This past Saturday Sam Yoder provided his testimony for us in person and on our youtube website. Here’s the link for that…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdC6HioeGI4. We had 17 men present, and many more who let me know they were able to view it livestream and or on our website. Even though we had low on numbers we did have two new visitors, which was a huge blessing. Let me encourage you to view Sam’s testimony if you haven’t already…I’ll also provide some notes below that I took that morning. Thanks for all each of you do to make this community god-honoring.
Practicing His Presence,
Sam started us off with quoting Matthew 16:25.
Sam grew up on an Amish farm in an Amish family. He’d frequently ask his dad to play with him, but would often hear the words, “maybe tomorrow.” His dad had an anger issue, but no one else saw it. His dad would never show his anger when visitors were around. All of Sam’s life he tried so hard to get his dad’s approval. He longed to hear “good job,” or “I’m proud of you.” But he never heard it.
At age 11 Sam knew he no longer wanted to be Amish. He’d sit and dream of owning a red pickup one day. At age 15 he rode his horse 1.5 miles into town on his own. At that moment he got a taste of life outside the Amish community and had a sense of freedom.
A few years later he moved to Tennessee. He got into drugs, alcohol and smoking. Worse yet, he discovered that some men were out to kill him. He sensed God stepping in. A friend invited him to Kansas to live and have a fresh start. He stopped the drug use, but still drank. He came to a point of hopelessness. He’d easily down a 6-12 pack every night. During this time he met a girl at an Amish softball game. For the first time in his life he finally felt like someone cared about him. The drinking habit became less and less. That next spring she became pregnant. They made plans to get married that next spring. During the planning process his dad found out he had cancer. They planned to get married on June 14th, and on May 20th his dad passed away. Sam was now 21 years of age and had become angry towards God. This anger had spilled over into his marriage and life. After being out of state for some time Sam moved back to Iowa to take over his dad’s clients in the horse shoeing business. In 2018 Sam’s marriage was on the rocks. He became good at putting up a front so others couldn’t tell what was really going on. He and his wife took the step of attending a marriage conference together…in hopes that it’d fix his wife. Later, Sam attended a men’s encounter conference and was re-baptized in 2019. Galatians 5:1
In life God plants, His seed grows, and He keeps showing us what to weed out of our lives. Sometimes we have to lose it all before we can see what He has for us. Sam felt empty in life. He felt like he was just going through the motions. He’s learned that he needs to deal with several words that have the selfish word “I” in the middle of each one. Learning how to deal with prIde, obedIence, and how to dIe to self. He’s learned to take small action steps and God continues to bless him for it.
Satan has a subtle message in life…stay busy, and remain under his yoke. When you do, you begin to experience anxiety. He learned not to tell God that he had big problems, but rather he learned to tell his problems how big his God is. In time, Sam has been practicing living an obedient life before his God. He’s practiced praying over his wife at the beginning and end of each day. He says that he either prays over her, or Satan will PREY over her. He’s been letting Satan know that he can’t have his family. Do you know what happens when you’re obedient to God? Hell loses. Sam wanted us to know that he was able to mend things with his father before he passed away.
Challenges from Nate:
Nate Smith is a college baseball and football coach, a husband, a father of 6 girls, grandpa to 3 granddaughters, a police chaplain, a pastor, and has a passion to see men grow in Christ.
#girldad including granddaughter