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“Turning Tragedies into Triumphs:  Stories & Conversations with Torah Bontrager” is a weekly podcast that features amazing and courageous individuals who have come forward to share their stories with the world.  The conversations between two fellow survivors take place over a virtual dining room table in a safe, judgment-free zone where we not only learn about accounts often never publicly disclosed before, but we also learn a little bit more about Torah along the way.

A companion show to her memoir An Amish Girl in Manhattan, Torah created the podcast to emphasize that trauma (of all colors, shapes, and sizes-- not only sexual) knows no boundaries and that her story of repeat sexual assault, abandonment, parental rejection, identity crises, disastrously failed romantic relationships and trust issues are heartbreakingly universal in our national and global cultures. 

Watch the episodes to be inspired and to know that you're not alone and that you don’t have to be extraordinary to be Extraordinary.  New episodes air each Wednesday. 

Please ask us questions and leave comments.  We will read all of them.  We want this to be an interactive show and build a strong community of support both online and offline.  Every four or five episodes, we will do a special "Question and Answer" segment where we pick from what's been submitted.  The more you comment/ask, the higher your chances of getting answered via the special. 

INVITATION CALL:  If you would like to share your story with the world, please contact us at  No story is insignificant.  The seemingly smallest things that happened to us as children can have a lifetime negative impact if left unaddressed.  This podcast and community is designed for you to feel safe, speak out in your own words and experience non-judgment and unconditional love from a human-hood of strong women, men and other/no-genders.

Mar 1, 2017

Sovilla and Lucinda Coblentz are entrepreneur sisters who are like twins, and their husbands are brothers who craft beautiful, custom solid wood pieces with traditional Amish integrity.  The four run their small family business in Texas together.  Before Torah’s escape, Sovilla and Torah’s paths happened to cross for one brief moment in time.  Sovilla knew intuitively that Torah intended to leave the Amish church and that gave her the inspiration and courage to continue pursuing her freedom as well.  The sisters eventually escaped together after failed attempts.  Despite the extreme challenges and odds, they have evolved into incredible individuals who’ve taken personal responsibility for their freedom, happiness, finances and actions.


  • About Sovilla’s first failed escape attempt in the middle of an Amish church service
  • The interrogation methods by Amish clergy and elders that the sisters were subjected to for wanting to escape 
  • The hypocritical morals within the Amish e.g., it’s acceptable for bishops to father children outside of marriage but not acceptable for children or members of lesser status to break minor rules
  • What Lucinda dreamed of being and longed to wear that made her determined to escape


  1. JH Woodworks (Amish craftsmanship):
  2. Find the girls on Facebook.  They are about to embark on writing their memoir, too.
  3. See S1Ep1: James Schwartz on Growing up Gay and Amish in America, Unconventional Schooling and Trump Politics for James’ answer to the forgiveness question
  4. See S1Ep2: Fiona Teng on Growing Up as an Immigrant in California, Fatherlessness, Abandonment and Romantic Relationships for Fiona’s answer to the forgiveness question