Nellie and her family have always been Amish. However, recently, they have found joy in the gift of salvation and the assurance of eternal life with Jesus. This was not an easy thing for them, or for anyone in their Amish community, to accept. It goes against the things taught in the Old Order. It caused a great split in the church, and caught in the middle, Nellie and her beau are torn apart: Nellie accepting salvation, and her beau firmly rejecting it as heretical and prideful. Will Caleb ever find the joy Nellie has found, or will he find it too late, as his distant cousin becomes enamored with Nellie.
- Caleb’s father is kicked in the head by a mule.
- Caleb, who had been shunned by his father for pursuing Nellie, is asked to come back home and run the farm.
- Nellie and her sister, Nan, go to visit their sister Rhoda.
- Rhoda has left home and is living with her brother’s family and working as a waitress. She is becoming more “worldly” every day.
- Nellie and Nan meet Christian Yoder and his family who knew Nellie’s younger sister who died.
- Nellie’s dad offers help to Caleb’s family and is refused.
- Nellie and her sister and mother bake food and goodies for Caleb’s family, and they are also refused.
- Caleb’s father will not accept anything from anyone who has left the Old Order church.
- Chris offers to help Caleb with the milking. They begin to rekindle an old friendship.
- Chris stops by Nellie’s Sweet Shop each week after helping with the milking just as an excuse to see Nellie.
- Rhoda cuts her hair, moves out of her brother’s house and into the second level apartment of Ken, her worldly boyfriend.
- Reuben, Nellie’s father continues to offer help to Caleb’s father and is continually refused. He continues praying for him daily.
- Rhoda discovers that Ken has no interest in having children ever.
- They fight, and their relationship abruptly comes to an end.
- Nan invites Nellie to a singing where the young people hang out and then meet up secretly with their beaus.
- Nellie is asked to ride with a boy and although she’s not sure about any relationship, she goes.
- Their carriage breaks down.
- Chris happens upon them on his way home and offers to give Nellie a ride home.
- Chris decides that he needs to get to know Nellie better.
- Chris asks Nellie to go get ice cream with him, and she agrees.
- Chris and his father go to visit Caleb’s father whose health is declining quickly.
- Chris’s father gives Caleb’s father the message of salvation very bluntly.
- Caleb’s father accepts the free gift of salvation.
- Caleb’s father makes amends with others including Caleb and Rueben.
- Caleb’s father’s drastic change confuses Caleb.
- Caleb’s father dies and his funeral is conducted by both the Old Order and the New Order preachers. (Completely untraditional.)
- Caleb accepts the gift of salvation.
- Chris sends Caleb to meet Nellie on their next scheduled meeting knowing that the two still love each other and now that they both believe and have accepted salvation they can rekindle their relationship.
- Rhoda finds that she is not finding the joy she thought she would in the world and returns home, though she and her parents agree on some changes.
- Nellie and Caleb marry.
Everyone must choose what to believe on their own. They cannot believe one way just because it’s what a loved one wants them to believe. The power of prayer is extraordinary. When things look to be out of control and no hope is easily seen, God is still there and is still in control. God wants to hear our hearts’ deepest desires, He already knows them anyway. When we pray for specific things we get two things that are missed out on from general prayers. When our prayers are answered, we see them and give glory to God, and when we see them, our faith in increased.
Ideas for Use in Class
Studying the Amish would be a good way to educate students about different people groups while introducing them to Biblical principles. This book presents a lot of different interesting ideas on how people deal with differences. Some people shun those who don’t agree with them. Others try to ignore differences. And others accept people as they are but pray for their hearts to change. How to deal with differences is a very important thing for students to learn. - SM