|

Mighty Mom, June 2009

mother's day i was hungry general handicapped
Aigul, Alyssia and Adeen Orozbaeva

What would the world be
like without the women? No mothers. No wives. No sisters. No daughters. It
can’t be imagined. God said it wasn’t good for a man to be alone. His solution
was such a good idea that He chose to visit our world—through a woman.

The “weaker
sex” have often found themselves in roles that require amazing strength.
Giving birth. Loving unworthy husbands. Suffering discrimination. Being
exploited. And enduring persecution for
following Jesus.

This month we’ve chosen
to tell you the stories of five women who are strong in the Lord—overcoming
prejudice, poverty, disease, bullets, and bounty hunters. A few of them are
just young girls. They live in Kyrgyzstan, North Korea, Sri Lanka, Macedonia
and Mexico. All of them know the grace of God. All are our sisters in
Christ. And all are beneficiaries of your kindness through the ministry of Heaven’s
Family
.

Rejoice with me as you
read their victories in this issue.

— David

Mighty Mom
I Was
Hungry’s General Fund at Work in Central Asia

i was hungry general handicapped crumbling house
The Orozbaeva family outside their crumbling house

Aigul Orozbaeva screamed
in horror. She had just delivered a beautiful baby girl only to witness the
doctor accidentally drop her on the delivery room floor. Equally horrifying,
the doctor picked up the screaming baby and, without examining
her, handed her to Aigul. He later denied that he had dropped the baby,
and so did witnesses. Such is life in Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia.

From that dreadful
moment, baby Alyssia was not normal. The fall caused mental damage and
paralysis in her arms and legs. As she grew older, it was evident she
also had a speech impediment.

Soon
after Alyssia was born, her father abandoned the family. He never
supported them again, and would only return occasionally when he was drunk to
beat and rape Aigul. With no social services available, Aigul scraped out a
living to support herself and her two children by cleaning homes.
They lived together in a crumbling little house with no indoor plumbing in the
slums of Bishkek.

Providentially, Aigul
was introduced to American missionaries John and Beth Carey. They told her
about how Jesus would deliver her from sin and heal her broken life. She
believed and was radically transformed. She has never looked back. That was
seven years ago. Now she is a pillar in her church.

The Careys were able to
arrange medical help for Alyssia through some missionary doctors
and paid for her to go to a private therapy clinic for
paralyzed children. And they’ve sacrificially helped her since then with
food, coal to heat their home in the winter, and ongoing
medical costs for taking care of Alyssia.

Filled with Christ,
Aigul started getting together with other families with handicapped
children. Then, opening her tiny run-down home, she began a home-school program
to educate Alyssia and other children who are unable to go to
the public schools. (The Kyrgyz government provides only $10 each month to help
families with handicapped children.) Aigul still earns her meager living
cleaning upscale homes. John Carey said she could probably make more money by
begging on the streets, but she knows that would not be God’s will.

Through gifts to the
general fund of our I Was Hungry division, Heaven’s Family has helped the Carey’s help Aigul, Alyssia and
Adeen by providing initial funding of $2,500 to repair her home. It needs
windows, brick and mortar repairs, and a partial replacement of the leaking
roof. We’d also like to provide funding for an indoor bathroom, as Aigul has to
carry Alyssia outside in the winter to use the outhouse. And Aigul has big
dreams. One day she hopes to open a center for disabled children.

The Bigger Picture: 100% of all contributions to the General Fund
of I Was Hungry are
used to assist poor believers with pressing needs who
live in developing nations. Please consider helping us provide an adequate home
for Aigul, Alyssia, and Adeen to live in where
they can also serve handicapped Kyrgyz children in Jesus’ name.

Learn how you can help

Saving Soon-Yi
The
North Korean Christians Fund at Work

north korean christians Kim Sung statue pyongyang little girl
A young North Korean girl leaving Mansudae Hill, in Pyongyang, after laying flowers to pay respect to the “Great Leader Kim Il Sung”.

Five-year-old Soon-Yi of
North Korea didn’t understand when she heard her father, in
hushed tones, tell a close family member
that her mother had been arrested. Her crime was
“speaking against the party.” Soon-Yi didn’t know what
those words meant, but she couldn’t ignore her father’s worry.

When her mother
returned home, Soon-Yi did not recognize her.
Mercilessly beaten, she
was badly bruised and in great pain.
It was difficult for her to move. She soon
miscarried—in her eighth month. Soon-Yi’s father gently tended to
his wife and began plotting their escape from North Korea. Along the border,
North Korean guards shoot to kill anyone who makes an attempt. Although Soon-Yi
and her parents ultimately succeeded, her mother never recovered from her
abuse, and she died in
China. Now it was just Soon-Yi and her father.

Because her father
didn’t have papers that would
allow him access to work, housing, or food in
China, they lived anonymously on the fringe of society.
Thankfully, however, Christian believers who were willing to endanger
their own lives found them and helped them. Soon-Yi’s father found
Christ and so did she. He then began clandestinely traveling back and forth
between China and North Korea, passionately serving the underground church
there. Life settled into the uncertain rhythm of living outside the law.

north korean christian soldiers pyongyang
North Korean soldiers in parade at the 60th anniversary of the founding of North Korea in Pyongyang. North Korea is the world’s forty-seventh most populous
nation, but boasts having the world’s fourth largest standing army.

Soon-Yi’s world turned upside down again
when she reached age fifteen. Her father was
arrested in North Korea for proselytizing and was
sentenced to death. His case was highly publicized and
Soon-Yi found herself being sought by bounty hunters who wanted
the reward offered by North Korean
authorities for her capture.
China did not recognize her as a person and would not grant
her refugee status. She was under the same death sentence as her father.
Believers moved her to a remote safe house.

Our partner in North
Korean ministry, Alpha Relief, worked with
the UN High Commission for Refugees as well as
high level connections in Washington DC, on
Soon-Yi’s behalf. After months of persistence, she was
permitted
to leave China and was admitted into South Korea as a political refugee.
Now sixteen years old, Soon-Yi is safe. An uncle living in South Korea
now cares for her, and she attends
a church in Seoul.

Despite international protest,
Soon-Yi’s father
was executed in North Korea a short time ago for his religious activity.
He is now in heaven, but hundreds of thousands of believers in North Korea are
facing severe hardship and persecution. As many as 70,000 Christians are being
held in political prison camps. Stories that have leaked out regarding those
camps are almost unspeakable in their horror. Please help us continue to
provide relief to Christians inside North Korea.

north korean christians propaganda sign posters crush america
Two North Korean propaganda posters: (1) “With everyone’s unified force, crush the American’s threat of nuclear war!” (2) “Boycott the American product, punishment for them will be severe!”

The Bigger Picture: In North Korea there are approximately 400,000
believers and it is estimated that 50,000 to 70,000 are being detained in
prison camps. North Koreans can be imprisoned for virtually any state-defined
crime, such as being a Christian, making a negative comment about the regime,
failing to have a picture of Kim Il Sung in their house or failing to keep it
clean enough, and traveling to China to look for food. Punishment is not
limited to the offender, but to three generations of the offender’s family.
There are eight political prison camps in the country which hold between half a
million and a million people. Political prisoners are kept under constant
threat of execution. There are 30 other camps which contain hundreds of
thousands of North Koreans who are forced to work every day.
Through gifts to our
North Korean Christians Fund, Heaven’s Family is able to help supply food that is smuggled
into North Korea and then distributed to believers there. This is especially
important now, as rations have recently been reduced for North Korean citizens.
The government is telling its citizenry that North Korea is about to be
attacked from the West due to its recent unpopular missile launch.

Learn how you can help

Midnight Escape
The
Christian Refugees Fund at Work in Sri Lanka

christian refugees sri lanka lady
Anoma, age 21, happy to have escaped the crossfire of Sri Lanka’s civil war

For twenty-six years in
the island-nation of Sri Lanka, the LTTE, better known as the Tamil Tigers,
have been fighting for an independent state for ethnic Tamils in a war that has
claimed 70,000 lives. At one time, the LTTE controlled a third of the nation.
At this writing, however, government forces are close to a final victory,
having pushed the LTTE forces back to a patch of land along the northeast
coast.

Earlier this year, the
Sri Lankan government designated a “no-fire zone” where civilians
could find shelter from the fighting. Unfortunately, tens of thousands of
civilians have found themselves trapped with the rebels inside this zone. Now,
all supplies to the area have been cut off and food and medicine are scarce.
Civilians have been caught in the crossfire and it is estimated that 6,500 have
been killed in the past few months. Not wanting to lose their human shields,
LTTE soldiers are shooting at those who try to cross over to the
government-controlled areas. The LTTE is accusing the Sri Lankan government of
Shelling Civilians

Thousands have risked
their lives making the precarious journey to safety in the middle of the night,
crossing rivers and a shallow part of the sea, to escape the LTTE-controlled
area. Those who have succeeded are now being held in detention camps in
government-controlled areas.

Partnering with the
Foursquare Churches of Sri Lanka, Heaven’s Family has sent relief using gifts from our Christian Refugees Fund to help meet the immediate
needs of believers who escaped with only the clothing they were wearing. One of
them was Anoma, age 21, pictured above.

Anoma, a follower of
Jesus, was conscripted by the rebels to fight, but she refused. She was punished
and sent to the front lines. Anoma escaped, however, and fled to her aunt’s
home. Her aunt literally buried her in the sand to keep her hidden from those
who were searching for her. She was ultimately able to escape in the middle of
the night to the government-controlled area, but she is now living in a refugee
camp. As of this writing, there are still hundreds of believers trapped in the
LTTE-controlled area, praying to survive their ordeal.

christian refugees sri lanka

Pastor Krishnakumar
(pictured at right with his youngest daughter) escaped
with his wife and two children, after having been displaced seven times due to
fighting in their region. Pastor Krishnakumar related that as
they were leaving one area to move to another, the Holy Spirit prompted him not
to go, and so he and his family stayed back. He later learned that around fifty
people who took the route he intended to travel that night with his
family had been killed by shelling and shooting.

The Bigger Picture: Your gifts to the Christian Refugee Fund have
brought relief to Christian refugees in India, Kenya, Turkey and Sri Lanka.
Currently, that fund is empty. Much more help is needed to meet the pressing
needs of refugees who are members of our spiritual family in Sri
Lanka and in Orissa, India, where we are also currently

Learn how you can help

Gypsy Sister
The
Widows & Abandoned Women Fund at Work in Macedonia

widows macedonia gypsy family slum
Suzana with two of her eight children and a grandchild

Two amazing followers of
Christ of whom the world is not worthy are Dave and Lee Gilman, called to make
disciples among a special group of people who live primarily in Europe,
but who trace their lineage to medieval India. They’re known as Roma,
or Gypsies. They number in the millions.

Roma generally live on
the margins of society in squalid squatter communities. They are often blamed
for criminal activity and are subject to daily discrimination. Last
summer, photographs were published of Italian sunbathers enjoying a day at
the beach, swimming, sipping soft drinks and chatting, just a few yards
from where the bodies of two drowned Roma sisters, age 12 and 13, were laid out
on the sand awaiting collection from the local morgue. Roma are accustomed to being despised, which is why they are always
shocked when Dave and Lee speak to them in their native tongue. Nobody cares
about them—except Jesus.

In 2006, Lee Gilman
befriended a Roma woman named Suzana, who was a prostitute and widow with three
children under her care. They lived together with a group of other Roma behind
an illegal dump outside the city of Skopje in the republic of Macedonia. Like
all the other Roma, their one-room shack was made from materials gathered at
the dump.

widow dump slum gypsy
Suzana’s former home in back of the dump

Lee shared the gospel,
and Suzana opened her heart to Jesus, repented, and was transformed. She quit
her profession and decided to trust God to provide all her needs by
collecting recyclables to sell, while her teenage son rented a horse and
cart to work as a private trash collector. A new creation in Christ, Suzana
shared her earnings with “the poor,” and would often open her
one-room shack to strangers who didn’t have a place to stay. She would say, “If
God sent this person to me, how could I turn her away?”

One day Suzana returned
home to find that her shack was gone, leveled by government bulldozers along
with the other Roma dwellings in her “neighborhood.” Staring into the
ditch that held all of her meager belongings, she said, “It’s OK. God will give
it back to me, and it will be even better.” A week later, she was able to move
to a more solid house in Shutka, a Roma village of about 40,000 on the
outskirts of Skopje. It consists of two rooms built from concrete blocks. It does
not have running water. Suzana built a crude outhouse out back.

Recently, the Macedonian
government made illegal just about everything the Roma do to earn a
living. For example, Roma collect plastic bottles in large bags and sell
them to recycling plants, but they aren’t allowed to dig through dumpsters any
more to search for plastic bottles. Nor are they permitted now to ride
their horse-drawn carts on paved Macedonian roads. They aren’t allowed to sell
anything on the streets. They aren’t allowed to beg anymore at traffic
lights. Suzana found herself out of work.

In April, however, Heaven’s
Family
provided funding from
our Widows & Abandoned Women Fund to help Suzana set
up a small convenience store to sell vegetables and other staples
from one of the two rooms of her home. As shelving, paint, door lock,
scale, bins, calculator, and other store items started arriving at her
house, people gathered to see what was going on. After Suzana explained the
plan for her store one onlooker said, “With your big heart you will give everything
away within five days.” Everyone laughed because they know what she’s
like. So does the Lord.

The Bigger Picture: You can support missionaries Dave and Lee
Gilman through our National Missionary Fund by clicking the link below or by
writing “Gilman” on the memo of your check.
100% of all gifts to the
Widows & Abandoned Women Fund are used to help poor Christian widows become self-sufficient
through small-business startup grants.

Learn how you can help


Irasema Walks Again
The
Critical Medical Needs Fund at Work in Mexico

critical medical needs mexico
Irasema, slumped in her father’s lap (far left) last September as Jason Fitzpatrick preaches in remote Mexico

“What if that
little girl was my daughter?” I kept asking myself. Up until a few months
earlier, Irasema had been a perfectly healthy little six-year-old. She started experiencing
alarming symptoms, however, at first passing out when she stood up from her
school desk, but eventually being unable to walk at all. She lost her appetite
and was losing weight.

Irasema’s father carried
her to the evening church services where she would slump on his lap the entire
time. She could not even hold her head upright. During worship, he would clap
her hands for her, because she couldn’t clap them herself. It was
heart-breaking to observe. Like any father, he desperately wanted his precious
daughter to be well, but he had no idea what was wrong with her.

Almost every night last
September when I was with missionaries Jason and Nicole Fitzpatrick in Mexico,
I joined them as they did what they do almost every night of the week. We
hopped in their truck and took off for some remote village where they had
planted a church among some very poor descendants of the Aztec Indians. Those
churches met in little crowded shack-like houses, or under crude wooden
shelters, and Jason and his disciples would preach by the light of a single
suspended light bulb. Irasema and her mother and father were often at those
gatherings, as Jason would pick them up each evening on his way.

Nicole explained to me
that she and Jason had taken Irasema to a doctor, and she had been tested for
many illnesses, but to no avail. The remaining option was expensive and five
hours away—specialized tests at Children’s Hospital in Puebla.

I was blessed to leave
Jason and Nicole with some money from the Critical
Medical Needs Fund
for that purpose. Irasema went through days of
testing over a two-month period, and she was eventually diagnosed with
dermatomyositis, a connective-tissue, muscle and nerve disease, the cause of
which is unknown. The doctors told Jason that Irasema’s disease had
progressed untreated for too long. But they put her on medications and daily
physical therapy. The churches prayed.

critical medical needs mexico
Irasema just a few weeks ago

Heaven’s Family (that’s you!) has been blessed to pay not only for
Irasema’s tests, but ongoing therapy and medication since her
diagnosis. By late October, she was able to stand on her own and walk a
few steps. Now, seven months later, Irasema is eating well, running and
playing. All the signs are looking good for a full recovery. Thanks for making
this blessing possible.

The Bigger Picture: Through the Critical Medical Needs Fund, Heaven’s
Family
provides funding for
ill and very poor members of our spiritual family around the world to receive
needed medical attention. 100% of every gift to this fund is sent
overseas.

Learn how you can help

July’s New Testament Reading Schedule

The New Testament
reading schedule below is for those who started reading with us in January. But
you can start at anytime to read through the New Testament in twelve months
along with David Servant’s daily commentary, HeavenWord Daily. Just click on the HeavenWord Daily link at the home page of HeavensFamily.org.
Every weekday thereafter, HeavenWord Daily will be waiting in your email inbox when you
awake. Each weekday, you’ll read one New Testament chapter (an average of 700
words) and David’s commentary—never longer than 700 words—on the day’s
Bible chapter. Total time needed by an average reader: About six minutes! Sign
up today, and start each day with a motivational “do-votional!”

Don’t Forget Your Family This Summer!

Most ministries
experience a downturn in contributions during the summer months. Coupled with
the recession, the outlook for this summer is cause for concern. Yet the
critical needs that are being faced by the members of our spiritual family
around the world will not slow down. Please don’t forget your family this
summer! Thanks so much.

Cool Stuff at HeavensFamily.org

At HeavensFamily.org,
you can now create and log in to your own account, set your communication
preferences, see photos and bios of your sponsored children, and view or print
your giving history. If you move, you can change your mailing address so you
don’t miss a single issue of our monthly magazine (and save us postal
expenses). You can change your email address as well to receive monthly e-teachings just where you want
them. And you can read hundreds of pages of Bible teaching, or order books and
teaching videos by David Servant. Stop by for a visit today!

Parting Shot
A Tiny
Woman with a Big God

books for pastors the disciple making minister nepal
A Christian worker who attended one of our conferences in Nepal, holding the Nepali version of The Disciple-Making Minister. Christian women all over the world are building God’s kingdom.