Amish Country’s Connection to Haiti

The Amish don’t have missionary agencies within their community, but that is not to say the Amish aren’t involved with aid and outreach to the world outside their borders. Those Amish who are interested in helping the less fortunate link up with well-established organizations run by their “spiritual cousins” as AmishAmerica blog publisher Erik Wesner puts it. 

This would include agencies such as the Mennonite Central Committee and the Mennonite Disaster Service. Christian Aid Ministries is also a popular agency for Amish looking to help ease suffering around the world. 

One of the biggest events on many Amish people’s calendars each year is the wonderful PA Haiti Benefit Auction. This event is operated by a consortium of many churches, with heavy involvement from the local Amish, to raise funds for the Nation of Haiti. The 2022 event takes place Friday, July 15 (Supper begins at 4:30 p.m.) and Saturday, July 16 (Auction begins promptly at 8:00 a.m.). The annual auction is run as a fully independent charity, with its own purpose and vision.

Purpose & Vision  Our purpose is a cooperative effort of many churches and individuals to procure funds for qualifying missions — enabling them to share God’s love in Haiti. Our vision is to see Haitians use even limited resources in sustainable agriculture and other self-help programs, providing water wells and clinics. Assisting in education, distributing Christian literature, coordinating teaching ministries, and providing disaster relief. Our ultimate goal is for them to know the Lord Jesus Christ. All this as we “consider the cause of the poor and needy”.

The purpose and vision of course takes money to accomplish, and that’s where this annual benefit auction comes in. Everything that is sold at the auction is donated by area residents and businesses. Much of it is brand new merchandise. 

The items up for bid (both live and silent auctions) vary greatly. Household goods, furniture, outdoor equipment, carriages, hunting equipment, artwork (including one of the famous Zook 3D diorama paintings), crafts, over 60 handmade quilts, and even a full-sized pole building – the winning bidder receives on-site construction of the building!  

This auction is massive and includes innumerable items from big to small. Plus, there is a great variety of food items for purchase. 100% of the food sale proceeds (just like the auction items) is donated to the cause, so come hungry and ready to support Haiti with your appetite. Entertainment is provided by the “Grateful Voices” (Gospel Singing)

The auction is held in the hamlet of Bird-in-Hand, a Lancaster County village in the heart of the Amish countryside. The auction grounds are at the intersection of Route 340 (Old Philadelphia Pike) and Ronks Road. GPS directions:  338 N. Ronks Rd., Bird-in-Hand, PA 17505. If you are fortunate enough to be in Lancaster County on July 15 and 16, 2022, come to this amazing event and rub elbows with the Amish community, helping those less fortunate in Haiti. 

— Clinton Martin