January 2016 MAP Update
| P.O. Box 128 | 575 US Highway 250 | Savannah OH 44874 | Office: (419) 962-1515|
|Personal Greetings, By Joe Keim|
I hope your Christmas and New Year was fun and relaxing! We are so grateful for the cards and special gifts that came in during the Christmas season. Thank you! You encouraged our hearts.
As we plunge into another year, it is my heart's desire that we can journey and serve the Lord together. Let's keep our eyes fixed on the work that lies before us, and let's cheer each other on. The eternal and great power of God lives within and surrounds us on every side.
At this time, we would like to share our vision for 2016.
- Joe Keim
Our goal is to build a simple ground-level housing unit with three apartments. Each apartment will come with a small kitchen and dining area, living room, bathroom, and one bedroom. In addition to three apartments, we are also planning on adding a small laundry and conference room. A doorway will be added between two apartments, in case a family needs helpâ??similar to what you see in some motels.
Is there room and opportunity left for you to join others in this ministry project? The answer is yes. We are looking for individuals, families, and churches to help us furnish each apartment. If this is an area of interest, please let us know. If you choose to furnish an apartment, we would like to have some fun and let you name the apartment.
There's something else I would like to share with you. As you know, those who come to MAP for help have little or no money to support themselves. They often need a birth record, Social Security number, and a job. This process can sometimes take six months to a year. For that reason, we are looking at building a bulk food store on the same grounds. This would do three things for the housing ministry:
1. Provide immediate jobs,
2. Keep individuals occupied,
3. Generate income to pay for the housing ministry. We would love for you to pray and offer input. If the Lord leads you to give toward this project, let us know. For more information, call us at (419) 962-1515 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last year, we focused on gaining new students, and 8,560 new names were sent to us. This year, we have put a program in place that challenges each student to stay faithful and committed. Many thanks to In His Steps Foundation for giving MAP a grant to help with this program. Please pray that the gospel would not be hindered and that many would surrender their lives to Jesus Christ. Last year, 195 students sent in testimonies of coming to Christ. Hallelujah and glory to God!
During 2015, we spoke in twenty four churches and did one 3-day Amish Awareness Conference. This year we have twelve churches and one 2-day conference on the schedule.
The Amish Voice publication is a very important ministry that continues to be at the top of our list. Some ask to be removed and others ask to be added. It is a bittersweet ministry to Amish adults and families.
My goal is to continue the ministry of mentoring and discipleship. This includes young Christians and our missionary partners.
The GED program, former Amish Sunday school class, weekly prayer meetings, CrossPoint activities and bi-weekly fellowship meals are very much a part of what we want to continue in 2016.
I invite you to join the MAP team by praying and giving. We are on fire for God and making bold efforts to win others to Christ and then disciple them for the glory and purpose of God.
Last year, Elizabeth (above) was one of eight adult girls that lived in our home. We helped her get a job, a driver's license, a car, and finally, in December, her own apartment. As with everyone else, Esther and I met with Elizabeth on a weekly basis to discuss life. We are so proud of her accomplishments and wish her well.
Steven (right), of whom we are also proud, moved in with us in November. Like most, he had little more than the clothes on his back. We have applied for his birth certificate and found him a full-time job.
Steven has not missed one church service, and is going through the ABC Bible study course with me.
Your prayers and financial support continue to bear eternal fruit as we sow seeds for eternity. God bless and favor you richly in 2016!
- Joe Keim
|Yoder Update, By Jonas Yoder|
Dear Friends and Supporters, 2015 was another bountiful year for the kingdom of God. The fields are truly white unto harvest as we have seen close to 1,000 people come to know Jesus as their Savior through prison, Job Corps, and community ministry.
I have recently been more involved in ministry at Job Corps, preaching on Sunday mornings and having Tuesday night Bible studies. It has been a great experience for me personally, reaching out to young folks (ages 17-24) and seeing them come to know Jesus as their Savior and growing in the Lord. This past Sunday I had a young girl from Africa, a young man from Haiti, and several foreigners from other countries in one service! I'm amazed that I can do international missions right here locally!
I have been able to involve more former Amish and Mennonite individuals with ministry. One father/son team has been leading classes one night a week at a local jail for close to a year. It has blessed them so much that they are now considering other ways in which they can become more involved.
We have had a young former Amish man in our apartment now for over a year as we help him get acclimated to life outside the community. He came from a very sheltered situation, so it has been a struggle for him to learn how to function in a new world. He has come a long way, though, and is currently trying to find a small piece of property that he can afford, so that he can be on his own.
I have also been able to develop several new relationships with the local Amish and Mennonite communities by offering taxi service. During a recent taxi trip, we had great Bible conversations.
Here are some goals I set for myself last year. Some of them, I'm afraid, fell by the way of most New Year resolutions!
Although I never did get a regular Bible study started like I was hoping, I feel like I'm closer to seeing it as a possibility through some of the relationships I have been able to develop.
This is, for the most part, a goal we never get fully accomplished and I haven't gotten as far with it as I thought I would. I got side-tracked on finishing the book, but have had several experiences in the past year that have helped me understand the basic principles of the book.
I was able to share with approximately one church a month on this subject, sometimes sharing the PowerPoint, and other times just sharing my testimony.
|Matthew and Debbie Update|
Hello Readers, In response to our last letter, the Lord has called six individuals to partner with us as prayer warriors, and has led one very special Amish lady to contact us. We have a growing relationship over the phone as we encourage and pray for one another. God is already working, just through this newsletter. Praise be to the One who deserves it!
We had our first official ministry meeting on December 03, with local families that are prayerfully considering joining our team. Also, please pray for us as we are planning to share our testimony with several churches. We are hosting multiple gatherings to create witnessing opportunities with our Amish friends and neighbors. Though we face the enemyâ??s oppositions on a regular basis, our God is greater still. The Lord has taught us through all of this, that "the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed. He will go before us" (Deuteronomy 31:8). Jehovah-Jireh (God-provider) has led us with His provisions. "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world" (1 John 4:4). That's our victory in Jesus!
We are humbled to be in this ministry and part of MAP. If you feel led to join our team, please contact us. Thank you for your prayers and support. May each of you be blessed and have favor with the Lord.
For His Name's Sake,
Matthew and Debbie
|Your Prayers and Giving Help, By Paul Miller|
From a letter we received:
Good Evening! I have an Amish sister who has recently gotten saved! She called me one day to say she has gotten saved! She is looking for resources other than from me, her saved older sister (so as not to set the family and Amish church against her immediately), so that she can grow and share the gospel with her five boys ages 17 and younger! Also, her husband is searching Scriptures and hoping to be saved, he says! Yet we know that it means forsaking all else! I appreciate any way that you can help! God bless you!
Thank you to those who have sponsored the Amish Voice and/or Bible Club students. Because of your prayers, generosity, and continued giving, we are able to meet the needs of many who are searching for God's truth and love. We were able to send Bible lessons to the family mentioned above (both adults and children) so that they could study the Bible and learn about Jesus. Keep praying, giving, and sowing seeds for eternity!
- Paul Miller
|Discouraging and Encouraging - Just Another Day at MAP|
Dear Bible Club,
This finds me on a nice fall morning. We got your letter the other day. Yes, we got your lessons and we pitched them all in the fire. We have our own beliefs and we advise you to leave us alone in the future. The Amish have their own beliefs and we believe if everybody obeys their parents the way they were taught and obey "The Golden Rule," then God can do the judging and punishing.
Our forefathers were the Anabaptists, so we advise everybody to mind their own business. If you want to know it, you are wasting a lot of paper, money, and time. Hopefully you can understand this.
Only Me, a Friend.
P.S. We would appreciate if you would stop sending ALL lessons and letters to the Amish of the United States and Canada. Thanks.
We are so thrilled to find your ministry. Since moving to Berlin in March 2006, we've often wondered if there was a group of former Amish reaching out to the ones who don't know Jesus. Though we've had many opportunities to talk with Amish neighbors about faith in Christ, it's been quite an eye-opener to discover their lack of Bible knowledge and their hesitancy to ask us English any questions about what we believe. This is why we are so happy to find your ministry. Hopefully, many will become aware of (and hungry to learn from) the tools you offer, having been one of them and understanding their culture and beliefs.
Enclosed is a check to help with your outreach. God bless you and your family.
|Girod Update, By Samuel Girod|
First of all, I want to thank God for what was accomplished in 2015. We had the opportunity to be part of the Amish Awareness Conference. Even though I taught one of the sessions, it wasn't until we were on our way home that I began to realize: God wants me to become part of MAP Ministry. I called Joe right away and told him and we prayed about it. A couple weeks later, we filled out our applications to become part of MAP. We were approved on October 23, 2015, and attended three days of MAP Ministry training in November. It was very rewarding and prepared us for going out and presenting the ministry at local churches in the United States.
I recently had the opportunity to answer some of the questions posted on the MAP website. There was a Muslim student from Morocco who wanted to interview a former Amish person. We set up a Skype session and I was asked about 10 questions. I made sure to tell them who saved me and I was able to share the gospel!
This past Thanksgiving, we took a trip to Clare, Michigan, where we visited Polly's aunt, uncle, and family. They live in a community where they are like New Order Amish and can either have cars or horse and buggy. They believe you are saved by grace through faith, and we had a great time of fellowship in the Lord. They asked us to come and present the ministry in 2016, so we're looking forward to that.
On the way home, we stopped in Homer, MI, where Polly used to live. There is another Amish family living at her former home now, but we had a great visit with the family. The husband is a minister in their church and they gave us a tour of the whole house.
From there we drove south to a settlement in Branch County, MI. My mother's parents and most of her siblings live in that area. There are about 450 descendants from my grandparents alone. As far as I can tell, I'm the only one with a salvation testimony. I had not seen my grandparents since 2011, and we had a great visit with them.
While we were in that area, we stopped in two different churches, gave them our cards, explained about MAP Ministry, and told them how there is a great need for the gospel to reach the Amish people. My heart cries out for that area because I am related to many of them. I don't know of any that have a salvation testimony.
Goals for 2016
Be blessed in the new year. Hope to see you in your church. My contact information is in the newsletter, so feel free to contact me anytime!
- Samuel and Polly Girod and Family