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Running from War to Hear Good News, July 2007

running from war to hear good news Kenya food fund
Linah Cheplimo, waiting in line for food with her mother and other refugees from the Sabaot tribe in Kenya

Dear Friends,

John Wesley said, “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can!” That’s a pretty tall order, but we must remind ourselves that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! (And apart from Him we can do nothing, by the way.)

In this update I’ve highlighted some (but not all) of the good that together we’ve been doing last month through the power of Christ. Jesus is still proclaiming the gospel to the poor, feeding the hungry, loving children and strengthening His disciples —and He’s doing it through His body. Don’t resist the urge to dance for joy as you read the good reports below! And thanks for helping to make them all possible. — David

Running from War to Hear Good News
The Christian Refugees Fund at work in Kenya

christian refugees food fund kenya
Sabaot Tribe refugees listening to the gospel after receiving food from Heaven’s
Family (that’s you!).

The Mt. Elgon region of Western Kenya is a beautiful rural and natural area, famous for its convoys of wild elephants that enter Mt. Elgon’s caves each night to lick from salt deposits deep inside. Although I’ve never seen those elephants, I have ministered to groups of pastors on several occasions in that peaceful region.

That peace, however, was shattered earlier this year when tribal war broke out over land disputes. Since then, thousands of homes have been torched, at least 150 people have been killed, and 66,000 more have been displaced as they run from the violence. Now homeless, the refugees have taken shelter in the forests, caves, schools and markets outside their tribal lands. Their greatest physical need is for food, and their greatest spiritual need is for the gospel. Thanks to you, Heaven’s Family is helping to bring them both.

While distributing food provided by Heaven’s Family, our representative, Dawson Mudenyo, has been preaching the gospel to those who have gathered. He recently wrote of the results of his ministry:

What has impressed me is the way the Mt. Elgon people we gave relief to have changed their minds. We ministered to them and assigned some good brothers who gathered with them in houses nearly every day. Now they don’t want revenge. They want reconciliation. They have fully accepted Jesus as the only way. Over one hundred adults gave their lives to Jesus and are meeting in homes now. After this war is over, we know they will take the message back to the mountains and plant more churches among themselves.

Dawson also wrote that food is in very short supply. By meeting the basic needs of vulnerable people, he knows that many hearts will be softened to the Lord. Projects such as these are supported by the I Was Hungry Christian Refugees Fund, which currently has a balance of $78.35. Dawson could immediately use several thousand dollars to provide food for hundreds of refugees in his region of Kenya.

Learn how you can help

More Widows are Rejoicing
The Widows Fund at work in India

widow india buffaloe
Hands folded to indicate an Indian “thank you” —Bathina Suvarthamma with
her new buffalo.

It never ceases to amaze me that we can help people in developing countries become self-sufficient with a grant of a few hundred dollars by which they start their own small business. Because of recent gifts to the Widows’ Fund, five more Christian widows in India were empowered to start their own businesses last month. One of them is Bathina Suvarthamma (pictured above), whose husband died twelve years ago in a truck accident. With a grant of $350 she purchased a buffalo, which produces about two quarts of milk each morning and one-and-a-half quarts each evening. Each day she drinks a little and sells the rest for about $1.50. With that, she survives. She is telling everyone in her world how Jesus has supplied her need.

Gifts to the Widows’ Fund also sustain sixty widows who are unable to work in both Pakistan and India.

widows with new businesses in india
Three new widows’ businesses started with your help: Selling dried fish, a fast-food restaurant, and a banana stand.

Learn how you can help

The Love Bus
The Orphan’s Tear Special Gifts Fund at work in Myanmar

handicapped care center new bus orphan's tear special gifts
Twelve-year-old orphan Lal Rin Chan (on left) is blind in his left eye, and his left hand and both legs are paralyzed. He now has a wheel chair for the first time in his
life and can travel in style in his orphanage’s new passenger van.

Because of gifts to the Orphan’s Tear Special Gifts Fund, more dreams have become reality at the Handicapped Care Center in Myanmar last month. Since last year, the thirty-three polio-stricken orphans at the HCC have been enjoying their new building provided by Heaven’s Family. But now they also have their own van, by which the director, Peter Mang, can drive them all back and forth to school and vocational training every day. (He previously strapped the children to the back of his motorcycle, which required numerous trips each day, as well as lots of faith during the rainy season!)

Because of your compassion, we also were able to provide warm blankets for all the children plus wheelchairs for two of the boys who are unable to walk even with crutches (see above photo).

orphans at the handicapped care center
Four of the six remaining orphans waiting for sponsors at the Handicapped Care
Center, Kalaymyo, Myanmar.

All of the children at the Handicapped Care Center are thanking God that they are part of God’s family. You can visit them with us this November! For more information, email Stephen. Currently only six of the thirty-three children at the HCC are waiting for sponsors.

Learn how you can help

Mixing Darjeeling Tea with Making Disciples
The Books for Pastors Fund at work in Nepal

nepal mountians books for pastors fund
Darjeeling, from where the famous tea is produced —often considered the rarest and most prestigious
of the black teas.

It becomes more evident each month that the most cost-effective way that Heaven’s Family can strengthen the church is by putting The Disciple-Making Minister into the hands of pastors all over the world. Those pastors start a chain reaction that cannot be stopped. We now have a number of pastors in Africa, Asia and Latin America who have been given a burden to equip other pastors, and they’re using The Disciple-Making Minister as a tool to help them accomplish that task. They’re always sending us good reports.

One such leader is Timothy Rai of Kathmandu, Nepal. While he is proof-reading and editing the Nepalese translation of The Disciple-Making Minister, Timothy is distributing English copies far and wide. He recently traveled across his country’s borders into the remote state of West Bengal in northeast India to the city of Darjeeling. There he distributed our books to English-speaking Christian leaders, like John Mukhia, pictured below.

books for pastors fund nepal the disciple making minister
John
Mukhia of Darjeeling, India

Another such leader is Paul Khan, who lives in the state of Andhra Pradesh in southern India. Paul is a convert from Islam who often holds pastors’ conferences where he gives the Telegu version of TDMM to all who attend. Paul hosted two June pastors’ conferences in remote villages that were attended by two-hundred and forty pastors. All of them received a copy of The Disciple-Making Minister. Thanks to you!

nepal the disciple making minister books for pastors
Three of the joyful pastors
who attended Paul Khan’s conference in Thakkellapadu, India.

Learn how you can help

New Stuff at HF Websites

In the past twelve months there have been over 1.6 million hits at ShepherdServe.org. In May alone, that website was visited by people from one-hundred and two nations. We’ve just added a new search feature on every page which makes it easy to find any subject you may be searching for among our teaching articles. (Try typing in the words “chocolate brownies” for example, to see everything I’ve had to say on that subject.)

new websites

ShepherdServe.org OrphansTear.org IWasHungry.org

Now posted in the Video section of ShepherdServe.org are six 30-minute broadcasts of me teaching through the Sermon on the Mount, filmed last summer in Israel. We’re posting them as fast as my son, Stephen,
can edit and produce them, but he wears many hats.

Stephen has also just produced a two-minute promotional video for Orphan’s Tear that is perhaps his best work yet. He also composed, arranged, and produced the music for the sound track. This particular video was created for Thor Ramsey, a Christian comedian and host of the nationally-syndicated Bananas clean-comedy TV show. Thor wanted something to present at his performances that might motivate his audiences to sponsor children. Watch the Orphan Sponsor Promotional video. To see Thor, a very funny guy, in action, go to his website and then click on “Thou Shalt Laugh.” You can also find some
Bananas in your area.

If you have a venue (like your church or Bible study) where you could show our new video to help us get the word out about Orphan’s Tear, please send us an email and we’ll send you a DVD. We also have colorful Orphan’s Tear brochures that we can send you as well. We have hundreds of orphans waiting for sponsorship, so we need your help!

If you haven’t visited IWasHungry.org lately, we’ve added more of our current projects there, along with more photos and video. Within the next few months we intend to add a “Christmas Card” feature for every ongoing project so that kingdom-minded folks like you can do all your Christmas shopping with us this year!

Banished to Siberia (for two weeks)

pretty view in siberia
Baikalsee, Insel Olchon

As you’re reading this I’m on my way to Siberia, Russia, for two weeks. I’ll be serving pastors there and exploring some ministry opportunities. Later this month, associate minister Chuck King is taking a team of eleven with him to serve the poor and strengthen churches in Kenya. Your prayers are coveted.

If you want to help Heaven’s Family serve “the least of these” among Jesus’ family but can’t decide which
Heaven’s Family Mutual Fund. 100% of your monthly investment is
used to care for orphans, serve the poor and equip pastors. You can learn more about the Heaven’s Family Mutual Fund online.

From My Heart…

My job is one that is bittersweet; I rejoice in the many pressing needs that we are able to meet among our spiritual family around the world, but my heart continually breaks for needs that remain unmet. So I do my best to persuade you to give generously. I know you won’t regret it when you stand before Jesus. And I pray that we will find thousands of other people like you, whose faith in Jesus is alive. Please do forward this update to anyone whom you know in that category. Thank you for your partnership and trust. Have a wonderful July! — David

Parting Shot


God is using women in wonderful ways around the world today to make disciples. In India, they call them “Bible Women,” and they evangelize door-to-door. This one’s name is Vangara Jyothy. She was formerly a high-caste Hindu, but she started worshiping Jesus after He healed her father of
blindness!