May 2018 MAP Update
| P.O. Box 128 | 575 US Highway 250 | Savannah OH 44874 | Office: (419) 962-1515|
|Family and Ministry Expansion, By Samuel Girod|
I want to start this month’s update by thanking you for your support and prayers. We sincerely appreciate your willingness to serve with us.
I also want to give you an update on our daughter, Joanna. We recently spent a week at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital because she had a bad case of RSV. It is extra scary for us when she gets sick because of the disease she has (Mucolipidois type II). Joanna is eighteen months old and only thirteen pounds. She is not able to sit up on her own and needs a lot of care and attention.
On a more positive note, I have good news to tell you: we are expecting our fifth child, due May 18. According to the ultrasound, it’s a boy.
Since 2012, God has sent us seven former Amish individuals to house and care for. Each time, it has been a real honor to serve in such a way. In January, I mentioned that we purchased an old church house next to our home property, with the intent of remodeling the inside to house even more former Amish. So far, we have installed the plumbing, two entry doors, and two windows, as well as framed inside walls. We still need to complete the following:
If the Lord leads you to get involved financially, you can send your gift to: MAP, Attn: Girod Housing Ministry, PO Box 128, Savannah, OH 44874.
If you have questions, call me at (419) 631-5162.
— Samuel and Polly Girod
|Breaking the Silence, By Jonas Yoder|
It seems like spring may have finally arrived in western Kentucky! We spent the last weekend in March planting 400 tomato plants in our high tunnel greenhouse. We have done this for the last four years, as it makes extra busy work for the children and also brings in a side income. There’s also always plenty of tomatoes for the table!
On March 11 we had the opportunity to host Joseph and Stacy Graber, filmmakers and creators of the new Amish film, Breaking The Silence. If you have not seen it yet, you need to get a copy. In addition to his film series, Joseph Graber did a chalk-drawing presentation before an audience of about 100 former Amish and Old Order Mennonites from this area. He gave a powerful and compelling message encouraging the former Amish not to become spiritual islands to themselves, but rather, to join forces with the greater Christian community for the advancement of the kingdom. His message was based on 2 Timothy 2:19: Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
This presentation was also filmed at the most recent Amish Awareness Conference and can be viewed at http://myamishstory.com. This same site has a store page where you can order your own copy of Breaking The Silence.
In closing, I would like to ask for prayers regarding two needs:
First, in recent months, l have acquired several leads to families that are open to leaving the Amish. The Lord has laid it on my heart to visit and encourage these families. As you pray for these families, please also pray that the Lord would provide my family with a more dependable vehicle to be able to make visits. Our main vehicle has over 350,000 miles and is beginning to show its age!
Second, we need approximately $3,000 in finances to do maintenance and upgrades to our mission apartment. The apartment needs several interior doors installed, as well as some trim work done. The front of the unit needs a new deck with a roof over it.
Since the apartment was built in 2009, we have housed a married couple as well as three young former Amish boys. One of these young men went on to become a missionary in Iraq.
Our current goal is to have the housing back in order and ready to provide housing again by midsummer.
Thank you for your continued prayer and support. We could not do what we do without you.
— Jonas and Mary Yoder
|Katie's Testimony and Baptism, By Joe Keim|
What an honor and blessing it has been to meet with and disciple Katie Gingerich! We are going through the ABC’s of Christian Growth—a study we have gone through with several hundred other young people. Each lesson focuses on the doctrines of our faith and requires students to use the Bible to fill in missing key words. - Joe and Esther Keim
After completing a study on baptism, Katie decided to join others on Easter Sunday and follow the Lord in baptism. Here is her testimony:
The Testimony of Katie Gingerich
Growing up as a young Amish girl, like any other child, I never questioned anything my parents or our church taught us. I was taught about Jesus from the moment I can remember, and I was taught that to be a child of God I had to obey all “His” rules —“His” rules that my parents and the church taught me to obey. Only when I became a young teenager did I start questioning their rules. I would question my parents a lot about them, but I would never really get a satisfying answer. I started going to my Bible for answers, but with their rules, nothing in the Bible really made sense to me. I started questioning why it would be wrong to leave the Amish, but they convinced me that I could not leave and still be a Christian; but I also couldn’t see how I could be right and stay.
I struggled a lot with trying to obey everything I was told to obey. Finally, at the age of seventeen, my dad told me I should just leave if I could not willingly become a member of their church and obey everything they tell me. I left that day, still very confused about what was right, but certain that I would never be able to become a member of their church and agree with everything they taught.
Fortunately, a very nice Christian couple took me in. I started going to church with them and really started getting interested in what was being taught. We would do Bible studies together, and with their help I soon understood the gospel of Jesus Christ and was born again. This was only the beginning of a new life.
I moved in with Don and Rosie Morrison soon after, and they were a great blessing to me and were always there with advice when I needed it. I still struggle a lot with just leaving behind my family and everything I was taught about religion growing up. With the help of Jesus, family, and friends, I am able to work through the struggle and allow my relationship with Christ to grow every day. I was recently baptized as a follower of Christ, and I left my former life behind. Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
— Katie Gingerich
|Dedication and Grand Opening, By Joe Keim|
On Sunday, April 15th, God’s people gathered to dedicate New Beginnings and Beyond Measure to the Lord and for His service. Praises, Scripture passages, testimonies, and tears of joy filled the air. Our time together ended with “To God Be the Glory.” It was powerful and moving!
On April 20 and 21 we had our grand opening for Beyond Measure Market, and because several local newspapers carried the testimonies of God’s people and MAP ministry, many from the local community visited the store and marveled at God’s work and the ministry you are involved in. It truly was a glorious sight to behold!
We are continually grateful for all those who gave financially, volunteered their time, and prayed for New Beginnings Homestead. It took us a full three years, but together we reached our goal of $350,000. As of May 1, the apartment complex has been completed enough for individuals to start living on the first floor. Already, the Lord has brought both single ladies and mothers with children our way.
All along, people warned us that we should add an additional 10 percent to the cost of building, and this advice was true. Despite the many volunteer hours and discounted building materials, we still need about $35,000 more to finish New Beginnings. This additional funding will help cover the cost of finishing the entire basement level, and includes carpeting, trim, doors, sinks, and lighting, as well as the costs associated with excavating, landscaping, and finishing up the outside of the house.
If the Lord should lead you to get involved in helping us reach the rest of our needed funding, whether it be through monthly giving or a one-time gift, we would thoroughly appreciate it. We also appreciate your prayers as we begin to fill our apartments and minister to those who have left the Amish and need a hand.
You can either send a check to MAP, Attn: New Beginnings, PO Box 128, Savannah, OH 44874, or go to Partner with New Beginnings and follow the online links.
— Joe and Esther Keim
|Hello Allemaal, By Magda Adriana|
Hallo allemaal! Yes, you read that right. My name is Magda Adriana . I am twenty seven years old and am from the Netherlands—a country west of Germany that is only about one-third the size of Ohio. So, what am I doing in the United States? Well, I am studying the German language and culture in Amsterdam and am in my last year of studies. Since the Amish have a German/Swiss background, I chose to write my final paper about them. For this reason, I am visiting from March 2 through May 18.
My topic is “Changes within the Amish.” I am focusing both on changes in the culture over time and on changes in people’s personal lives. I am using many books and am interviewing Amish and former Amish people, which has been very interesting.
I got connected with Joe Keim a couple of years ago because of my fascination and burden for the Amish.
I will tell you how I got so interested in them. When I was a teenager, I attended the bi-weekly teenager club at my church. Normally, our leaders would speak about a biblical or faith-related topic, after which we would have a little break and then go on to do some fun stuff. But to prepare us for the next age group (in which we would have to speak), our leaders asked if some of us would like to try speaking about a topic. My friend and I accepted that challenge and began discussing what to speak about. We didn’t really have a clue what to speak about, until my friend asked, “Why don’t we speak about the Amish?”
To tell you the truth, I had no clue what she was talking about, but I said, “Yes, let’s do that, because I don’t have any better ideas.” We went to our local library and got some books about the Amish (both fiction and non-fiction). From that moment on, the Amish fascinated me, and I read about every book our library had about them.
At first, I only saw the sugar-coated picture that most non-Amish people share, but by reading more and later also watching documentaries on YouTube, I discovered that this picture was not correct. Instead, there is a lot of darkness in the majority of the Amish communities. From that moment on, I started to pray for them.
Last year we had a class in college that was about German-language islands, meaning places around the world where people speak German or a variety of it. Guess what? One of the dialects we discussed was Pennsylvania Dutch. That made me think, “Well, if this is part of my studies, why don’t I write my final paper about them?” And here I am, both collecting information for my paper and enjoying getting to know the (former) Amish.
I am very privileged to be hosted by Wayne and Chris Vallowe. They have become a second set of parents to me and take me everywhere! Since they have a lot of connections among both Amish and former Amish through their work with MAP, I am able to get an excellent view of people’s hearts. This would never have been possible if I would just have come here on my own.
I want to thank everyone who is part of making this possible—especially Wayne and Chris Vallowe and Joe and Esther Keim. You are a huge blessing to me!