Heath Fair and Introducing “Rebecca”

So last Sunday was the Heath Fair. I ate no fried dough, I stayed away from cotton candy (what I think of as colored steel wool), and I took no rides. For me it was fun to walk around and see the people, hear authors speaking in the authors’ tent, listen to music, see the animals, and watch the parade. And it was fun to experience all this through the eyes of “Rebecca” who just left the Amish a few months ago. (This is the name she chose to protect her identity).

I talked about my book in the authors’ tent and Rebecca was in the audience. I introduced her to the small group and told them that she was newly out of the Amish. She had brought some baked goods and baskets, and sold some right there. John and Betsy Kovacs from Pleasure Boat Studios were gracious to accommodate all this.

There are so many firsts when you leave the Amish. Rebecca had never been to a music concert before, and there was a wonderful band there: The Sweetback Sisters. I think Rebecca felt like getting up and dancing a few times, but she said she didn’t know how. The look on her face as she was listening to the music was like the pure joy you see on a child’s face when she is experiencing something for the first time. Rebecca and I enjoyed talking to several band members after the show.

Rebecca moved to our house three nights ago. She is right now sitting on the front porch, listening to music and weaving her baskets. This is her fifth week baking from our kitchen, and the word is spreading, so she is garnering a nice following for her baked goods and her baskets. She will probably exhibit her baskets in local fall festivals besides selling them from here on our porch. Below is a photo of some of them. If you see one you like, please email me and let me know: salomafurlong[at]gmail.com. We can probably work something out for payment in which you would send me a check and then I give her the money. She doesn’t have a bank account yet because she doesn’t have a social security number.

Sampling of Rebecca’s homemade baskets

Watching Rebecca find her way in the outside world reminds me so much of my own experiences when I was newly out of the Amish. Interesting that she came into my life at the time when I am writing about this particular segment of my life. Sometimes things just work out that way. I find it a confirmation that I am in the right place doing the right thing at the right time.

We don’t want to reveal where Rebecca is from, but if you have questions for her that can still protect her identity, she would be willing to answer them for you. What questions do you have for someone just out of an Amish community?

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13 thoughts on “Heath Fair and Introducing “Rebecca””

  1. Rebecca’s baskets are beautiful.

    Regarding questions, would Rebecca perhaps like to tell us a bit what it has been like this far to be out of the Amish? It must be a very emotional experience, both good and bad, at least I would guess so myself.

  2. Please let Rebecca know that I wish her well and will be praying that she will find her place in life with peace in her heart.
    I have a question for Rebecca, and I’d also appreciate if you would answer my question, too, Saloma: Which was held in higher esteem in your church district, the Bible or the Ordnung?
    Thank you for letting us ask questions.
    Trusting you all have a great weekend!

  3. My question is always the same, what was the reason for leaving the Amish? I thank God Rebecca is with you and David. I can’t think of a better place for her to get through the culture shock and all that goes with such a move.

  4. The baskets are beautiful! I would like to know why Rebecca decided to leave the Amish. I’m curious to know whether it was similar to your reasons.
    This is a question for both of you: How much do the Amish know about the “English” world?

  5. Rebecca, the baskets are so pretty! You’re very talented.

    I like the questions posed by everyone else and hope you can answer in one or two posts so I don’t miss any.

    My question is: has Rebecca had a chance to begin attending a Bible-believing church since she left? I believe that’s a hugely important step in her journey, one that will provide a whole community of support in addition to yours, not to mention setting her on a path to healing. Thanks for answering.

  6. Welcome Rebecca! The baskets are beautiful. I’d love to see a price list. You are in the perfect place, you’ll learn so much from Saloma and David. I wish you well and would like to know why and how you left. Vicki

  7. I just got done watching the new “The Amish” movie for the first time. I really enjoyed it and had hoped that I would find your blog. I am so glad I did. I have a question about Christianity and the Amish. I am a member of the church of Christ. Do you allow us to email you with questions?


  8. Has Rebecca had contact with anyone from her community since she left? Are you, Saloma, prepared for a knock at your door? If that were to happen, how would you handle it?

    good luck to Rebecca.

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