In my novel, The Half-Stiched Amish Quilting Club, the people who came to take Emma Yoder’s quilting class were as different as night and day. At first, those differences bothered the characters, and in fact, some were even irritated by the way the other would-be quilters looked, acted, or spoke. But in the end, everyone in Emma’s class learned to accept the others, despite their differences, and some even became good friends.

My husband and I spend as much time as possible with our Amish friends. And even though we dress differently, speak a different language, and live a different lifestyle, we have found common ground and enjoy being with each other. A few days ago we visited the Rolling Ridge Animal Farm in Holmes County, OH, with two of our Amish friends. We had so much fun, laughing, visiting, and feeding the animals on our wagon ride.

We have learned that we don’t have to be the same in order to have a friendship with those who are different from us. We just have to accept them for the way they are and look for things that can bind us together in love and friendship.

Do you know someone who’s different from you, and yet you’ve become good friends? In what ways have you developed your friendship and made it stronger?


  1. I’ve had friends a lot different in many ways but we became friends . One of my next door neighbors was a Mormon . She nick named me Mary Mennonite . I met the Elders when they came to see her , even got a Blessing the day before I had surgery . She , her children & I became very close friends . I’m sorry to say she passed on leaving 4 young children behind . She was only 48 , she had Lupus .

    Friends are special even when we don’t have things in common .

  2. When I look out my window, I can see the different colors of grasses, and the many colors of flowers and the many different trees that grace my view and I think how beautiful !! When i decorate my Chriastmas Tree, I look at all the shapes and colors of the ornaments and think how beautiful they are. When I read a Wanda Brunstetter’s book, in my mind I see her beautiful ability to creat characters – all different and beautiful people . And – the truest wish in my heart is that we could all live together in life just as these things. That each of us would be able to co-mingle in beauty, peace, and love each other as God has asked of us .

  3. Sally Roehr says:

    enjoyed reading “Differences” . There is a quote I like, I do not know the author. It is: “Christians may not see eye to eye, but they can walk arm in arm.”

  4. cathy zimmerman says:

    I attended The Confession Musical tonight and was thrilled to see you there and get to meet you. I was pleased to hear that you will be doing book
    signing locally, hope to see you again.

  5. Kathy Milburn says:

    Yes I have..My now daughter in law..she’s from Equador, moved here to the US only 5 years ago, my son and her been married slightly over a year now, but when I first met her, I thought NOW..how am I going to understand her, or her understand me, seeing she spoke mostly Spanish, amd me, ALL English…was somewhat tough, but over time we got through it, and now shes taking English classes, as my son is taking Spanish classes

  6. I went to tbe Berlin area (Holmes Co.)For in May looking for some furniture. Went to a shop just outside Mt. Hope a d made our purchase. Hade some great conversations with tbe A.ish shop owner Ivan Yoder. Very nice man.

  7. I have many friends of different religions, my grandkids are Muslim now, but God loves them all and if I do not love them I cannot lead them to Jesus…but my friendship does not depend on them coming to Christ….it is based on love, love that Jesus gives me for them whether saved or not. One of my most unusual friends is a gal who has been in a wheelchair since birth, spunky, fairly new Christian that is pretty outspoken but I love her dearly.

  8. as lije all your books that I have read half stitched amish quilt is one of my favorites,and belive me I love your books,I have brides of lancaster county,except for looking for a miracle(out of print)I have searched and searched,can’t find it,I have daughters of lancaster county,brides of webster county,sisters of holmes co,indiana cousins trilogy,brides of leigh canal,kentucky brothers,love finds a home,love finds a way,lydia’s charm’half stitched amish quilting club,lookout lancaster co.-rachel yoder.out of control,growing up in lancaster co.’white christmas pie, if you ever knew me, you would know that I always hated to read anything.I have been disable to work for awhile now (2 years) since, I have learned to love reading(you are my fav) but I have a collection of authors that help me through the days,since I can’t do much of anything else.I love your books,I hope GOD richly blesses you in all you do,keep up the good work. freida

  9. saw the musical”half stitched” and loved it!!!i had read the book. the actors really portrayed the characters so good.such a diversified group but they learned to like each other.

  10. saw rhe musical “half stitched” after i had read the book. amazing how the actors portrayed the characters so good.such a diversified group and they learned to like each other.does quilting do that?????

  11. I love to read your Amish Books! They are so great! And the half Stiched Amish Quilt Club was excellent!! Can’t wait for your next novel!, God Blas You bunches!

  12. I meant God Bless you bunches! Something that I have found out with folks as a nurse, is we ALL Bleed the same color….no matter the size age, race or reliGion, God loves us, we need to look beyond the shell or label and be more Christ like…..how can we help folks if we are too busy, or turn our noses up, or. Expect someone else to do it…..What can I do…. A smile, a cup of coffee, a hug, a listening ear, phone call, a card, a meal…..the list is endless of what you or I can do, one person that happens to cross our path, at a time….depressed, help someone. You know or is around you…or me too! Practice what we preach!

  13. I just read the Half Stitched Amish Quilting Club.
    Loved it !!!
    It reminds me of the time I spent as a teenager visiting a Mennonite couple that I adopted as grandparents. I often spent a weekend with them or stayed a week or two during summer vacations.

    Emma reminds me so much of Grandma Irene.
    They lived in a mixed community of Mennonites, Amish and English.
    She taught ceramics classes and had a small gift shop. She also taught me to crochet. And had the most amazing ability to bake cookies without looking at a recipe. Always made a double or triple batch beginning with a basic drop cookie recipe. She would divide out the dough adding more ingredients as she went and would end up with every kind of cookie imaginable, eventually ending up with a dough to roll out for sugar cookies.

    They lived next door to the church that Grandpa John and a friend had built themselves and had led for many years. He was also a very dependable mechanic.

    They always had such a mix of people and personalities coming and going from the house all day. It was truely a life changing experience for me as a teenager.

  14. phyllis dover says:

    wand i love reading your books . when i start reading i can not put in down . while i was in florida about a couple weeks ago i finished two of your books.and by the way zach dover says hello. what the name of the book that came out in april?

  15. I love your books. Reading the comments above I agree with everyone, you are an exceptional writer and once I start one of your books I cannot put it down. I couldn’t wait for “The Stuggle” to come and it was every bit as good as expected. We live in a town in NJ that just had an Amish Market opened in June. We have always traveled to Lancaster and enjoyed our visits there but they have become even better now. Since the Market opened we have made friends with one of the Amish waitresses in the restaurant. She invited us to com to Lancaster to met her family. One Saturday we rode up and did just that. We spent about 2 hours sitting and talking with her, her husband and 3 boys (her littler girl was napping). It was very enjoyable. Such a lovely family. We were camping in Lancaster a weekend later and met the family at “Katie’s Kitchen” for dinner. We had an excellent time together. This couple is in there 30’s and we are in our 50’s and it didn’t seem like there was an age difference at all. We are more alike than anyone thinks. Just because they dress differently and sometimes speak another language doesn’t mean we don’t have the same belief system for God, family and friends. Thank you for making your books so accurate and real!

  16. Teresa Robinson says:

    I picked up my first in July. It was the “Half-Stitched Amish Quilt Club.” I think I was ment to get that first book. Little did I know I thought I got it because of my love of quilting. Since that time I have read ten of Wanda’s wonderful book. They give me comfort and piece of mind. A lot of the character remind me of things in my past.
    When my youngest son was sent to Iraq I thought I would loss my mind but my quilting got me through it and oh how I wish I would have found these books then. Last week my dear uncle lossed his battle with cancer. The power of God and the ability to get lost in a sweet story was my strength. Thank you my dear Wanda for my chance to dream and find peace in something. My poor tv is collecting dust.

  17. Amanda Benner says:

    My daughter is developmentally disabled and also has epilepsy, she is a wonderful young lady and is very helpful and loving, she is somewhat high functioning. Her bestest friend in the whole wide world as she calls her is another young lady who is severly disabled and cannot speak, walk or even eat. But these two have an incredible realtionship, my daughter loves her friend so much and would do anything for her, she wipes her drool, sits with her when she is sick and most people says she gets nothing in return, she does. Her friend knows she is there, she smiles everytime she see her, something she does not do for everyone. There is an unconditional freindship and love. This is a strong and wonderful friendship even though they are very different. Definitley a unique and differnt friendship.

  18. I have a friend that is very “Englisch”, the dress modern, use all technology available type person.
    Even though I am very different from her, we have become good friends. It’s wonderful how people so different can get along so well.

    God Bless!

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