In January, I helped organized a gathering of disciple-making movement practitioners from New York and Pennsylvania. We met in Punxsutawney for a weekend of fellowship and learning together. We also went “into the harvest” on Saturday afternoon to share the gospel in pairs for a few hours.
One of those pairs were Logan and Andrew. Logan is a nurse at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester New York, and Andrew is a former Amish youth from my hometown. Andrew left the Amish community around 18 months ago, but not to serve God. He had seen the hypocrisy of the religion he was raised in and he wanted no part of it.
When he left, he turned to alcohol and women. He drank and partied and lived it up for a number of months. But, just like the rest of us who have lived in the world, Andrew felt dirty inside and without purpose. We kept sharing the gospel with him, but sometimes it felt hopeless.
Then one day Andrew, Marvin (a friend of Andrew’s who was already a believer), and I were sitting in my garage. I shared my story of how empty my life had been and how it changed when I met Jesus. I followed it up with a simple question that we have learned to ask after we share “our story”: “Do you have a story like that?” To my surprise Andrew replied “I sure do.” Unbeknownst to me, or anyone else for that matter, Andrew had given his life to Christ in the very recent past!
Andrew was baptized shortly thereafter, and since that day he has continued to mature in his relationship with Christ.
When Andrew and Logan were out sharing the gospel that Saturday afternoon, they went into a local thrift store. As they were talking to another pair from our gathering, a middle-age man walked in the front door. Andrew looked at him from across the store and said to his comrades, “I need to go share with this guy—he has a black cloud hanging over his head.” And so he did just that.
The Holy Spirit was obviously prompting Andrew, because that man, whose name is Daniel, was seeking for something. As Andrew engaged with him in conversation, he learned just how gloomy he actually was. Daniel told Andrew how his father had died about one year previously and how hard it had been since then. He told Andrew, “Six months ago I was in a car accident. I lost conscious at impact and did not regain it until I work up at the hospital. As I was regaining consciousness, I heard a voice say, ‘Can you hear me now?’ The doctor convinced me I was just imagining things. Then, just this past week, I was pumping fuel when I collapsed to the ground, again unconscious. And again, as I was regaining consciousness in the ambulance, I heard a voice again ask, “Can you hear me now?’”
Andrew also learned that Daniel was a recovering alcoholic and that his fiancée had recently passed away. “I am here (at the Good Will) because I am trying to stay away from the liquor store,” Daniel told Andrew.
After answering some questions and explaining to him who Jesus is, Daniel committed his life to Christ. Afterwards Logan said, “One of the first things Jesus calls us to do is be baptized. Would you like to be baptized today?” “Sure” Daniel replied. “Let me just call and cancel an appointment I had for this afternoon first.” Less than two hours after hearing the gospel, Daniel was baptized. And he was baptized by a formerly-Amish young man who has only been a believer for one year!
Daniel has since attended our house church twice, and he is excited about continuing to grow in his relationship with God. As I was writing this update, he sent me this text:
Good morning. I just wanted to say thank you for the wonderful food, great hospitality and company. I had such a great time yesterday. I can’t remember the last time I smiled and laughed so hard that my face and sides hurt that much. Honestly the past two Sundays have been the highest points of my week, not just because we gathered to worship God but because of y’all as well. Everyone there and worshiping God the two reasons I look forward to Sundays. Also, the way I was raised is the cook doesn’t clean so I will always offer to do the dishes even if the answer is always no. Anyway, yesterday when I got home I walked my dogs sat in my arm chair and slept all night exhausted from the great time I had. Can’t wait to see what happens next Sunday
Thank you for making all this ministry possible through your prayers and financial support!
For God’s glory,
P.S. This monthly report is sent to those who have supported the Amish Outreach. Here is the link to make another donation: https://heavensfamily.org/awakening/. You can make a one-time or recurring gift there. Thanks again!