I Am Hutterite

I read this book by Mary-Ann Kirkby, I Am Hutterite.


Here is what Amazon says about it:

A Fascinating journey into the heart and culture of a reclusive religious community.

I Am Hutterite takes readers into the hidden heart of the little-known Hutterite colony in southern Manitoba where author Mary-Ann Kirkby spent her childhood. When she was ten years old her parents packed up their seven children and a handful of possessions and left the security of the colony to start a new life. Overnight they were thrust into a world they didn’t understand, a world that did not understand them.
Before she left the colony Mary-Ann had never tasted macaroni and cheese or ridden a bike. She had never heard of Walt Disney or rock-and-roll. She was forced to reinvent herself, denying her heritage to fit in with her peers. With great humor, Kirkby describes how she adapted to popular culture; and with raw honesty her family’s deep sense of loss for their community. More than a history lesson, I Am Hutterite is a powerful tale of retracing steps and understanding how our beginnings often define us.

Controversial and acclaimed by the Hutterite community, Kirkby’s book unveils the rich history and traditions of her people, giving us a rare and intimate portrait of an extraordinary way of life.

I think that is a great summary. This book has made me think lot about this family. I finished it a few nights ago but they are still in my thoughts.  I am not a “thriller” type person. I have shared that many times. I like real accounts of tragedy…real experiences, inspiring stories and I am a hopeless romantic. So of course my opinions are going to be different from someone who wants to get lost in a mystery thriller or something. I have been really interested in reading about different cultures & religions. It started when I was in college studying “Women’s studies” So most of the books I read are from a women’s perspective. Women tend to write more about feelings & emotions ….that’s where we are driven. So I tend to relate to those more often and therefore choose my books based on that, mostly.

I read the books by Rhonda Jantzen about her conversion & healing. It gave you a bit of a glimpse into the Mennonite community. But it was really more about her healing in her adult journey. I loved the books they were a light read with lots of good humor. This book, I am Hutterite,  really gives you a full look from a girls perspective of the Hutterite community. You also learn the differences of a Hutterite community. Until reading this book I didn’t know how they were different from Amish, Mennonite or FLDS. If you think of a colony, commune, compound…..you may think they are all the same from a secular point of view. But they aren’t. So it was nice to learn about that.

But like in all good stories you see the way God works in their lives. They take a risk …a leap of faith…..A HUGE one and in the end they are better off in the safety of God’s hands rather than the safety of the colony.   Even in a God center community that believes their lives are God centered and they are CHOSEN people that sin grabs hold and they are no longer living for God but themselves. In the end this family crosses all barriers of race, creed, religion and come to love. They are a great example of God’s love to everyone around them. They were able to do more work for God outside of their community than inside. It’s a beautiful story.

There is a funny story that I literally had to laugh out loud while reading. Once the family leaves the colony….they are really struggling to find a home church. They are in all sorts of culture shock anyway. But then the kids get invited to a summer church camp. Obviously a very Charismatic church camp…..where they are doing some sort of revival. They have no idea why the preacher is thumping people on the head and people are falling down. They think something really bad is happening.  When the preacher thumps on her head she is trying with all her might to stay up and fight back…:) The next day after they think they have survived that and fought through. The preacher is trying to get them to speak in tongues. He has no idea that they hardly know English so the gal starts talking in her native tongue out of fear asking him what is going on and if he is crazy. He immediately thinks she has been captured by the spirit. Hearing all of this from her perspective is hilarious…….but also goes to show that some preachers are crazy & have no discernment. LOL

I can say that I am part of the “english” world. The secular world and I would have issues with all of that too!

I am also watching the show on TLC called “Breaking the Faith”

I have seen one season of Breaking Amish and I wasn’t really a fan. I think they are all off the deep end and they are just drinking & having sex. You don’t really get a glimpse into their struggles for Amish verses secular life.  I have also been a fan of , Sister Wives from the beginning. They are a sect of LDS not to be mistaken for FLDS or LDS. They explain the differences.

However, Breaking the Faith, takes you right from the compound (the creek…they say Crick) to a safe house and the struggles these girls are having breaking away from the FLDS compound.

FLDS is Fundamentalist Latter Day Saint. Not to be mistaken for LDS or Mormons that we in the secular world know. They explain some of the differences in the show as well.  FLDS is managed by Warren Jeffs the pedophile who was convicted of marrying young girls and having sex with them. Even from prison he is still controlling his people. In extreme ways. They are still listening to him. Everything has been banned from the creek: Sex ( with spouses unless approved by Warren), Sugar, toys, socializing, sports, dancing, Girls re not allowed to ride bikes, no swimming, no dairy unless you reach a perfect status within the community then you can be approved to eat dairy.

There is so many things that he teaches wrong. They text books are false & say that he is the President of the USA. Kids are not educated at the compound. They are basically there to work from dawn til dusk. There is nothing left of a human spirit in these people. I am not sure how they keep going. But the few girls that have gotten away and living in safe houses are struggling to be in society. These people have not learned how to communicate or talk about feelings. They have been conditioned not to have them….so react poorly with each other with so much freedom. They are struggling with what they are hearing, seeing & feeling. So much unbelief and doubt. It’s very interesting to watch. They have recordings of Warren Jeffs teachings throughout the show…I find that part creepy. I don’t like listening to him. But It helps teach us why they are the way they are.

Just thought I would share. It’s fascinating to see & read about these different communities. I think no matter where you are ….you are there for a reason. It’s up to each of us to Listen to our inner spirit and follow our paths.


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