February 2006

Staff Affection, February 2006

Dear Friends,

The amount of administrative work that is required to keep Heaven’s Family going each month is indeed significant. Our international headquarters (the sunporch of our house) is always buzzing with activity. I don’t want to bore you with all the details, but I do want to tell you a little bit about the fine people who work for Heaven’s Family. Our five-person staff is just like one happy family, simply because all of our staff are from one happy family—the Servants.


Our youngest staff member, Elisabeth, age 14, is also affectionately known as Beebo. She helps fold newsletters, stuff envelopes, stick on stamps, and add names to our e-mail list. She is also in charge of mailing individual books around the world to pastors who request them from us. That requires filling out customs forms. In the photo above, you can see that Elisabeth really likes her job! Her official title is “Senior Director of Postal Communications and Assistant to the Dad.”

Next-to-the-youngest is Stephen, age 19, often called “Stevo.” Stephen’s official title is “Senior Video Communications Director and Assistant to the Dad.” You can view Stephen’s most current video work at OrphansTear.org. Stephen helps with various other tasks in our office and is also being trained to work in our accounting department.

Next in line is Charity, age 23. Charity does just about everything, and she has the most seniority of any employee besides me. Her official title is “Senior Web Communications Director and Assistant to the Dad.” Charity designed and maintains our Shepherd Serve and Orphan’s Tear websites. She almost single-handedly runs Orphan’s Tear. She is also a very good photographer, and we use her skills to help us save words, since a picture is worth a thousand.

Finally, Becky, (age undisclosed), works in our correspondence department. If you’ve ever supported Heaven’s Family financially, you’ve probably heard from Becky. She only works part-time for the ministry because she holds down three other full-time jobs—wife, mother and home-school teacher. Her official title is “Love of My Life.”

We’ll soon have another employee (no, Becky is not pregnant). Sally Patton will be joining us from Arizona, and we can’t wait for her arrival.

Not Just Orphans, but Widows Too
The Widows Fund at work

Scripture says, “This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world” (Jas. 1:27). With that in mind, we’ve started regularly supporting some very poor widows in India and Myanmar, women who are devoted to the Lord, who live in impoverished rural villages, who cannot work, and who have no family to take care of them. (Some have families who won’t take care of them because of their conversion to Christ.) This mercy ministry is administrated through our I Was Hungry division. Those who regularly invest in shares of the Heaven’s Family Mutual Fund are making this possible. You can find out more about the Heaven’s Family Mutual Fund online.

widows india

Letter of the Month

From a happy reader of our monthly e-teachings:

Your writings bug the heck out of me. They disturb me. They make me angry. I don’t like them. But wait a minute. That’s the very part of me that is being crucified with Christ. That’s the very part of me I didn’t want anyway. Thanks for the loving inspiration….

If you don’t subscribe to our monthly e-teachings, imagine what you are missing!

Cuba Postponed

I didn’t make it to Cuba in January as planned due (in part) to a delay in getting the required special religious visa from the Cuban government. Beyond that, my U.S. passport was lost at the National Passport Center (I was applying for an additional passport because my frequent overseas travel often makes it difficult for me to obtain foreign visas between trips.)

In retrospect, all my troubles may have been a blessing in disguise, because the American pastor and friend I would have been going with had bigger troubles waiting for him in Cuba. Upon his arrival, he was detained by Cuban immigration authorities, jailed for a day (they charged him $20 for that privilege) and then deported, and all without any explanation! I’m not sure I would have met the same fate (having a more honest face), but I’ve been wondering…

My circumstances were also a blessing in disguise because it gave me an extra week in January to take care of the mountain of end-of-the-year and beginning-of-the-year administrative and accounting details. And we were not entirely unfruitful for the month because we printed 1,000 English copies of The Disciple-Making Minister in both India and Nigeria. They will be sold to pastors at the printing cost, so that we can continue to reprint them indefinitely in both countries. And we conducted our first “Drawing Closer” conferences in Texas and Virginia. Some Texans drove two days to join us! (Texas IS a big state.) We had quite a time.


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