July 2, 2008
There is a revival sweeping across this globe in ways never seen before and the Amish are not exempt from this current outpouring of the Holy Spirit. There are many turning to the Lord and could greatly benefit from your ministry.
I too was raised in an Amish home and married an Amish girl, (Dorothy Stutzman). We had 3 children when we left the Amish and have had 3 more since then. I met the Lord beside my bed, through an old book when I was 16 years old. I had bought this box of old books at an auction and in it were a lot of books on the Christian life, including a couple of Bibles. One of the first books I began to read was on the victorious Christian life. In the first chapter it talked about the need for every man to have a savior" We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God" If we have broken any of the laws of God we've broken them all. "For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" At the end of the chapter there was the sinner's prayer. I got down on my knees beside my bed and asked God to forgive me, a wretched sinner, and to give me a new heart. I also asked him to take over my life and to fill me with his Holy Spirit. I got up with tears in my eyes and peace and joy in my heart. I was a "new creature, born of the Spirit, translated from the power of darkness into the Kingdom of his dear son" I did not realize this was not normal amongst the Amish at that time.
The next chapter talked about the need of being discipled and having fellowship with other believers. Because of all the teaching that the Amish church is the true church, while growing up, I continued to join the Amish church. I was baptized into the Amish religion a few months later and thought everything was cool until I realized not everyone believed in being born again. Or at least you were not supposed to know if you were.
I used to love to read my Bible and to sit and meditate on His Word. There was a fire in my heart and a desire to know the truth, but it gradually kept getting dimmer and dimmer until there was only a faint smoldering coal left. "The traditions of men make the Word of God of none affect" Because of the lack of true discipleship and fellowship amongst the Amish I backslid, but then, God, Oh hallelujah! He says in his word, "A bruised reed he will not break and a smoking flax he will not quench"
I was working in a trailer factory with a young Amish man who got gloriously saved and filled with the Spirit of the Living God. I thought I would be my brother's keeper and get him to stay with the Amish religion. Ha! He began to testify to me of the power of God in his and other people's lives as they followed Him in faith. Believing in His promises and in His power instead of the traditions of men as Peter says, "According as His divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that has called us to glory and virtue. Whereby are given to us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these we are made partakers of His divine nature," What more do we need? To say we need all these extra-Biblical rules is to say, "What you have given us is not enough" This is a slap in the face of God and is not regarded lightly.
Anyhow, enough preaching----on with the testimony of His saving grace. After arguing with myself and this young man for a few weeks, I knew this is the key to live a victorious, Christian life. We decided to leave the Amish, but after we announced it to the family at a family gathering I compromised and decided not to leave for at least 2 more years. The moment I compromised I knew I had grieved the Holy Spirit within me, but I was not willing to pay the price of rejection. From that moment on I walked away from the Lord. The next two years were the worst years of my born again life. I came to the place where I didn't even want to read my Bible because every time I would read my Bible, this truth, my friend John Borkholder had taught me, would jump out at me. I finally became so discouraged I completely quit praying and I became so cold I could not handle it anymore. I broke down and started weeping. I told Him I was willing to do whatever it takes, but I could not handle being so far away from Him. From that moment the Lord started opening up doors for us and by the next fall we moved to a community in Montana. After a year at this community we left the Amish completely.
The following February, I went through an intense discipleship course with a group of other believers. One day during a time of prayer at the school the heavens opened and the Glory of God came down. I was completely immersed in his Spirit. I wept for hours as His very presence swept over me and cleansed me of all the years of backsliding. I got up a totally changed man, once again filled with the joy and peace only He can give. The next couple of days I would run home from the school and go into my prayer closet and spend most of the nights praying and weeping for my people, sleeping for two to three hours and get up and pray for another few hours before going to the school. On the third day, at lunchtime, I was praying for all those going through the school, when as I walked back to my seat I felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit to look up. As I looked up, the heavens opened for a brief moment as I saw the New Jerusalem coming from God out of heaven. I cannot begin to describe to you the beauty of that place. The thing that stood out to me the most was the glory that emulated forth out of that place. It is truly beyond the human mind to describe what the Lord has prepared for those who love him. I have never been the same since. I look for a city whose builder and maker is God. It is now eight years later and I am more on fire now than even then, which is hard to imagine. I have been filled with his presence many times since then and don't plan to stop until I get there.
In 2006 we moved to upstate New York, where I currently am Pastoring a small but growing church that has been experiencing revival and is pressing in for more. Feel free to share this with anyone.
A fellow believer in Christ, Jonathan Helmuth
4199 Old St. Rd. 14
Dundee, NY 14837
This letter has been published with permission from the owner.
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