Bishop Noah Repents, July 2009
I love my job. I love it because I have the privilege of serving Someone who died for me. I love my job because I have the opportunity to serve very poor believers all over the world. And I love it because I have a chance to serve you.
I hope you understand that you are similarly blessed—for most of the same reasons. It is such a joy to help “the least of these” among our spiritual family around the world, and to know that you are making a significant impact. Although you may not be devoting your full time to that cause, a percentage of your daily work at your job, for which you are paid, then becomes a tangible blessing to people who live on less than two dollars a day. So every day you are also serving your brothers and sisters, whom you will meet in heaven, using the skills God has given you. They will thank you then. What a blessing this is!
I hope you enjoy this month’s reports from around the world. I’ve also included an article entitled, “Why We Do This,” that I think will bless you. Thanks for being an answer to the prayers of many.
Bishop Noah Repents
One of the least-known—but most fruitful—outreaches of Heaven's Family is the distribution of our 500-page equipping manual, The Disciple-Making Minister, to pastors around the world. So far, TDMM has been translated into twenty-two languages. Recently, ten-thousand more copies were printed in East Africa, in English, Swahili and French.
One pastor in Kenya, Noah Mulati, has been greatly impacted by reading TDMM. Noah oversees about forty-five churches in his nation. In 2007 he was invited to attend a conference where a dear friend of Heaven's Family was teaching, pastor Teryl Hebert of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Teryl is not known for sugar-coating the truth, and pastor Noah was brought under so much conviction as Teryl spoke that he walked out of the conference. On his way out, however, the conference organizer gave him a copy of The Disciple-Making Minister, which was to be given to all the pastors who attended the conference. Noah was told, "Don't throw this book away!"
In his own words, here is what happened next:
Thank you for helping us to equip literally tens of thousands of pastors around the world like Noah, who are often being fed the very worst of what American "Christianity" has to offer.
My Very Own Missionary
National Missionary Fund at Work
Long ago in Burma, Burmese kings would send their soldiers into the tribal areas to abduct young girls to be their concubines. The Chin tribe in particular, tired of losing their beloved daughters, came up with a solution. They tattooed their daughters' faces to make them unattractive potential concubines. Their strategy worked, and tattooed female faces eventually became fashionable among the Chin people, so that the tradition continued long after Burmese kings stopped raiding their villages. These days, however, the tradition has almost died, and only older women can be found adorned with permanently inked faces.
One such woman, whose photo is on the right, lives deep in the heart of Chin State. She traveled many miles to seek the prayers of Heaven's Family national missionary Chan Hmung, having suffered with stomach and uterine problems for a long time. Chan wrote to his sponsors in Texas saying, "Miraculously she was healed from her sickness and praised God. And she said, 'Jesus is my healer.' "
Every month, we're receiving good reports like that from around the world from ministers who are sponsored through Heaven's Family's National Missionary Sponsorship Program. Those reports are forwarded by email to their sponsors. To learn how you can sponsor your very own national missionary and share in his or her reward, see "The Bigger Picture" below.
Stephen's Smile is Back
Orphan's Tear Special Gifts Fund at Work in Myanmar
He can't remember his mother or his father. Both died when he was very young. He can only remember living in a Buddhist monastery. About three years ago, a monk brought him to Nazareth Orphanage in Shan State, Myanmar, where he is now dearly loved by the Christian family who took him in. I met Stephen for the first time last November. He was a very happy ten-year-old with a great smile.
Two months ago, however, the orphanage director sent us the above photo of Stephen, telling us that he needed surgery due to a serious infection that could result in his death if it was not treated. Stephen was in constant pain, and it really hurt when he smiled. We were blessed to send the $350 needed for his surgery from the Orphan's Tear Special Gifts Fund.
Stephen came through his operation with flying colors, and he is now back to his old self, as you can see in the photo below.
Responding to our questions about Stephen's problem, the director of Nazareth Orphanage, Mosez, wrote to us in his best English saying:
The cause of the swelling was not from an accident. It started from itching and developed into such swelling. Mostly or all these children when they arrived to this home they brought at least one kind of sickness, like Job came to us with dysentery, Noah with abnormal mentally, so on. I believe mainly because of malnutrition in their past life they were not feed properly. I can boldly say most of these orphans after arriving to this home they regain their health. So the case of Stephen was malnutrition now on he would be gaining his health. Thanks for your concerns. Yours in Christ, Mosez
Although twenty-six of the children at Nazareth Orphanage are sponsored, eight are not. Perhaps someone reading this will want to sponsor one of the unsponsored children. Please email Charity@OrphansTear.org if you are interested.
Why We Do This
What is the driving force behind the ministry of Heaven's Family? The answer is found in Scripture. It teaches us that when a person believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, he or she is spiritually reborn and becomes a "new creation" (2 Cor. 5:17). So dramatic is this change that Scripture compares it to dying and coming back to life, which is one reason why new Christians are baptized. Going under the water represents their burial, and coming out of the water represents their resurrection to a brand new life. Additionally, their new self has been washed clean by the Holy Spirit, symbolized by their "washing" in the water. They have not only been forgiven of their past sins, but they've also been given the Holy Spirit to empower them to live holy lives.
How do I know if I've truly been born again and am a new creation? How do I know if I've gone from the state of being spiritually dead to the state of being spiritually alive? The apostle John gives us an answer:
We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death (1 John 3:14).
Love is the litmus test. God places His love inside the hearts of the reborn (Rom. 5:5). That love, however, transcends warm feelings and a few handshakes at church services. It is a self-denying love, the love that Christ exemplified in His life and death. So John also wrote:
We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? (1 John 3:16-17).
At least one-half of our spiritual family around the world today lives on less than two dollars a day. Most have no opportunity to earn more money than that. Worse, some face extenuating circumstances beyond their deep poverty, such as persecution, handicaps, orphanhood, widowhood, civil war, natural disasters, sickness, unsafe drinking water, and more. We who possess "this world's goods," cannot close our hearts and claim that God's love abides in us. If we do, then we are goats, not sheep, and we need to be truly born again (see Matt. 25:31-46).
Heaven's Family exists as a love-link to our poor brothers and sisters around the world who need our help. The work of the Heaven's Family staff, now consisting of seven full-time employees, is to identify genuine needs, communicate those needs to you, meet those needs by means of your contributions, and then communicate to you how your compassion is making a difference. We are here to serve you as you serve "the least of these" among Jesus' family.
By giving a percentage of your income to poor members of your spiritual family, you are turning work hours at your daily job into a ministry whereby you are "laying down your life for the brethren." 100% of any amount contributed to any of Heaven's Family's many restricted funds is sent overseas to meet pressing needs within each fund's category. All administrative costs are paid through the general fund.
So why do we do this? Simply because we love Jesus, and so naturally (or perhaps it would be better to say "supernaturally"), we love His family, here, and around the world. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to serve you. Jesus is the force behind Heaven's Family. — David
Servant's Israel Teaching on DVD
Filmed in Galilee near the place that Jesus originally delivered His most famous sermon, these twenty-one teaching lessons through the Sermon on the Mount are great for group Bible studies, house churches, or personal devotions. Each half-hour teaching examines the heart of Jesus' challenging and life-changing message. Every episode also includes an interesting side trip to an historical biblical site in Israel.
There are a total of seven DVDs in an attractive case for $45 (including shipping within the U.S.). These identical teachings can be viewed in small-screen format on our website so you can "try before you buy." You can order the Sermon on the Mount 7-DVD set securely by credit card.