I am so glad that
One Gift from Jesus
Very Sneaky Bibles
The Bibles for Believers Fund at Work in North Korea
Heaven’s Family partners have recently returned from
China where they met with undercover missionaries who regularly risk their
lives to work in neighboring North Korea. They not only provide food
aid and Bibles, but also help endangered North Korean believers escape across
the border to safe houses in China and onto asylum in other nations.
Their work has been so effective that several thousand North Korean
secret police have reportedly been dispatched into China to hunt
down those who have escaped.
Korean refugees in China have been hand-copying the Bible in Korean in
order to smuggle copies back into North Korea where there is a great shortage
of Scriptures. However, one of our partners’ most trusted secret missionaries
told them that it is no longer safe to carry Bibles into North
Korea. If he were caught, he said that he would be put on trial
as a spy and most likely sentenced to death. Being a Christian in North
Korea is a capital offense.
Our partners have
been working for months on a safer means of underground Bible distribution, and
they’ve landed upon a very innovative means which, for security reasons, can’t
be revealed in this update. Heaven’s Family is partnering with Alpha
Relief to provide the Bible to underground Christian families in North
Korea using that innovative means. Thanks for making it possible through
your gifts to the Bibles for Believers Fund.
Family is partnering
with Alpha Relief to
provide the Bible to underground Christian families in North Korea using this
innovative means. Just forty dollars provides one for a North Korean
Like so many pastors,
Bienvenu Bizimana, of Burundi, East Africa, was discouraged and frustrated. He
knew he was called to shepherd a flock, which he faithfully did for six years.
The members of his congregation, however, were like strangers, not family
members. He only saw them on Sundays. Worse, few were making any spiritual
progress or demonstrating the fruit of true disciples. Where was the body of
Christ that Bienvenu read about in the New Testament?
After much prayer,
Bienvenu decided to take a radical step. Giving up security and respect, he
resigned his pastorate and started a new church in his humble home with a
vision to follow the pattern that he read about in the book of Acts. Here’s
what happened next:
not have a clear understanding of the house church concept. I spent almost
two years confusing house church with traditional cell church. I had
practically no fruit, no true disciples. Confused, God had mercy on me,
and an American missionary friend handed me a book titled The Disciple-Making Minister.
After going through it and scrutinizing almost every verse it contains, I
got a clear understanding of what house church really is.
went on to translate the first three chapters into our national language of
Kirundi, and then printed and distributed them to my thirsty team members. The
teaching of TDMM became
a big tool which enabled us to direct our vision to making disciples, not
church attendees. Since that time our movement has known an explosion of
disciples who make disciples who make disciples. [Note: Bienvenu personally
has seventh-generation disciples!]
translated all thirty-three chapters of The Disciple-Making Minister into Kirundi, and we’ve printed 2,000
copies, which he is distributing to traditional and house church pastors across
his nation. So far, Bienvenu and his disciples have planted at least seven-hundred house churches in four of Burundi’s
provinces. Thousands of Burundians have been born again. Bienvenu writes:
each of our ministers has got his own copy of the TDMM in Kirundi, we still
have times of reading the TDMM loudly in small groups to teach and encourage one
another. Whether we read it in a small group or individually, we
say: “David was there watching over our traditions.”
A Tale of Two Heros
The Disaster Relief Fund at Work in Myanmar
Family has continued to
provide relief to our brothers and sisters in the cyclone-decimated Irrawaddy
Delta of southern Myanmar, we’ve learned of some heros. One of them is Great
Son, pastor of Karen Baptist Church in Taphian Village. One-hundred and ten
members of his small congregation perished the day that Cyclone Nargis made
landfall. Those who survived in Taphian Village not only lost relatives,
but everything they owned. Most gave up all hope.
Pastor Great Son rose
to the occasion to serve the survivors. He put his hands to work
building small thatch huts from the cyclone debris. When he received fifty
sheets of galvanized tin roofing from Heaven’s Family, he gave it all away to others while he and his
family moved in with his father-in-law whose small hut survived the cyclone.
His selflessness caught the eye of our primary partner in Myanmar, who
requested $1,500 to fund a strong wood house (rather than a $180 thatch house,
as we are funding for most) for pastor Great Son and his family. We could not
A second hero who
surfaced was church-planting missionary Yu Shu. Yu Shu migrated from Taphian
Village seven years ago to plant a church in Pan Phuh Village. Like Job of
old, Yu Shu was severely tested. Cyclone Nargis took his wife and six children
all in one day. Yu Shu wished he had perished with them.
Yu Shu not only lost
his entire family, but found himself completely destitute, without food or shelter.
The surviving members of Karen Baptist Church in Taphian sent a small bit of
relief, but they themselves were destitute. His young nephew took him in
and looked after him in his grief. In spite of his trials, Yu Shu did not lose
his faith in God.
Wanting to encourage
him, our primary partner in Myanmar requested $1,500 for a solid wood house for
Yu Shu. We sent it, and Yu Shu was encouraged. He is smiling more often now,
and he smiled for the photo on the front cover of this magazine, standing before
his new house. May the Lord restore all that he has lost.
Behind the Scenes at Heaven’s Family
by David Servant
Ten months ago I wrote
an article for our February magazine titled, The Truth About This
Little Ministry. Not everything
that I wrote in that article is still true, so I thought I had better write an
Ten months ago, Heaven’s
Family had five full-time
staff members, four of whom worked out of my house in a Pittsburgh suburb.
Today, Heaven’s Family has
nine full-time and one part-time staff. We ran out of room at my house, so we
moved our offices in July. We’re now renting 800 square feet of commercial
office space, courtesy of a ministry partner in Florida who pays our monthly
rent. Becky (my wife) is glad to have her house back, and the rest of us have
joined the world of office cubicles.
Two of our new
employees are David and Emily Growden, who joined us in July after moving from
West Virginia. David oversees five of our restricted funds, including
our National Missionaries Program and Micro-Loan Fund. Emily is overseeing
four funds, including the Critical Medical Needs Fund and the Bibles for
Believers Fund. She also helps Charity McDaniel administrate our Orphan’s
Our youngest daughter,
Elisabeth, also joined the Heaven’s Family staff in July. She processes contributions,
assists CJ McDaniel with website-related tasks, and coaches our amateur
photographers around the world who supply us with project photos for our
monthly magazine and mini-updates. Elisabeth also oversees our ministry to
persecuted North Korean Christians.
Our oldest daughter,
Charity, is now working part-time due to the birth of our first grandson,
Liam. Liam doesn’t seem to mind spending some of his time at our office, as he
receives lots of attention when he is awake! Charity continues to oversee Orphan’s
Tear and its massive
amounts of administration, which requires part of the time of at least half of
David Warnock joined
our staff in September, which means that three people in our office are named
David. David W., as he is affectionately now called, has significant former
experience in ministry to Muslims, and he is now directing our Persecuted
Christians Fund. He is also taking over the administration of the translation,
publishing and distribution of The Disciple-Making Minister all over the world, as well as initiating a
Planned Giving Department to assist those who want to contribute gifts of
appreciated assets, name Heaven’s Family in their estate planning, contribute
through charitable gift annuities and so on. David was the very capable church
administrator of the last church I pastored, and he also comes to us with a
wealth of missions knowledge and experience.
John Carey is the
latest addition to our staff, starting in October. John has been my friend for
twelve years, and he and his family have just returned to the U.S. after
serving as missionaries for seven years in Kyrgyzstan. Among other things, John
will be taking responsibility for our Village Development Fund, and with his
gift for evangelism, we can be sure that all our village development projects
will incorporate the enthusiastic advancement of the gospel.
Our other “veteran”
employees, CJ McDaniel and my son, Stephen, continue to amaze me with their
website, print, and video work, which amplify our ministry and teaching around
I am so thankful that
all of our employees are willing to work for much less than they could make
elsewhere, and that many of them have been able to raise a significant portion
(or even all) of their own support with the help of their friends and families
(may God bless all of them). We are also thankful to everyone who contributes to
the general fund, from which the difference is supplied.
thankful for the “dream team” that the Lord brought together, a team
that includes several thousand other people, like you, who make the work
of Heaven’s Family possible
around the world. May God make us fruitful together!
A Christmas Gift in Heaven
Help Someone Lay Up Treasure There with an HF Gift Card
What Christmas gift do
you give to those who already have everything they need? How about
treasure in heaven? We’ve set up Christmas Gift Card pages at the websites of
our I Was Hungry and Orphan’s
Tear divisions so that
you can give, in honor of a friend or loved one, clothing to a Christian
orphan who will receive no other gift this year for Christmas, a business
start-up grant for a poor Christian widow, food for a starving believer in
North Korea, and much more.
The gift cards are
beautiful. We can mail your card to your address or directly to your loved
ones. Your card will say exactly what need has been met in their honor.
It only takes a minute
to order your cards using the simple forms at IWasHungry.org/giftcard and OrphansTear.org/giftcard, and you can use your
credit card or mail a check to make a payment. You could probably do all
your Christmas shopping this year in thirty minutes just sitting at your
computer! Or you can call us at (412) 833-5826 and order your cards over
the phone. And as always, nothing is taken for administration of your gift.
100% of what is received is sent to the designated need.
The deadline to order
your cards is December 15th in order to have your gift cards in your mailbox
(or your loved ones’ mailboxes) by December 25th!