Katie TroyerJuly 15, 2004
I was born and raised in Holmes/Wayne County. Ever since I was around 10 years old I purposed to know and find the Truth, and I knew the Truth is in the Bible. I also purposed I will never leave the Amish because I'd have no chance of getting to heaven if I left them. So in 1977 I left Ohio and moved to Aylmer Ontario. They were a more consistent Amish group and so I thought they are more spiritual. I worked at Pathway Publishers for over 13 years. But with time I realized that I am not going to find in Aylmer the "something" I am seeking to fill the void in my heart. And I started crying out to God for more of Him and he heard my heart's cry.
One Sunday we were singing the German hymns of Pentecost because it was forty days after Easter. That day every time we sang the words "Holy Spirit" they jumped out of the page so I decided to see what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit and as soon as I was at home I read Acts 2 and John 16, knowing these two chapters talk about the Holy Spirit.
When I came to John 16:13, "And when He the spirit of Truth is come, he will guide you into all truth..."
And I thought, "Here it is, the Spirit of Truth that will guide me into all truth. This is what I have been looking for all these years." In simple faith I asked God to fill me with this spirit of Truth and I felt a literal pouring into my body. From this day forth the Scripture opened up and I also saw the vanity of the Amish believe system.
I was of the first ones to move to Cookeville Tennessee with Elmo Stoll, for Elmo had said we are going to go my the Bible. The Bible will be our answers and this is what I had been seeking and praying for. So of course I went with the Cookeville movement. We moved for the right reasons but it didn't stay at that. I had purposed that if Cookeville isn't going to be what we say it will be, then I am not staying. After being in Cookeville for three years, I lost confidence in all ministers, churches and religion. I was finished for they never helped me although I had put my trust in them. They never were what they said they are or going to be.
When I renounced religion, churches and ministers, all of that stuff rolled away like a cloud of dust. And then for the first time in my life I knew I was lost and I didn't even care. Everything within me just died. I was left in this state for about three days and then it was time for Communion. That morning God spoke to my heart and said, "If you lie about our relationship and take part in communion for we don't have any, I will cut you off from ever getting close to me." I knew this was directly from God and so I purposed I will not take part in Communion, for I am not a liar. So when I was asked if I want to take part in Communion? I said, "No". Why not? I answered, "I am cut off from God." This was a shock to the ministers for I was always doing the right thing or tried to do the right things. So they asked me the third question: "What did you do to be cut off from God?" I said, "Nothing". So they told me to take part in Communion but I stood my ground. Three times they tried to figure out what I did to be cut off from God and when I wouldn't budge Elmo said, "Okay, I guess you know better than we do."
This public confessing that I have no relationship with God did a work in my heart that was beyond my control. I felt dirty and filthy and I started to cry and was shaking all over. I cried during all of the church services. Went home right after services and cried some more. I just cried and cried, not knowing why I am crying. They finally concluded I am having a nervous breakdown and I didn't care. But my hard religious heart was softening and suddenly toward evening I realized I am lost because I am a born sinner. It was Adam & Eve's fault but I am still responsible for my own soul. I thought this through and realized from my heart that this is true but I didn't know what to do with my lost condition.
Finally, out of frustration I cried, "Yes, Lord, it is true that I am lost because I am a born sinner and I can't help it. But will you forgive me?" Right then a heavy burden plopped out of my heart and it was gone. And I was very close to God but there was still something between us. I searched my heart and couldn't think of any un-confessed sin so I thought maybe this is just the devil, telling me there is something separating me from God when there really isn't anything. I prayed but God wouldn't answer me right then & there. I searched my heart and prayed for three days. One time during this time I was tempted to give up but then I told myself, "No, Katie for you are this close to God. Don't give up".
Finally, one morning I prayed and said, "God, just tell me if there is sin in my life and if it is, tell me what it is so I can confess and repent. Or if this is from the devil, then just say so. You know the answer. All you need to do is just tell me." And then God spoke to my heart again. He asked, "Will you believe Me, whatever I tell you?" I thought, "Believe God? Can I trust Him?" I knew if I trust Him it is going to be from my heart but can I trust Him? I thought if I don't trust Him I may not get closer to him. Anyway I realized I have nothing to loose, so I said, "Yes, Lord, whatever you tell me I will believe it." And then God said, "There is nothing, no sin separating you from me." And I believed Him and then God and I were one!
Everything changed. I was indeed a new person. The empty void in my heart was gone. I was filled with God, Jesus Christ, His Spirit, whatever you want to call it. Finally after seeking for God for 30 years I was born again. But I didn't know at that time that what happened to me was the New Birth. I just knew that I was changed by what happened in my heart.
And now God has turned my heart back to my own people, The Amish.
Katie's Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
This testimony has been published with permission from the owner.
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"Thank you for sharing your ministry with us this past Sunday! It was informative, instructional, and inspiring - overall, a great time. God used you to open many eyes to the true spiritual situation among the Amish. Many in our Church Family assumed that Amish people were saved because they will tell you they believe in Jesus. "