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What does it mean to be Amish?  This is a question that most of us will never ask ourselves, as there are only about 250,000 Amish people in North America.  However, most of us will wonder about our heritage. We can order a DNA kit for detailed descriptions of family trees. Many of us can even travel back to the country of our ancestors or, at the very least, attend a nearby festival celebrating our roots.  

For sisters Diane (73) and Lorraine (69), connecting with their Amish culture proved much more difficult.  They grew up listening to stories about their grandparents, who lived an Amish style life in nearby Cleveland, Ohio.  They live in a community provided to them by GHC Housing Partners where they have been given an affordable housing option.  They longed to visit and experience the natural beauty of the village and connect with their Amish heritage.

Though they only lived three hours away from the nearest Amish community, Diane and Lorraine were never able to afford a visit to explore the traditions that their grandparents had talked so much about.  Between caring for family members while struggling to make ends meet and balancing a tight work schedule, the stress took its toll on the sisters.  They were never able to take the time for themselves to make the trip.

On June 12, 2018, Wish of a Lifetime was thrilled to reunite the sisters with a piece of their grandparents’ memory by arranging a visit to the nearby Amish village of Sugarcreek.  Diane and Lorraine were elated to take three days for themselves to reconnect with their family history and learn more about their Amish heritage. Lorraine’s daughter, Kristine, and her children joined the sisters, and the family spent two wonderful days exploring Amish life.  

“I learned things I never knew before and could have never learned from a book,” Lorraine said, “We really enjoyed being able to experience this unique way of life and show my family Amish culture.”  

Diane and Lorraine strolled through Sugarcreek, enjoying the natural beauty of the village and watching as the Amish people tended to their gardens and animals and went about their days.  They couldn’t help but be overwhelmed knowing that they were experiencing the same traditions their grandparents treasured.

After visiting Sugarcreek, Diane and Lorraine couldn’t be more grateful.  Their short visit was something they never dreamed would happen, and they were so appreciative for the illuminating journey into their grandparents’ culture and the relaxing time in the countryside.  The trip proved to be a much needed time of rest and the perfect way to create a new memory that can forever bring them joy.