January 2013 MAP Update
|Personal Greeting: Joe Keim||Office Addition Update|
|Ada Goes To Bible School||MAP Training School|
|Jonas Yoder: Missionary to Amish and Prisons in KY||Baptism and Wedding|
|Welcome to MAP, Paul||Near and Long-Term Goals|
|PO Box 128/575 State Route 250 N, Savannah OH 44874 Office: (419) 962-1515|
|Personal Greeting: Joe Keim
We will never get over being blessed by all the cards of encouragement, prayers and financial investments you make on behalf of MAP and those in need. Truly, you are a solider of the cross and care deeply about the things of God.
Your partnership in this ministry is far more valuable than anything else this world could offer. Lives continue to be changed because you care. God continues to receive glory because you have chosen to let Him flow through you and into the world.
One day soon, we shall stand together in Glory Land and rejoice with the Everlasting King of Kings and all of Heaven’s army. Yes! One day soon!
Can you imagine what that will be like when, one by one, they come up to us and say, “We are here because of you.” Ah, the thought is almost too precious for my puny little brain to handle.
With that said, we will now give you an update on all the latest happenings, along with our goals for 2013 and beyond.
|Office Addition Update
A building date has not yet been set, but we are getting very close to starting the new office addition. As you can imagine, we are excited and looking forward to the extra and much needed space.
We started out with the need to raise $33,906 and, as of today, we are within $4,000 of reaching that goal. Forty one individuals and churches have invested in the building material.
One very special couple has been giving week after week for several months. Recently, they sent the following testimony:
Wow! What can we say but all glory to God.
To help all of us reach the finish line, please go to our web site and join Anonymous Donor or just click on the diagram below and it will take you straight to an area where you can give online.
|Ada Goes to Bible School
Several newsletters back, we shared Ada’s testimony with you. She left the Amish like so many others her age—looking to get away from the yoke of religion. Soon after she left, someone shared the gospel with her and she accepted God’s gift of salvation. Since then she has gone on a missions trip, received her GED and completed 3-months of Bible school in CO. Just recently, she learned that the school accepted her application to return for the advanced schooling.
Ada wanted to update you. She writes: God did a wonderful work in my life while I was at Ellerslie Training School.
It has been 17 months since I left the Amish tradition, wanting to know what life had to offer outside the Amish community. Three months after being told to go to church and Bible study in order to have a place to live, I got saved through the Precious Blood of Christ. I can see God’s hand on me throughout this whole time. He broke me and made it known to my heart that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. God radically changed me, and He has shown His great faithfulness ever since I made the commitment to follow Christ for the rest of my life.
The first week of school was rather intense and very new to me. I didn’t know anyone. All I knew was that God was going to change my life completely. The flesh was screaming, “I don’t want to be changed,” but the Spirit was saying, “Yes Lord, do whatever You must do to make me into Your likeness; I’m willing.”
I remember so well the first week of school. After watching Ten Shekels and a Shirt by Paris Riedhead, God sweetly broke me and emptied me of self. That night I wrestled in prayer and cried out to God knowing that there was more to be had and I needed it desperately. The conviction was so strong I knew I must fight this through and not ignore it. Well, this wasn’t just a one night battle but lasted into the next day. I continued crying out to God and asking Him, “What is it? Is there something in my life that I haven’t surrendered yet?” Then God made clear to me the Cross and Christ crucified on that Cross.
To see that Jesus shed his Precious Blood for my sinfulness is such an amazing picture of God’s great Love for me and all who call upon his name. I came to the Cross afresh. I realized what God had done for me and how much He desires my life to be lived out as a living sacrifice, holy, unto Him. I surrendered my all to Christ. If He calls me to go to the darkest places of the earth to be a living sacrifice for him, then I will go.
I came to the realization that I’m about God’s business here on earth and not my own. He filled me with great joy and peace afterwards. I wouldn’t trade the pain of chastening for anything. As it says in Hebrews 12:11, “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless, afterwards it yieldeth the peaceful fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”
God has given great promises to us, yet we tend to avoid the ones that say we will have to suffer. God says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” Psalm 34:19.
God is continuing to teach me His ways. I have learned a lot at school, but He has so much more for me if I seek Him with all my heart, for He says, “And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart.” Jer. 29:13.
Going to Ellerslie was such a wonderful experience. I cherish the set-apart season I had there of undistracted devotion unto my Great King! It’s all about Jesus and nothing else. That’s all we need to live out the life God has called us to live.
Why do we so often go to the world and think there is fulfillment there, when there is none? In Psalms 16:11 it says, “Thou wilt show me the path of life: In Thy Presence is fullness of life; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” What a great promise! Once you taste and see that the Lord is good, you will come to Him alone for your fulfillment. Let us always look unto the Cross and cling to it so we might see how unworthy we are and how worthy our King Jesus is!
|MAP Training School
In January, we put on a 3-day missionary training school for individuals and families who are interested in helping us present MAP in local churches. Those who attended came in from DE, KY, NY and OH. The training involved role playing, using Microsoft Office, calling and schedule church presentations and public speaking tips. Thanks to all who came, taught classes and provided housing and meals.
Sean and Amie from NY attended the training school and have a desire to get more involved in reaching Amish and helping me present MAP to churches. Recently, I asked Sean if he would write a note to you so you could pray for them.
Sean writes: A little over a year ago, the Lord started a work in our family's hearts to reach the Plain communities with the Gospel. In June 2011, my wife and I made a short day trip to Lancaster County which was about an hour and half drive from our previous residence in MD. During that trip, we saw a sign on the side of the road for a "Gospel Tent Meeting" that was set to begin the following week.
So, we decided to attend the following week. In short, we met so many wonderful people and were encouraged by the messages and the love of Jesus that was so evident.
At this time, we also met a former Amish gentleman who we had the pleasure of speaking with for only a few minutes. Yet, the words that he spoke ring so clearly for me even now. He conveyed in very clear terms that he and his family had gone through many trials and even excommunication from their community because of their faith in Christ and desire to follow Him. Quite honestly, I was totally shocked by this. While both my wife and I are believers in Jesus Christ, we had never experienced this level of persecution before.
We prayed for direction from the Lord and he was continually burdening our hearts for the plain community. We have no previous background with the Anabaptists or any previous relationships with Plain People in the past. In fact, I was raised with a heavy Roman Catholic upbringing and came to a saving faith in Jesus in my college years. I met my wife very shortly after becoming born again.
Since moving to upstate NY, we discovered that our area is home to one of the largest Old Order Mennonite communities in the US and an ever-growing Amish population. We are within 45-60 minutes distance from multiple Plain Communities. The area is simply ripe for the harvest. It is ripe for the Gospel of Jesus Christ to change lives for eternity.
Our heart's sincere desire is to bring hope and life to the Plain People that have become so near to our hearts. In this, we are asking prayer for a few things.
1) For the Lord to cast a vision for the ministry of the gospel in this area.
2) For other believers to join in prayer alongside of us
3) For genuine relationships to be built with specific individuals of the Plain Community in the area
4) For the Holy Spirit to bring conviction to hearts and an openness to the gospel
5) For boldness and courage to share the gospel with love
6) This is our first true endeavor like this, and know there are some practical challenges we are already facing. The burden of college school loans needs to be satisfied on a monthly basis. We are obliged to pay these debts for some time to come that I unfortunately took somewhat ignorantly in my younger years. Pray that this would not become a burden that deters us from the work.
7) For simple, child-like trust in God
8) For protection and growth of our young family (I am 26, my wife is 24, and both kids are 2 and younger). I know the primary ministry the Lord has given to me is as a father and husband.
9) For a deeper knowledge and confidence in the Scripture. Our desire is to hide the Word in our hearts so deeply that we are able to provide an answer or word of encouragement without fumbling over where to find the actual Scripture.
—The Ronnenberg Family
|Jonas Yoder: Missionary to Amish and Prisons in KY
If the Lord burdens you to partner with the Yoder family in Princeton KY, here are some ways you can participate:
Donations can be send to: Jonas Yoder (C/O MAP), PO Box 128, Savannah OH 44874. You also have the choice of going to online giving and partnering with Jonas and Mary that way.
|Baptism and Wedding
Remember Samuel Girod from the last update? In December he got baptized and married to Polly who is also from an Amish background and previously lived in MO.
We are all so thankful and proud of them. They have a heart for the Lord and are willing to serve where they can.
|Welcome to MAP, Paul
In December, Paul Miller joined the MAP staff as Ministry Coordinator. He works two days a week and has been involved in a little bit of everything. His giftedness is administration, which is an area MAP needed help in.
|Near and Long-Term Goals
Long Term Goals
One additional note:
Joe Keim does not have many speaking engagements this year for the simple reason that the MAP board has asked Joe and Esther Keim to take a year off from traveling and speaking in churches. This will allow them some much needed rest as well as allow them to concentrate on getting a former Amish Sunday school class started.
Please pray with us!
God knows our needs and what is best for us. As you join with us in our goal and needs, we will see together where and how God leads. We desire God’s will—no matter what it is. He may change things, and we must adapt. “A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).
Whether we seek wisdom and direction for today or for the next five years, our focus remains the same and our eyes and hearts remain fixed on Jesus Christ.