First Amish Awareness Conference

 

April 2014 was the first Amish Awareness Conference. What a great experience! After I signed up for the conference, saying I will help were ever needed, Joe asked me to bring my books and sell them. That was a joy, because I had the opportunity to talk to many people and make many new friends.  I think there were about 150 at the conference and around 30 were former Amish.

 

I was back and forth helping prepare, set up for the meals, being at my book table and sitting in on the conference when I could. It just so happened I got in the sanctuary and was able to hear a former Amish couple tell their story of how they left the Amish religion and how Missions to Amish People helped them when they left.

 

What a joy to hear how God reveals Himself and draws His children into the light, especially when Satan has such a strong hold making them believe and preach that you cannot have assurance of salvation.  He even fools the Christians that the Amish are righteous, good people that don’t need to hear the gospel. There is a mission field right in our back yards.

 

Sometimes I think I should go on our church’s mission trips, but then I say no. God has me where I’m at for a reason and I will spend my time and energy for reaching my relatives, right in my hometown.

 

I thought of my parents so many times when I was at the conference, knowing they would be thanking God for this ministry. I guess my mother’s prayer has been answered and my passion is to serve God through Mission to Amish People.  What a joy to find this ministry. Before I heard of MAP, Mission to Amish People, I would lay in bed thinking of how we could reach the Amish for the Lord. Night after night I would toss and turn and I come up with lots of ideas never knowing that there was a ministry already in place. I prayed lots during this time about starting a ministry, but knew it was impossible alone, especially it being such a controversial subject.

 

A friend at my Christmas party a few years ago told me about MAP and said that I just had to check it out. I remember I couldn’t wait until the party was over so that I could look them up on the internet.  Well, needless to say MAP is a blessing to so many people. When you hear the stories of how MAP helps the ones who leave, it thrills my heart. Check out their website – http://www.mapministry.org/

 

Joe also asked me to give a five minute talk on my book at the conference. Trust me five minutes just isn’t long enough when you are someone who gets all excited about something.  I mostly talked about my genealogy book. I wasn’t selling my genealogy book, because no one would want that book unless you were related. I just wanted to let the people know the story on how my Amish relatives wouldn’t buy the genealogy book even though they wanted it, because of my other book “A Basketful of Broken Dishes”. If you are interested you can read the whole story on my website, “Amish Cousin Comes to The Rescue”   http://www.naomistutzman.com/2012/11/04/amish-cousin-comes-to-the-rescue/

 

So I had the genealogy book at my book table with all my other interesting Amish props. People would visit, pick up the book and glance through it. I would ask, “Are you from Middlefield?” Many would say no. Dee Yoder who was sharing my book table told me that she knew there was a couple from Middlefield who was attending the conference. Of course I wanted to meet them.

 

The former Amish couple who I mentioned at the beginning, came to my table. Dee said, “They are the ones from Middlefield.” 

 

I must have missed that part of the introduction when I came in late.  So of course I asked them if they were related to the Schmuckers.  Right away Kathy said, “John’s mother Lizzie was a Schmucker.” Then she proceeded to tell me other names and sure enough I knew them all. So we opened the big genealogy book and looked to see if they were related.   Sure enough they were in the book. John is my first cousin once removed. That means he is my first cousin’s son.  Instant family. Hugs! Love! A little glimpse of heaven! Little by little, one by one, I hear of relatives being set free. Nothing is better than that. Nothing!

 

 

Former Amish at the Amish Awareness Conference

For more information on how MAP helps the Amish or how you can help make a difference in someone’s life, go to –

http://www.mapministry.org/

 

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