A random book about the Amish turns out to be the best surprise ever…….



Writing a controversial book I knew I would hear words that would sometimes dampen my spirit, but when I get an email that cheers me on, I am delighted.

There is a range of encouraging emails. If you receive emails or letters you know what I mean. Some are; “Oh that is nice.”  To “Oh my, this is amazing!” When you do get one that is so wonderful, you just have to tell others.  I received one of those amazing emails and I just have to share. Names have been changed.


Subject: From a relative in TN.


Hi, Naomi

I have a story to tell about how I got your book and my surprise once I started reading!


My name is Cathy Yoder, I used to live in the Middlefield area until 3 years ago, when we sold our home and moved out of state. We left the Amish about 8 years ago when we accepted Jesus as our savior.


Here’s the story on how your book got into my hands. I had heard of this book called “A Basketful of Broken Dishes” through Joe Keim from Map Ministries in Ashland Ohio.  I work for a lady down here who became very interested in my story and started reading Amish books. I told her about your book. I only knew the title. She bought it and after reading it, she said I could have it!


Well needless to say, I was astounded to be reading my family history!! Simon, your dad would be my great uncle. You speak of people who were my aunts and you even mentioned my grandma. I was so saddened how they had treated you at the funeral you wrote about. I still remember seeing your dad there that day. I don’t recall seeing you. At that time I was still very Amish but had envy for the ones that had the courage to leave.


This past Jan. I was faced with how cruel the shunning practice is. My dad past away and they wanted me to stay and eat, but had to sit alone with my children. At the funeral service they made my husband, myself and all of our children sit away from the rest of the family.


Grieving is one thing but being looked on with scorn puts it into another level altogether. But Jesus got us through.  His Love never fails!! Cathy



Dear Cathy,

What a blessing to receive your e-mail, I feel close to you without even knowing you and I think you know what I mean. My father would be so happy to hear about you becoming a Christian.  He had a burden to reach his family for the Lord and that burden passed down to me.

It has not been easy for me because a few negative responses, about my book, came from Middlefield, so to hear from you just made my day.  I am praising the Lord that you received Jesus as your Savior, nothing is a greater joy.


I would love to hear your story sometime on how you became saved and left the Amish.

Well, I don’t think you may know what a blessing it was to hear from you. Keep the faith and don’t get discouraged about the shunning.  I know it’s hard, but you have done the right thing.

If you don’t mind let’s keep in touch.

I am overjoyed with praise and thanksgiving!

Yes, His love never fails!!!

A relative with love, Naomi




I am over joyed that you took the time to respond to my email!! I feel a kindred spirit between us. I would love to meet you some day.

We will be up in Ohio for a wedding. Not sure if that would be a possibility but I am giving you my cell number. If you want to call you are welcome to.


I always wanted to meet your father and never got the chance to. We left the Amish in 2004 and started going to a Mennonite church. We are very good friends with some retired pastors there, they are like grandparents to us. They are the ones who helped clarify what Jesus did for us! Well if I would write my story here it would take a long time so maybe Lord willing we will get to talk and better yet, meet face to face! Well I hope you have a good night!! God Bless




Cathy and I did meet in Middlefield one Saturday afternoon and we couldn’t get enough of each other. We talked non-stop.  I ended up meeting her whole family and what a treat.  Cathy also has a story that needs to be told and I encouraged her to start writing. I also wanted Cathy to write a conclusion for this blog and this is what she wrote. Thank you Cathy, you truly are a blessing to me!



A random book about the Amish turns out to be the best surprise ever…….

Almost 3 years ago my husband and I, along with our 5 children migrated to the great state of Tennessee, after suffering many heartaches from our Amish families because of shunning. Never did I realize while I was still living in Ohio that I had an amazing cousin who lived not too far away.

I started my own cleaning business about a half year after we moved here. Everybody I cleaned for I’ve told my story to, so naturally they had many questions for me. One day about a year ago I started cleaning for an older lady who was already reading Amish fiction books and was beyond excited when she found out I used to be Amish. So naturally we had many discussions about the fact and fiction that’s floating everywhere on the news, internet etc…. So I told her about a few book titles that would shed some true light into secluded Amish living and one of these titles was “A Basket Full of Broken Dishes” which I had heard from Joe Keim. Needless to say she bought the books, the next cleaning date came, she handed me one of the books and wanted me to have it as a gift. I brought it home and didn’t read it till the end of that week. Once I started reading I couldn’t put it down and I was in for the ride of my life.

It wasn’t but a half dozen pages that I realized that I was literally reading history, but not just anybody’s history but mine. I couldn’t help but cry and laugh at the same time. Naomi was writing about great-uncles, great grandparents whom I have never met, but then also grandparents who I loved dearly as the story unfolded. I was so saddened by the treatment Naomi and her family had to endure, but not unlike how we ourselves where treated.

So now I had read the book and the shock wore off, I just had to get in contact with this author. I put my fear aside and emailed Naomi, She wrote back!! Than last fall in October we were in Ohio for a friend’s wedding, Naomi and I decided to meet, the best decision ever! Can anyone give God a handclap of praise, I feel He had ordained this in both our lives at exactly this time. I give all the praise to him and glory to His name!!  I love you Naomi!

Comments are closed.