Amish Encouragement, One Prescription at a Time

by Clinton Martin

You never know when you are going to come across something small that affects you in a big way.  I was walking up and down the aisles of the local “Amish Walmart” and noticed a curious-looking, medicinal-shaped bottle on one shelf.  

I picked it up thinking it might be some dubious “snake oil” aimed at snookering an unaware Plain person, but this wasn’t medicine at all, at least not the kind you wash down with a glass of water.  Rather this was a pill bottle filled with little capsules of encouragement.  Not medicine for the body, but a lift for the soul.  

Each bottle contained 50 capsules.  Inside each tiny pill-sized vessel was a little piece of paper, wound tight into a little scroll.  You pop open the capsule and unroll the paper.  On it is an encouraging excerpt from scripture, a poem of positivity, or a ditty of determination.  Just think, take one “dose” from your bottle each day, and you’ve got a 50-day regimen of encouragement.  

Of course, I purchased one.  I just haven’t decided who among my circle of friends needs the RX written.  I did notice however that the purchase supported a charitable aim.  These bottles are made by hand, with a lot of talent I might add, by the local charity, “Aquilla Villa Girls’ Ministry.”  

This meaningful organization describes itself as a “discipleship ministry and loving home environment for hurting girls.”  It was created to specifically help single girls, aged 18 through 40, of Anabaptist (Amish, Mennonite, and others) backgrounds face life’s challenges.  Depression, abuse, suicidal thoughts, behavioral issues, and eating disorders are often what lead to girls entering residency with Aquilla Villa.  A typical stay is six to twelve months.

The days at Aquilla Villa are filled with various activities, times of devotion and worship, but also opportunities to make and create things, including these precious “50 Day Cards in a Bottle.”  Each bottle came with a theme on it, such as Get Well, Victory, Happy Mothers, In His Service, Friend to Friend, and Birthday.

If you happen to be in a Plain Community store while you are in Lancaster County, keep your eye out for these worthwhile gifts.  They’ll help cheer someone you know while helping a young lady digging out from under a heavy burden.