Thursday, November 13, 2008

story for church newsletter

I was asked to write an overview of Amos and I for our church newsletter. This is what I came up with...

In the fall of ’74, in Lancaster, PA the youngest of five children was born to Abe and Arlene Metzler. They named him Amos and, as the story goes- his arrival was anything but pleasant. Thankfully, his Mother survived the ordeal and eventually made it back home to her family.

Before long the Metzler family piled their children and belongings into a vehicle and moved to upstate New York. Young Amos would travel around with his father to work on tractors at neighboring farms and before he could read or write he knew wrench sizes. His future, in the work aspect, was set. This (often) greasy little boy would grow up to be a mechanic.

When Amos was ten years old something happened that would change his life forever. He, of course, didn’t know about it until twenty-two years later, but in the southern tier of New York, a little girl was born to Brian and Cheri Siegrist. She was the third child and only girl in a family that would eventually have an additional boy. Her birth was dramatic as well but in an entirely different way. Born on New Year’s Day, the first birth in the county, her picture was plastered on the front of several newspapers and her family was given piles of gifts from local businesses.

Before long young Natasha, along with her three brothers, were piled along with the families possessions, into a big green van. The family moved to Alaska where they would stay for seven years.The purpose of the move was for Brian and Cheri to attend Bible School and the family stayed on afterwards as staff. She began babysitting when she was ten and found her love: watching children. Little did she know that eventually she would travel through many states and countries to teach children.

The Siegrist family then moved to North Port, Florida where Brian was Pastor, and after seven years there, back home to New York.

Amos and Natasha could have met in Sarasota, Florida where they both attended the Mennonite Relief Sale, but they didn’t. They could have met in Homer, Alaska when she was 17 and he 27 but they missed each other by a few months. They could have met in Port Au Prince, Haiti when they both were in the country, but they didn't. They could have met at the Conservative Conference in Beaver Falls where Natasha was writing for the Conference Crier but they didn't.

The reason, of course, was that God had other things for them to be doing. Natasha worked with children in the Alaskan Villages, in Haitian orphanages, in a trailer park in Rosedale, Ohio, in an El Salvadorian orphanage, in Lowville, NY and in Macapa, Brazil. In between her travels she taught pre-school in Florida then eventually became the Head Teller at Community Bank in Lowville, New York. To continue traveling she stepped down from Head Teller to the position of call-in teller.

Amos also traveled. He visited every state except three; working with MDS and various other ventures. He traveled to Haiti many times and also took a six week trip to Chuuk in 2003. He built and repaired houses and rebuilt engines. In between travels he worked as a mechanic and eventually bought a farm on State Route 177.

In 2004 Natasha officially moved to Lowville having just completed a year at Rosedale Bible College. Amos met and interacted with her family, everyone that is, except her. She remained “elusive” as she bought and sold houses and traveled in and out of town. He knew who she was and she knew his name because the tractor repair business had an account at her bank. The only problem was that she didn’t know which brother was which.

At a Christmas program one year they were officially introduced. Amos thought, “I already know who she is but maybe she’ll notice me.” And Natasha was completely distracted by the three children she was watching. Several months later, after they were dating, Natasha was informed that they had been introduced that night. Her response: “Oh! Huh. That’s who that was.”

Eventually her attention was caught but not before she was committed to working in Brazil for several months. The Lord used their time apart to reaffirm in both of them His call on their lives and their need for each other to fulfill that call. However, before Amos could make his intentions clear, Natasha arrived home early from Brazil and showed up at his bonfire one night. This took him by complete surprise so it took a couple gentle nudges from a friend to send him decidedly in her direction and their courtship turned from interested friends to “three months is plenty of time to prepare a wedding!”

November 10, 2007 was the date. They were married in Lowville and made their home in Amos’s little house on the hill. After several months of marriage they were asked to spend an extended period of time in Lacolline, Haiti. Their first response was, “Sure, we could do that… in like ten years.” Then they thought: “Why not now?” And since they couldn’t find any reason to put it off and God confirmed their decision in many ways, they said yes.

Now they are preparing to spend a year on the mission field. Amos will be doing a lot of mechanic work and also provide direct oversight to the projects in motion at the mission, as well as looking to start any new projects that might be useful. And together they will hopefully show the people in Lacolline the love of Jesus. Because that is, after all, the whole purpose in living, whether here in New York or any other place else on earth.

Amos and Natasha will have email while in Haiti. Their address is .


Melody said...

What a beautiful story the two of you have. God really did a great job writing it out so far and I wait in anticipation to hear the rest of the story.

On a completely different note, I am planning on sending you that information that I spoke about at Bloop. I will send it to your email address if that's ok. I should have some time tomorrow afternoon to compile it all.


Daniel's Mom said...

Oh wow,Natasha! What a beautiful story! Ya'll have a lovely love story! Oh the mission field will be exciting! We're friends with missionaries to the Amazon and Bahama's. The sacrifice it takes is what a lot can't do.

ladyakofa said...

Hello Natasha,

Saw your comment on my blog and thought to visit yours. I find it interesting that you and your hubby missed each other several times b'4 you finally met! And Happy Anniversary! Wishing all the BEST in your mission, marriage and life, Hebrews 13:20-21.