The Budget is a weekly newspaper for the Amish-Mennonite community, published in Sugarcreek, Ohio since 1980. A scribe from each district sends in a weekly (more or less) letter that summarizes community news: who was born, who died, and all of life in between. Editor Keith Rathbun graciously gave me permission to include excerpts from Budget letters that shed light on the Amish: their family life, their work, their rich sense of humor, and their dedication to faith and church. I read the budget regularly to study the Amish life: how the year’s seasons shape the farm, the variety of occupations the Amish are involved in, the values they believe in. Always, always, they point to god’ sovereignty.

Thought you might enjoy some of these…

A little boy went to his neighbor and asked, “Where’s Henry?” “I’m not sure,” replied Henry’s mother. “If the ice is as thick as he thinks it is, then he’s skating, and if the ice is as thin as I think it is, then he’s swimming.”

—Scribe from Mt. Hope, Ohio

I have learned when you send your husband to town with a grocery list, be careful how you write “oleo.” He might come home with Oreos!

—Scribe from Anabel, Missouri

Three-year-old Kyle likes to sing. His favorite song is “My God is so big, so strong and so mighty; there’s nothing my God cannot do.” His mother listened as he walked around the house singing, trying to understand the last phrase since something didn’t sound right. Finally, she had it! “My God is so big, so strong and so mighty; and I don’t know what to do.”

—Scribe from Spooner, Wisconsin


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