November Map Update 2013
| P.O. Box 128 | 575 US Highway 250 | Savannah OH 44874 | Office: (419) 962-1515
In This Issue
Since 2000, Esther and I have, on weekends, traveled the highways and spoken in hundreds of churches. However, after 13 years, we desperately needed a break. The board asked that we step back from traveling during 2013, which we have done for the most part. It has been so nice to get up on Sunday mornings and go to our home church and be ministered to.
During 2013, our focus turned to establishing a former Amish Sunday school class. The goal has been two-fold:
1. Create an atmosphere for young men and women to come and learn at their own level. Many have a hard time fitting into classes where they are, sometimes, misunderstood and have a difficult time expressing themselves.
2. I have a great burden to see these brilliant young people get rooted and grounded in a local church. They have so many gifts and abilities that can be used for the glory of God, but it requires someone to take the time to go slow and care. The journey has been very rewarding; we praise God for the ones that have been faithful.
We do miss seeing many of you donors and prayer warriors, and at some point, we will need to go back on the road again; but until then, we plan on sending all of you a short update on DVD. It will hopefully be a blessing to you as well as cause you to give the Lord a shout of praise and thanksgiving.
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| Cross Point Ministry - Iva Miller
Every weekend the former Amish youth decide what they will do with their free time. This is largely based upon the influence of friendship, as most of the youth will still go to parties and go where the crowd goes. My heart with Cross Point is to provide a positive alternative—to give a different voice and option to these young men and women, and to influence them for Jesus Christ.
What we do varies from hiking, outdoor movies, volleyball, and go-karts, to having dinner and fun game nights. It used to be every other weekend that we had something planned, but it has come to be every weekend! God has provided the creativity, the people, and the opportunities to encourage each other and have fun together. Bless God and thank him!
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|Jonas Yoder Update|
Greetings in the name of Jesus—the name above every other name. As we move out of summer and into this fall season, once more I am challenged to reflect on life. Life brings constant change, and it is good to occasionally reflect back to where we have been, where we are now, and where we are planning to be in the future.
Last week we had our first Malachi Dad (MD) Coaches’ fellowship supper at Lobelville, TN, which is close to where I serve as director for the MD program. As we gathered for the fellowship meal with six former Amish coaches and four other men from various backgrounds and churches, I was awed and humbled to see what the Lord has done. About three-and-a-half years ago, as we were struggling with being rejected by our own people and transitioning away from the Amish church, the Lord challenged my heart to reach back to the Amish with the gospel of Jesus Christ; but then God put me in the middle of prison ministry. As I began reflecting on my last four years, it became clear to me what God was doing. Many Amish people, as they come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, have a great desire to reach out and share their new-found faith with others; many times, however, they are at a loss on how to do that. The MD program offers them an opportunity to become actively involved in sharing their faith with others, while at the same time challenging their own spiritual growth.
During August 27-29, we also had our second prison revival meeting at the Turney Center Correctional facility. We had an awesome time of fellowship and revival with the inmates. There were ten salvations and two baptisms, which I personally had the opportunity to perform!
On October 5, we had our annual Celebrate Life Day (CLD) at the West Kentucky Women’s prison. This is the day that we bring approximately 50 kids to the prison to see their moms who are enrolled in our women’s program called Ruby’s For Life. We provide a carnival-type setting inside the prison for moms and their children to be able to have fun together, reconcile, and reconnect. CLD is a very important part of the programs we do, and it takes up to 200+ volunteers to accomplish. We had several former Amish participating as volunteers this year.
To have us come to your church and speak, or take us on as your missionary, call (270) 625-6093 or email me at Jonas@MapMinistry.org.
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| Bible Club Update -Tina Duffield
This has been the best year we have had in the history of the Bible Club since it began in 2000. It takes many, many people to help this ministry keep going, but we know that ultimately it is God who covers us with His protection and blessings, and that is why the Bible Club has grown.
We have many faithful volunteers who do their part by coming every week. They open Bible lessons and sort and grade them. Then they are matched and put together by even more volunteers. Every other Thursday we have another group of volunteers (around 25 of them) who come to do the folding and taping. The lessons must then be sorted and put into trays to be mailed. Our goal has been to do about 3,000 Bible lessons every two weeks. Most of the time, we reach that goal. We also have many, many “behind the scenes” people whom God uses to financially support this ministry. Praise God for you! We spend over $3,000 a month just to mail the lessons—and that does not include the cost of the lessons themselves, the paper, tape, stickers, pens, stampers, ink, etc. that it takes to do the work.
We want to thank God for our Prayer Partners who help us pray for this ministry. You are also a great blessing! Maybe some of you think that you don’t do much, but we want you to know that you are very important to us. We have sent out over 62,000 Bible study lessons in 2013 and we have recorded 227 salvation decisions. Now that is something to shout about!
Whatever it is that you do to help support the Bible Club, whether praying, coming into the office to help with the lessons, or giving financially, we want to sincerely say, “Thank You!” You are a part of this ministry, and you are helping souls to be saved and thousands more grow nearer to Jesus. If you would like to volunteer and help us with the Club in any way, let me know!
For more information on how you can sponsor a student for $25, Click Here
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|Standing In the Gap
Amish adults who come to MAP usually have never had their own birth certificates and Social Security cards, or if they did get them as children but their parents refuse to provide them when they leave. One of those young men, Rudy, came from Pennsylvania and did not have the required documents that agencies required, such as birth record, report cards, notarized letters from people who can verify their story, etc. He decided not to wait, and so he returned to his hometown and got them on his own. We have been helping him get his driver’s license. He has dreams of going to college and pursuing his musical gifts and talents.
Andy, on the other hand, is from Iowa and having to go through a longer process of getting his documents. Please pray with us as we continue to help these young adults prepare for and adjust to “English” life.
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Thank you so graciously for sponsoring Lovina at $25 for a month times three. Within 3-4 weeks, over $1000 came in for her. You are so amazing! Wow! All glory to God, the highest.
We would like for you to continue to pray for our housing need. Numerous people contacted us after the September update, wanting to know more details and offering ideas and advice. At this point, we are just praying, waiting on the Lord, and being completely open to whatever God has for us. He knows the need and is more than capable of providing. In the meantime, please let us know if you have thoughts and ideas.
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|Please Turn to the Text|
The following article shows some of what often happens in the life of Joe Keim. It tells how he and a young Amish man have been communicating by texting over several months, some of the challenges involved, and why Mission to Amish People is so much needed. Some of the names and locations have been changed for privacy reasons. The bold font contains the words of Alvin Martin, the Amish man, while the regular font shows the communication of Joe Keim.
Hey, Joe. I read those verses that you told me to read.
Thank you, Alvin. Now I have a question: according to those verses, what must happen if a person wants to see the kingdom of God?
He must be born again!
Yes. That is what God's Word clearly says. So as you stand before God now, I have to ask: are you born again?
Well, the way my dad told me, being born again means to get baptized, and I haven't yet been baptized.
You should ask your dad sometime to show you where he gets from the Bible that baptism is how a person is born again.
Is there any other way for a person to be born again? I don't know the difference because that’s what I was told. :(
People come up with all kinds of different ways. Some believe you have to be baptized or go to church. Some believe you have to belong to a certain church denomination. Others believe being born again happens over a lifetime. Others believe it happens on a certain date at a certain place. It sounds like a confusing mess doesn't it?
Yes, it does. I guess I believe that if you live for God every day of your life, then you are born again. My dad wants me to join the church, and I have no desire to join the Amish church because I want to be free and serve God instead of having to be under all the Amish rules and only do what the bishop wants me to do and not so much what God wants us to do.
Thank you for sharing your desire to follow the Lord and know what He says rather than follow man-made rules. Go back to John chapter 3 and read verses 5 and 6. You will find that it talks about two births. Can you read these verses and explain how the two births are different?
Well, the way I understand it, one of the births is of water and spirit and the other is of flesh. Now I might be wrong, because I could hardly understand it.
You are mostly right. Verse 5 talks about a "water" birth and a "spirit" birth. Verse 6 confirms this when it says, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." So—there is a first birth that is made of water and flesh. This birth allows you to be born into the physical world. The first birth happens at a certain time and a certain place, meaning the birth was an event, and not a long process that took three days or one week. Every year you celebrate that birth-day. The first birth also allowed you to become a Martin. You are not a Miller, because you were born into the Martin family. Now, Jesus came along and said, “Alvin, this first birth may have allowed you to enter a physical world and become a Martin, but it will not allow you enter the kingdom of heaven and become a Christian.” If you want to become a Christian and enter the kingdom of heaven, you must be born again. Or you might say you have to be born a second time. The first birth was made of water and flesh but the second one is—what? The answer is in verse 6. Not flesh, but...
Spirit. Is that right?
You got it. Just like you were born into the Martin family and became a Martin, so you must be born into God’s family to become a Christian. Does that make sense?
Yes, it does. Would I have a place to live if I’d come up there?
If you do leave the Amish and come to our area, I would really like to have the opportunity to mentor and work with you. I'm doing that with some others and it’s been great.
Yes, that would be ok with me. Can I leave here as soon as possible?
I don't personally pick people up but might be able to connect you with others who have left the Amish.
Thanks, dad. LOL. Or that’s how it seems sometimes. It's good to have someone to depend on at times like this.
I understand. I did text John about a job and place for you. As soon as he gets something together, he’ll let you know.
Ok. Sounds like the most awesome thing I've heard in my life.
Note: Alvin did leave the Amish and come to our area for help; however, I (Joe) never met him in person. He was only out for one day before his dad found out where he was, and came and got him.
-Six Months Later-
Hey Joe. This is Alvin Martin from Lancaster. Don't know if you remember me or not. I'm the one that lived with Ben for a day and then went back to the Amish. How are you doing these days?
Yes, I remember you, Alvin. Always wondered what happened to you. I am doing well. What happened that you went back so quickly?
Well my dad called me and had the usual line that I'm going to go to hell for sure if I stay out in the world. It seemed like my dad might try to cause trouble for me, so I decided rather than causing Ben any trouble, I'd just go home. When I got home, they took me to a (Amish) mental facility, because they said my mind is messed up. Well, that wasn't the truth, but I got put on mental medication and they tried time and again to tell me that I'd go to hell for sure if I leave. But I found a job and I have plans to leave again next week. As you can imagine, I've been through a lot of tough situations the last few months, and there are still a lot of unanswered questions; but GOD has helped me a lot and is still helping me.
Wow! That is such a sad story, Alvin.
We have a wedding here today—our neighbor girl. We had a wedding last week, too, and there was a beer party. The older people called the police and told them to watch for us, so nobody is going to drag me there again. LOL. If I want to get a driver’s license, I had better not get in trouble. I'll probably get laughed at, but so it is with the Amish youth :(
Alvin, I can honestly say, I am always impressed by how you think things through. You are a wise young man. I hope your day at the wedding goes well and you don't get laughed at. Even if you do, well then those guys really weren't your friends, anyways. Real friends care about you and your likes, and not the other way around. May the Lord give you courage to stand!
Thank you. And we all know that the Lord doesn't appreciate wild parties, anyways. I can honestly say I have only two friends down here and I went to school with them, but still they would rather party than go to church. :(
I know what you mean, Alvin. When a person gets to a certain age, he wants to make his own decisions without others telling him how to live. Sadly, many make poor choices and end up with painful scars that last a lifetime. A few would dare look ahead in life and choose wisely. You are one of those few..
Thank you, Joe. You make me feel better. Ha Ha.
Please pray for Alvin. Like so many other youth, he has limited access to the outside world, other than his phone which he hides. We are not so much concerned that he leaves the Amish as we are that he knows and accepts Jesus as his Savior and Lord.
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|Question for Joe: Are there Amish Christians?|
Hello, Joe. I have a question. My wife got an “Amish” cookbook that came from Middlebury, IN. In the book is a very clear presentation of Christ and how He died for our salvation. It seems so different from the Amish I have talked with and what I have read. Is there a unique Amish group which understands the Gospel?
2. Tourist areas, such as Shipshewana, IN, Holmes County, OH and Lancaster, PA are bombarded with outsiders and rub shoulders with believers on a daily basis. Because of that reason, many of those Amish have become more neutral and accepting of others who are non-Amish and have different beliefs. It is also true that numerous ones have heard the gospel and become true believers. However, in saying this, let me also say that all you have to do is drive outside these tourist areas and you will find the majority of the quarter million Amish living in the sticks. These families shy away from outsiders as much as possible. Many are highly legalistic in their view of salvation and do not understand salvation the way God presents it to mankind. In these cases, non-German Bibles have been burned, family members have been expelled, depression is at an all-time high, and sexual abuse and beer parties are out of control.
3. It is also possible that the cookbook your wife bought was written by non-Amish or Mennonite believers. Because the name Amish sells, they use it as a way to sell more cookbooks.
Some have estimated that there may be as many as 5,000-10,000 Amish people who are saved. This is not an exact number, but it gives you somewhat of an idea. Some of the Amish choose to stay in their culture, even after they get saved. Others are full of passion and desire to go beyond their community’s guidelines and evangelize the rest of the world.