May 2012 Newsletter
|PO Box 128/575 State Route 250 N, Savannah OH 44874 Office: (419) 962-1515|
|Personal Greeting by Joe Keim|
On May 10, we buried my two year old nephew, the son of my brother William and his wife Jenica. When we first heard that he passed away, it made so little sense and was almost unbearable to accept. But now that the funeral is over, we are already seeing God’s sovereign and eternal plan unfold and it’s starting to make more sense. Here is how:
1. Except for one brother, it once again brought our entire Keim family, spouses and children together.
2. During the funeral, Pastor John preached the gospel and, when he gave an invitation, many responded.
After the funeral was over, our whole family came together for more fellowship.
Tragedy explained: Dalton Keim (front right), two years old, was mischievous and had no fear. His mother was cooking a wild turkey on the stove, which had been boiling in water for four to five hours and as the family eagerly waited for the turkey to get done, little Dalton was behind his mother at the oven and tried to pull himself up by the oven door handle. When he did that, the whole oven tipped forward and all the hot water poured down over his body. William and Jenica just moved into this fully applianced house less than two months ago and had no idea that the oven was not anchored down and the oven could tip.
So quickly, joy and excitement turned into sorrow and heartache. Fourteen hours later and hundreds of prayers from the heart, God chose to take Dalton home to Glory Land.
Between 800-900 people came out for the viewing and about 400 attended the funeral.
If you would like to send the Keims a card, you can send it to:
William, Jenica & Malachi Keim
Or you can leave them a message, clicking here.
|More Office Space by Phyllis Weibel|
The Need: As some of you may know, the MAP Ministries building has become too small for the increased requests for Bible Club lessons, MAP offices and many volunteers to reasonably work out of. Our desire is to add on to the present building for storage and offices and thus using the present building space for our volunteers in which to work.
MAP has been offered free labor from Portage Community Church (Ravenna OH), if we can raise the cost of basic materials such as a concrete floor, insulation, roofing, siding and drywall, we can begin the project; the estimated cost is $20,000. We currently have $4,000.
Our urgent need is for $11,000 so the building can be started as soon as possible. You, our readers, can help by sending your gift marked "building expansion" to MAP at PO Box 128, Savannah OH 44874. Please be in prayer for us as we strive to raise these funds.
—by Phyllis Weibel (Volunteer)
|MAP Leadership Meeting by Chris Utley|
The first Ministry to Amish People “leadership” gathering was held on the weekend of April 13-15, 2012, in Goshen, IN. The purpose of the weekend was to bring people together who are actively involved in ministries to Amish for a weekend of prayer, mentorship, and motivation.
The weekend began on Friday evening, after most all of the participants had arrived, with a great meal prepared by the innkeeper of the Hope Springs Manor Bed and Breakfast. A great time of getting to know one another, introductions, and fellowship was enjoyed at dinner before we all gathered for the first of several meetings during the weekend.
Joe began our gatherings with a simple question: Why are you here? We answered that question at that time, and it was added to throughout the weekend.
Saturday and Sunday were great days of prayer, mentorship, and training for the attendees.
We were all tremendously blessed, and refocused on the importance of bringing the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all men, especially the Amish and other plain groups that God foresaw to burden our hearts with.
I would like to thank all those who attended and encourage those who couldn’t to make plans now to attend next year. Joe will be sending out an email soon with details.
I would also like to thank Joe Keim for his leadership during the weekend, and the owner and staff of Hope Springs Manor for the great accommodations and meals provided during the weekend.
Details are being worked out for a 2nd annual leadership meeting in 2013 and will most likely be in the Northern Indiana area once more. If you are interested in attending, please email Chris Utley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a more detailed write up on this year’s event, please click here.
About Chris Utley
Chris serves as a state trooper for the state of TN and is married to Ginny and has two little boys. For several years, Chris and his family have sponsored the Amish Voice for selected Amish communities in TN. He was also the organizer for the leadership meeting in Goshen IN. Please pray as he and his family seek the Lord’s leading in becoming a bigger part of MAP.
|My Journey to Freedom by Mattie Mullet|
My Journey to Freedom
Mattie Mullet was born and raised Amish, but at the age of 51, she did the unthinkable; she left everything she had ever known. And as she would say, “I could not have done it, had it not been for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
This book is not fiction; it is the true story of what one woman, Mattie Mullet, had to go through in order to follow her Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.
You can buy the book from Amazon.com
|Schrock Family, Missionaries to Amish in Wisconsin by Melvin Schrock|
Greetings from Wisconsin!
The first week in April, our family went to Spencer, OH, to attend Missionary Training School. The school lasted for a week and was filled with a lot of good, solid biblical teaching that will have an everlasting value to us. The children also had a class of learning from the Bible at their level, which they enjoyed very much.
I’m working with my youngest brother, Levi, in helping him make the transition from the Amish lifestyle to the English lifestyle where he will have freedom in Christ. Levi is 23 years old and has some disabilities, so he will need daily assistance. I’m working on finding the right group home for him—one that is local so we can take him along to church.
With Levi being a born again believer and still living at home, there is much conflict and opposition going on. Recently my Dad told Levi, “You believing the way you do and me believing the way the Amish do, does not work in my home.” Dad told Levi that he’s very close to telling him, “One of these days, I will tell you to leave home now, and it’s your problem if you don’t have a place to live.” Please pray for Levi that God would provide a home for him before that would take place.
In April, the Schrock family was approved by the MAP board to start presenting the need for a ministry to churches in the mid-western states. They have had some startup costs that totaled $800. If someone would like to help them with these expenses or support their ministry, please send your donation to MAP, ear-marked “Schrock Family".
If you are reading this and live in the WI and surrounding states, please notify Melvin about coming and doing a ministry presentation. Their contact number is (715) 558-2883.
|Three Young Men|
These three young men recently left the Amish and came to our Saturday morning Bible study. John (right) came to the U.S. with his family but never changed his citizenship. Thanks to his sister who worked hard and diligently to help him out. The other two are also working on birth cert, SS numbers and Driver’s Licenses.
|Former Amish Reunion|
Former Amish Reunion
This year the Former Amish Reunion (FAR) will be held on July 21 at Freedom Fellowship Church in Apple Creek OH. If you have an Amish background, please come and bring a cold or hot dish. This event always brings about great fellowship and encouragement in the Lord. More info: call (419) 962-1515
|Plain New Life Promitional Banquet by Joe Keim|
In March, I had an opportunity to speak to three hundred people who turned out for the Plain New Life Promotional Banquet in Lancaster PA. The banquet was put on by one of our missionary partners, Andy Geesey, and focused on promoting his ministry to the plain culture as well as raise more funds for ministry activity.
We were both excited and blessed to see a large number of Amish turn out for the event. Some shared their testimonies and others sang. One of Andy’s goals is to teach and equip those within the culture to evangelize and disciple their own people. This would of course not work in most communities, but does seem to be working in Lancaster County. MAP considers it an honor to work alongside Plain New Life.
Recently, Andy Geesey got a group of 10 individuals together and went from door to door, sharing the gospel with Amish people in New York state. This is something no one had ever attempted before and I found it quite interesting to read Andy’s results.
The first thing Andy did was take his students through the seminar class, “Amish: Our Friends, But Are They Fellow believers?” Next they did some role playing and finally they put into practice what they had been taught in the classroom.
As they traveled from house to house, they found that the majority of Amish did not want to discuss spiritual matters. However, Andy writes: “from the 39 homes/farms that the mission team visited, 6 were not home, leaving us with 33 contacts of various types. From the 12 completed surveys 3 were born again individuals, and 2 of those three came to Christ in connection with our Underground fellowship groups or other members from the Amish. The other is the daughter of an Amish minister who had been enrolled in the Son-Light Club (Bible lessons – done entirely by mail).”
Web Site: PlainNewLife.org
This is Iva Miller. She was born and raised in an Amish community in IN. Two years ago, she had an opportunity to enroll in a Bible school in PA. She said, “I could not turn it down.” While in her second year of Bible school, the Lord revealed to her that she needs to take the gospel back to her own people.
During a brief visit at our office, she said, “Joe, I am planning on putting my Amish clothes back on and staying with my parents during the summer and than returning back to Bible school in the fall.”
When I asked Iva if she would attend the Amish church with her parents this summer, she informed me that she is not sure how that will all work yet but she does not have any intentions on doing so if she can help it.
|What It Was Like Leaving My Amish Culture by Marvin Schlabach|
My name is Marvin Schlabach, but I like to be called MJ. I come from an Old Order Amish community in Smicksburg, PA. I have three brothers and two sisters. My dad left the Amish in 2001 when I was eight years old, and he was gone for two months and went back. I can easily remember what a shock it was for everybody. I think that is when I first started to think about leaving the Amish. The longer I thought about it, the worse it got.
When I was 16, I wanted to leave really bad, but I didn’t leave until I was 17. When I was 17, I joined the young folks. That is when I started to get in trouble. I had a CD player and a phone, and I also got into drinking. This kept on for 6 months, then one Sunday evening my parents found all my stuff—my MP3 player, CD player, speakers, TV, and DVD player—everything except my phone. At that time, I threatened to leave the Amish or commit suicide, so my parents took me to a mental hospital, which was okay with me because I could watch TV and everything else. I was in there for a couple of weeks then went back home, but the last thing I wanted to do was to go back home. I was still depressed, and that is when I first started to take drugs.
I was only home for two weeks before I got tired of everything and left again in April 2011. I lived with a guy that used drugs and had a criminal background. I stayed there for two months until my boss found out what kind of guy I was staying with (I worked for a lawn care company), so I moved in with my boss’ son and lived there until I went back to the Amish in September 2011, after being gone for four months.
After I went back, I started to get in trouble again from alcohol and drugs. I almost killed myself one Sunday by taking too many drugs, and I haven’t touched any since—and I don’t want to, either. That is when I started to realize that there is more to life than just having fun. I started to get depressed again. Then one day I was on the Internet with my phone, and I came across this website called Mission to Amish People. I started to read some of the testimonies on their web site. That is when I first realized, I didn’t have to be Amish to get into heaven. From that moment on, my life started to change.
At first, I kind of doubted it, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it is true. I said a little bit to my dad about reading somewhere that this Amish thing isn’t right, and he didn’t like that very much.
After being back home for five months, I started to get tired of everything again. I kept getting into arguments with my dad. One night I got into trouble again, and I decided that I had enough. I told my dad what I actually thought about all this Amish stuff, and he got mad. (My dad was a minister.) I told him I was tired of everything and told him that I was going to leave. He still didn’t believe me until I got my stuff, then my family tried their best to keep me there. That’s when my dad finally apologized to me for getting mad at me, and I told him I was sorry, but I couldn’t go on like this. It was very hard to leave again. My dad, mom, and sister were all crying, so it was heartbreaking, but I knew it couldn’t go on like this. It was either listen to the Amish church rules or leave. So that night, February 9, 2012, I left.
I went to an ex-Amish guy and stayed and worked for him for a week, then he said I had to get out. Then I went to an English guy that I knew pretty well, but I didn’t want to stay there because he was a criminal and used drugs. So I started to get desperate to find a new place to stay. Then I happened to think about the website I had found a while back called Mission to Amish People. So I gave them a call, and it was just a recording, and I didn’t leave my number thinking they would have the callback number. I did that 3 times. The fourth time, I did leave my number. So Joe from MAP called me back and arranged for somebody to come and pick me up.
The next day, Wednesday, Uriah Shetler from Mansfield, Ohio, came and picked me up in Indiana, Pennsylvania. The next day, I started to work for Keim Construction, building pole barns.
On March 6, I was on my way to work with John Miller, the driver, and Wayne Miller. We lost control and hit a tree. John got killed. Wayne was taken to Mansfield Hospital with chest injuries. I was in the back seat, and my head got caught in the trunk. It took the emergency workers, using the Jaws of Life, an hour and a half to get me out of the car. They took me to Mansfield Hospital then sent me by Life Flight to Akron General Hospital. My left leg was broken pretty bad, my right hip and pelvis was broken, my right arm was broken, and my neck was broken. That is when God really opened my eyes, and I saw what a poor sinner I am. Two days after the accident, I finally accepted Jesus Christ as my savior. It was only through the mercy of God that I was allowed another chance to accept Jesus as my savior.
I was in the hospital for a week and then went to rehab. I was discharged from rehab on March 31. It is now 6 weeks after the accident, and I’m allowed to start walking today. I’m able to use my right arm almost like normal. I still have a Halo on my neck, and I will have to keep that on for 8 weeks. They put a rod in my arm and leg. I’m staying with William Keim, my boss, for now. I’m studying for my GED, and I’m hoping to go to college afterwards.
I just want to thank Joe Keim and Eric Able for bringing me to Christ, and also William and Jenica Keim for taking care of me, and all my friends that helped to encourage me through these hard times since my family doesn’t want anything to do with me. I also want to thank MAP Ministry for all they have done for me. They are a blessing from God. I also want to thank everyone who prayed for me and sent me cards. May GOD BLESS YOU.
To encourage Marvin, please go to: Leave Marvin a comment