2011 March

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Personal Greeting - Joe Keim Counseling Ministry Update
Elizabeth's Accident God Provides Supporters
God Provides Volunteers Bible Club: Testimonies
Bible Club: Prayer Requests GED Celebration
Unique Wedding Spreading God's Love among the Haitians and Israelites
Various Testimonies Amish: Superstitious and Braucha

 

PO Box 128/575 State Route 250 N, Savannah OH 44874 Office: (419) 962-1515

Personal Greeting - Joe Keim

I am guessing you are as excited as I am about the approaching warm weather, colorful outdoors, and chirping birds? I like Ohio’s four seasons, but there comes a time when too much snow and ice can get the best of a person; I’m there now, and have been for awhile.

March is the month when churches like to schedule us to come and participate in their mission’s conference. This year, so many invitations were received that we had to turn some churches down. Here is a list of areas we will be sharing at during the month of March:

(1) Wooster OH (2) Blythewood SC (3) Savannah OH (4) Mercer PA (5) Bidwell OH (6) Newark DE (7) Mifflinburg PA (8) Columbus OH (9) Grandville MI (10) Mineral VA (11) Kreamer PA (12) Bellbrook OH

Our top two goals for continued church presentations:

  1. Make God’s people aware of the great need to reach their Amish neighbors with the gospel
  2. Raise more prayer and financial support

Except for some holidays and a vacation, we are booked solid through the month of June.

When you read this, would you just pause for a moment and pray for God’s protection and power on us? Thank you! —Joe

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Counseling Ministry Update

As mentioned in the January update, MAP is looking and praying about establishing a counseling ministry.

After several years of research, we have come to the conclusion that “Caring for the Heart Ministries, by John Regier” is the type of ministry we are looking for.

Reasons for interest in Regier’s program:

  1. A large number of Amish people are openly accepting his approach
  2. The success rate is very high

John Regier is looking at training facilitators to help him start sub-ministries, using his materials. Many of the sub ministries, started by Regier, are backed up 6 months to 3 years.

How the program works:

  1. Couple/individual start out on Monday morning and finish up on Friday evening
  2. The couple/individual meet with the facilitator each morning for 3 hours, before heading back to their motel room, where they watch Regier’s video series and do the daily workbook.

Regier’s approach is somewhat different than the average counseling program; he takes his counselee(s) back to the root issues and then uses a facilitator to connect them with the Lord, via prayer, for healing.

In order for us to become a certified facilitator, we needed to raise a minimum of $3,500. This covers the expenses of sending someone to Colorado for certification.

Just hours before we printed this newsletter, we received the last of $3500. Wow! Thanks to all who gave. We will proceed to move ahead.

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Elizabeth's Accident

If you are signed up to receive ministry notifications via email, then you are aware of all that has taken place with Elizabeth, the 19-year old girl that came to live with our family about 6-months ago.

As always, when Esther and I take a person into our home, we try our best to help them meet all their physical needs first and then their spiritual needs. In Elizabeth’s case, the spiritual needs did not seem to take place, although she attended church fairly regular.

We prayed many times that God would open Elizabeth’s spiritual eyes so she could see and experience the new birth. As month after month went by, our prayers became more passionate and more frequent, knowing that she would soon move on and live on her own.

On Feb 21, she was driving home from work and hit an icy spot on the road. Her car spun around and landed up against a huge tree. At first, we were told that she would probably not make it, which caused all our hearts to drop to the ground. From that point on, tens of thousands of text messages, phone calls and emails started circulating all over the world for her, asking Christians to pray that God would spare Elizabeth from slipping into eternity.

At the time of this writing, Elizabeth has been in a coma for over 2-weeks, but as of this week, she is starting to respond.

None of us are sure about all the whys, but one thing we are almost certain of, we truly believe in our hearts that the praying voices of God’s people kept Elizabeth from slipping into eternity.

If you have time to give God thanks, would you do so now? And pray that when Elizabeth wakes up, she would reach out to Jesus and accept Him as her Savior.

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God Provides - Supporters

After reading in your January newsletter about the one year sponsorship program you have set up for SonLight Club Bible students, I was burdened to sponsor 8 students. I am sending a check out today for $200. —Florida

God continues to burden more people to sponsor Bible lessons for students. What a blessing! Each lesson we send out reaches someone with the gospel message. Most of our lessons are sent to young people who otherwise would not hear God’s simple plan of salvation.

We constantly receive requests from active students, asking if we would send Bible lessons to their friends and family members.

For just $25, you too can provide a student with one whole year of Bible correspondence lessons. If you look to your left, you will see that so far this year, 31 students have given their lives to Christ because of a Bible lesson

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God Provides - Volunteers

We have a great group of volunteers who put in about 800 hours per month, helping with our Bible Club lessons and the Amish Voice. As the ministry grows, we have been praying for more volunteers. We try to be mindful as well that we do not overload our existing volunteers. During the past month, two new churches contacted us, wanting to know if they could send their people to help at the office. What a blessing!

We still have one area of need that hasn’t been filled. If you have good computer skills and are able to devote a certain amount of time each week, let us know and we will explain the requirements in greater detail.

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Bible Club Testimonies

We are two months into another year and the Bible club is moving on. We have been blessed with 31 reported salvations! Praise the Lord! Below are some letters we received since our last newsletter.


The most important thing I learned is that I can’t earn my salvation by being a good person. Thank you for helping me out. —Student from IL


Thank you for the beautiful certificate and New Testament that you gave me. On day I took Jesus as my savior and He is in my heart right now. I told Him to come in my heart.
—Student from OH

I am so thankful the Lord sent people like you. Maybe you don’t know but you have brought me a lot closer to our Savior. Thank you so much. —Student from IN

God bless you for sending these lessons! It gives great opportunity to teach our children about God and the importance of life. —Mother from OH

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Bible Club - Prayer Requests

Each week, we receive prayer requests from our students. At some point in the day, the teachers stop what they are doing and pray for all the requests. It is a great time of growing closer to the Lord and each other.

One student wrote… Please pray for me, that I could see my need of repentance. I often have lot’s of thoughts about running away from home and committing suicide.

Another student wrote… I am having a struggle with depression. The littlest mistakes upset me and make me feel like everybody hates me. I wasn't usually like this. I used to always be happy. Now I rarely am. I pray about it, but it sill happens. What can I do about it?

Unfortunately, these students are not alone. We receive many letters like this from children and adults who are depressed and struggling with the complexities of life. From the outside, these people look good; people often think of them as “quaint” or old fashion. However, despite their outward appearance, they are real people with real problems.

Oftentimes, young people are not really permitted to ask questions, but are told to just obey. It is sad to think that such hopelessness is built into much of the Amish belief system.

No wonder there is so much depression and sadness! How can one be happy when much of their belief system is based on unquestioning obedience to man’s rules, without a clear indication of how much obedience it takes to get to heaven.

Please join us in prayer for the many students who struggle every day with these issues. Pray that the Holy Spirit would work in their hearts and they would see that Salvation is a gift that God provides to those who repent and accept Christ as their savior.

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GED Celebration

Lizzie, Ervin and Barbara are brother and sisters to each other. They worked hard to get their GED, and when they got it, we all celebrated!

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Unique Wedding

After years of searching for a soul mate, Edna Mae and Nathan finally found each other. On their wedding day we all celebrated and wished them well! They both left the Amish in their late years; one comes from MI, the other from KY.

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Spreading God's Love Among the Haitians and Israelites

I always marvel when I see how the Lord leads young Amish boys and girls out of a culture that barely traveled beyond the border of their own community. Than He opens their eyes to salvation and gives them a desire to travel the world, proclaiming Jesus Christ as Son of God and Savior of mankind. —Joe Keim

Abe Schrock Writes: I went with 10 people on a mission trip to Haiti for a week. And it was an experience of my life. We put roofs on two different church buildings and a school house. The one church had the walls up for a long time, but they couldn't afford a roof; the other church and school belong to Walsh's Ministry, who take little children off the streets that don't have parents and are HIV positive.

We also visited Homes of Hope, a ministry that provides housing for the children who have no parents. It broke my heart to see the many children who are being protected by godly parents, and are getting a good education.

My home never look better, after I saw what Haiti is like, and how people have to live in order to stay alive.

If you want, Google " Haiti/mud cookies" these are cookies they make out of mud and vegetable oil. Unbelievable, unless you see it for your self, Just Google it, you'll get the idea.

 

 


Before Chriss Slabaugh left for Israel, he wrote: The purpose for my visit to Israel is to help out a ministry called HaYovel (the jubilee). They work mostly with farmers. There is a large group of men going on this trip and we will be pruning grapevines in the mountains of Judea and Samaria. It is exciting to think about being in the Land again. I will be there for the month of February. Pruning and sightseeing.

I have been looking forward to this trip and I'm excited about this opportunity to serve in the Land. I'm looking forward to learning new things, meeting new people and building new friendships. I'm sure that I will learn a lot; I also hope to continue to grow in my faith.

Upon returning to the United States, Chriss wrote again: I am back in the states, but not at home, because my home is where my heart is. For where our heart is, there our treasure will be also. I found that as I was leaving Israel, part of me felt like I was leaving home. So until I return to the Land of Promise, I will continue to live here. Let us all be praying for the redemption and restoration of the Promise Land. Let us not give Him any rest until He makes Jerusalem the praise of all the earth. Then we will all go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD of Hosts. It is a reality that is coming.

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Various Testimonies

Amish Voice
Dear Friends: Thank you for the Amish Voice. We devour it as soon as it’s here! God bless you all! I’d appreciate if you’d send the January 2011 one for the first issue. Find enclosed a donation for $20.00. I choose to remain anonymous for “Safety Sake.”

MAP Update
We love your newsletter and will always be in prayer for your ministry. Thank you again for the ministry update. I read it over and over and continue to receive a spiritual blessing.

Called to Be a Missionary to Amish
I live in Tennessee and am very interested in your website. Becoming a missionary to the Amish has been laid on my heart for sometime. I thought I was crazy at first, and I didn't believe God, but overtime, I came to realize that, yes, I am supposed to be a missionary to the Amish. I am 18; not yet old enough to get involved with MAP. A month ago, I stayed with some Amish family— friends of mine. I spent the time developing a better friendship with them. I ask for your prayer for me as well. I visit this website often and check out what is going on. I will be returning to PA in about a month for another visit. I am so happy to know that MAP is around.


In February, it just so happened that we got a snap shot of our web site counter when it turned 100,000 hits.



Former Amish Needs

We left the Amish about 2 years ago and are running into birth certificate problems. We did not get 3 of our girls a birth certificate, and now they are older than 12, and we have tried different avenues in getting their birth certificates, but seemingly, have not been able to get anywhere. We are getting desperate. We were introduced to you through some friends. We need some advice. —Michigan

Joe Responds: I realize how frustrating you must already be. We have gone through your dilemma many times, and every circumstance seems to be different from the one before, which makes it very difficult. The good thing about your situation is that you (parents) are there to help. In most of our cases, we had to do everything without the help from parents. Sometimes, it takes up to a full year and can become very discouraging. Please call me; I want to help in any way possible.

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Amish: Superstitious and Braucha

I am, at times, asked about Amish braucha (powwowing) and superstitious beliefs. As in most all religious cultures, there are some who are caught up in that lifestyle, while others completely reject it. In general, though, Amish have a tendency to be very superstitious in every day life, such as the following testimony points out. — Joe



As a young [Amish] child I was taken to the neighbor minister to be "brauched" (powwowed) on. This was done for such things as sore throat, earache, canker sores etc. As a child growing up, I had an extreme fascination and attraction to these types of things.

By the age of 7, I had "bought" (removed) the many warts from my hands with a piece of string. At about 10 years of age, I watched the neighboring bishop "witch" for water. He began with a forked branch and located some water veins etc.; he then switched to 2 L-shaped 1/8" bronze welding rods. He held 1 in each hand; they would cross when he came to an underground water vein. When he was satisfied that he had found the best vein, he proceeded to do the most "amazing" thing my young eyes had ever seen! He stopped and switched to 1 rod; he held this L-shaped rod pointing out in front of him and proceeded to have the rod "tell" him how deep the vein was. He started the rod to swing and then the rod seemed to have a mind of its own as it became a blur and "whir" of motion. That rod flew so fast it snapped off at the L (67 feet it said)!

This was great! And I determined to try it myself. I got a forked peach branch, rods, and proceeded to try the procedure myself. It worked, although I could not get the rods to fly up and down as fast as the bishop... amazing! As I grew up, Esp, Ekankar, body floating, etc. were all topics that drew me like a magnet, although these never worked for me no matter how hard I tried.

At 22 years of age, I watched the movie "The Exorcist" and observed the amazing "Ouija" board. A few months later, out of the blue (or was it?), I was offered the opportunity to try a Ouija board. I determined to empty my mind and get this thing to work, but it didn’t. Now fast forward to age 41. By this time, I had been an Amish church member for 17 years, and for 14 years I had struggled with SEVERE compulsive restitutions and confessions to the degree I was afraid to do or say anything. It was as if I were a prisoner, locked up in my own body.

At age 41, I was converted to Christ, and for approximately 2 weeks, everything was great, but then my old enemy the devil decided to exercise the "rights" I had given him in my growing up years. If I would have gone to a psychologist, I probably would have been diagnosed as being schizophrenic. My mind was constantly full of many, many voices. All my waking hours, day and night, were spent "fussing" with these "voices". I was bound with fear beyond comprehension. Words cannot begin to describe the "hell" I was in, but I was finally on the winning side and “greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world". Hallelujah!

I did get help with some things, but I struggled with this compulsion for another year, and then one morning, in absolute desperation, as I cried out to my God and Savior; he brought the memory of using the "Ouija" board to my mind. My wife and I went outside the house and renounced my use of the "Ouija" board and my arms tingled like they were charged with electricity; and after we got finished praying, it was as if someone had "turned" the faucet off on my compulsion, and now, I am totally free to day! Praise God!

This is now 3 years later and I had some other areas that I was being "extremely" oppressed in and God revealed to me that I needed to get rid of the prophets of Baal in my life that I had opened the door to when I had involved myself in the "brauching", the water witching, the "buying" of warts, the Ekankar, etc. And now the prophets of Baal" are gone and I am ready for the "sound of rain".

I know there are still some things that I will need to be freed from, but this morning as I was standing up from my time of prayer, a scene of Jesus in the distance flashed before my eyes, My Savior is faithful. I have a few scripture references I would like to give for anyone interested in researching them: Hosea 4:12-13, Ezek. 21:21-23. "Born to serve" - May God bless each one you. — Desiring to stay Anonymous

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Amish: Superstitious and Braucha

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"Thank you, Joe and Esther, for giving of your time and sharing with us about the MAP Ministry. We sure learned a lot about the Amish folks. I watched and have listened to the CDs. I was impressed about your love and concern for the Amish People. My wife and I would like to support the ministry on a monthly basis. Will also pray for yous. Thank you for the 1st class ministry that you run. "

- Atwater, OH Read More »