November 2015 MAP Update
|P.O. Box 128 | 575 US Highway 250 | Savannah OH 44874 | Office: (419) 962-1515|
In This Issue
Housing Ministry: After many board meetings and looking at various ways in which we could house young girls coming out of the Amish, the board has agreed to start building from scratch. We want to thank our home church for offering MAP a piece of property, which is next to our offices in Savannah.
I’m also excited to inform you that the Lord has already provided MAP with $150,000. We will need to raise an additional $150,000 (or thereabouts) in order to complete the entire project. If the Lord speaks to your heart about joining us in giving financially or volunteering your time, please contact us. The goal, as always, is to finish debt free.
Weddings: This was the year of premarital counseling, wedding bells, and two becoming one. We have just one more wedding left before the end of the year.
As always, it’s a huge blessing to see friends step up to the plate and fill in as parents and help with the wedding meals. All three of these couples are serving the Lord and will make great parents some day.
New Ministries Rising Up: Fifteen years ago, when we started the MAP ministry, we did not know of any other organized ministry to Amish. At the time, we weren’t even sure what a ministry to Amish would look like; however, our calling was undoubtedly clear—someone had to get the gospel out to our people who, for the most part, believe their culture and man-made religion earns them the right into heaven. Someone had to stand in the gap and help the many young people who were continually leaving the culture with many physical, emotional and spiritual needs—someone had to start traveling to local churches and bring an awareness of the need in their own communities. Had it not been for the calling of God and determination, Esther and I would not have survived the constant opposition we faced from the Amish, and yes, even many Christians.
Today, I am pleased to announce that Samuel and Polly Girod, former Amish, have been approved as partners with MAP. Their ultimate goal is to travel around to local churches and present MAP, with hopes that more of God’s people will get involved. You will be hearing a lot more of the Girods in coming months. Please consider having them come to your church. You will never be the same after you hear all that God has done and continues to do in their lives. Samuel is one of many who came to MAP, got saved and baptized, and is now on fire for God. To schedule a speaking engagement, click here.
About twelve years ago, a young teenage boy, Vernon Schlabach, left his Amish community in Ashland, OH and joined the English culture with a goal to find his purpose in life. He had heard about the gospel through an older brother who left before him. After Vernon gave his heart to Christ, he followed the Lord in baptism and then went on to Bible college.
In 2014, Vernon came to the Amish Awareness Conference, and it was then that we laid hands on him and prayed for God’s will and leading in his life. Today, I am pleased to announce that Vernon and his family have moved all their belongings to Columbia, MO where they took up membership at one of our supporting churches. The purpose of moving there is to start a ministry outreach to the former Amish and Amish in the Midwest. Please pray for Vernon and Felicia as they begin their ministry journey.
I am also excited to announce that a third couple, Mathew and Debbie (not their real names) are, by faith, stepping out and planting a local church within an Amish community. The couple does not have an Amish background, but their calling is clear and they are filled with passion.
Matthew and Debbie are seeking 100 people who will commit to pray for them on a regular basis. If you feel the Lord leading you to join their prayer team, please email Matthew at email@example.com.
Read Matthew and Debbie's testimony—Living by Example, below.
|Living by Example|
As Sundays would pass and missionaries would come and share about their work accomplished for the kingdom, our hearts began to grow for missions. One Sunday morning we got down on our knees and eagerly asked God what His will was for our family. He spoke, “To witness to the Amish.” We had no idea they were lost. We began to seek God’s guidance through prayer and studying about the culture, falling in love with the people group. We built up a yearning desire to live among them, and in three years’ time, God had led us to an Amish home, right in their community.
He placed 1 Corinthians 9:20 on our hearts: “And unto the Jews (Amish) I became as a Jew (Amish), that I might gain the Jews (Amish).” This allowed us to meet many Amish in the community as we began collecting the new unfamiliar necessities for our home, like a ringer washer, oil lamps, and gas-powered and wood-burning stoves.
After living this way for so long, you soon lose the habit of feeling for a light switch on the wall. By living this somewhat “simple life,” we hope to set the example that says, “It’s okay to live simply AND still have Jesus as your Savior.”
We have been called to plant a church and my husband to become a pastor. We currently have Bible studies out of our home, allowing us to build our core team and disciples for this ministry. We attended the Amish Awareness Conference this past spring and gained many helpful resources, contacts, and support. The Lord has given us much hope and many tools through MAP to accomplish our goal—winning lost souls for Christ. Before we discovered MAP, we had no idea there was an organization such as this that existed. What a blessing! We are excited as we partner with MAP to see how God is going to move through this community. 1 Corinthians 9:19: “For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.”
Whatever the cost, whatever the sacrifice, we will preach the gospel and win souls for Christ. God has sent us to build relationships and serve these people. We are humbled to be called into this ministry. For the protection of our ministry and the relationships we have established with the Amish, we have decided to write anonymously. Please pray for us.
—A family for His name’s sake,
Dear Friends: At this time, we would like to give you an update on a decision we made regarding our family and Mission to Amish People (MAP). As of September 7, 2015, we have resigned as missionaries to the Amish. Our decision to resign as missionaries was one that we made on our own. We felt like we were not doing as much for the ministry as we should have been. Additionally, we started sending our children to a private school this year, which requires me to work longer hours to cover expenses.
We want to thank you from our whole heart for the financial support you gave. If God should direct your heart to continue supporting MAP, please know that your money would go for the good cause of Christ.
We know that MAP would be honored if you joined their team and continued to support the Lord’s work in reaching Amish with the gospel.
We fully stand behind MAP and believe in what they are doing amongst our people, the Amish. It is a very active ministry for Christ! They always have many things going on and souls are being saved. With love for all of you.
In Christ, Melvin and Ella Schrock Family
We, at MAP, wish the Schrock family well and are thankful for the many hours they sacrificially spent reaching out to local churches in the Midwest. We would also like to thank the churches who invited the Schrocks in for a ministry presentation and shared their love and support with them.
|Year-End Gift to MAP|
As we enter the season of thanksgiving and giving, I would like to encourage you to consider the work that God is doing through MAP. With over 8,000 new names being turned in for Bible lessons this year, it really put a strain on our finances.
Secondly, we are taking a step of faith and adding Rene’ Budd to the MAP staff as a part-time administrative assistant. This move is something we have all prayed about and believe it is very much a part of God’s plan.
Thank you for caring and partnering with God through MAP! It means so much to all of us.
|Family, Ministry, and Amish Awareness Conf.|
Dear friends and supporters: greetings in the Savior’s name. Here in western KY we are enjoying the beauty of God’s creation with cooler weather beginning to move in and the leaves changing to many different colors. I always enjoy the changes of the season, a reminder of the constant change in our own lives. Lately, I’ve been noticing that even more in our family of 8 children. We now have adult-sized teenagers, which brings a whole new aspect to life! So much more responsibility, patience and guidance is needed. We covet your prayers for our family. It is our utmost desire to see them carry on the gospel torch.
During the past few months, ministry has shifted direction slightly for myself. Due to several circumstances, I have gotten a little more involved in Job Corps ministry and not as much prison as in the past, even though I continue to be very involved with prison ministry.
Job Corps has given me an opportunity to hone my witnessing skills, as it is more evangelistic, whereas, prison ministry is a bit more focused on discipleship. I enjoy the challenge of sharing the Gospel with those young people and the many conversations and prayers we have together. I have been preaching Sunday mornings and holding Bible studies on Tuesday nights at Job Corps.
Amish Awareness Conference 2016
I'm excited to announce that we are in the beginning stages of planning our next Amish Awareness Conference here in western KY. There is a great need for a conference in our area, as we have quite a variety of Amish and Old Order Mennonite families in this area. People who know and are neighbors to Amish people would like a better understanding of the Amish and how to make connections with them.
The dates have been set for April 22-23, 2016, so mark your calendar and plan to attend. We are excited about the new line up of speakers and the message they will be sharing with us. I invite you to begin praying that God would send particular people to the conference who will take what they learn and put it into practice by spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ among their Amish communities.
Thank you for your continued financial and prayer support for the ministry God has given us.
|Sponsor a Bible Club Student|
Are you or is your family, Sunday school class, church, or other group looking for a special Christmas giving project with eternity in mind? For $30 (that is only two-and-a-half dollars a month!), you can sponsor one of our Bible Club students for an entire year! Think about that! Because of your gift, children can receive Bible lessons, Bibles, and even eternal life! What a privilege it is to be used of God to introduce a child to Jesus this Christmas season! Sponsor one, two, three, four, five, or more of our Bible Club students!
We send out about 80,000 lessons to over 30,000 students each year. Wouldn’t you like to be part of this? What if, because of your giving, children sent us more of their testimonies like we have received in the past? We would love to share some with you now:
If you would like to sponsor one or more of our Bible Club students, simply call us at (419) 962-1515, email us at Map@MapMinistry.org, visit us in person, write to us, or sign-up through our website: