Amish Cousin Comes To The Rescue!

 

There are some feelings you just can’t shake off. You know something isn’t right. You go on. Hoping, hoping when you wake up, the feelings of rejection would not be true.

 

Being busy with all the summer activities scheduled on our farm, especially with the house and garden tour, I didn’t have time to really focus on the genealogy book. Yet, it was always a nagging feeling tucked in the business of life, facing me each morning. I had to get the book published this year.

 

The manuscript was at the publishers. Actually, believe it or not the publisher I was working with was Amish. He’d ask, “Have you decided on how many copies you will be ordering?”

 

I would hesitate each time, giving a lame reason on why I hadn’t decided. Finally after the fourth contact with him, I said, “I’m not sure how my Amish relatives will respond, because I wrote a book about my family and some do not like it. I think they may shun me.”

 

He replied, “I don’t know anything about your book but, I’m sure it will not make a difference in them purchasing the genealogy book. It is a totally different kind of book.”

 

But the nagging feelings didn’t go away. I had to find out if my Amish relatives would buy the Schmucker genealogy book before ordering and spending thousands of dollars. So I got an idea to send out postcards to my 120 first cousins to see if they would preorder.

 

I found 100 addresses of my first cousins and sent out a lovely postcard, asking them to preorder and pay. I gave them a two week deadline.

 

I only receive 18 postcards back. Written on one postcard was: We will not buy this book, because of your book, “A Basketful of Broken Dishes. Short and to the point.

 

I had my answer. Didn’t like it, but that is, what it is. So now what was I to do? Compiling the Schmucker genealogy book was one big task that took years. Now what? Well, of course I prayed and I knew God was in control, but that didn’t make it any easier on me. I don’t like rejection. Who does? This was probably the hardest task and situation I have ever encountered, but I knew I just couldn’t stop. I had to do something, so I wrote this letter.

 

August 28, 2012

 

Dear Cousins,

 

It has been a privilege to work on the Schmucker Genealogy book for the past eight years. I located Carlisle Press in Sugarcreek and have worked with them to come up with a plan for publishing the book. With a family as large as Jonas Schmucker we decided to go with printing 300 books. The publisher came up with the price of $26 a book, plus shipping and taxes. The more books you buy the cheaper the books.

 

I already paid for the printing and sending out of over 100 postcards to get an idea of how many books we would need to print. Thank you to those who ordered but, to my surprise, I only received 18 postcards back and orders equaling only 56 books. So that means the price goes way up and the book no longer can be $26.

 

It is with great thought and regret that I have to cancel and put a stop to printing the genealogy book. I have decided not to pay out the thousands of dollars to print this book if there is little interest. I am a person who likes to complete a goal, but it seems that this goal for me was to only gather the information and for someone else to see it through to completion.

 

I would appreciate and suggest that a person, who can stir up more interest, would take on the responsibility to see the manuscript through publication. If you are interested please contact me and I will give you information from Carlisle Press. I will give you written permission to review, edit, figure out number of books and pricing, pay for the printing, ship/deliver books and distribute extra books for sale. It seems like a huge task, but I am sure there is someone or a group of people to take on this responsibility.

 

If you would like to have the books printed before Christmas, someone will have to contact me right away so I can connect you with Carlisle Press to get things underway.

 

For the ones who ordered, thank you for your support, I appreciated it, but unfortunately there were not enough orders. Your check is enclosed and returned because the offer is no longer available. I will keep the 18 postcard orders and give them to the person or group who will be printing the books, so they will have your order and they can contact you when they are ready.

 

I considered it a joy to meet and visit with many of you; I hope you will accept my genealogy manuscript as a labor of love.

 

Sincerely,

 

Naomi Stutzman

 

That following week an Amish first cousin called and told me he would do anything to help me. I have met and worked with him several times. He has taken on all the responsibilities and all I have to do is be the middle contact person with the publisher. I was told that the Amish would not buy the book from me. They would buy it only if an Amish person would take over. I also had to have their names added in the copyright and acknowledgments, which I had no problem in doing.

 

Did they think I would be making money on this? Trust me, with all my time and the money I have already spent on programs, gas, postcards, postage etc. I still would be losing money with the book at $50. I did this project out of love and didn’t want any money from it.

 

Some of the Amish wanted to let me know what they thought of me, but God took that difficult situation and turned it into something good for me. I don’t have to put out all that money and don’t have to do all the work I wrote about in the letter above. A blessing I am thanking God for.

 

I am still receiving negative feedback from my relatives. One last week was an Amish cousin who caught me by surprise and told me some things that almost made me speechless. To top it off she added that I should no longer sell my book “A Basketful of Broken Dishes” because it isn’t true. Then she said, “But we just have to forgive you.” I did manage to say, “I know God wanted me to write the book. I wrote the book because I wanted the Amish to know that Jesus came to set you free, and living like you do will not earn your way to heaven.” My cousin said, “We know that! We live this way because want too.”

 

In my blog – 6,334 Genealogy Entries – My Amish Relatives! January 29, 2012

 

I wrote: I have heard many different opinions from my Amish relatives, ranging from positive to accusing me of slander. If only the Schmucker genealogy book would have been delivered before my book, “A Basketful of Broken Dishes” was published, and then I wouldn’t have to face my Amish relatives if I didn’t want to.

 

I also wrote:

 

I am in great anticipation, wondering what God has planned.

 

If the Schmucker genealogy book would have been published before my book “A Basketful of Broken Dishes” then I wouldn’t see how wonderful my God continues to be. God took my situation of rejection and blessed me far better than I ever imagined.

 

Yes, there are some feelings I thought I couldn’t shake off. I knew something wasn’t right. I went go on. Hoping, hoping when I woke up, the feelings of rejection would not be true.

 

But the truth is, I have been rejected and nothing is going to change except me. I have found that I am a better person because of this trial. I can now shake it off and consider it pure joy.

 

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 NIV

 

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