7th Sep, 2009

Introducing Don Amstutz

Don Amstutz is a good friend with whom I work at the University of the Nations in Kona, Hawaii. He helps run the day to day operations of the U of N, the largest YWAM Training base in the world. He and his wife, Angie, are from Memphis, Tennessee, and our family, being from Arkansas, enjoys hearing someone else say “y’all.” They left a successful business about the same time we left our jobs 3 years ago.

We recently received their update email and I am posting it here because it explains so well why a missionary could be called to Kona, Hawaii. Not only does it help explain in part why God has our family here, but it also illustrates how people just like you (and me) can go to the nations in ways you never imagined. Here’s a picture of Don ministering in the community to disabled adults – he is the one manhandling the wheelchair in the water.


Please read the below from Don.

Well I know it has been a while since you have heard from me, so here is an update from Don.  I continue to be amazed that God uses what I once believed were average abilities in me, to now maintain a missions base that sends out about 1200 short term missionaries every year.  My heart to see this campus produce more quality, long-term missionaries has only grown stronger over these past 3 years.  I am jealous (without sinning) of our friends who lead groups all over the world and get to see God do miracles and radically transform their students’ lives. At the same time I realize it is a miracle that this campus continues to thrive with our huge diversity of leadership, people coming and going all the time, and multi-national representation. I am so blessed by the people I get to work with.  They love God with all their hearts and it is a joy to serve alongside of them. 

One of my jobs is to help this campus save money. On my quest to reduce our garbage bill, we determined that the way to get the price the lowest is to buy our own garbage truck.  I think every young boy sometime wanted to be a garbage man and drive the big truck with all those cool levers and hang off the back!  So…..we bought a garbage truck!  God arranged it all! So so cool!  I realized that I had made a mistake on our garbage bill and had overpaid them $14,600.00 (big oops).  At the same time, my friend found a used garbage truck at an auction for $6,250.00! He also found a handicap-accessible van for $1200 (we have a growing group of handicapped missionaries coming here for training!). The garbage company reimbursed us the $14,600 and we bought a garbage truck and a handicapped van! With NO more money out of pocket!  Man, God is good!   I know that does not sound like your typical missions work, but in the end this should save our base about $70,000.00 every year!  That means we are being better STEWARDS of our money and resources!

Though my ministry is very localized to this base, it plays a big part in what God is doing through YWAM around the world.  YWAM Kona is a birthing place of many of the global missions initiatives happening today! The 4K mapping tool that we started out working on when we first moved to Kona is going stronger that ever and is one of YWAM’s key contributions to the Body of Christ. It divides the world into some 4,000 natural geopolicical units called Omega Zones, and it identifies the demographic needs-both spiritual and physical-of every Omega Zone in a way that enables us to clearly see where we are NOT and strategize our evangelistic work. Both Call2All (www.call2all.org) and Finishing The Task (www.finishingthetask.com) are using 4k. In 2005, Christian researchers with Finishing the Task defined a list of 639 people groups with a population of more than 100,000 who are still unreached with the gospel.  All of these people groups, as well as many with a population less than 100,000 are now identified on the 4k map! This means that we now have detailed info about them available on a community level rather than a national level.  At the Call2All Congresses (over 40 are planned over the next few years) Christian leaders from hundreds of denominations and cities come together to pray, strategize, and commit to reaching these unreached people groups. These leaders believe that we CAN and WILL complete the Great Commission around the year 2020!! And 4k is a MAJOR contributor! So awesome!

Also coming out of Kona is the Uniskript system. This is a way for illiterate people to read the Bible. A team of YWAMers has worked nearly 4 years to develop a writing system for Mandarin speakers with only 18 consonants and 30 vowels. (Mandarin has thousands of characters in their alphabet). Illiterate people can now read the gospel of Josh after only 2 weeks of training using the new system! This will allow us to more easily reach the thousands of people in China who need the gospel!

But, two-thirds of the world’s unreached people are oral learners who can’t, don’t, or won’t read. They assimilate information through oral story-telling. So, YWAM Kona, along with Campus Crusade, Wycliffe, the Southern Baptist IMB, and Trans World Radio formed the OneStory Partnership (www.onestory.org or www.onestory.org/partners). Today there are over 27 Oral Bibles completed in languages that never before had access to the Word of God and over 80 languages are being worked on by teams around the world including staff in Kona. Awesome!!

So, as I keep the campus maintained, it gives those who are working on the global initiatives a place to live and work. As I lower our monthly bills and save the campus money, it frees up money to be used on a global scale. It’s the body of Christ working together like Paul said it should in I Corinthians 12! And it’s a DREAM come true for me to serve the Lord and the Body of Christ in this way!

[some material deleted] 

Don


May the Lamb receive the reward for His suffering…..through me!

Check out our blog at http://amstutzadventures.blogspot.com

What a joy it is to serve alongside men and women like Don and Angie. It takes people from all walks of life, with many different passions and talents, to be the Body of Christ to the world. May God reveal to you what part you are to play and may you be released into the fullness of your purpose, passions, and gifts for the Kingdom.

Responses

Great testimony of how God is using Don’s gifts to facilitate the missions endeavors of so many. I have to admit, I got a good chuckle from the “Gospel of Josh.” Is that a new canonical book?

Gary Snowden’s last blog post..Follow-up to Forum 121 Gathering

I think I have heard Don speak before when I was in Hawaii. Very good speaker! I could tell that he was passionate about his task.

Dan’s last blog post..A Labor-Day Thank You

Gary, nice eye on the gospel of Josh. Josh is one of Don’s sons’ names, so I am sure it was an easy typo for him.

We truly are blessed to be a part of such an amazing place, with so many people who are trusting God in the daily walk of life.

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