What if you’re Amish – and can’t work?

Lisa Kuhn writes:

i am a 57 year old woman who has a number of chronic disabilities. this is very isolating for me as i am pretty much bed-bound. i have faith in god which helps of course, but i do not really have any family so this makes things much harder. i used to be very active and was a high school english and foreign language teacher.

as i know how hard these groups work, i wonder how they relate to people who are unable to work due to illness,plus how they relate to the disabled/ill from a spiritual point of view.

Lisa, first of all, thoughts and prayers for you and for strength in your situation.   You ask  a good question; I’ll take a crack at it.

amish workingAs you rightly recognize, work is an important element of life as an Amish person.  Not being able to contribute due to an injury or onset of disability can be a severe personal setback.

Amish say that they aren’t supposed to be proud, but I think we can safely say that in some sense Amish “take pride” in the tangible results of their work.  Work provides satisfaction and fosters physical and mental health.  For the Amish male, typically head of household and primary breadwinner, the psychological effects of not being able to work due to disability can be heavy.

For people who are severely impaired, home care is an option.  Amish may rotate caring for a family member with a disability.  Though Amish generally prefer to care for their own, in some cases institutional care may be given.

Less severe cases are handled differently.  I know and have met a number of Amish people with disabilities, some of whom are confined to wheelchairs.  You do what you can. Depending on the level of disability, this may mean anything from operating a business to complete immobility.

For my Amish business book I interviewed at least a couple of individuals who run small but successful businesses while having disabilities, one with a severe impairment that limits his ability to walk.  These people radiate warmth when you meet them.  I don’t know what they are like in private but I have to think their positive attitudes and sense of gratitude give them strength.

For some, disability means taking on basic tasks that can provide a living and boost a sense of self- worth.  A couple of examples immediately came to mind.  One is the Care-n-Share business in Apple Creek, Ohio, which sells baskets and other items crafted by physically challenged Amish people–individuals “with spinabifida, cerebral palsy, Parkinsons or some other physical restriction,” notes the website.

handmade broomsA second is an individual who recently passed away known as “Blind” Syl Hershberger.  As his nickname tells us he lacked the ability to see, but was able to make a living creating handmade brooms in a small workshop adjacent to his Ohio home.

I recently had a chance to visit the shop and view the tools he’d used to do his job.  I imagined him working away, steadily cranking out the simple but sturdy brooms that I could see all around me (and couldn’t help but wonder how I’d manage in his shoes).

God’s plan

Spiritually speaking, Amish feel that disability is part of God’s plan, and that a person in that situation should be seen as a blessing and not a burden.  As humans Amish people may need to remind themselves of that sometimes too.  The authors of The Amish Way quote an Amish mother: “Speaking of her son with Down syndrome, one mother says, “We don’t believe that the reason he is like he is, is because of something we did or didn’t do.  Ben is exactly in accordance with God’s plan” (p. 167).

They also note that people with disabilities are

an ever-present reminder to those with whom they live to slow down or modify routines and expectations,  and to include those with different abilities in the tasks of everyday life…the belief that God places special children with specific families for a purpose fosters remarkable inclusion.  Amish-published directories of those with disabilities typically list an occupation–from store clerk to “help around the house”–alongside each person’s name, no matter how severe the person’s limitations.  This underscores the conviction that everyone has something to contribute (p. 168).

It should also be said that not every Amish person is exceptionally hard-working, and this is a trait you can see across some communities as well.  And things like mental illness, which are not as easily explainable, may not be as readily accepted as a physical disability (though a number of mental health institutions for Amish and Mennonite people do good work in this area).

Lisa adds:

incidentally, i would be grateful to have an occasional correspondence, by email or snail mail, with a mennonite or amish woman or family sympathetic to my situation. i read that these people do not have much time to write, but as i don’t have much energy to write, that might work out well! also, is there a tradition of communal praying for the sick? thank you.

Amish will pray for the ill in these situations.  Communal prayer is very important in Amish society but Amish will also pray individually or in family devotions time, often at the beginning or end of the day.

Thanks for your question Lisa, and I’m hoping you will find someone that would like to correspond with you.  Anyone with info is welcome to pass it on to me at ewesner (at) gmail (dot) com which I can then forward to Lisa.

I’m also wondering if anyone else has examples of dealing with disability among Amish–or elsewhere, for that matter?

Broom photo credit: Bryan Costin/flickr

Get the Amish in your inbox

Join 15,000 email subscribers. No spam. 100% free

    Join the Amish America Patreon for bonus videos & more!

    Similar Posts

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


    1. lisa kuhn

      interesting points on illness in amish culture

      hello, thanks kindly for this informative reply. i imagine it cd cut both ways; as you point out, if someone is in fact proud of their work and can’t work it cd be a heavy psychological blow that cd even be hard to admit, or cd cause guilt.on the other hand, the bible teaches us the help the sick and to follow jesus’s example…

      please note that i added a lot more information today about myself and my condition in case someone might be interested in writing, or even is just curious about my situation. i must say that this week i’m feeling unusually sick and am just now awaiting a call from my dr. to see if i need to go on antibiotics for an infection. i feel really awful. thanks to anyone who has offered prayers. i wish everyone a very happy christmas! lisa

      1. Lance

        Please, please, please, no shorthand type or abbreviations! I do not text with cell phones so I don’t know the shorthand words. I have to stop figure out what your shorthand means.

        Please, type out the whole words!

        1. lisa kuhn


          i do not have a cell phone and have never texted in my life, but i use lower case and some obvious abbreviations to save energy and pain from typing…i am sorry if mine are some of the ones you can’t understand(??) lisa

        2. It's okay here

          Lance, I also appreciate full words, but given Lisa’s situation, I hope you’ll understand and let this one slide.

          Lisa I have no problem with you typing however is comfortable for you, so go right ahead.



          1. Lance

            I apologize for being too uptight about that. Meaning is lost when you don’t understand the abbreviation or acronym. I guess I was too upset and should have cooled down before I sent that.



            1. lisa kuhn


              i felt so bad at the anger it made me cry. this is how i’ve typed for years. i don’t know anything about texting or cell phones.pls don’t take me for a sophiisticated texter, i hardly know what it is. i barely can use a computer. if i say i feel ‘ v v sick’ no one has ever said in my past they cdnt figure out ”very’ or even ‘cdnt’. my own brother wonnt” contact me as he sayd he hates me (he is v wicked) but uses as an excuse that i type like a kindergartener. i have a master’s in english and comparative literature. i truly don’t think i use hard to figure out abbreviations. if i do, ignore them please, or ignore me. ican’t do better.also, i am so v sorry but i cant write a lot of people. i want to help every one but can’t. i feel v v sick right now. apparently i also have a bad infection going on and am on antibiotics. i just wanted to find a pen pal and do think about this issue after watching these programs on the amish and i see i’ve opened a can of worms w so much suffering out there. to allof you i send my prayers. i’ve tried torespond to each person but can’t keep it up. you can always write me here or i did give out my email but if i can’t resspond pls know i am truly praying for you and send wishes for all good things. i know no one wanted me to feel worse or end up in tears but right now that is what happened. as i deteriorate i am really trying to keep it together; normally i can but feeling so sick and it being christmas and being rejected by my family as they claim they are atheists and despise the weak is really hard. my mom is dead and often abused me and resented me; my elderly dad is on his 3rd wife and horrifically abused me but won’t admit it or say sorry so i don’t contact him per the advice even of my priest and bishop friends. they are evil people, truly. my dad also never contacts me or helps me though he is wealthy and well. #
              i wish you all a very merry christmas and ask forgiveness if i can’t do more. thanks also to erik for his help and support. god bless, lisa ps now i hope you can all go back to your amish stream on this site; i am glad if i brought up an important issue but idon’t want this to be about me or to change this into an illness support site. there are enough of those.

              1. GreyCatz

                Greetings, Lisa:

                You really don’t have to apologize for your typing; most of us understand what you’re writing perfectly (as you’ve probably noticed from the reactions to your posts).

                This site is open to people from all over the world – in my case Denmark – and we all have our writing traditions, including the occasional misspelling or typo.

                Nobody’s perfect – not even the Amish! (Although they do come pretty close in some respects).

                Joyeux Noël, Lisa.

    2. Valerie

      How Inspiring

      Erik, what a wonderful post-truly inspirational. See what Lisa started with her sufferings, maybe other’s will be encouraged too.
      I have been in that store you mentioned, & it touches ones heart to see the work of those disabled in other ways but not in spirit & effort & skill. What examples.

      Basket making is something that is difficult but I met an Amish woman who learned how to make them in a God given dream, after she was left by her husband & it became her livliehood. Seems they have found many ways outside of legal & government help to survive.

      1. Glad you found it so Valerie, and I thank Lisa for sharing here, which I think led to a pretty broad topic and got me thinking, for one.

    3. Valerie


      We will be praying for you Lisa, & emailing-
      You ARE an inspiration.

    4. Lisa, I will keep you in prayer. My husband is disabled by a stroke and cannot work.

      I have said many times,with regret and sadness, that our lives would be easier if we were Amish. We are Plain people, but not Anabaptist, and our own faith group can be very worldly. My family is Calvinist in background, a faith group that often blaims the victim for sin causing tragedy or ill health. But as Jesus said of blind Bartimaeus, disability is to show the glory of God. It is also an opportunity for a faith group to show compassion and outreach and to reflect God’s grace in caring for those in need.

    5. lisa kuhn

      other ways of looking at illness

      dear magdalena, thanks for the prayers and i am so sorry about your husband.
      i am very ignorant about both plain people and calvinists; my first thought was, could you not choose to be amish? the tiny bit i know about calvinism is that it did seem to me rather harsh at times, and certainly no ill person should be blamed, not even if they brought the ill health on themselves, as in engaging in risky behavior. i totally agree with your last 2 sentences. i try to understand illness as a way to share in jesus’s suffering, which is a grace from god, and i always have had a sense that somehow by living with this suffering i reduce the suffering of someone else in the world, just as jesus’s suffering did.
      personally, i don’t think being worldly per se is an impediment to being compassionate, but maybe it means that these people need to make an extra effort to show their compassion.
      god bless, lisa

    6. Ann

      Disabled Children and Church Services

      If you do a search, you can see the problems many churches have with children with autism, where families have been thrown out, children denied communion, all sorts of things. I’ve tried to look into what goes on with different faiths, but it’s really hard to tell. Since I’m Quaker, and we worship in silence, members offer to take my son for walks or play, and he’s welcome in First Day School. (Sunday School.) We’re a small group, though. Some groups are simply just accepting on the surface, for show, but don’t really do much for families coping with these things.

      1. Church Services

        I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In our local congregation there is a teenager with cerebral palsy. He is welcome at the worship service and the youth classes. He can walk, but he cannot talk or read. During the worship service he can become quite loud, laughing, singing (he makes noises to the melody, not actual words), clapping, all at inappropriate times. When he does that, I usually look around the chapel. Instead of scorn, most people smile. We believe that he is a special young man, chosen by God to avoid the evils of this world. He loves to give hugs, and he makes everybody around him happy.

    7. osiah horst


      Not being able to work because of a disability is one thing – but it is quite another thing to be able to work, but not be able to find a job. In a culture where hard work is normal, being unemployed can be devastating, especially in a community where most people are farmers or self employed. In the last few years, there probably were a number of unemployed Amish in Northern Indiana where most men are employed in factories. While the situation is tougher there, at least the community understands as it affects many.

      1. lisa kuhn


        hello, this is also true of course. i forgot to mention another reason i am blessed: after spending most of my life struggling financially due to an erratic work history, i inherited some money that has allowed me to live. i am thankful for this everyday;i cd not survive otherwise. i do hope things look up for you.
        another related issue is when employers won’t hire the disabled (illegal). god bless, lisa

    8. Lee Ann

      Lisa: I feel for you. My husband had a stroke 2 months ago and has mini strokes every so often. He cannot work and this has been hard on him. I am deaf and so with two disabilities in the house, it can be a challange. We take everything in stride and do the best we can.

      There are many churches that will pray for those in need. Many services to help people like you that cannot work and need help with food, bills, etc.

      I am not Amish, but wouldn’t mind keeping in touch with you.

      Magdalena, we are in the same boat. We could give each other comfort in dealing with our husbands disabilities. Is your husband able to walk or talk? Mine can but has difficulties.

      1. lisa kuhn

        showing kindness

        dear lee ann, thanks for this kindness. i am so sorry yr husband is ill, and i know what it is like to be not 100% one’s self plus have a husband who needs attention. you sound brave to me. god bless, lisa

    9. Alice Mary

      Simple thought...

      In reading about your trials here, Lisa (and others on this blog), I could only feel somewhat useless as to how I could help. I can only offer my good thoughts and prayers, and promise myself to not forget anyone’s suffering on this earth, and to try to do what I can to somehow help make it more bearable, if only to say you are an inspiration to carry on, for the rest of us. (As I write this, I’m waiting for the results of tests on a co-worker and friend who has been battling cancer the past 7 or 8 years. She hasn’t been able to keep food down for a week, and has been hospitalized for several days).

      That said, and in the spirit of the season, “God Bless us, every one.”

      Alice Mary

      1. mary montero

        my prayers

        Im so very sorry to hear of your dear friend, and please know, that they will be in my prayers also. I was looking online for a computer desk and happened to see this God Bless you all

    10. lisa kuhn

      god bless us, every one!

      dear alice mary, you are far from being somewhat useless. that is what is so wonderful about helping the sick, or anyone – it takes so little, just a prayer, a kind word, waiting w/yr co worker for her results. anyway, that’s what i think!you have already done great things and made great promises. i don’t see how you could do more!
      blessings, lisa

    11. GreyCatz

      Working Hard - or Hardly Working?

      Great article, Erik. I’ve often wondered about how Amish handle this situation.

      When it comes to hard work, maybe Amish don’t really have much of a choice. You’re expected to work hard from a very early age and keep going your whole life. And with the traditional agricultural background of the Amish in mind, there will be plenty of work to do – “God’s own job guarantee”, if you will.

      But, suppose you’re Amish AND lazy? Is there such a thing, and how would they react?

      Also, maybe Amish simply define hard work, and job, differently from us? I regularly use the phrase ‘hard work’ to describe my own academic endeavours, but somehow I don’t think the Amish would agree…

      1. Defining hard work among Amish

        Good questions, GreyCatz. I think that particularly with the changes in occupations, it is probably easier for people to see hard work as going beyond the fields and silos. Amish businesspeople having to do paperwork or other non-physical tasks would probably also agree that is hard work.

        And, Amish and lazy, it’s certainly possible! Most Amish are hard-working but you can never say that it is true for everyone. Social norms and pressures encourage and value work, but they haven’t discovered a “hard work gene” among Amish that I’ve heard of 😉

        1. GreyCatz

          Goofing off, Amish-style.

          Thanks for your reply, Erik.

          Your article has illustrated with great poignancy the extent of compassion and out-reach that most of us associate with the Amish.

          The fact that this reaction clearly derives from their deeply held belief that God has a plan for us all, admirable and heart-warming as it is, does however raise some questions:

          What would they do if faced with someone who demonstrably decides to go against the grain on the issue of working?

          Could such a person conceivably be part of God’s plan? (“Well, he’s certainly fit and able-bodied – he just prefers to sit around doing nothing, and if that’s God’s will, then it’s OK with us.”)

          Or would they move for excommunication viewing his behaviour as an affront, or threat even, to the community? (“We’ve done everything, literally, to help him, but he’s just flat-out lazy, and that’s a sin.”)

          One last thing: I’ve realized that my posts might be construed as irreverent or frivolous by some. I mean absolutely no harm or offense at the expense of the Amish or fellow posters. I just happen to find this aspect very interesting and relevant.

          1. GreyCatz, great questions again (And by the way I find your posts quite interesting and not irreverent). I’m going to defer for now to anyone else out here who’d like to take a crack at answering this.

          2. Alice Aber



            I would think that if the Amish knew absolutely certain that a person was “just being lazy” and did not want to work they would first have a talk with that person and yes it could lead to shunning. It is in the bible that if a person (able to work) does not work they should not eat. In otherwords, if you are able to earn your keep, so to speak, then you are expected to do so.

            Conversely, I believe if a person is indeed disabled and not able to work then his/her Amish community will reach out to help them. Amish do not pay into Social Security and therefore would not use Social Security Disability. So I assume like any other medical emergency the community would help.

            I have read several articles over the years where an Amish person was hurt and unable to work for a long period of time due to their injuries the community came together and helped, financially as well as with the household chores and anything else that was needed. I wish the rest of us had such a community!!

            Blessings, Alice

            1. GreyCatz

              Greetings, Alice:

              Thank you for your fine reply. I have no problem accepting your position that the likely result would be shunning; it does make more sense, when you think about it.

              I think my interest in this aspect came from reading about the way Amish seem to rally round people in need in a manner and to an extent that, to me, seems positively angelic.

              Maybe it would be easier for me just to surrender and accept that they’re absolute saints in this regard.

              1. Alice Aber



                I don’t know about absolute saints but I do love their idea of community and helping one another. I remember in my younger days in the area I grew up in, we were like that. Neighbors helped each other, watched out for each other’s kids and were always there in times of trouble to help with whatever was needed. I dare say most people today do not even know most of their neighbor’s names.

                I don’t believe they would immediately shun the person but would talk to him a couple of times first as the bible instructs us to do. Then if that person did not correct their ways then shunning would come. I do not believe most Amish are quick to shun someone and will do everything they can first to get them on the right path again.

                Blessings, Alice

    12. Disable Amish children

      One of the Amish families I do business with has a young man with Down’s syndrome. When I purchased some livestock from the older brother, the young man with Down’s syndrome was right there helping hold the animals as I selected them. Based on that limited view, it seemed that the disabled son was included to best of his abilities.

      1. Great example James, thanks for sharing it.

    13. Alice Aber


      Lisa, while I am not bedridden currently, I have been due to fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. On Thanksgiving I ruptured 2 disks in my lower back and totally messed up the sciatic. I have no income or insurance currently. The doctors will not do any type of surgery until I have some sort of insurance. So I am in the process of applying for SSI so I can then apply for Medicaid. It is a very long process, and I seem to be getting worse each day.

      I have sold most of my personal belongings and am also selling my car to pay for much needed pain killers and muscle relaxers for hopefully a couple of months until I can get the Medicaid going. I do understand what you are going through.

      I am not Amish but if you would like to email I can have Erik send you my email address. I will also add you to my church prayer list and be praying for you myself. Thanks for sharing your story!

      Blessings, Alice

      1. lisa kuhn

        prayers for you

        dear alice, i am so very sorry about your situation. i was diagnosed with fibro about 30 years ago but it is not as bad as the ehlers danlos illness. as i said, i am blessed in that i no longer need to worry about money or health insurance now that i moved abroad. it is a sin that people are stopping health care reform in the usa so everyone can have coverage!i am surprised you need surgery though…
        i hope you have supportive family as i think this is most important along with faith. thanks so much for your prayers which i return. i hope that despite everything you have a blessed christmas. lisa

        1. Alice Aber

          Thanks Lisa!! I am not familiar with danlos illness and will have to look it up. The surgery is for the nerve damage and ruptured disks.

          No, I do not have supportive family but I am indeed strong in faith. I am very blessed in ways other than financial and health. God is so very good.

          Thanks for the prayers and well wishes. Have a very Merry Christmas!!

          Blessings, Alice

          1. lisa kuhn

            support for alice

            hi alice, it is called ehlers-danlos type hypermobile and it is very complex. it affects all the collagen in the body and causes great disability. it is genetic. i think medscape may have info on it; it is too much for me to try to go into it. it caused such unstability in my spin due to weak collagen, eg weak ligaments/tendons, that the column moved and started to crush the cord. in the 7 operations they kept adding more titanium to brace the spine and different levels until now i have the bracing from c1 to d6. the joints are all hypermobile and this causes damage and fatigue. i also have something hyperhidrosis which for me means extreme sweating from my head at the least effort, leading to sweat streaming from my head into my eyes and dropping to the floor. it is really awful.
            i am so glad god is blessing you in other ways and that you know it!have a merry christmas too! lisa

    14. lisa kuhn

      how about starting a support group here?

      hello everyone
      as i am new here i don’t really know how this site works but it seems i really touched a nerve!maybe there is a way that people can come together here to talk about their issues with illness and faith and a place where prayer support can be offered. again, i don’t know as i don’t know about this site really. i would like to give everyone who has shared their own stories of suffering with me a lot of support but i am only one person, with limited energy, and i fear i will not be able to be as present as i would like to for those in need.
      when i first wrote i was looking for a possible pen pal who was amish or mennonite and also looking to understand the role of illness in these groups. i so admire their faith and simple way of living and, i think, acceptance of the crosses in their lives. also,i especially admire, indeed envy, the way the family comes first and how supportive that is; this is something that grievously lacks in my life. it is horrible. anyway, now i see though that there is a real outpouring of pain and many others seem to need support. i honestly don’t know if this is the right place for them to get it or if other forums are more adapted. maybe someone who has been here longer has some ideas. it breaks my heart to see so much pain. blessings to all, lisa

      1. Alice Aber

        Support groups

        Lisa, there are several good support groups online. One might try, dailystrength.org or do a search for rest ministries. I can not remember their web site address off the top of my head. This blog is about Amish in particular and anything relating to Amish, with some about the other Anabaptist and plain groups. Its really not meant to be a support group.

        I do thank Erik for letting us get a bit off topic from time to time, but this really is not the place for a support group. I do understand how you feel though. Seems there are a lot of us dealing with various issues.

        Thanks for the info on your illness, I will look it up as I have not heard of it before.

        Blessings, Alice

        1. lisa kuhn

          support site/penpal

          hi alice
          possibly you misunderstood me. this was exactly my point; i did not want to turn this necessarily into a support group; i saw that it WAS turning a bit into that but what i really meant was that my primary motivation was to find an amish pen pal and touch on these issues of work, illness and spirituality and erik brought up some excellent points!i only suggested there might be a way to find support for all the many people who had a nerve touched by what i wrote and are suffering, and i thank you for your suggestion. i am hoping still to find a penpal and am grateful to erik and valerie who said they might be able to. god bless, ,lisa

          1. Gisa

            Dear Lisa,

            tomorrow I’ll mention your thoughts about work, illness and spirituality during the silent prayer in our church service. And I’ll ask God to find you an Old Order person who will include you in her prayers.

            Better health for you and your husband; Gisa

            1. lisa kuhn

              thanks gisa and question please

              thanks gisa v much for the prayers and for finding an old order to person also to pray. can you kindly explain to me a bit about this old order? happy christmas, lisa

    15. Margaret

      I really appreciated this article. My husband and I have discussed moving to an area with an Amish or Mennonite community in a few years as we get older. My husband comes from a Mennonite family, and I think we could easily adjust to their lifestyle, but the level of work needed in this lifestyle has also concerned me.

      However, your article gave me some things to think about! I have lupus, a chronic illness that has made me modify my life greatly over the past 20-plus years. While I used to be an elementary teacher, now I only work away from home 3 mornings a week, and write for a Christian publishing company from home. It might seem odd to some for me to say this, but I am also thankful for my illness because of what it has taught me about God, myself, and others. It has definitely changed me for the better, even if I am more limited physically.

      My thoughts and prayers go out to Lisa and the others here who are going through very trying situations.Life isn’t always easy, but I’m always amazed by the blessings we can receive from it!

      Love, Hugs, and Prayers,

      1. Margaret, I really appreciate your attitude. If I were in the same situation, it’d probably take a lot of effort to get to that place, if at all. Finding ways to be thankful for burdens–I admire people who can do this.

    16. Natalie

      It’s been a pleasure to read such a nice article. I don’t have any first hand knowledge as to how Amish relate to the disabled/ill. However from reading non-fiction on Amish I understand grandparent houses are built connected to a child’s home where grandparents are aided as needed. I would imagine this varies among families. In fiction readings I have gotten the idea the grandparents move into an added on “Dawdi?” house, retiring sometime in their fifties. If this is true, then many of us acquiring disabilities & immune diseases in our fifties seem to be right on target with “natural?” aging. However, our non- Amish society as a whole appears unprepared to function in such a supportive manner. In fact, it rather appears many aging individuals try to hide ills or or are forever feeling the need to apologize for them. And, so many disabled need attorneys to get SSDI.

      Some years ago, while studying psychology, I learned of foreign countries whose families cared for their own mentally ill members though out life. The mentally ill had a role within the family, family support offered them a sense of love & belongingness, as well as an identity. As a result it was felt serious mental illnesses were were much less disabling. These supported individuals were able to function quite well within the family unit. Unfortunately in our country so many, whether well or unwell, sense a loss of true belongingness.

      Eric, I would love to purchase products like the brooms you discussed straight from the Amish who made the item. Do you have any future plans for compiling such a catalogue or list one could obtain?

      Lisa, I will be thinking about you & praying for you. I hope you have a variety of interests that you may be involved with. It can be hard to be so isolated. I would be interested in communicating with you from time to time.

    17. Al in Ky.

      I have been inspired by the Mast sisters — Dorothy, Alta, and Esther, who have operated the Community Country Store in rural
      Kalona,Iowa, for many years. Alta passed away earlier this year following a brief illness. Alta had been physically disabled for
      many, many years and served as bookkeeper for the store. When
      I visit the store now, I pass by the desk and chair where Alta
      used to sit and miss seeing her. I think there are many similar
      situations in Amish communities throughout the U.S.

    18. lisa kuhn

      thanks for the prayers and a note on laziness and the french view

      dear everyone
      i am so annoyed! i wrote a long letter re laziness issues, the amish program i watched where a father lost his son to drugs, robbery, and jail, about my own faith journey which i rarely talk about, and then whoosh, all disappeared from the screen! i will try to write again when i have the energy. for now i thank you all again for the prayers. i publish my email and address again but PLEASE dear friends if i don’t respond, or not immediately, it is not YOU, it my lack of energy. you all inspire me to remember my illness as a privilege to share in jesus’s suffering and a way to see others’ pain more clearly. so, it lisa.dormousehouse@gmail.com
      lisa kuhn
      dormouse house
      34 rue de medan
      78670 villennes sur seine, france
      i’m afraid i don’t know the postage from the usa; shd be avail on the net or by calling the po.

      i will just add that my husband agrees he is the laziest person in the world despite my illness and it shocks me; it even shocks him but i can’t see throwing him out, as a christian if nothing else.
      also, in france, they ‘hide’ the disabled and don’t make adaptive provisions for them as in the usa.i grew up in san francisco and people there are v enlightened about helping the disabled; they started the movement to demand employment laws, lowered sidewalks and ramps, elevators, etc. incidentally, personally, i don’t consider myself ‘disabled’ as that implies unable. i consider myself handicapped, i guess like golf tho i have never played it.
      i don’t think my husband wd last 2 seconds in an amish community!

    19. Dave

      Here Here

      Excellent piece. This shows ” Love your God with all your mind, all your heart, & all your sould. Love your neighbor as yourself. Merry Chriistmas.

    20. L. Yoder


      If Lisa Kuhn would be in the U.S., somebody could put a shower in THE BUDGET, maybe mentioning that she’s looking for a pen pal. Showers in THE BUDGET newspaper cost 10 cents a word, and it could be a Thinking of You, or Encouragement, or Birthday, or Get Well card shower. Lisa would not be expected to answer any cards or letters; the idea would be to fill her mailbox with cheer. Postage for one ounce to France is 98 cents, but some stamp prices change on 1-22-2012.

      We could announce a shower for free on Amish America, but it’s hard to know how many Amish people would see it. Some Mennonite women might see it. E-mail is free, too. Shall we shower Lisa with correspondence?

    21. lisa

      THE BUDGET kindness!

      Aren’t you a kind soul!! i have not been online for the last week as i have been unusually unwell, then managed to fall down the stairs today while on strong medication so rebroke my ccoycx (tail bone). the dr. came and gave me a shot of morphine.
      i have not heard of THE BUDGET but your thought is so lovely; it really warms my heart. at this time of year, thinking of the amish with their close families, i am sad to not have family close to me, nor many friends, being isolated. i have been heartened by some emails from some amish and friends of amish, and by reading of all of you here.
      god bless you many times over in this new year!! with warmest good wishes, lisa

    22. Hikikomori Hime

      As a wheelchair user w/chronic illness I was curious about this too

      So thank Lisa for asking the question and thank you for the reply. When I lived in PA for two years I had nothing but good experiences when I encountered Amish folks, so it’s great to find out they are working to not only avoid ableism, but actually see us disabled people as worthy and part of the bigger plan.