Our driver came that Saturday morning to take us to that little New Order Amish community in Illinois. While we were loading our suitcases and fastening the childrens car seats he stood there watching us and talking in a streak. By the time we got a few miles down the road we had already heard all the biggest points of his life history.
This was the first time we had ever had him to go any where and we were fast becoming weary of his non-stop chatter as he was now filling us in on all the other points of his life. I felt a little guilty for almost being happy when the van had a flat tire and he had to change it. A few moments of silence where I could actually have my own thoughts seemed nice.
The tire was fixed before long and we were on our way again. We arrived at the bishop's house and he and his wife came out to welcome us. They were a very friendly older couple and after we all had supper we visited for a little while and went to bed. The next morning we were wakened by a loud voice on the other side of our bedroom wall. After listening for a little we heard that it was the bishop and he was praying, using his own words instead of the usual written prayers the Amish use.
We tried not to listen too much but his voice was loud and clear and we didn't have much of a choice. This seemed different. After thinking there should be no limits on prayer it still felt a little funny to actually hear someone speak his thoughts so loudly and earnestly to God.
After breakfast we joined them to go to church. Since this was a New Order church they had a church house which seemed really nice once again. After church they had all the members stay in to work with some sort of problem. It was nice to have a glimpse of how their church worked in instances like that, but I wasn't feeling as if this was the right place. I couldn't quite put my finger on why I felt like I did since there was nothing about this place that was showing any positive no's but I still shrank from the thought of moving to this community.
To be continued