|Merry Christmas||Reflecting on 2011|
|Online Testimony||Former Bishop and Wife Excommunicated|
|Partners of MAP: Thank You||Donor and Volunteer|
|Mentoring Conference Update||Amish Voice Response|
|Audio Ministry||The Amish Voice|
|Our Testimony and Willingness to Serve|
|PO Box 128/575 State Route 250 N, Savannah OH 44874 Office: (419) 962-1515|
|Reflecting on 2011 by Joe Keim|
As we close in on 11 years of ministry, I can’t help but look back and ask: what did God do through MAP in 2011?
Note: By year’s end, well over $250,000 will have been given to MAP by 275 organizations and individuals. About 150-200 volunteers have given roughly 10,000 hours of their time, helping us get the gospel out. Now you know why the tears in my eyes are filled with appreciation and joy.
Note: Our goal in presenting MAP to churches is two-fold:
(1) God’s people might understand and become involved with the overwhelming need to evangelize and disciple those who are and used to be Amish.
(2) More would join in giving financially on a monthly basis. Like you, we feel our time is limited, and with the end drawing near, we still have so many that have never heard the clear and undiluted gospel that Jesus alone brings peace and everlasting life. Pray that churches who heard our presentations will join MAP in giving.
Note: as the Bible tells us, many false brethren have crept in and are devouring the flock of God. Freedom and opportunity have caused far too many to become lukewarm and put God in second place. Many times, I fall asleep at night begging God to move and move quickly. Oh, how I yearn and weep for revival to come in our day!
Note: it is still my desire and prayer that one day God would allow MAP to establish their own counseling ministry, using John Regier’s 5-day counseling approach. Three thousand dollars has been given toward this ministry project.
Born and raised Amish, I cherish the many good things I learned from them. But once I got a revelation of who Jesus is and what he wants of us, I could no longer base my hope of salvation on following their rules. I like the simple part of their lifestyle. I wanted to stay with them and serve Jesus. I didn't find the rules too burdensome, but it is idolatry to be the servant of the rules.
We don't mix well with the general society, and neither do we mix with the Amish, as they were quick to let us know we can't have our faith in Jesus while living with them. I guess the only people we can identify with is Jesus, and his disciples. The world has many things to offer us to pacify our minds, but true peace isn't found there. I pray for my family a lot, and so far, four of my brothers have joined our faith. Praise God!
—John Yoder, TX
|Former Bishop and Wife Excommunicated by Joe Keim|
Wayne Chupp, a former Bishop, and his wife, Anna Sue, came to one of my ministry presentations in Three River’s Michigan. Afterward, we met at McDonalds, and for three hours, Wayne shared parts of the dark and heartbreaking journey he and his family traveled during the process of being excommunicated from his leadership position and the Amish church—his testimony was not only moving, but a reminder that legalism is often brutal and heartless.
Bishops are generally looked at as ones who have the most influence and are to be reverenced and obeyed by young and old; disobeying the bishop is automatically disobeying God.
Wayne said, “when I gave my people the option of having open Bible studies and prayers meetings, they hung on to my arms and said, “we will do whatever you want, just don't leave us.” However, other leaders within the church felt they were losing control of their membership and went after Bishops in other communities, asking for help. In the end, these outside Bishops agreed to excommunicate Wayne and his wife.
Wayne is among a growing list of ministers who have been excommunicated for taking a Scriptural stand, and for speaking out against man-made rules and traditions as a way of gaining favor with God.
Please pray for the Chupps as they seek continued direction from God. At this time, they are meeting with various home fellowship groups in hopes that God would use them for His service.
|Partners of MAP: Thank You!|
The ministry faced times of severe opposition in 2011. But in spite of all that happened, we never felt alone. Not even once. Let me explain:
Time and time again, someone would write a short note of encouragement. Day after day, God’s people send in their financial support. Week after week, volunteers showed up at the office door to help us carry the powerful ministry that God has placed in our hands.
We cannot possibly put in words how blessed we are because of you. May the Lord reward you richly and favor you greatly.
All donors will receive a year end receipt. If you do not receive yours by January 25th, please call us at (419) 962-1515.
|Donor and Volunteer by Mel and Martha Shetler|
Having grown up Amish, we both are very interested in the MAP ministry. We are burdened with the needs of so many who need the gospel message. Because of this, we have chosen to support the work with our prayers and finances.
As a young boy, I (Mel) remember hearing an Amish deacon tell my dad, "I don't want to hear that you got "saved." This raised a question in my mind about what that meant. When I was 17, I was saved after listening to a tent meeting preacher, from my parked car along the side of a road.
I, (Martha) had my salvation experience at age 13, when I started going to a Christian school. We praise God for what he has done for us and continues to do!
We finally got to spend a weekend at MAP and what a special blessing that was! On Saturday we attended the mentoring conference. We got lots of information and tools for mentoring. Jesus is the perfect model for us to come alongside others.
And then on Sunday, we went to the home church where Keims attend, which was another great experience. Then in the afternoon we went with Joe to Lima Ohio, where he gave a presentation of the MAP.
Interacting with Joe and Esther this weekend was a fantastic experience!
On Monday we volunteered at the office; another good time. Now we are better able to specifically pray for MAP, having met in person people we had earlier read about.
We are so grateful to God for this ministry, and would highly recommend and encourage others to offer support also.
Signs of the end times are all around us, and we want to do whatever we can to win the lost, before Jesus comes for his bride!
|Mentoring Conference Update by Joe Keim|
Our mentoring conference turned out to be a huge success. Thirty six people attended the conference, with most coming from nearby.
Our hats and bonnets are off to Calvin Brown who did an awesome job of teaching and explaining the value of mentoring relationships.
|Amish Voice Response|
Dear Joe Keim, Old Time Friend: Greetings in the name of our Lord. I am sending these labels back. We don’t read your literature—we throw them in stove. I guess you know that you don’t live like your parents taught you and what you promised on your bended knees. How can a blind man help others. —D Schrock
|Audio Ministry by Eli Raber|
Greetings from Eli and Rachel -- just writing a few notes to give everyone an idea what we do as a part of the MAP ministry. If you have ever listened to a CD or watched a DVD that came from MAP, there is a very good chance that we burned and printed them. Sometimes, I even get to design the labels for them.
When I get an order from Tina, I will make up to 600 CD/DVD’s at a time, which takes a couple of days. That is, if we both work on them nonstop. Most of the time, however, that is not possible since it usually takes a couple weeks by the time we have an order like that ready. We have a CD duplicator that copies up to seven CD’s at a time. As for printing labels, we use two Epson printers that take three minutes to print one CD.
Mentoring former Amish is one of my long term goals. MAP has had a very big influence on my life and I want to be able to help others who are in similar situations that I was in, when I left the Amish. Thank You for your support. May God Bless You!
|The Amish Voice by Joe Keim|
My favorite verse by verse Bible commentary set of all time is the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible, a publication of Leadership Ministries Worldwide (LMW).
Earlier this year, I contacted LMW’s office to see if they would give us permission to use the entire Book of Galatians commentary in the Amish Voice publication. To our great surprise, they said yes.
If you are one of our precious prayer warriors, please pray that God would use the Amish Voice (AV) to impact the Amish culture for His glory. A lot of people put a tremendous amount of effort and prayer into this ministry.
Most of the ones who write for the AV are from Amish backgrounds and understand the legalistic mindsets that so many have.
The AV has fast become a love/hate publication. Many of the Bishops have banned the publication; articles have been written in various papers, warning church members to trash the AV as soon as it arrives in the mailbox.
Having said that, it is not our desire to use the Amish Voice as a means of leading Amish away from the church, nor has it ever been our intention to belittle the church and it’s teachings. It is our goal to teach the undiluted gospel message and let the Holy Spirit of God take it from there.
In the midst of all the banning and negative responses, there are people who call or write, asking to be added to the active mailing list. Others are placing the publication in public areas for people to pick up and read.
In the past month, we have, through a series of phone calls, been able to connect several Amish couples and one single lady with one of John Regier’s counseling ministries. In one case, a man had already committed suicide, and in another, the wife called, franticly seeking help before her husband committed suicide.
This helps us see why the AV is a much needed resource.
Mark 2:17, Jesus said: They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
|Our Testimony and Willingness to Serve by Melvin Schrock and Joe Keim|
In the summer of 2005, I had a lot of questions concerning what does it take to have salvation; why do Amish do what they do? I started to see their rules created a lot of self-righteousness in and among themselves. I didn’t know much of the scriptures, but God showed me that He wasn’t interested in those man-made rules.
I asked, “why wasn’t the Bible enough on its own?” Obviously that’s what God intended it to be—all man would need for guidance.
On September 1, 2005 God sent someone to our place to share the Gospel. The person shared what it takes to have salvation. Little by little I learned the Bible as I studied it. Shortly after I was witnessed to, we left the Amish culture.
I got saved in February 2006 and my wife Ella thought she was saved later in 2006. But God became more real to her, and she realized that she wasn’t saved. In October 2010, Ella was saved and had a big change in her life. She has the assurance of salvation. In the early part of 2011 our two oldest daughters, Fannie and Martha, got saved as well.
We had gone to a few different churches in the area. It just seemed it was hard to find a good one in the area. This summer we were led to Calvary Baptist Church. In August of this summer my wife, I, Fannie, and Martha were baptized after attending Calvary Baptist.
We are excited for the future to see what God will do as we take one day at a time. God has for quite some time been giving me a burden to somehow reach the Amish with the Gospel. He has shown me to just stay in our area and be available to reach the Amish in the area.
“Say not ye, there are yet four months, and then cometh harvest, Behold I say unto you lift up your eyes and look on the fields for they are white already to harvest” (John 4:35). This is my prayer, “Lord here am I, send me.
Insert horizontal rule
Note from Joe: If you do not have a copy of Melvin’s testimony, and would like to have one, please go to: www.mapministry.org/resources/audio-and-video/audio-resources and download it. You can also order a CD of the Schrock’s testimony, by contacting our office. A dollar or two will help with expenses.
Lord willing, I will be traveling to Wisconsin in February of 2012 to meet with the Schrock’s and their pastor. Our primary goal is to organize a ministry that reaches out to Amish communities in the mid-west. This is not a fly-by-night decision, but rather, it is something we have prayed and talked about for two years.
We would be overjoyed to know you added this to your list when praying for MAP and the Amish people.
The Schrocks are one of several families and singles who are either considering or are already working their way into full time ministry to Amish.
In April of 2012, about eight couples are meeting for a weekend retreat in Indiana. Our sole purpose for meeting is to pray, organize and strategize ways we can better reach out to the ones who are leaving the Amish and need help.