Amish Mennonite Aid

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Amish Mennonite Aid (AMA), founded 10 November 1955, is the relief and mission agency of the Beachy Amish Mennonite group. In the late 1950s its work was carried on by an executive committee of three officers: Norman D. Beachy president, Elam L. Kauffman vice-president, and Jacob J. Hershberger secretary-treasurer. It was "dedicated to the rendering of material, moral, and spiritual aid, in the name of Christ, to destitute and needy people."

Its only project prior to 1959 was a refugee service center in Berlin, Germany, on behalf of refugees from the East Zone, after 1958 centered in Friedensheim, erected by it in 1958 at Klüberstrasse 26-28, Berlin. In addition to clothing distribution the program included recreational facilities for children, Bible study classes for young and old, and summer Bible school. After the construction of the Berlin Wall, the mission changed its focus to ministering to local spiritual needs. The mission has since discontinued formal ties with AMA.

In 1962, Hurricane Mitch devastated parts of Central America. AMA was invited to help with the rebuilding efforts in Belize and El Salvador. After reconstruction efforts, AMA stayed in these two countries, establishing further missions to minister to physical and spiritual needs. Additional Beachy Amish Mennonite churches have taken root in both countries since the original efforts. Several national converts have been ordained. One Belizean church and most churches in El Salvador are now under local governance.

During the height of foreign outreach efforts of AMA, a congregation was established in Paraguay near an Old Colony Mennonite settlement. The outreach effort began with a clinic to meet rural health needs and a communal farm to provide income for the clinic's operation (which has since closed). Missionary efforts were expanded in 2001 to an Old Order Amish community that had settled in Paraguay. The expansion was in response to inquiries made by some Amish members who requested spiritual assistance and teachings.

In the early 1990s, missionary efforts began in western Kenya. Because of Kenyans’ favorable response to church planting, the number of congregations has grown. In 2013 Kenya was AMA’s largest project.


Anderson, Cory. "Amish-Mennonite Aid." The Beachy Amish Mennonites. Web.

Author(s) Harold S Bender
Cory Anderson
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Bender, Harold S and Cory Anderson. "Amish Mennonite Aid." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 14 Apr 2024.

APA style

Bender, Harold S and Cory Anderson. (1959). Amish Mennonite Aid. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 14 April 2024, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 1059. All rights reserved.

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