Any one who visits this part of Indiana needs to go to Menno-Hof to learn about the Amish and Mennonite cultures. It is a beautiful place to spend a few hours.
The next room brought us to the reality of what these people endured at the hands of the authorities who ran the two main religions of the time – Catholic and Protestants.
Yes, in the name of God, these people were jailed, tortured, drowned, burned at the stake and torn asunder. They were nearly wiped out but took to the mountains for safety. One act was cutting the tongue out of the one being executed so they couldn’t preach their message. A book was written about this time in history, Martyrs Mirror.
The next phase of the tour showed us how the people scattered throughout Europe and why the people broke into the different groups: Mennonites, Hutterites and Amish. We walked through a harbor and through the belly of a ship where people were bunked. Ship life was hard and disease killed many.
The people left Europe for America because of William Penn who offered freedom from persecution and freedom to believe what they believed in Christ.
Dale looks at a display that tells what each group believes and practices. This answered many of our questions about who is who.
The next room had information on daily life of the Amish with many facts about their culture. This ended this part of the tour. We were the last left in our tour and had a chance to speak with a wonderful Conservative Mennonite woman. She was very patient with us and tried to answer our questions. Her relief came and she explained more to us. She was a Mennonite raised as Amish.
Our tour ended in the tornado room where we were treated to wind, lightning and a vibrating floor and in the Meeting Room! The point of this room was to show us how the Mennonites and Amish respond to the community after a disaster. Think beyond their own community to other countries. The Meeting Room was a church and how Mennonites worship. Amish worship in their homes, taking turns at each farm.
We enjoyed our time at Menno-Hof and were very glad to be more informed about the two cultures that blend with people like us. This information also gave us a respect for why these people believe as they do and carry out their life in those beliefs.