November 2017 MAP Update
| P.O. Box 128 | 575 US Highway 250 | Savannah OH 44874 | Office: (419) 962-1515
|Keim Wedding, Beyond Measure and New Beginnings, By Joe Keim|
For a while, we wondered if our son, Jonathan, would ever find time to settle down and get married. He’s one of those guys who sees everything in life as yet another golden business opportunity. But, after courting Havilah for just over a year, they got married on October 28. Havilah grew up in our neighborhood and has traveled the U.S. playing Celtic music with her family. Esther and I are eagerly awaiting more grandbabies, and will take all we can get.
Building Projects Update
Beyond Measure Market: The bulk-food store continues to grow at a slow and steady pace. We are grateful for the twenty investors who have signed up and provided 94 percent of the $750,000 budget needed to build the store. By God’s amazing grace, we have stayed right on budget. This week, we begin painting the inside walls.
After many weeks of pricing store equipment, we finally settled on deli cases, coolers, freezers, shelving, and other equipment needed to run a bulk-food store. The board is in the midst of interviewing people for all positions. Please pray for wisdom as we seek the right people.
Opening before Thanksgiving looks pretty bleak at the moment. To follow along and see recent pictures, go to our Facebook page: http://facebook.com/beyondmeasuremarket.
New Beginnings: The apartment building is being framed, and volunteers are lining up. We are currently at $296,253 of our $350,000 goal, or 85 percent of the funding needed to complete construction. If you are looking to give a year-end gift, consider New Beginnings. Pray about it. We are so close.
To donate, click HERE
We continually receive calls, texts, and Facebook messages from teenagers wanting to leave the Amish and needing a place to live. During the past month, we received calls from four states: PA, KY, WI, and CO. Three of the four were girls, two of whom had already left once before but couldn’t make it on their own, so they went back to their parents. Unless the person is in a bad situation, MAP does not run after them; therefore, many end up backing out, and we never hear from them again. This is, of course, bitter-sweet for me. On the one hand, I desire to see them come free from religious bondage and learn about God’s grace. On the other hand, I don’t want MAP to become labeled as a ministry that snatches children from their parents. It is oftentimes a difficult place to be in.
— Joe and Esther Keim
|One Uncle, Two Churches, and One Hundred Sisters, By Samuel Girod
Fall has begun, and winter is on its way. As I watch leaves change color and fall, I am reminded of seasons in my life when I changed and let go.
Polly and I want to thank you for your support and prayers. In our last update, we told you of our decision to purchase and transform the church building next to us into a housing unit for those who leave the Amish. Because the previous deed wasn’t recorded properly, the title company experienced problems transferring it into our name. Because of this, we have not yet closed on the sale, but we hope to soon.
Our next step will involve seeking approval to put in a septic system, so we would appreciate your continued prayers. We are excited to see God use this building for His glory.
Recently, we have been sharing about our interactions with Hutterite members in our area. Unfortunately, I have only heard from the family once since our last update. They called to thank me and all of those who are praying for them. The group is seeking God’s will and guidance. The current plan is that an Iowa pastor will come pick the family up.
This month, I also had the privilege to speak at the Oldenburg Franciscan Center. One hundred Catholic “Sisters” live in this facility, and through my speaking, I was able to connect with a lady who is friends with an Amish family I know. She was happy to find out about MAP and the resources we offer.
In closing, I am asking for prayers for my Uncle Samuel Girod, who is in prison for making a healing salve. The FDA took him to court, and he was sentenced to six years in federal prison. He is Amish and has a wife, twelve children, and many grandchildren. Since the prison requires a photo ID for visitation and the Amish don’t have IDs, his family hasn’t seen him for almost four months.
I was able to recently visit him and share the love of God with him. Again, your prayers are greatly appreciated.
— Samuel and Polly Girod
|God and Family, By Jonas Yoder|
As some of you may have noticed, I did not have an update in the last newsletter. Earlier this year I came to the realization that I was trying to do more than I could handle. Between family time, ministry, and personal growth/study time, it seemed like the last two were constantly taking the backseat. It was nobody’s fault but my own. Because of that, I took a two-month sabbatical to regroup and seek the Lord for further direction. I have since stepped down from a full-time position with HR Ministries to a part-time volunteer position. I currently lead a Malachi Dad class one night a week at a local prison, along with filling in at some other locations as needed.
In the meantime, we are praying for further direction as a family. I have been taking some light construction jobs on the side in order to contribute to the family income and to spend more time working with my sons. My three oldest work for my brother-in-law in construction, where I have a standing job offer that would allow flexibility to still do part-time ministry. Our goal is to continue ministry in some form as a family effort, while at the same time taking care of some outstanding financial obligations that we have. I would simply ask that you pray for us as a family to be keen to God’s direction as we continue to seek His will in this matter.
—Jonas and Mary Yoder
How would you like to give away a Christmas present with an eternal impact? Pass them out to your Amish neighbors, friends, business owners, and others.
ANEKO Press is making available two books to our supporters at an incredible discount for those of you who want to give them away to those who need Jesus. Order a case of D. L. Moody’s book, The Way to God (80 books per case), and/or Charles Spurgeon’s book, Jesus Came to Save Sinners (72 books per case) for only $85 a case, including shipping. The books are updated into modern English.
Order a case and give the books away. Pastors, order a case and encourage each member to give one book away to someone unsaved.
Visit www.anekopress.com for descriptions of both books. With each case, receive a free KathIrene Kids Bible story book. To order, or for more information, call ANEKO at (855) 489-7839.
|Families New and Old, By Denise Pitcher|
Recently, David and Denise brought Jonas (former Amish) to our ministry so we could meet him. Jonas left his family, and for several years enjoyed freedom from all the bondage and legalism. But eventually, emptiness and searching for purpose in life led Jonas to Jesus Christ. Since his conversion, David and Denise have taken Jonas in as one of their own, which is what so many who leave the Amish need and often want. I was reminded of the time Esther and I were in Jonas’s shoes and the Gess family took us in.
– Joe Keim
All my life I have been around Amish people. They symbolized good food, handmade items, quaint homes, and a strange lifestyle that included biblical practices and belief in God. They were “distant,” and I had no need to infiltrate their ways or question reasons for this intriguing lifestyle. Three years ago that changed, and a journey between “us” and “them,” or as the Amish say, “the English,” began.
I began attending a weekly auction run by Amish. My relationship with the owners developed, and soon my husband and I found ourselves as their drivers, creating a closer bond that went beyond business. We were now friends, and we would talk with them about the Bible and a personal relationship with the Lord. Many of their responses seemed good, yet something was missing. We were aware of two of their sons who had recently left the Amish and were of grave concern to them. We prayed for their restoration.
Easter Sunday, a young man walked into our church service. It was one of his sons! He had a heart broken by the rejection of his family and his choices that ended only in total emptiness. We began praying with him and reading the Bible together.
The blessing of seeing this young man come to know God and grow spiritually was soon overshadowed by the continued rejection of family. We were learning what that missing link was. They have a religion, but no relationship. Our friendship continues and our love for the Amish grows deeper. Perhaps it will be their son who will eventually reach them, and maybe the entire community.
— Denise Pitcher
|Amish Population - 2017, By Joe Keim|
When MAP began in 2000, the Amish population in North America totaled 166,000. Since then, the population has increased 91 percent to 318,470.
For several years in a row, Ohio ranked as the most populated state in the U.S. This year, however, Pennsylvania moved into the number-one spot, with a population of 74,250 horse-and-buggy-driving Amish.
Amish communities are scattered throughout thirty-one states, as well as Canada and South America. A recent study shows there may be as many as forty Amish subcultures, ranging from extreme legalism to open-minded and gospel-preaching Amish churches.
|One Cookbook and Six Bible Lessons|
Stocking Stuffer: If you are wondering what to get that special someone for Christmas, you might consider A Taste of Amish Cooking, by Esther Keim. The cover shows Esther, Rachel (Daughter), and Lily (Granddaughter). There are over 450 recipes covering Appetizers, Salads, Main Dishes, Casseroles, Breads, Pies, Cookies, Cakes, Candies, Desserts, and even Remedies and Fun Kids Crafts. On pages 7-9, Esther shares her testimony of how she came to Christ. Page 11 has the “Recipe to Heaven.”
The sale of one cookbook provides six correspondence Bible lessons to Amish students. You can order via mail, phone, or online at our store — $15 postage paid.
|Duplicator Update, By Tina Duffield|
We just want to let all of the generous people who gave towards the duplicator know how much we appreciate you. This is Eli in the picture showing you how it works. Please accept our genuine thanks for all that was given to allow us to buy this machine. The money poured in, and we can’t thank you enough. Eli does thousands of Bible lessons and envelopes in a very short time — something that used to take us days to do. God bless you for helping to make our work so much easier.
Many thanks — Tina Duffield
|Obeying Jesus's Command, By Daniel Troyer|
Hi. My name is Daniel Troyer, and I was born and raised Amish. I lived in Heuvelton, New York, until I turned eighteen. I never was a member of the Amish church, mostly because I felt no hope and did not understand their ways.
At age eighteen, I decided to leave my family and culture behind, so I contacted my brother John, who had left the Amish a few years before. I asked if he would drive out from Ohio and pick me up. In May of 2017, brother John, his wife, Katie, and my sister, Anna, drove nine hours one way and brought me back to Ohio.
In June, I moved in with Joe and Esther Keim, who required me to do Bible studies with them once a week. I was amazed at how much I learned. The more studies we had, the more interested I became in knowing God. When I was Amish, I had no hope, and nobody could give me answers. Now, though, I was finding out that the Bible had many answers to my questions.
On August 17 of this year, Joe asked me to come upstairs, and we sat down in his office. He said, “Daniel, if the Bible said you can know for sure that you have everlasting life, would you believe it?” I replied, “If the Bible said it, I’d have to believe it.” We turned to 1 John 5:13, where John wrote, These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life. It was so clear, and so opposite of what I had been taught growing up.
We then turned to the book of Romans. Once again, my eyes were opened as we studied my sinful condition before a holy God and my need to trust Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of all my sin. That same night, August 17, I called upon the name of the Lord, and He saved me.
Later, we did a Bible study on baptism. When we finished, I realized my need for baptism. I was baptized on October 15, 2017. I got baptized for two reasons: (1) Jesus commanded it, and (2), I desire to please the Lord and follow His teachings. I am excited as I continue my journey, and I ask that all of you would pray for me.
— Daniel Troyer
|Amish Awareness Conference 2018|
The details for our 2018 conference are taking shape, and folks are already getting excited. If you have been to a previous conference, you know how awesome it was to come together under one roof and not only hear what God is doing among the Amish, but see how you can get involved. The 2018 conference will, without a doubt, be our greatest conference yet. Plan on bringing your entire family. We will have something for everyone. More to come!