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November 2009

One Gift From Jesus [November 2009 eMagazine]

I thank my God
in all my remembrance of you…in view of your participation in the gospel from
the first day until now. For I am confident of this very thing, that He
who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus
(Phil. 1:3-6).

Dear Friends,

I am so glad that
you are involved, “participating in the gospel.” The Philippians,
through their support of Paul’s ministry, were a vital part of his success and
the expansion of the kingdom of God. In fact, when Paul wrote his letter to the
Philippians, he had just received some support from them. He wrote,

But I rejoiced
in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for
me….Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which
increases to your account. But I have received everything in full and
have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received…what you have
sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to
God. And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in
glory in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:10-19).

Your participation
is sure evidence that the Lord is perfecting the work He began in you. And be
assured that your heavenly account is likewise profiting, and the Lord will
certainly supply all your needs according to His riches in glory.


Please enjoy reading this
month about just a few of the “least of these” among Jesus’ family
around the world who have benefitted because of your obedience to Christ. — David

One Gift from Jesus
The Orphan’s Tear Christmas Gifts Fund

smiling child
A child in East Africa, dressed as hundreds of millions of the world’s children are

Snow is falling
softly outside, the aroma of cinnamon and spice floats from the kitchen, while
the chatter of excited children who are unwrapping their gifts fills the air.
There are so many gifts that they don’t all fit under the Christmas
tree….dolls in every shape and size, action figures from TV shows, and enough
stuffed animals to start a zoo. All are destined to eventually be sold in a
garage sale in just a few years, or put out with the trash…

Contrast that
scene with a Christmas being celebrated in another place, somewhere many miles
away. There is no snow. In fact, no one here has ever seen snow because it is
so warm year-round. The smell of dust and dirt fills the air, as well as the stench
of manure from a nearby pigpen. Yet, excited children are here, too, and all
are opening their single gift…clothing, shoes or a needed blanket. You’d
think they would be disappointed about only receiving clothes, but their faces
light up with joy, and they excitedly show their friends their new outfits.
These new clothes will be worn proudly at church or school. This is a
Christmas more like the original Christmas, where one Gift was given to the
world, and there was no snow, just the smell of dust, dirt and
animals. This is what Christmas is like at most of the orphanages
supported each month through Heaven’s Family’s Orphan’s Tear division.

Will you help us
give an orphan his or her only Christmas gift this year? 100% of every
contribution to the Christmas Gifts for Orphans Fund is used to provide a gift
for each child living at one of our forty orphanages around the world. $5
provides one gift for one child. The orphanage directors generally use the
Christmas money we send to buy each child some new clothing, or a warm blanket.
Please help us reach our goal this year to provide $5 Christmas gifts for 1,469
orphans! Thanks so much.

The Bigger Picture: Through Heaven’s
Family’
s Orphan’s Tear division,
over a thousand children—in forty Christian orphanages in seven
nations—receive monthly support from compassionate sponsors. $20 per month
helps provides food, clothing, school fees, shelter and Christian nurture for a
little follower of Christ. To find your child, please visit OrphansTear.org

Learn how you can help

Very Sneaky Bibles
The Bibles for Believers Fund at Work in North Korea


Border guards walk over a railway bridge in the city of Hyesan, 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.

North
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.

Heaven’s
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
family.

The Bigger Picture: Thirty-three-year-old
Ri Hyon Ok was publicly executed in North Korea on June 16, 2009 for handing
out copies of the Bible. According to a report from South Korean
activists, she was also accused of being a spy for South Korea and the United
States. Ri Hyon Ok was a mother of three children. Her husband, children and
parents were sent to a political prison camp in the northeastern section
of the North Korea after she was executed.

Gifts to
the Bibles for Believers Fund make it
possible to put the Word of God into the hands of persecuted, underground
believers in communist countries like North Korea. On their behalf,
thanks so much.

Learn how you can help

A Disciple-Making Minister
The Books for Pastors Fund at Work in Burundi

disciple making minister
Pastor Bienvenu Bizimana with a copy of the Kirundi translation of The Disciple-Making Minister

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:

I did
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.

I
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!]

Bienvenu eventually
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:

Although,
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.”

The Disciple Making Minister
Nineteen of the twenty-three current translations of The Disciple-Making Minister

The Bigger Picture:The Disciple-Making Minister has now been translated into twenty-one
languages, and five more translations are in progress. Over one-hundred and
twenty-five thousand copies have been printed around the world and distributed
to pastors and Christian leaders. Twenty-two percent of every gift to the Heaven’s Family Mutual Fund is used to
print and distribute The Disciple-Making Minister to pastors and Christian leaders around the
world. (To learn more about the Heaven’s Family Mutual Fund, see the back cover of this magazine.)

Learn how you can help

A Tale of Two Heros
The Disaster Relief Fund at Work in Myanmar

myanmar wood house
Pastor Great Son and his family in front of their new house built by Heaven’s Family

As Heaven’s
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
resist.


Yu Shu in front of his new house built by Heaven’s Family

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.

The Bigger Picture: Using gifts to our Disaster Relief
Fund, Heaven’s Family continues
to fund the building of small houses for our surviving spiritual family in
Myanmar’s Irrawaddy Delta. Cyclone Nargis was the worst natural disaster
in Myanmar’s modern history, killing at least 140,000 people and severely
affecting over two million survivors. About 360,000 homes
were destroyed outright, and more than 450,000 people remain exposed
under severe weather conditions and in dire need of shelter
aid.

Learn how you can help

Behind the Scenes at Heaven’s Family
by David Servant


From left to right Charity McDaniel, Emily Growden, David Warnock, Stephen Servant, David Growden, David Servant, Elisabeth Walter, Liam McDaniel, CJ McDaniel

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
update.

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
Tear
division.

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
our staff.

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
the world.

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.

Personally, I’m
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!

Parting Shot
Truth Seeker


At a Heaven’s Family evangelistic meeting in Burundi, East Africa, an elderly man came forward. He later told us that he had attended a Catholic church for two years and a Protestant church for two years, seeking for the truth, but this was the first time he ever heard about becoming a disciple of Jesus. He said that he was going to tell everyone in his neighborhood about it.