March 2012 Newsletter
|PO Box 128/575 State Route 250 N, Savannah OH 44874 Office: (419) 962-1515|
|More Office Space|
We are blessed and bulging at the seams, and need a new office addition this summer. Right now we’re getting measurements and costs. If you can help with this project, it would be greatly appreciated.
Your prayer and financial support would be greatly appreciated as we begin this journey of expansion so that we can accommodate the many needs of this growing ministry.
We need two more offices, a storage room and a small area to house people who come for counseling.
Our goal is to raise the necessary funds as we build and not go into debt. We are seeking some community grants and inviting the MAP family to get involved as the Lord leads.
To contribute to this summer project, please contact us for details. In the meantime, we will keep you updated.
|Three Tragic Deaths by Joe Keim|
The month of March has been filled with sorrow and emotions as we watched three former Amish men die from accidents and suicide.
And, as always, it brought the Amish and former Amish communities together for a time of heartache and mourning. Some of the Amish are more open than others, however, there is always a lot of underlying stress for everyone.
At times like these, parents and ministers who are still Amish will cling to their own and remind them how frightful and deathly that world out there can be.
Oftentimes, the bodies of the dead are carried back to the Amish for burial. If, at death, they’re members of the Amish church, they are buried outside the graveyard fence, without a headstone or any type of marker.
Eli was cutting trees down and one fell on him and eventually killed him. He leaves behind a young wife and two children.
Thanks to all who sent his wife and children cards and gifts. I’m sure you brightened their day.
John, Wayne and Marvin were on their way to work when their car went out of control and hit a tree at 50 MPH. John, who was driving, passed into eternity upon impact.
John Marvin Wayne
Marvin is suffering a broken neck, pelvis, leg and arm.
Wayne has suffered internal injuries and seven broken ribs.
In all of these tragedies and days of sorrow, we believe Marvin may be the only one who put his faith and trust in Christ, although, all of them heard the gospel.
So far this year, we have shared the ministry with 11 churches. Hardly a week goes by that we do not get requests, asking if we could come and speak.
Note: I will be speaking at a fund raising banquet on behalf of Andy Geesey and Plain New Life Ministry. Andy is a missionary to the Amish in Lancaster PA and a partner of MAP. His web site is PlainNewLife.org.
Note: While in Blanchard PA, we will be doing the seminar "Amish: Our Friends, But Are They Fellow Believers?" with several churches in the area. For more details, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Ministering in Wisconsin by Joe Keim|
In February I spent 10 days in Greenwood and Barron Wisconsin, sharing the ministry and doing our seminar, “Amish: Our Friends, But Are They Fellow Believers?” In every service the attendance was outstanding and the presentations were well received.
It was amazing to meet a number of people who had traveled for two and three hours to learn more about our beloved Amish and the need for evangelism and discipleship among the culture. Some of our attending guests belonged to a Christian Harley Davidson Motorcycle Club. The love offering for MAP was generous.
During my stay in Wisconsin, I spent several days with the Shrock family (below) and their pastor, preparing them for ministry among the Amish communities in the mid-west. As you can see, Melvin and Ella put me to work. I think I even gained a blister.
|Schrock Family, Missionaries to Amish by Joe Keim|
In April, Melvin, Ella and their family will attend a week long missionary training school in Spencer OH. Afterward, they’ll meet with the MAP Board for an interview and, if approved, begin a partnership with MAP.
Their goal and burden is the same as ours—present the ministry to churches as well as raise prayer and financial support to go into possible full time ministry.
The Schrocks, who left the Amish about five years ago, have a tremendous burden and are already reaching out to Amish and former Amish with the gospel.
As you can imagine, this is an exciting time for all of us. Every week, we get together to pray that the Lord would send more missionaries to our people who live in 28 states and Canada.
|A New Family Member by Wayne Vallowe|
Almost five years ago my wife Chris and I were introduced to two former Amish brothers Eli and Abe. We began to build a relationship with them. Both young men knew Jesus Christ as their Savior and, shortly afterward, we started a Bible study. Sensing God’s leading we “figuratively” adopted Eli and Abe as our sons. They have been at our family gatherings and our children have accepted them into our family.
A few years later, a third brother, Johnny, left the Amish and joined his brothers in Ashland. Johnny came to know the Lord and soon joined our Bible study. Since Chris and I had adopted Eli and Abe, we felt that it was only right to adopt Johnny as well. Now we have three adopted former Amish sons.
But our story does not stop here. A fourth brother, Jonas, left in February. He spent his first night in the English world at our home. On Sunday he came to church with us. And on Monday, he came to our home for a Bible study with his brothers Eli and Johnny. We were in the book of 1 Corinthians Chapter 6. We came to verse 11, where it reads: “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”
I looked across the table at Jonas and he had this look in his eye of uncertainty. At that point I turned to the Book of Romans where we made our way through the Romans Road, explaining each verse and its relevance in the life of an unbeliever and the promises of new life that God gives through them. I spoke about the free gift of salvation from John 3 and, at that point, I asked Jonas if he would like to receive the free gift from God. His response was, “I was ready ten minutes ago.” It was then that his brother Eli and I shared the joy of leading his brother to Christ.
|Leaving the Amish by Joe Keim|
During February and March, we received at least 10 calls from Amish boys, wanting to leave the Amish. For a while, we felt overwhelmed, not knowing where to house them all, nor did we know if we had enough jobs for them.
One young man from PA said, “Joe, I was surfing the internet on my cell phone and found your web site.” From there, he called our office three times and, each time, he left a voice message but forgot to leave a call back number. Finally, on the fourth try, he left his number. At that point, he had already left the Amish and was living with a criminal. When I asked him why he left, he said, “I read all the testimonies on your site and am searching for the Lord.”
Another Amish boy, also from PA, started texting, asking if we could give him a place and help him get a job.
Today, we have two young boys, Daniel and Jonas living with us. One of the requirements for living at our home is that they attend a weekly Bible study with Esther and I. On Friday night, Daniel trusted the Lord as his Savior.
More and more of the Amish youth are hiding cell phones. Hundreds are on Facebook and have learned to surf the internet. Because of the large number of cell phone traffic on our web site, we are looking into the cost of making our web site available for better viewing via cell phones.
We would like to publically thank our dear friends at First Baptist Church in Allentown PA for delivering about 30 starter bags for the ones who leave the culture with nothing but the clothes on their back. As you can see, both boys have a bag in their hand.
|Join Our Discussions|
Have you read our Discussion Forum at www.mapministry.org/forum? If not, please visit. We’d love for you to read and join our many discussion threads, be up on the latest news, discover (or share) prayer requests and praise reports, and learn many interesting facts about the Amish.
|Mailing: Bible Club Catalog by Joe Keim|
In February we mailed out 5,000 24-page catalogs to our Bible Club students, listing about 35 Bible courses and work books. The printing and postage expenses ran us about $6,500. In less than a week, the orders started pouring in. Children of all ages and parents wanted to be enrolled in various courses. It is exactly what we had hoped and prayed for.
As the orders continue to come in, we pray that God would open hearts to the truth of salvation and freedom in Christ.
|Leaving a Legacy|
There are various ways you can leave something to continue the Lord’s work here when you graduate to Heaven:
Trained estate and tax planners can assist you in this area. Thanks for considering how you will be a good steward of God’s blessings.
Uriah likes to travel with me on ministry trips and share his testimony. Many of you have heard him in person and are aware of the trials he has come through as a result of following Christ.
Recently, he was struggling quite a bit so we decided to find us a place where we could gather around God’s Word for a couple days and just pray and fast. Also, during our time together, we listened to some of his favorite motivational speakers. It was good for both of us.
When Uriah first moved here from WI, I asked him if he would allow me to mentor him on a weekly basis and he said yes. At times it has been challenging to say the least, however, the young lad is gifted with people skills that few have at his age. I try to keep my eyes focused on where he has the potential to be in 5 to 10 years; not today. Besides that, mentoring is something I love to do!
|The Conversion of Ada Mast by Ada Mast|
I would like to share with you all how God changed my life in so many ways. I left the Amish community at the age of 17 in July 2011. I was living an ungodly life, very rebellious and hiding all my sins in my heart, pretending I was a good person as long as I did some good things, which that was kind of the way it was where I grew up. But God knew everything that was in my heart. I sometimes felt guilty but pushed it away, knowing if Jesus came now, I had no doubt, I was going to hell.
My thoughts were that someday I'll live my life for Jesus but I looked at it as being a hard and unhappy life, with all the rules we had to follow in the Amish, so I just kept on letting the devil take over my life.
It just so happened that I came to live with a loving and kind hearted Christian couple -- Derek and Daniela Felde. I moved in with them as soon as I came out of the Amish, since I really didn’t have another place to go. They would take me to church every Sunday. I felt uncomfortable every time I went because I knew I was a bad sinner, with all the things I'd done in my passed; I still wanted to live in my own old ways. But I kept on going.
I remember one Sunday I missed church because the night before I had done the most miserable thing. I went out drinking with some of my friends I had back then, and had promised the people I stayed with I won’t do it as long as they let me go. I broke the promise and how I regretted it and felt so terribly miserable. I was afraid they would never forgive me for what I had done, and would make me move out. But they forgave me and gave me another chance. How I just Praise God for another chance.
I want to tell you all how thankful I am for wonderful people like they are. They didn't give up on me and that is the most amazing thing. If it wasn’t for them and others who surround me and show their love towards me, I'd probably still be living my life the way that leads to destruction. I feel so sorry for what I caused them to go through, and I don’t know how I can repay them for what all they have done for me. My prayer is that if a lost child like me comes along, I just want to be willing to help him/her in any way I can, and to let them know how much God loves them.
I didn't get saved till Sept. 25, 2011. How grateful I am for our Heavenly Father who showed me His mercy and love! There's no greater joy and happiness then when you let God guide your life. He is the most wonderful thing in the world. He is a friend that you can trust with all your heart and is always there for you in times of trouble. He does wondrous things for you, if you trust him and give your life over to him.
I so love to go to church now and I thank God for bringing me here to people who are loving, caring and kind. I didn’t know any former Amish Christians at the time I got saved but I got to meet some not too long ago. It was one of my greatest pleasures! Oh I'll never forget how wonderful it was.
Thank you for letting me share my testimony, and God bless you all for what you’re doing to reach out to the Amish. May God continuously bless the Map Ministry!
On June 14th, Ada is planning on joining her church group for a three week mission’s trip to Hungary. She is also working hard at getting her GED and possibly going to Bible college in the fall.