Just a few weeks ago, my wife, Becky, and our youngest daughter, Elisabeth, traveled to India to check up on some of Heaven’s Family’s projects. They visited many of the small orphanages where children, loved by Orphan’s Tear sponsors, are living and being loved. They met with widows whom we have helped through our Widows & Abandoned Women Fund. They gave bicycles and lanterns to church-planting pastors. They met extraordinary servants of God who are laying down their lives for the sake of God’s kingdom. And they witnessed poverty that has no close comparison in the Western world.
Their most heart-wrenching experience, however, was the day they visited a lepers’ colony that Heaven’s Family has been serving through our Leprosy Ministry Fund. Although modern leprosy is curable, in India, even those who are cured carry a stigma all their lives, and so do their families. I’m glad to know that Jesus has not forgotten any of them, and Heaven’s Family is sharing His love in their midst. Make sure you read Becky’s narrative below.
Thank you for sharing the love Christ has placed in your heart. — David
My Mom Makes Soap by David Servant
The Widows & Abandoned Women Fund at Work in Kenya
As they led me through trash-filled, dirt alleys to their
first-floor apartment, my heart was already breaking. Before me was a
twenty-nine-year-old mother, Margret, and her two tiny children, Michele and
Romeo. Margret’s husband, the children’s father, had died shortly after Romeo
was born. Judging from our route to their home, I was ominously anticipating
more of the same sadness that I’ve felt in so many impoverished places around
We arrived at their city-slum apartment building. I did not go
inside her entry door, because other people were exiting. Margret explained
that she has just one room in the three-bedroom apartment that she shares with
others. Her rent is $29 per month. I took the family portraits a few feet from
their door, beside an open sewer.
Widow Margret Ngangi and her children, Michele and Romeo standing outside their apartment
They were a photogenic little family, and as I snapped their
pictures amidst the trash in the street, I kept thinking how beautiful they
were in contrast to the ugliness of their surroundings. They didn’t fit in.
Plus, they were believers, worthy of something better. I wondered how they will
react when they enter heaven, which will be so different to anything they’ve
I’m glad to report that Margret, Michele and Romeo are experiencing
a pre-heaven glimmer of God’s grace because of others who love and serve Him.
Margret has recently been given a job at an indigenous Christian ministry
named “Merciful Hearts” that manufactures soap and detergents for the
sole purpose of employing poor Christian widows like her. I had just spent time
with the young founder of that ministry, Andrew Odoke, and observed his tiny
operation that employs three widows, including Margret. Each were earning
about $85 per month, a huge blessing for them.
Andrew submitted a detailed proposal requesting $1,000 to expand his
ministry business. He needed more molds, more packaging, and
more ingredients derived from local fruits and herbs. As I visited the
apartment of Margret, Michelle and Romeo, I decided that Andrew’s request
would be met from Heaven’s Family’s Widows & Abandoned Women Fund. That was
two-and-a-half months ago. Merciful Hearts’ soap ministry now employs eight
widows who all take home about $90 per month. Thanks for being part of this
|The Bigger Picture: 100% of all contributions to the Widows & Abandoned Women Fund are sent overseas to provide life-sustaining small-business grants for
Christian widows and to assist older Christian widows who are unable to work
for a living. It is now possible to set up automatic, recurring monthly gifts
to the Widows & Abandoned Women Fund at our website by clicking here.
Learn how you can help
An Orphanage Director is Born by Charity McDaniel
Orphan’s Tear Sponsorship Making a Difference
Mang Bawi and the children of Love and Mercy Shelter
Several dozen children gather around him, giggling with glee.
He knows them each by name, and they love and trust him. His name is Mang Bawi
Thang, director of Love and Mercy Shelter in Myanmar.
Years ago, Mang Bawi was just another fourteen-year-old boy growing
up in Myanmar. There were seven children in his family, and they scraped by on
his father’s meager income as a school teacher.
One day a young mother came to his family’s home carrying a baby.
She had just given birth to twins and could not feed both of them. She asked
Mang’s father if he would take the child. Having seven children of his own,
Mang’s father could not afford yet another mouth to feed, so he turned her
away. This broke Mang Bawi’s heart. He begged his mother to let him adopt the
baby himself. She refused, however, telling him that at fourteen years old he
did not understand the responsibility of being a parent. Mang Bawi would not be
dissuaded, and he became even more persistent, day after day. Finally, when his
parents realized that he was serious and understood the implications of his
decision, they agreed to allow him to adopt the baby.
Mang hurried to find the mother and baby to tell them the good news.
When he found her, however, she sadly informed him that the child had died due
to malnutrition. Mang Bawi’s heart was shattered. At that moment he determined
that somehow he would look after poor and helpless children.
Since that day, Mang Bawi’s heart has been full of love and mercy
towards orphans. After attending and completing Bible school, he started Love
and Mercy Shelter, an orphanage in Yangon, Myanmar.
Mang Bawi leading worship for the children of Love and Mercy Shelter and one of the children jumping for joy!
When Love and Mercy Shelter began, they had little more than love.
The children sometimes went for days without food, and they wore dirty rags.
But now, thanks to faithful Orphan’s Tear sponsors, the
children of Love and Mercy Shelter are blessed with nutritious meals,
adequate clothing and a brand new, concrete building.
|The Bigger Picture: Every child is loved by God, and you can be a
vessel of His love by supporting a child through Orphan’s Tear.
Your monthly sponsorship of $20 will provide food, clothing, school fees and
Christian nurture for a little follower of Christ. Your child is waiting
Learn how you can help
New Legs for Lepers by Becky Servant
The Leprosy Ministry Fund at Work in India
Latheef was cast out of his village after contracting leprosy. His wife, refusing to abandon him, joined him at the leper colony.
No one wants to see them, be with them, or touch them. They’re
despised and feared. Very few know the truth about them.
I was not prepared for what I was about to experience as I stepped
onto the grounds of the Koratty Leper Colony in India, where 290 very special
people are quarantined. Heaven’s Family has been helping a
devoted pastor at Koratty, who is making disciples where most people are afraid
to tread. That day we would be giving pre-measured prosthetic legs—made
possible by gifts to our Leprosy Ministry Fund—to five Christian lepers who were
waiting for us. Additional prosthetic legs are being made for six other
Christian lepers at the colony.
Modern leprosy (Hansen’s disease) is not nearly as contagious as
most people think. It is estimated that the immune systems of 95% of the
world’s people would capably resist an infection. When a leper receives the
first or second dose of specialized antibiotics, 99% of the bacteria that
causes leprosy are killed and the patient is considered noninfectious. Knowing
that made it easy for me to shake the hands of people without fingers, people
who rarely receive any human touch.
(1) Hassan’s hands, as he removes his old prosthetic limb (2) Meenakshi, a widow with five children, but rarely visited (3) Shaya Das
We arrived at the place where the eleven legless beneficiaries were
waiting for us. We first spent some time getting to know each one and hearing
their stories. Here are three:
— Shaya Das was married with two children when he discovered he
had leprosy. He didn’t tell them, but secretly left and never returned because
of the social stigma they would all suffer if their community learned his
— Hassan is 65, and a former Muslim. He was 15 when he first came
to the colony. He met his wife, who also has leprosy, at Koratty. They have one
son who visits them occasionally.
— Krishnan Kutti is 40 years old. He has lived in the colony for
15 years. His wife and small child, neither of whom are leprous, live with him
at the colony, both are deaf and unable to speak.
All were so grateful for their new legs.
We spent some time touring the colony hospital and a women’s dorm.
The general disrepair was heart-breaking. The toilets do not have any seats and
are not working. The smell was unbearable. The concrete floors and walls of the
showers are crumbling. There is no privacy.
I’m so glad that eleven Christian lepers now have new prosthetic
legs thanks to contributions to the Leprosy Ministry Fund. But when I was with them, I
wanted to do so much more. I left with a promise to try and help them with some
new and private bathroom facilities. I gave them $1,000 to make a start. Please
help make this hope a reality for them.
|The Bigger Picture: 100% of all gifts to the Leprosy Ministry Fund are
sent overseas to help relieve the sufferings of Christian lepers and
non-Christian lepers who are listening to the gospel. Contributions to the
Leprosy Ministry Fund have so far brought blessing to lepers in both India and China.
Learn how you can help
Boda Boda Bicycles by John Carey
The Mobilize a Minister Fund at Work in Kenya
Milton Simiyu and a passender on his new Boda Boda bicycle. Inset: Milton, Samuel and Bilha
Imagine what your life would be like without an automobile and with
limited or no public transportation. A ten-minute drive to work could take an
hour to walk. A weekly trip to the grocery store could become a full-day task,
requiring you to carry food by hand for miles.
Three Pastors in Kenya on their very own Boda Boda bicycles provided by Heaven’s Family
Now imagine this: What if you were called to be an evangelist or a
church planter, and the only way you could travel was by foot, while scores of
unreached villages lay beyond the horizon, fields that were white for the
harvest? What if you were so poor that even a bicycle was beyond your means?
Most of us take for granted the wheels in our lives, but there are
thousands of church-planting pastors and evangelists around the world who are
praying for simple bicycles. Walking everywhere takes so much of their
time, and spreading the gospel is hindered by their lack of mobility. That is
why Heaven’s Family launched the Mobilize a Minister Fund. The
hundreds of bicycles that have been provided for church planters around the
world not only ease the burden of their daily lives, but also allow them to
reach people who have never heard the gospel.
Milton Simiyu (pictured above), is a house church pastor in a poor
village just outside Katali, Kenya. He is one of fifteen pastors in Kenya
who recently received bicycles because of contributions to the Mobilize a
Minister Fund. For Milton, receiving a bicycle was a double blessing,
because he not only is better able to disciple believers and evangelize in
unreached villages, but he has doubled his personal income. Previously, Milton
had been renting a bicycle taxi, called a Boda Boda Bicycle, for about
seventy-five cents, every day. On a good day, he could make a dollar-and-a-half
and gain seventy-five cents in profit. With that he would feed his wife and son
for a day. Now that pastor Milton has his own bicycle taxi, all the profits
belong to him. Our small investment doubled his daily income.
|The Bigger Picture: Because of gifts to the Mobilize a Minister
Fund, to date Heaven’s Family has been able to bless over a
thousand church-planting pastors with new bicycles—in Vietnam, Nepal, Kenya,
Myanmar, India and Sri Lanka. For an average amount of $100, you can be
the answer to a church-planting pastor’s prayers to spread the gospel further.
Learn how you can help
Hindu Shrine of the Holy Book by Becky Servant
The Lanterns for Missionaries Fund at Work in India
Church-planter E.P. Matthews was reading his Bible as he traveled by
train to visit his daughter in northern India. As the parched Indian
countryside rushed by outside, E.P. was joined in his compartment by a young
man. Noticing that he was reading a Bible, the young man asked E.P. to pray for
him, and when E.P. asked him about his specific need, the young man opened his
heart and shared the many problems that plagued his life. Within a few hours,
he was on his knees, inviting Jesus to save and forgive him.
It was too soon that E.P. had to say goodbye to his new son in the faith, and when they
parted ways, E.P. wrote his name and address inside the cover of his personal
Bible, which he then gave to his young convert. That was the last time he ever
saw him. But that is not the end of the story.
Several years passed. One day a Christian friend, a government
worker, knocked on E.P.’s door. He asked him if he had ever been to the village
of Tirakwanyi in northern India, and E.P. replied that he had not, but that he
had visited his daughter in northern India a few years ago. E.P.’s friend then
told him that, while on government business, he had discovered a group of
Hindu people in Tirakwanyi who had built a very strange shrine. It contained a
Bible that they worshipped. Upon investigation, he discovered E.P.’s name and
address written on the inside! E.P. then told his friend about the young man on
the train whom he had led to the Lord and given his Bible. His friend then told
him the rest of the story:
That young man went to his home village and preached
to the people about the man named Jesus, who had forgiven him of his sins and
granted him peace. Tragically, his message was not received by those who
worshipped Hindu gods, and they murdered him. As he lay dying, he was clutching
his Bible close to his chest.
Fearful of retaliation by the foreign god whose
messenger they had murdered, the villagers took his Bible and made a shrine for
it. They worshipped it each day, hoping to appease that god’s anger, just as
they did with so many other gods that they feared.
No one in the village could read what was written on the Bible’s
pages, as it was written in Malayalam, a language of southern India. When that
government worker questioned the villagers about their shrine to the holy book,
they told him their story. He explained that he could read Malayalam, and he
took E.P.’s old Bible from the shrine and told the villagers its message. The
entire village repented. Today there is a vibrant church there.
Ready to take the Light into the darkness!
|The Bigger Picture: As we heard E.P. tell us this story, we felt as
if we were on holy ground! We were very blessed to give him a lantern, made
possible by gifts to our Lanterns for Missionaries Fund, so that he can preach
the gospel when darkness falls in remote villages where there is no electrical
power. E.P. has already planted twelve churches, one of which has three-hundred
members. When we were in India, we were blessed to give lanterns to thirty
church-planting pastors. One lantern costs about $25.
Learn how you can help
Heaven’s Family Staff Speakers Available
The ministry of Heaven’s Family is blessed with a
multi-talented staff who are passionate about serving “the least of
these” among Jesus’ family around the world. Most of them administrate one
or more of Heaven’s Family’s specific funds, and they love to
tell the stories of those who are being blessed. All have first-hand
If your church, home group or conference would be interested in a
visit from one of our staff, please call our offices at (412) 833-5826, or email
us at [email protected].
Below is some additional information about staff members who are available to
share at your event.
||Chuck King is a former pastor with many decades of experience ministering
in over thirty-two nations. Chuck oversees the Safe Water Fund and Food Fund.
Chuck is a non-compromising and motivating teacher with a great heart for the
||Becky Servant has served in fifteen nations and
administrates our Widows Fund. She has been serving in ministry beside her
husband, David, for thirty years, and has home-schooled their three children.
She is well-qualified to teach on raising children as well as on marriage
||David Warnock has served in ten nations, with a focus
on Muslim outreach. He administrates our Books for Pastors Fund, Persecuted
Christians Fund, and our Muslim Outreach Fund. David is also well-qualified to
teach on the practical aspects of Christian stewardship.
||David Growden has just returned from several weeks in
Myanmar, serving at the thirty-three orphanages that Heaven’s Family has
adopted there. David oversees our National Missionaries Program and Micro-Loan
||Emily Growden has just returned from several weeks in
Myanmar, serving at the thirty-three orphanages that Heaven’s Family has
adopted there. Emily oversees our Critical Medical Needs Fund and the Bibles
for Believers Fund.
||Elisabeth Walter, age eighteen, has served with her father
in six nations. She has recently returned from ministering in India, and she
administrates our North Korean Christians Fund. She is a surprisingly-effective
||David Servant is Heaven’s Family’s founder
and director and has served in over fifty nations. He has thirty years of
experience in vocational ministry.
One of our newest employees at Heaven’s Family is
David Warnock, who at one time was the very capable church administrator at the
last church I pastored. I’ve asked David to establish a Planned Giving
Department at Heaven’s Family, so that we can facilitate many
giving options that, until now, have not been available to our ministry
partners. I’ve also asked him to write a periodic article for our magazine in
order to inform our friends about some of the options that exist. Below is his
first article. I think you’ll be surprised to find out how many additional ways
there are to lay up treasure in heaven.
More Ways to Lay up Treasure in Heaven
by David Warnock
Jesus expects us to be faithful and wise stewards, telling us, “To
whom much is given, much will be required” (Luke 12:48). Strategic Stewardship
provides sound options to increase your giving to our Lord’s work. I’m excited
to tell you about these options, and to work with you as you strive to be
faithful with what our Lord has entrusted to you. I’ll be writing about other
options in future articles, but if you want to know more about any of the
options below, or other options, feel free to give me a call at (412) 833-5826
or email me at DavidW [at] HeavensFamily [dot] org. Click here to view a list of a few of
those options along with short descriptions.
A $5 Christmas
Christmas Gifts for Orphans Fund
This year, as every year, we hope to provide a Christmas gift to every child who is living in one of the 45 orphanages that we assist through the Orphan’s Tear division of Heaven’s Family. This year, as every year, those gifts will be the only ones that any of the children will receive for Christmas. The orphanage directors always use the Christmas funds we send them to buy their children new clothing or warm blankets, that is, real necessities.
Would you consider sending Orphan’s Tear $5 for each of your sponsored children for Christmas? If you send more than $5 per child, the extra will be used to provide gifts for unsponsored children living in our orphanages. Our small sacrifices will make the celebration of the birth of Jesus more special for our orphanage, and they will also help provide clothing for growing children and warm blankets for the soon-coming cooler seasons. As always, 100% of what we receive will be sent to the orphanages.
You can give your Christmas gifts by using the enclosed form or by sending a check to Orphan’s Tear with the words “Christmas Gifts” in the memo. (Our address is: Orphan’s Tear, P.O. Box 12854, Pittsburgh, PA 15241.)
Thanks so much for caring!
Moses Meets White Gorilla
While on a Heaven’s Family ministry trip to Burundi, East Africa, Pastor Teryl Hebert, at 250 pounds, befriended a little guy named Moses. Moses was unafraid of Teryl, whereas his twin brother, Joshua, was terrified.