March 2015 MAP Update
| P.O. Box 128 | 575 US Highway 250 | Savannah OH 44874 | Office: (419) 962-1515|
In This Issue
|Jonas Yoder Update|
Dear Friends, II Corinthians 5:17-19 has provided much encouragement and motivation for me lately. As new creatures in Christ Jesus, God has given US the ministry of reconciliation. It doesn’t matter who we are or where God has placed us; He has given to us the word of reconciliation—the greatest message ever given to mankind. Romans 1 states that IT is the power of God unto salvation. The power is not in us convincing people, but in our obedience in sharing the Message He has given us. So my question to you is, Who has God placed in your life with whom you need to share the Message?
As you know, we are involved in dual ministry with HR Ministries and MAP. God continues to open up many doors of opportunity in both areas. In the last month, I had the opportunity to share with several area churches how to reach out to their local Amish communities with the Gospel. I am thrilled every time I see people willing to learn and participate in sharing the Gospel with the Amish.
We have also received several invitations from prisons to bring our discipleship program to their institutions, which means many more volunteers are needed. The former Amish make great table coaches for these programs.
Much appreciation to all who have taken our ministry on for support!
Pray for continued guidance and direction for our family as we seek to be obedient to God’s call. Contact us at (270) 625-6093 or at Jonas@MapMinistry.org.
|Melvin Schrock Update|
Dear Friends, Greetings of love from above. Last month, we gave our first update to a church in which we presented the ministry a year ago. This time, I taught more on how to reach the Amish on a one on one level and face to face.
A couple years ago, we first heard from Dora, a 16-year-old Amish girl, who desperately wanted to leave the Amish. Dora showed a lot of interest in the Bible and she asked where to find certain Scriptures. We were heartbroken, as we could not help her then, due to her age. A few months ago, though, I got a text from Dora. Then in January, Dora was picked up by her former Amish sister, with whom she is now staying. We have taken Dora to church and remain in contact with her, praying that God will allow us to strengthen our relationship, have a Bible study with her, and lead her to Jesus.
We are busily planning another Amish Awareness Conference in Ohio in March 26-28 of 2015. I would encourage you to prayerfully consider coming to the event. I trust you will be encouraged, challenged, and even better equipped to reach the Amish with the gospel.
Thank you so much for your continued prayer and support. Let us know if you have questions or if you would like for us to present the ministry at your church. To do so, please call (715) 558-2883 or email us at Mel@MapMinistry.org.
|Help on Christmas Day|
On Christmas day, 2014, Henry and Katie were dropped off at a nearby truck stop in Ashland, OH. From there, Esther and I brought them into our home for several days while we worked out a deal with an apartment house owner in town.
Since the couple didn’t have much more than the clothes on their backs, we took them to some second-hand stores and found enough dishes, furniture and clothes to get them started. Other members of God’s family poured their love and resources out on the two, and within a few days of being at MAP, Henry started working full time for my brother at PJ Construction.
Henry and Katie had already left their Old Order Amish community the year before, only to fall into the hands of someone who took advantage of them in every possible way. They, like so many others who leave the culture, were innocent and vulnerable and did not realize what they were getting themselves into until it was too late. However, on the day before Christmas, they got reconnected with each other in the middle of the night and fled from their situation, fearing for their own lives.
On January 8th of this year, Esther and I invited them to our place for some connecting time. That night I said, “Henry and Katie, you are not here by accident! You see, God brought you here for a reason, and that is, He wants to save you from all your sins and give you everlasting life.” For the next two hours, we devoured God’s Word and when it came time to talk to God, they both gave their hearts to the Lord. Since then, we have not missed one week of Bible study. Glory to God!
In 2014, they got married by a minister in the area in which they were living at the time; however, since Katie does not have a birth record, they were unable to get a marriage license. Thus, the couple still goes by different last names until we get their birth records and social security cards.
They surprised us a few weeks ago when they informed us: Katie is pregnant! Her due date is September 20. Please pray for Henry and Katie.
|She Does Exist!|
In June 2014, I met with Anna, a young lady who was born in Michigan, than moved with her family to New York, and most recently, broke away from the Amish and moved to Ohio. Anna had never had a birth certificate, Social Security card, or other official identification. To the modern world, she did not exist.
We began our journey in Michigan. We learned that with paperwork such as a lease agreement, pay-stub, and other written letters, we would be able to begin the process to get her a birth certificate.
In September 2014, we learned that she would have to file a delayed registration birth certificate. We went through this process, but because of the lack of identity, we were told to contact the county courthouse. After many weeks of communication, we finally learned that the judge would hear Anna’s case. We filed the court papers and waited.
In January 2015, a lady from the county courthouse called to inform us that she wants to talk with Anna. We held a court hearing with the Michigan judge by telephone from the MAP office on Thursday, January 22, 2015. As a result of this hearing, Anna was approved for a birth certificate! This seven-month journey was long, but it was worth it. Through many hours of prayer and telephone calls, we were able to help this wonderful young lady prove to the world that she does actually exist, and she is ready to make a difference. Congratulations, Anna!
For many years, God has been preparing the minds and hearts of those at Mission to Amish people to get ready for action in the area of housing for the former Amish. Many former Amish come to us for help and need a place to stay as they adjust to life in the English world, learn life skills, and study God’s word. We could blindly jump in and make many unnecessary mistakes, or we could seek the wisdom of God and the experience of those who have already been through similar experiences. The leaders at MAP have chosen the second way—to seek God and to learn from the wisdom and experience of others.
On January 24, Joe and Esther Keim, the MAP board members, and some other friends and supporters met together in Savannah, OH, to discuss the topic of housing. We were honored to have Peter van Brussel from Country Wide Prison Ministry join us by computer and share his experience and wisdom in this area. We were also greatly blessed to have MAP missionary Jonas Yoder and his fellow HR Prison Ministries workers Harrell Riley and David Little travel up from Kentucky. Harrell was especially helpful to us as he shared how God led HR Ministries to obtain and oversee a housing ministry that God is greatly using. It was exciting to hear his stories of how God led them and provided for them.
Mr. Riley shared much that will be very beneficial to us. Harrell’s philosophy in helping others is not to have them dependent upon the ministry, but for the ministry simply and effectively to provide the people with tools so that they can go out and use what they have learned to live their own lives for the glory of God.
This housing program must be more than helping others through life while they are with us and then leaving them helpless once they move on, but to lovingly and firmly prepare them to get what they need while they are with us in order to stand on their own, in dependence upon God, once their MAP housing time is up.
One of the most important lessons that Harrell Riley stressed was to be sure that those being considered for housing are not trying to live off the generosity of MAP for life, but that they have their own vision and can see where they want and need to be in the months and years ahead. If they do not have their own vision, they will be directionless and not make much progress—as they will have no goals of their own that they are trying to reach.
Not everyone who comes to MAP will be a human success story, but we must be ready and able to help those who are faithful and dedicated to live the lives that God has prepared for them. We hope and pray that we are getting much closer to obtaining the land that God has for the MAP housing ministry. We are continuing to raise funds to begin building when God gives us permission. We will need much, of course, in way of materials, labor, finances, and prayer. We look forward to keeping you, our friends and supporters, informed of what is going on, and partnering with you as we seek God together.
We have much to think about, much to pray about, and much still to learn, but God is leading us every step of the way, and we want to make sure that His ways and His timing are ours, too. If God is leading you to help in this MAP housing project in any way, please contact us. We are in this together and working together for the glory of God.
|Education in Progress|
Having only an 8th-grade education is a major obstacle for the Amish who choose to leave their communities and live in the modern world. Obtaining a GED is quite the challenge for many. New testing standards and computerized testing have made it more difficult for those wanting their high-school diploma equivalent.
This year, MAP has begun teaching GED classes twice a week. Amish schools do not teach any science at all. They limit their math education to basic algebra, and they do not teach American history. These three subjects make up most of the GED test. As we began studying these subjects, it became clear that we were in need of computers and a GED program that could help guide students through the computerized test.
We thank and praise God, who answered our prayers! Three fairly new computers were recently donated to us, which have greatly helped us in teaching the students basic computer skills, as well as giving us the ability to purchase a GED study program.
Through a generous donation made by one of our donors, MAP was able to purchase GED study software. This program is based entirely off the internet, which means that students across the country can contact MAP to sign up for GED courses and follow along from home. For more details on how you can sign up, go to I Want To Get My GED.
If this is a need, please contact me at email@example.com, or call our office and ask for Rachel Arnold.
|Amish Awareness Conference|
Details: Amish Awareness Conference
There’s still time for you and your family or friends to register for this year’s 3-day Amish Awareness Conference in Savannah, OH. To do so, please go to our website, AmishAwareness.com, or call us at (419) 962-1515.
You will not want to miss it, even if you attended last year's conference. Load your vehicle up with family and friends! It’s going to be a fantastic time of being encouraged and challenged in the faith, making new friends and learning.
This conference is for:
Registration and Cost:
Age 13 - Adult: $80 per person
* 4 or more/$75 per person
At the door: age 13 and older ($95 per person)
* no group discounts
Infant - Age 12
Children Pricing: Age 6 - 12 is $5.00 per meal (paid at the welcome desk)
* Children, 5 through 12, will have their own missions conference. downstairs, while parents attend the conference upstairs.
* Children, age 1 through 4, will be placed in a nursery.
* Donations will be accepted and used to bless the teachers.
Person in Charge of the Children's Ministry
Rachel Arnold is in charge of the children's ministry. If you have questions, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call our office at (419) 962-1515.