January 2012 Newsletter
|PO Box 128/575 State Route 250 N, Savannah OH 44874 Office: (419) 962-1515|
|My Trip to Columbia MO - Joe Keim|
In a previous newsletter, we shared how Mose from Columbia MO got saved when he and some filmmakers from the National Geographic (NG) came to visit our ministry in OH. It was one of the most awesome events that took place in 2011.
In November, the NG producer called and said, “Joe, I want to tell you something—Mose has not been the same since we came back from OH—his life is different and, for that reason, we would like to bring you to Columbia for a weekend in Dec.” Before I could say anything, he said, “we will pay for your flight, rental car, food and motel.” So on Dec 9, I found myself headed for MO, not knowing for sure how God was going to use me but wanting to make myself available for His glory and eternal purposes.
When I got there, I found that they had also brought some other people in from several other states.
We had many great moments together, but one of the greatest moments happened when they asked if I would do a devotional on Sunday morning. I felt very unprepared to do so but asked the Holy Spirit to speak through me, and He did. As I got up before the crew of about 30, the Holy Spirit took over and for 15 minutes I shared with everybody how the Lord had burdened many of us in OH to pray for the former Amish community in Columbia; hundreds of times we have prayed, “Lord, send a missionary to Columbia.”
The need, as I have mentioned before is very great. In fact, since I came back from Columbia, several of the former Amish have contacted our ministry, asking if I would consider coming back for some Bible studies. And as you can imagine, every bit of me wants to go there and spend a month or longer, preaching and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. So many carry a tremendous amount of emotional pain and have no idea how to deal with it in light of eternity and the scriptures.
It is vital that you join us in prayer for God to send a missionary to tell this special group about Jesus and His healing grace.
We would like to take a moment and thank you for making our Christmas extra special and over the top. All together, we received over 300 Christmas cards, notes and special gifts. Our family, staff and volunteers felt overwhelmed with gladness and appreciation; there is just no other family on earth like the family of God. You are the best!
We are very much looking forward to traveling through the new year with you and believe the Lord is going to continue doing great and mighty things throughout the months ahead.
Our goal in 2012 is to keep you updated as much as possible on ministry activity. If you are signed up for our online updates, you will receive some extra updates along the way. If you're not signed up, and you have an email address, please go to MapMinistry.org and click on Receive Email Updates.
|Christmas Dinner With the Volunteers - Joe Keim|
The Lord has blessed us with many volunteers who make up for five full time employees. They come from miles away and they put in thousands of hours.
Two weeks ago, a couple walked in from about 45 minutes away and said, “we have been following the ministry for two years and couldn’t wait to retire so we could start volunteering every week.
In December, our staff brought all the volunteers together (total of 82) and had an all you can eat barbeque ribs night, followed with some entertainment and blessings from the year.
One volunteer writes: I volunteer at MAP two days a week and the Bible Club is reaching and having an impact on thousands of Amish people. Can you imagine the excitement as the children in the family go to the mail box and there are a number of pieces of literature with their name on it?
For children and young adults to receive this material is a little thing that has a big influence for them to take Jesus into their hearts. I am handicapped and cannot do much as a missionary but this is an avenue that allows me to witness. We send out lots of mail, it takes lots of money to buy postage and paper and material.
I used to be the director of a five county American Lung Association and I know how important volunteers are to a non profit organization. This is a well run organization and Tina who keeps everyone working is to be congratulated. L-o-v-e MAP!!!
|Sharing the Holidays With Former Amish|
Numerous families in our area reached out to the former Amish who are single and had nowhere to go on Thanksgiving and Christmas day. Uriah said, “I miss my family very much, but thanks be to God for the Abel family; Christmas Day was special after all.”
Hi! I came across your ministry online not too long ago when searching for information about the Amish and whether anyone was attempting to reach them with the Gospel. I've had a burden for the Amish for a little over a year now (I come from an English background and have no connection with the Amish), and when our family first visited "Amish country" not too long ago, my sister in law also was struck with this same burden. We'd like to do whatever we can to help out.
We were wondering, what is your greatest financial need at this time that we could contribute to, and also, since we only live a couple of hours away, do you have any upcoming volunteer opportunities? We would love to come down sometime and help out if at all possible. Thanks so much, and may the Lord bless you!
|Quick, An Amish Man is Dying and Doesn't Know the Lord - Joe Keim|
Pam: I have been witnessing to a dying Amish man whose name is Henry; He has cancer. But I can’t seem to make salvation clear enough for him to grasp and understand. Is there anyway you can send me some literature that would help?
Joe: Yes, we will mail you the booklet, “Amish: Our Friends, But Are They Fellow Believers?” It will tell you the best ways to approach your friend with the gospel. In the meantime, please help him to see that salvation is a gift that cannot be earned.
Pam (two days later): Hi! Just a note to let you know that today 12/21 was Henry's funeral. I never got a chance to talk to him. I feel so defeated from Satan. I don't understand how you handle this. Please pray for this family and us as we grieve his loss.
Joe: I am very sorry to hear about this and can only imagine what you must feel in your heart. At times like this, we have very few choices but to give things over to the Lord and keep witnessing to others who are still alive. Eternity is too long to spend in the flames of hell.
|Bible Lessons for Amish|
Several Pastors and I have been working on adult level Bible lessons for the Amish. Please pray for us as we create corresp ondence lessons from the Book of John. Also, In His Steps Foundation gave MAP $5,000 to help promo the the Bible Club through a 2012 catalog, listing 30+ courses.
At this very time, we are getting them printed and will be mailing 7,000-8,000 out in February. We still need to raise $3,000 to complete the project.
|Lee Family Headed for Nicaragua|
Before the foundation of the world, God had a plan for the Lee family; even if they were born into an Amish family where the gospel was not being preached. When the time was right, God sent His messenger to their home in MO to tell them that Jesus alone could save them from their sins. In time, they gave their lives to Jesus, and then left the Amish.
About a year ago, Eli and Leah stopped by our house to discuss their burden to go into full time ministry. At the time, they felt a call to go back to their own people, the Amish. But God had a different plan; He wanted them to go to Nicaragua.
Lord willing, the whole family will be leaving in the spring.
At this point, they don’t know how long they will stay, but believe the Lord will provide for all their needs. Several churches and individuals have started to support them financially.
Eli says, “our goal is to teach the Nicaraguans how to grow their own food, build more orphanage shelters and reach as many people as possible with the good news of Jesus Christ.”
After making several short term trips to see and work with the Nicaraguan people, some of the churches have asked the Lee family to teach them the ways of God, because they realize they are missing out on His blessings.
If you would like to know more about the Lee family and the work God has called them to, please go to their web site: ReligionToRelationship.org.
You can also email Eli and Leah at firstname.lastname@example.org, and they will place you on their mailing list.
|Chocolate for the Volunteers|
The following note and some money came in the mail. It made everybody’s day. Thank you, Jeanette in N. Carolina.
|Missions Trip to Haiti|
For the second year in a row, a group of men and women from our home church and local area have gone to Haiti for a week to help with building projects.
Abe, one of six former Amish who went on the trip, said, “our goal is to teach them how to build, rather then go over there year after year and build for them.” (This was his second trip to Haiti.)
John, pictured second from right (top photo), had just left the Amish for one month and was trying to get his photo ID, social security card and passport in time to join the rest of the group. After wrestling with the good old government and paying extra for postage, he got his passport two days before their departure for Haiti.
|Pastoring in Kansas|
Our house oftentimes becomes a motel stopover for the former Amish during holidays, and this year was no exception. Albert, my first cousin and his family stayed with us for three days while visiting family in the area.
When several of us got saved and left the Amish church 25 years ago, we all moved into town and had many great times together, discussing the Bible and learning new things. One day, Albert said, “I believe God is calling me to be a pastor.” And for the next four years he attended Bible College in Hammond IN. Today, he and his family are doing a great work in Dodge City KS.
Albert has written several Bible study work books that we use in our ministry.
|Bible Club Testimony|
Dear Bible Club, My name is Carrie. I’m Amish. I love your program. It has helped me understand many things. My brother likes them to. The last two lessons you sent me made me think.
I always thought I had already taken Jesus as my Savior. They helped me to understand what it really meant. I am now a true Christian thanks to you. My birthday in Christ is July 31st, 2011.
In 2011, MAP sent out 55,00 Bible lessons. Exactly 250 students sent us a note, saying they accepted the Lord as their Savior.
Thank you donors for giving and praying!
|Amish Making Headline News Worldwide|
Until just a few years back, it seemed the Amish culture was sort of hidden and out of sight. But because of large families, the population has quickly exploded throughout North America, including Canada. In fact, they doubling in number every 15 years.
As the culture continues to grow, so do the bonnet books, documentaries and tourist attractions. In one year, more then a million tourists pass through the narrow two-lane country roads in Berlin OH.
While tourists buy hand-made crafts and eat their food, the Amish put tens of thousands of dollars in their pockets.
But in the midst of all the traffic and fascination, other things have also caught the world’s eye.
What is all this supposed to mean? Should we just mark it as normal since the population has grown much larger in size? Maybe it’s because we are in the last days and every culture in the world is becoming more evil.
Regardless of the answer, one thing is for sure. The Bible says in Romans 3:10-12, “As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”
Dressing plain, driving buggies and working hard will not fix the problem. There needs to be a conversion of the heart! Time is running out. We must tell them the good news that Jesus alone gives everlasting life—it cannot be earned in a thousand lifetimes.
Recent headlines read: “Horse left at Ohio Amish-area Wal-Mart needs home”. The article went on to say that an Amish teenager apparently unhooked the horse from the buggy, tied him to the hitching rail and never came back for it. Two months have passed and the Geauga County (Middlefield OH) officials are still looking for an owner.
|Documentaries on Amish, Coming Soon|
On February 28, PBS is airing a special 2-hr documentary, “The Amish”.—MAP is part of it. For more nformation, please click here.
Later in the spring, the National Geographic is doing a 10-part series, “Amish Out of Order.”