|PO Box 128/575 State Route 250 N, Savannah OH 44874 Office: (419) 962-1515|
|Personal Greeting - Joe Keim|
I just finished sorting through 80 pieces of mail that came in the mailbox today. Compared to a normal mail day, that is about 65 more then usual.
Why so much mail, Joe?
Well, it seems that whenever we mail out the 7,500 Amish Voices, we will for the first week or two after that, receive requests, asking us to remove them from the active mailing list. As you can imagine, it can, at times, become discouraging. Particularly when you have every reason to believe that most of the unsubscribing individuals do not understand the Biblical plan of salvation and will some day stand in front of the Living God and give account.
Out of 80 pieces of mail, only one was positive. Only one! But then I think to myself:
Many other chosen men of God, including the Lord, ran into the similar dilemmas. For instance, consider John chapter 6:
At this point in Jesus’ ministry, it looked pretty bleak. In fact, it appears as if He was down to twelve people. However, the good news is:
A big part of being in ministry is knowing ahead of time that the majority of those we reach out to are not interested in our message. In most Amish households, all written material outside of their own people is looked at with great skepticism and immediately labeled as misleading. One Amish man wrote:
Charlotte Wagner, a missionary to the Amish in Michigan, has been out to see Elizabeth and her family twice. During her last visit, Elizabeth’s mother became suspicious enough that she asked Charlotte to leave and never come back.
|Renewal in South Carolina by Joe Keim|
Our family tradition has been to go on a vacation, at least one week out of the year. This year was the first time that Jonathan and Rachel decided to do their own thing, which meant that Esther and I were on our own. This of course was a bitter sweet feeling for mom and dad.
We spent the week in Rock Hill SC, soaking in the sun and attending daily classes on life and ministry renewal. By the end of the week, we were once again reminded that God is more interested in having a relationship with us then He is about how much work gets down in a day.
|Coil Machine Update|
In our last newsletter we mentioned that MAP is in need of a 2-piece coil machine. Well, we are happy to announce that part of the money needed is on it’s way.
Thanks to the following people who jumped right in and helped:
|Former Amish Reunion|
In July, approx. 100 people showed up for the 15th annual former Amish reunion in Mt Gilead OH. As always, we met new people and ate lots of great food. Unlike many former Amish reunions in other parts of the US, we do not allow alcohol. Many who attend are Christians who love to share how they found God.
|A New Paper Folder|
Thank you Michelle—PA for buying MAP a brand new paper folder. We can hardly contain the joy it brought into our office lives. The machine folds up to 280 pieces of paper a minute! Yay!
|Administrative Assistant by Bea Kennedy|
My name is Bea Kennedy, and I recently began working with Mission to Amish People (MAP) to manage the web site and advertise the ministry online and make sure that everything connected with the web site is working correctly.
The MAP web site is the Internet presence of the ministries of MAP and contains many of the printed articles that have reached so many people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ over the years.
My responsibilities include adding new articles and pages for the web site, modifying and organizing existing content, maintaining the email database, and looking for effective ways to promote the ministry online. The MAP web site had 1,970 visitors from 69 countries during the month of May, and the newsletter and Amish Voice publications are currently emailed to approximately 1,500 people—this does not include the 8,500 people who get the hard copy in the mail.
I first met Joe and Esther Keim when they were just beginning MAP, and it’s been a joy to watch the ministry grow over the years. I count it a great privilege to work with them and all the other staff and volunteers in the ministry.
Note from Joe: Starting in August, Bea will go from working out of her home to coming in to the office four days a week. As Administrative Assistant, she will help out with the Bible Club and various other areas of ministry. This is a financial step of faith on our part, but knowing the great need to bring her onboard, causes us to believe that God will provide.
|Growing Up Amish by Ira Wagler|
One fateful, starless night, seventeen-year-old Ira Wagler got up at 2:00 a.m., packed all his earthly belongings in a little black duffle bag, left a scribbled note under his pillow, and walked away from his home in the Old Order Amish settlement of Bloomfield, Iowa, into a world much wider and more foreign than he could ever have imagined.
Now, in this heartwarming memoir, Ira paints a vivid portrait of Amish life--from his childhood on the family farm and his Rumspringa rite of passage at age sixteen to his ultimate decision to leave the Amish church for good at age twenty-six.
Growing up Amish is the true story of one man's quest to discover who he is and where he belongs. Readers will laugh, cry, and be inspired by this charming-yet poignant coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of one of the most enigmatic cultures in America today--the Old Order Amish.
A note from Joe: For many years, authors have written books and made movies about the Amish, however, few have been able to explain the Rumspringa years as well as Ira Wagler who grew up in Bloomfield IA.
For $13 (Postage Paid), you can order straight from MAP.
For more books written about the Amish, by the Amish, Click Here
In July, all of our 2011 donors received a copy of Melvin and Ella Schrock’s heart breaking testimony on CD. It tells the true story of how the Schrock family had their eyes opened to salvation and what all they had to go through after their extended families learned about it. If you would like a copy, let us know and we will mail one out to you ($3.00 would help us cover material and postage).
You can also play and/or download it from our web site: Click Here and go to the "Personal Testimony" section.
|A Message From Uriah by Uriah Shetler|
Dear Newsletter Readers, Psa. 62:8 says:
I have a job now, on a farm here in Ohio. I can say from my heart, God has faithfully brought me out of the Amish, not knowing where I would go or what would become of me, and has brought me so far in 8 months.
Praise God! I went with Joe Keim to Pennsylvania for a ministry presentation and gave my testimony. I am living in an apartment by myself. Would enjoy hearing from you. You can email me or use the MAP address to send your letters to me:
Uriah N Shetler
Note from Joe: As many of you know, Uriah believes with all his heart that God has called him to full time ministry to the Amish. And it is with great joy and excitement, that I have the privilege to mentor and disciple him. Once a week, we get together for one to two hours and talk about ministry, education, staying in the Word, future wife, finances, struggles in life, speaking in public, etc.
Even at a young age, God has given Uriah great portions of knowledge and spiritual insight. He does well in communicating the Word of God in public. In time, Uriah is planning on speaking to young people.
The photo shows Uriah following the Lord in baptism, which is something we studied during our times together.
|Confused and Overwhelmed-Life of Albert by Joe Keim|
We would like to share a very important prayer need with you and ask you to consider adding a young Amish man, Albert, to your daily prayer list.
Since his 13th birthday, Albert has led a very confused life among the Amish. Much of the confusion resulted from:
On Saturday evening, Albert had more than he could handle. He left his parent’s house and headed for the woods where he was going to commit suicide. A friend intervened, called the law, and within minutes, Albert was on his way to the hospital, safe and sound.
Several weeks ago, he came to our Tuesday night prayer meeting, requesting that we pray over him. We did so with fervency, asking the Lord to heal him from his cancer as well as open his eyes to salvation. As of right now, we are not aware that he has made a decision for Christ.
We will do our best to keep you updated on Albert’s condition. May the Lord have mercy!
|Bloomfield Bible Study by Dorothy Wagler|
Praise the Lord in all you do and He will take care of you! My name is Dorothy Wagler, I was born & raised Amish in Arthur Illinois. I got saved while going through counseling at the age of 17. I left the Amish when I was 19 years old. God has blessed me with a wonderful husband and 4 beautiful children.
It has been my desire to have a Bible study with the Ex-Amish and “English” ladies in the area surrounding Bloomfield Iowa. After lots of prayer, Catherine Yoder said someone gave her the Bible study books for Lies Women Believe & The Truth That Will Set Them Free. She ask if I would be interested in leading the study, since several of the other local ladies were also interested.
PRAISE THE LORD! In September of 2010 we started meeting every Tuesday in our homes. There were four of us Catherine Yoder (Ex-Amish), Maggie Mast (Ex-Amish), Deliah Yoder (English married to Ex-Amish).
Later two English ladies from our area started coming also, Amy (English) & Amanda Ingram (English dating Ex-Amish guy).
With our children playing around us, God has blessed us thru His Word. We pray for each others needs & encourage one another through tough times.
The ladies and I are learning how to not only study Gods Word but how to apply it to our daily lives. Having a personal constant walk with God is refreshing!
I would like to thank MAP for praying for us. When people pray, God moves because He loves each of us & desires the best for everyone.
I would also like to thank God for giving His Son Jesus to pay the price for our sin, so we can be found blameless and spotless before God, and we now have eternal life in heaven with our Lord & Savior.
All My Praise To God, Dorothy Wagler
Note from Joe: One of my greatest passions in ministry, next to evangelism, is mentoring and discipleship. After making two trips to Bloomfield IA and talking with Dorothy and her husband, John, we have not only become very close friends, but share the same burden of coming along side those who are leaving the Amish culture. While Dorothy reaches out to the ladies, John is reaching out to the young men, by giving them jobs in his metal business.
Every week, our prayer group prays for more people like John and Dorothy to get involved. The need is great and time is running out.
|Plea for Help|
I want to thank you again for your prayers Joe. We can sure use them. My wife and I have been struggling to keep our spirits up the last few weeks. Some days we feel like the Lord is leading us to leave the Amish, and then the next day the doubts return. We have our home advertised and we may already have a buyer, but we do not know what our next step should be.
We have our fears, even though we know the Lord is with us; such as getting jobs and could we really adjust. Do you know of others our age who took that step? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks so much and may the Lord bless you.
As always, I was glad to hear from you. I can’t imagine the emotional pain and fear you are feeling at this stage in the game. And I know it is easy for me to quote Scripture and encourage you to trust the Lord, but when you are right in the middle of such life changing dilemmas, it takes friends rallying around each other in support.
For those of us who have traveled that long and fearful road to freedom—we can relate with you.
The best thing I can tell you is, you will not be sorry if you plunge yourself out into thin air and let the Lord catch you. He’s standing at the edge of the cliff, waiting on you to jump, so He can catch you.
Imagine the blessings that await you! He wants you to trust Him all the way; He promised to provide.
Dear Joe, can you tell me what all I need to get a social security number? I left the Amish 2 years ago and I still don't have one, so if you could help me I would really appreciate it! Thank you soo much!
—L Yoder, OH
|Weddings by Joe Keim|
During June and July, I was invited to participate in the weddings of two fine Christian couples who God allowed me to mentor and disciple for the past year or two.
During their time of dating, both couples lived godly and pure lives, which means their foundations are strong, solid as a rock, unwavering and well prepared to build the rest of their Christian family life.
It is great to see that both couples are involved in the local church, serving the Lord and being faithful with the gifts that God has given each one of them.
Both young men come from an Amish background. Their wives were born and raised in the English culture.
Since the Amish family members did not show up, many other people stepped up to the plate and helped wherever needed. Thank you all for being there and making these weddings special.
|The Power of Prayer Changes Hearts by Joe Keim|
For 5 hrs, Dan (former Amish) and I talked about the Scriptures and how they changed his life a year ago. Our prayer group had prayed for him many times and it was not until he reached the bottom of the barrel that he gave up and turned to Jesus for salvation. Dan lives in Colorado with his brother.
|Volunteer Appreciation Day by Joe Keim|
Every July, the MAP staff likes to take our hard working volunteers out for a time of celebration and fun. It is our way of saying ‘thank you.’
One year we took them to Lake Erie and gave all of them a sail boat ride.
Last year, we took them to Amish Country where they had opportunity to shop, eat and listen to the Booths Brothers sing.
This year, we invited a group of actors to come to Dutch Heritage Restaurant and put on an hour and a half show that involved all the volunteers as part of the actors and actresses. The show was called Team Builders and the set up was similar to a court room setting.
Needless to say, we all had lots of fun and laughed for days after. As you can see in the photo, they dressed us up in costumes of many colors and styles of clothing.
|Ministry Supporters by Joe Keim|
Recently, Esther and I had the wonderful opportunity to update this very special group of people who have faithfully supported MAP for the past 4-5 years.
The reason they are extra special is because many of them require a hand from someone because of a physical handicap, and yet, that does not keep them from serving the Lord. Thank you, Tom, for your great ministry to men and women who are often overlooked.