate, dialogue about our differences? How do we stand firm for what we believe but practice the nonviolence that so many feel is the Christian response? Your responses are rich with difficult issues that face anyone trying to live a moral life.

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    Judy in MN
    Comment on When a son joins the Amish (January 8th, 2015 at 10:58)

    When a son joins the Amish

    Could someone let me know the dates of the 3 (4?) articles by Anne on “When a Son Joins the Amish”. Thanks so much! And Happy New Year to all……especially to you, Erik. This is absolutely the best site available. And the only “regular” I check every day! Please keep ’em coming! Judy in MN

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      Comment on When a Son Joins the Amish series (January 8th, 2015 at 11:39)

      When a Son Joins the Amish series

      Gladly Judy. I hope I’m right in assuming you want the links and not only the dates. There have been 7 posts so far in the series.

      In chronological order (the first was posted June 1, 2012, the latest back in September):


      Anne has told me she’d like to write another update but I know she has a lot on her plate right now.

      Thanks for making us a part of your day. We plan to keep on trucking 🙂

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