March 2016 MAP Update
| P.O. Box 128 | 575 US Highway 250 | Savannah OH 44874 | Office: (419) 962-1515|
In This Issue
|Salvations, Building Project and Education, By Joe Keim|
Recently, two former Amish men walked into a morning service at our home church and were very moved by our pastor’s sermon. They had struggled with the grips of alcohol and drugs for years, as one testified, and he had come to the end of his rope. He was done trying on his own – it didn’t work. After crying out to God for three weeks and spending a lot of time in the Word of God, God’s sea of grace was poured out on him and he knew his sins were all washed away in a moment of time. The second former Amish man was so moved by all that happened in his friend’s life that he, too, cried out to Jesus Christ and was saved. This led to a third person getting saved, and then a fourth.
Just a few hours to the northeast, an Amish family was also struggling with confusion and seeking the heart of God for answers. God heard their cry and saved their souls from sin and hell. When this took place, they couldn’t help but shout joy from their rooftop. A second family in the community made special efforts to reach out and stop what they thought was a false belief. In the process, God’s grace reached into their hearts and they, too, called upon the Lord for salvation. They write:
Dear Joe, we were born again about 3 months ago when friends of ours decided to leave the Amish. We turned to the Bible in hopes that we could find biblical reasons as to why they shouldn't leave the Amish faith. We discovered, though, that what the Bible says contradicts with a lot in the Amish religion. It was a terrible battle for us when our beliefs—that we hung on to all our lives—collided with the Word of God. Praise God we came out the other side and we are filled with a joy and peace despite dealing with church and family members’ disapproval.
We are taking it on ourselves to talk to the bishop of our church about our findings and our experience. We feel confident that God is with us every step of the way. I would just like to ask you from your experience any advice you could give us for dealing with family and the church. At this point, we are just kind of in limbo wondering where we should go from here with our lives.
It's really hard because we love a lot of the Amish values, but we feel that by staying and participating, we are encouraging those things we know to be in error. I just want to say, God bless you for your ministry. It has to be one of the hardest jobs out there to preach the gospel to the Amish, as there is a lot of fear there. Months ago, if someone would have come to us preaching the gospel, we would have probably kicked him out of our house.
I was very much into my Amish beliefs, but once the Lord moved into our lives, everything I believed went right out the window. I'm still in awe of it all. I want to encourage you to keep the faith and keep on keeping on in the Lord's will. We, too, feel a burden to help our families and church to come to the truth, so we need prayers to help us do the Lord's work.
Housing/Bulk Food Ministry
We are continually moving forward on the apartment housing; Lord willing, we will start building in June. Thus far, the Lord has given us $153,000, which means we still need about $40,000 to complete the three apartment unit. As mentioned in our last update, we are also moving ahead on the bulk food store which we hope will pay for the housing ministry and provide temporary jobs to those who leave their Amish culture and need assistance. We call on the people of God to pray hard. If the Lord moves in your heart and you are able to volunteer your time or give financially toward this part of the ministry, please don’t hesitate to let us know, or click on: I want to help financially.
We are thankful for the lives that have been changed through the GED ministry. Rachel Arnold, who has been teaching from our MAP office as well as offering online GED classes, has done a superb job. Several of the former Amish have received their GED and others are very close. After several months of discussion and many meetings, we have decided to team up with the Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) program in our area. It seemed like the right thing to do, since they will be able to assist us with teachers, computers, software, and resources.
As of mid-February, Rachel has been employed by ABLE and our classes have been opened up three nights a week to the entire community. All of us, including the board, feel this move is a blessing from God.
- Joe Keim
|Girods on the Move, By Samuel Girod|
Wow! It is already March, and so much has happened in the last two months! In January, I presented MAP Ministry for the first time—and it was in our home church! We had our second presentation in Kentucky, and then in February, I spoke in two more churches—one being in the area right where I grew up. The people were blessed to have us there, and we were blessed, as well. It is such an honor for me to be able to explain the lifestyle and culture of the Amish so that fellow Christians can minister and witness to the people who are so dear to our hearts.
Please continue to pray for us and with us. We have a prayer list of our immediate family members broken down into every day of the week so that we pray for each and every one of our family members each week. Since we began doing that, we have seen God working in their lives! Pray for your unsaved family members, too. If you will not, who will?
On February 13th, we moved into our new home, which is only 11 miles further east from our previous location. It was hard for me to do since the only connection I had with my family was going by their places and seeing what they did every time we went by; now we won’t be going by as often, but God has brought me through it all this far, and I have no doubt He will continue to lead, guide, and comfort us.
We love our new house, and our goal is to build a building big enough for my ministry office and for at least two unit apartments for those who leave. I see a day coming when a revival will erupt and we all won’t have enough room to house those whom we love. I had a phone conversation recently with an individual who left in 1984, and he told me that in the year 2000, he told his pastor that they should have revival meetings and invite the Amish, and so they decided to pray about it for a year. Then they planned a week of revival meetings. It went so well that the meetings went on for two-and-a-half weeks and 22 souls got saved!
My challenge to you and to myself is that we would pray for a revival to break out across America and Canada and that many souls would get saved!
One verse I was blessed with this month brought light to me about voluntary humility:
Our Prayer Requests
On March 12, I hope to be ordained as a pastor, so pray for me. I know that this is both a privilege and a great responsibility.
On a different note, our daughter Loretta has been diagnosed with a rare disease called mucolipidosis type II (I-cell for short), so pray for healing and so that we may have strength to get through it all!
Until next time may God bless each and every one of you!
If you are interested in having Samuel present MAP in your church, or if you are interested in helping him with his office/apartments, please contact Samuel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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|Spiritual Warfare, By Matthew & Debbie|
Readers, more than two years ago, the Lord said this was our house. Since then, we’ve endured the bank telling us “no” and the realtor showing it “For Sale” to many couples, while we are only able to rent it. Just recently, we were told that we have to move out by April 1st. This Amish home is where our ministry began. Our fear is not in man, but our faith is in God. He WILL be exalted through this process.
It was less than a week after visiting and ministering to an Amish friend whose husband had left her to raise their five children alone, practically homeless, that we got the news about our home. There’s no question that the enemy has his hand in the Amish culture. We are a threat. Friends, our battle must be won on our knees! This is a spiritual war and souls are at stake here! The enemy does NOT want the Amish to hear the truth, so in “booting” us out of our home, he is relieved of that fear. But unfortunately for him, our home belongs to the Lord.
Hebrews 11:8-10 says: By Faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
If you feel the Lord calling you to join our ministry, please e-mail us: TheSimpleLifeMinistry@gmail.com
—Matthew and Debbie
|Still Going and Growing, By Jonas Yoder|
Dear Friends and Supporters, first, I want to thank you for your continued prayer and support as we strive to follow the call of God as a family. As the father of a growing family, it is sometimes difficult to balance family time with ministry time. Being involved in several different areas of ministry (Amish, Prison, Job Corps, etc.) there is constant opportunity for ministry. I have recently been driving two hours every Sunday morning to preach to the students at Job Corps. It has been a great opportunity for me to involve my four oldest boys with ministry, as they have been going along regularly. Timothy, the oldest, does well to lead the songs during the time of worship, while the younger three, Benjamin, Ervin, and Marvin help with various other tasks like greeting and registering the students as they come in and handing them a small gift as they leave.
Amish Awareness Conference
The Amish Awareness Conference is approaching quickly, and we are continuing to prepare for it. At the time of this writing, there are already 25 people from eight different states registered for the conference. If you have been considering joining us this year, I challenge you to go to our website AmishAwareness.com and register quickly. Because of space, we may be limited to about 150 people. Also, you will need to reserve your lodging as soon as possible as lodging is limited in this area during that week. Come learn about Amish history, culture, beliefs, legalism and how to share the gospel with your Amish friends.
I will close out this newsletter with a huge announcement. We are expecting our 9th child sometime in mid March! Pray for Mama, as the last couple weeks are always the hardest, and also pray for a smooth and safe delivery. True to our Amish tradition, we still deliver our babies at home. We have not done the ultrasound to find out the gender of our baby, so we will be making that announcement in the next update! —The Yoders
|See You Soon, Phyllis!, By Tina Duffield|
January 21st, 2016 was a sad time for MAP and the Bible Club. The Lord called one of our faithful volunteers, Phyllis Weibel, home to be with Him. She loved MAP and loved being a part of the children coming to Jesus and growing in Him. Phyllis and her husband, Herman, were faithful volunteers for many years. She was a grader for the Bible lessons and Herman was always ready to do whatever needed done. Phyllis will be sadly missed and we hope to have Herman back with us soon.
— Tina Duffield
|Wedding Bells Ring Again, By Rene' Budd|
More than a year ago, September 07, 2014, Henry Lee and Katie Shetler were married by a minister, but due to circumstances, there was no official marriage certificate filed with the state, and so Katie’s legal name was still considered Shetler. Since then, many have been involved in helping Katie get her birth certificate and social security number.
Since Katie has never had a birth certificate, progress was slow. Finally, we were able to provide a US Census report that showed her birth name and parents’ names dated in the year 2000. This census report, along with a letter from a relative and a medical record, allowed Katie to obtain a birth certificate. Still, her photo ID would have been done in her maiden name, Shetler, instead of Lee. After nearly one hundred phone calls and many trips to the automobile club, the courthouse, and the Social Security office, she was told that she still needed a legal marriage to get her new name on her documents.
The Lees wanted to correct this situation, and so on February 13, 2016, Henry and Katie went through their marriage vows again. This time they became legally married with their son, Michael, present. They chose to have a small wedding at the MAP office, attended by 22 of their close friends. Henry had said that he was going to wear his jeans, but he surprised Katie by wearing a suit and tie. Katie wore a long red dress with a black shawl. Both were late for their own wedding!
After one whole year of agony and sweat, we finally drove back to the Social Security Office with all the identification records and the newly filed marriage license, only to be informed by the Social Security Office that they have decided Katie’s birth certificate is too new; she will need to wait five more years before they will acknowledge her as a US Citizen.
Please pray for Katie and others who are in the process of being recognized as human beings in the United States.
— Rene’ Budd
|Help Us Name It!|
We need your help in putting names with the MAP housing and the bulk food store. Go to Mapministry.org/Surveys/Help-Us-Name-It and vote on a name that’s already listed, or add a new one to the list. You can also email Paul Miller directly at PMiller@MapMinistry.org.
Some names that are already on the list: Housing: Petra, Life Changing, Turning Gateway, MAP Manor, Lighthouse, The Beacon; Bulk Food Store: MAP Manna, Beyond Measure, Bread of Life, Happy Harvest, Ole Country Store.
|The Gospel of John in Three Languages|
We recently received our second shipment of 2,000 more Gospel of John books in German, PA Dutch, English, commentary and articles on salvation.
Contact us if you would like to order some to hand out to your Amish friends and neighbors. Buy them by the case and save. Order online: MapMinistry.org/Map-Products/The-Gospel-Of-John.