Growing Up In A Hutterite Colony
by Peter Tschetter
Trafford Publishing

"I doubt they even saw me. I was promptly knocked down on my back, and all I could see was horse bellies and flying feet."

Interest in the Amish has risen sharply over the last twenty years or so. Movies and books depicting their rural communities, old-fashioned dress code, and traditional beliefs have become commonplace, but what many people may not realize is that the Amish are not the only Christians who follow these practices. For example, the Hutterites observe somewhat similar traditions and have been in the Americas since the 1800s. Currently, 462 Hutterite colonies representing three distinct branches of the faith are scattered throughout the plains states and up into Canada. The author grew up in one of these colonies in the 1930s 40s and offers his readers a unique insider's view of a people and way of life that have received only limited attention from much of the outside world.

This is not a dry treatise of Hutterite history, but rather an engaging portrait of what it was like to live in one of these small colonies as a child. He shows the reader through his memories how dangerous and difficult life could be when working around large animals and using outdated farming equipment, but he also offers glimpses of close family interactions and a communal spirit that are often missing from modern society. He does not avoid criticizing practices within the lifestyle of the past that he saw as detrimental, nor does he condone the non-Biblical attitudes he perceives as undermining the Hutterite colonies of today. Yet despite his pointing out of the problems within the community, what comes across most in the book is his appreciation of the culture inn which he was brought up and his desire to see it restored to its true scriptural roots.

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