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Fish Tales, October 2009

Whenever I’m among the
very poor of our spiritual family, I constantly ask myself why I was born rich
(like everyone in the developed world), and why I was not born poor, like half of the world’s people who live on two dollars a day or less. It couldn’t
have been because God loves me more than others. I can only think it is because
He wants to use me to meet the pressing needs of the “least of these”
among His family. He wants me to deny myself to help them. In so doing, He
tests my love for Him. This is certainly contained in Scripture.

When those who are
helped through Heaven’s Family thank me, I tell them that we are only doing what they would do for us if our
roles were reversed. We’re family. And then I wonder if in heaven those who are a hundred times
poorer than I am now will be a hundred times richer than I will be then. May
God help us to never be satisfied with our sacrifices, and may Jesus, who laid
down His life for us, move us to strive for a more perfect love. — David

Fish Tales by Charity McDaniel
The Ophan’s Tear Special Gifts Fund at Work in Myanmar


Five of the girls from Christ’s Home for the Needy holding dinner

The younger children
laugh as they splash in the pond, trying to catch fish that dart around
their feet. They don’t snare as many as the older boys, who are skillfully
throwing nets. But that is OK, because they’re having fun! Soon there are
enough fish caught to feed everyone for dinner. Many of the children are muddy, requiring before-dinner baths. But there is no
lollygagging, as everyone is looking forward to a belly full of fish!

You’d never know that
these happy children are orphans. God has placed them under the compassionate
care of Hoi Cung, director of Christ’s Home for the Needy in northwestern Myanmar, and they all
consider themselves blessed.

A few years ago the
local government forced Hoi to dismantle his bamboo orphanage building due to a
legal technicality. It was an act of persecution by local Buddhist officials.
Today, however, thanks to international pressure and gifts to the Orphan’s
Tear Special Gifts Fund
, Christ’s
Home for the Needy
has a
solid brick and concrete facility.


Children from Christ’s Home for the Needy displaying their prized catches

Last month we were
able to send funds to Christ’s Home for the Needy to expand their three existing fish
ponds. In the past, their three ponds could produce only enough
fish for periodic meals for the orphans. Once the ponds are expanded,
they will be able to raise enough fish to sell some at the local
market. Hoi buys the fish for about 14 cents each when they are
just fingerlings. The children take care of feeding them, and after a year they
grow enough to be sold for about a dollar. After two years, they can be sold
for four dollars. That extra income will be a real blessing for the children.

Tonight, all of them will
sleep well, knowing that Jesus is still in the business of multiplying fish to
feed the hungry. Thanks for being part of the miracle.

The Bigger Picture: Thanks to your gifts to the Orphan’s
Tear Special Gifts Fund
, we’re
able to meet the special needs that arise among the forty Christian orphanages
with which we’ve partnered around the world. Recently, we’ve not only helped
expand fish ponds, but we’ve provided beds, funded wells, built sanitary
toilets and much more. Now we’ve made it possible for compassionate believers
to contribute automatically each month to this special fund, either by credit
card or through automatic bank withdrawals. 100% of every contribution to the Orphan’s Tear Special
Gifts Fund
is sent overseas
to help needy orphanages.

Learn how you can help

Three Shy Guys by David Servant
The Safe Water Fund at Work in Vietnam


An H’roi family in front of the new village well funded by HF

They live deep in the
central highlands of
Vietnam in Quang Ngai Province, but they are not Vietnamese. They are a tribal people
called the H’roi. Until a few years ago, none of them
had ever heard of Jesus. No missionary had ever
brought the gospel. But one of them
heard a radio broadcast from a Christian shortwave station in
the Philippines, and he believed in Jesus. Then he told his friends. Before long, he
had planted seven blossoming churches among the
H’roi, and he became their pastor. The Lord raised up other pastors
from among them. Many H’roi have since come to believe in Jesus.

A Vietnamese
church-planter from Ho Chi Minh City named Vinh who has helped Heaven’s
Family
distribute The
Disciple-Making Minister
to
hundreds of Vietnamese
pastors was providentially informed of the gospel’s spread among the
H’roi. He began sending some of his pastors to visit and teach
them. Here is part of his report to us in his best
English:

My
pastors told me that if I come to this place I cannot help crying for their
poverty. Most of children are naked or only wearing shorts. They have to go to
a long distance to the stream to get water for use and drink. The water they
take from the stream is also very dirty and bad-smelled. The whole village
don’t have toilet, so they have to go to bushes up on the hills or down the
stream. You know my brother last time December 2008, three of my pastors
went there to organize the Christmas evangelistic meeting. They had to stay
there one week and they could not go to toilet because they are shy to go to
bushes. Coming back, they looked like pregnant people, because they kept food
inside the stomacth one week.
[Which is why I almost titled this article, Three
Pregnant Pastors
.]


Before their well, the H’roi villagers had to trek quite a long distance to get drinking water from a dirty creek

Vinh asked if we could
fund a 100- to 150-foot-deep water well for the believers in one village,
writing, “They are poor Christians, but very faithful to the Lord, living
as true salt of the earth.” He sent us a photo of a circle they had drawn
on the soil by faith where they wanted their well to be dug. $500 was needed.
We agreed to help.

In central Vietnam, tribal
Christians are often regularly persecuted by the local authorities. When the
well was almost completed, the H’roi pastor was called in for questioning by
the local chief of police. He wanted to know about the source of the well’s
funding. He feared the worst, but he told the police chief the truth. The funds
had come from a Christian pastor in Ho Chi Minh City. At that, the police chief
replied, “Can you ask your pastor to help our people in this village for
one more well? Because this one is not enough for the whole village!”


At left is the location the villagers marked in faith while praying for a well. At right is their faith being rewarded!

The Bigger Picture: Through gifts to the Safe Water Fund, Heaven’s
Family
is able to help provide
safe drinking water for members of our spiritual family in a growing number of
poor nations by funding wells, water reservoirs, and water filters.

Learn how you can help

Twice Saved by CJ McDaniel
The Education Fund at Work in Kenya


Elias and Rial, two brothers with brighter futures thanks to Heaven’s Family

Often cold and hungry,
the two young brothers slept at nights on the streets, using each other’s body
heat for warmth. They survived by begging and through occasional odd jobs they
could find, which were few and far between for two malnourished children.

Elias and Rial were the
sons of poverty-stricken peasant farmers who lived outside the agricultural
town of Kitale, Kenya. They lost both of their parents in a span of four months
due to undiagnosed diseases. Like many orphaned children in Africa, Elias and
Rial found themselves with no place to live and no food to eat. They were about
six and seven years old. By the time their uncle, who lived over 250 miles
away, heard of the their plight, they had spent three years living on the
unforgiving streets of Kitale.

Things improved when
their uncle moved to Kitale to take care of them about seven years ago. He paid
their school tuition fees and provided food and a humble home. Earlier this
year, however, on a trip back from his home town, he was killed in an
automobile accident. Elias and Rial were on their own again.

Erick Situmah, a Heaven’s
Family-
sponsored national missionary
who is planting house churches in a Kitale slum, was sharing the gospel on the
streets. He was specifically targeting teenagers, which is how he first met
Elias and Rial. At that time, the boys were still living in the house that
their uncle had been renting for six dollars a month. Elias and Rials’s deceased
parents had been worshippers of trees and rocks, and they had instilled many of
the same beliefs in their sons. When Erick told them about Jesus, however, they
immediately received Him and began attending one of Erick’s house churches.

With their uncle gone
and no one to pay their school fees, the brothers began accruing tuition debt
until the school eventually refused their admission. Elias was just half a year
away from graduating from high school, and Rial was one year behind him.
Through gifts to our Education Fund, Heaven’s Family stepped in and paid their past debt as well
as their school fees through to graduation. If it were not for the compassion
of their spiritual family on the other side of the world, Elias and Rial would
once again be on the streets with no hope for the future. Both, however, now
have big dreams. Rial, who plays soccer for the high school team, dreams of
being a professional soccer player. His older brother, Elias, wants to apply
himself to become a medical doctor. On their behalf, thanks so much.

The Bigger Picture: Generally, the Education Fund is
used to help older children—who live in one of the forty orphanages supported
each month through our Orphan’s Tear division—prepare for a vocation by which they can support
themselves upon leaving their orphanage. Needs seem to always exceed the
resources of this fund. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Learn how you can help

Islamic Injustice by Elisabeth K.
The Persecuted Christians Fund at Work in Pakistan


An Urdu Bible recently burned by Muslims in Pakistan

Ghafoor Masih has
lived in Hajware Town, Pakistan, for thirty-five years, the last twenty of
which he has operated a small grocery store to support his family. Although he
is a Christian and thus part of a persecuted minority, Ghafoor has enjoyed a
long-standing, good relationship with the local Muslim community. That
dramatically changed, however, just a few weeks ago.


Imran Masih

Ghafoor noticed that
rats had damaged some papers and school curriculum in his
store. So he asked his grown son, Imran, to burn the damaged
papers on the street outside, something that is commonly done in most cities
and towns in Pakistan, as there is little waste management. Imran did as his
father requested. Neither had any premonition how his simple act would turn
their world into a tailspin.

Even though the large
majority of Pakistani Muslims cannot read Arabic, a few who observed Imran
thought they saw some Arabic words on the papers he was burning, and they
accused him of destroying the Qur’an. He denied it, but they rushed to the
nearest mosque to broadcast their accusation over the minaret loudspeakers that are
used to call Muslims to prayer five times each day. An angry mob gathered at
the front of Ghafoor’s grocery store.

Within minutes, they
looted and destroyed everything. Then the mob attacked Imran as his brother was
trying to take him to safety. His life was spared by the arrival of the police,
yet those same police beat him once he arrived at the police station. When Imran’s
two accusers arrived, they filed a charge of blasphemy against him. As of this
writing, Imran is still in jail awaiting his trial for blasphemy. His
father, Ghafoor, moved his entire family to a secret location for safety, where
they remain.


Pakistani Christians whose homes were recently destroyed by Muslim mobs

Heaven’s Family has sent funds to help sustain Ghafoor and
his family and to hire an attorney to defend Imran. They would all appreciate
your prayers.

The Bigger Picture: Through gifts to Heaven’s Family’s Persecuted Christians Fund, we are ready to
come to the aid of fellow followers of Christ in restricted nations—like
Imran’s family—when they suffer for their faith. Now we’ve made it
possible for compassionate believers to contribute automatically each month to
this special fund, either by credit card or through automatic bank withdrawals.

Learn how you can help

Please Pray for Mah Yin by Emily Growden
The Critical Medical Needs Fund at work in Myanmar


Mah Yin with her eye infection (inset) and now much better

Meet little Mah
Yin Yin Nwe of Myanmar. We met her last year when Heaven’s Family provided a small business grant to Amine,
Mah Yin’s widowed mother. With that grant, Amine opened a noodle shop to
support herself and her three children.

Some months later, we
heard from one of our national missionaries, Khamh Lian, who lives in the same city,
that Mah Yin was suffering from a severe eye infection
and an oozing sore on her abdomen. With
contributions to the Critical Medical Needs Fund, we rushed funds to provide some
medical attention.

Mah
Yin was first taken to an eye specialist who treated her
infection, but with no improvement. She was then referred to the
best general practitioner in her city. He ordered tests that indicated the
infection had not begun in her eyes, but rather in her liver. Mah Yin was
suffering from severe liver damage, and it was no
longer filtering harmful substances from her blood as it should. The
result was multiple infections that were plaguing her
body. The doctor began long-term treatments for her liver and eyes
and also sent her to a skin specialist.


Mah Yin’s infection before and after three months of medical treatment

Three months later we
received photos of Mah Yin that showed her remarkable improvement. She looked
like a completely different little girl. However, Mah Yin’s ordeal is not over.
Missionary Khamh learned from one of Mah Yin’s relatives that her father had
died of AIDS. He immediately took Mah Yin to have a blood test only to learn
the sad truth that she’d been born with the HIV virus. This meant that her
mother, Amine, was also infected. Khamh agonized and prayed whether to tell
Amine and little Mah Yin. A few weeks later, he wrote to us:

We
haven’t seen Amine for three days. She has left her three children at home and
even her children do not know where she has gone! . . . Doctors have told
her of her infection and we believe that would be the reason for her running.

As of this writing,
Amine has not returned. Her three children have been taken in by a
friend of Khamh’s. Long-term treatments will be needed for Mah Yin to
battle the HIV virus. Her doctor has agreed to continue those treatments
without cost, but there will on-going traveling costs to transport little Mah
Yin to the doctor. We’re committed to continue helping her. Please pray with us
for her mother, Amine, to return soon.

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 to meet critical medical needs such as Mah Yin’s.
Thanks for caring.

Learn how you can help

David Servant’s New DVD Teaching Series
Ready to Ship: Jesus’ Parables, Part 1

Jesus often spoke to His
followers in parables in order that they might understand the mysteries of the
kingdom of God. In this soon-to-be-released video teaching series, David
Servant takes a closer look at nine of Jesus’ parables that were specifically
directed towards believers. They include the parables of The Sower and the
Soils, The Wheat and the Tares, The Hidden Treasure, The Unforgiving Servant,
The Laborers in the Vineyard, The Good Samaritan, The Rich Fool, The
Unrighteous Steward, and The Rich Man and Lazarus.

David makes no attempt
to alter or soften the challenging messages contained within any of Jesus’
parables. The result is a thought-provoking study that is perfect for personal
devotions, group Bible studies, and home churches.

The four-DVD set in an attractive compact case includes thirteen 30-minute teachings that were filmed in the Alaskan wilderness. Also included are short and interesting side-trips as the camera follows David to some of Alaska’s most interesting places. You can order your copy for $35, which includes free shipping in the U.S., by clicking here. Jesus’ Parables, Part 2 has already been filmed, and is now in the editing phase.

Parting Shot
Forbidden Love


Husbands and wives don’t show any public affection in rural Myanmar, and when we were taking portraits last year in a remote village that we’ve served with various projects, this older couple had a mixed reaction when I wrapped his arm over her shoulder! The watching crowd of villagers hooted!