I don’t think I could eat rats. But thousands of people
We’ve distributed tons of rice in Chin State, to
Some of our rice-distributing partners in Myanmar have
Thank you for giving us the privilege to serve you as
All The Rats You Can Eat by David Servant
A Newfangled Bible by Emily
The Bibles for Believers Fund at Work in Haiti
of contributions to Heaven’s Family‘s Bibles for Believers Fund, we’ve
been blessed to help smuggle Bibles into closed countries like China, Laos and
Syria. We’ve also helped to provide tribal-language Bibles to poor believers in
Vietnam and Myanmar. And because of new technologies, we’ve helped smuggle
Bibles on electronic MP5 players into North Korea.
month, however, I was involved in distributing some of the most unusual Bibles
I’ve ever seen. They talk by themselves. They can talk so loudly that up to three-hundred people can hear them at one time. They can
talk in more than four-hundred different languages.
They are, of course, electronic, but they have no moving parts. They are
digital. They are powered by the sun using a solar panel to
charge an internal battery. The internal battery can
also be charged by turning an attached hand-crank. Or, they can be
powered by plugging them into an electrical outlet. They are called Proclaimers.
took four Proclaimers with us to Haiti in March. Each
was programmed with a dramatized version of the entire New Testament in Creole,
Haiti’s most common language. And they were well-received in the resettlement camp outside Port-au-Prince where Heaven’s Family has been helping hundreds of believers who lost everything they owned during
the January earthquake—including their Bibles.
Proclaimers are being distributed
around the world to serve the more than one-billion illiterate people on our
planet, as well as the close to 160 million people who are visually impaired.
the best thing about the Proclaimers is that, unlike
many modern preachers, they only speak the Truth!
An Islamic Fortress Falls by David Warnock
The Muslim-Background Believers Fund at Work in India
say that Kareef Kashar was a devoted disciple of Islam would be an understatement. He studied Islam
for ten years in four different languages, earning himself a very prestigious
position as the leader, or Mullana, of a community
mosque in northern India. There, for thirteen years, he had been faithfully
making disciples of Muhammad. By every outward indication, Kareef had built around himself an impenetrable fortress of Islamic belief. God,
however, knows how to reach the unreachable.
to Kareef, an old friend named Bashshar,
who was at one time his most devoted student, had turned to Christ. Bashshar would still occasionally attend Kareef’s mosque to go “fishing for men.” One day, Mullana Kareef confronted Bashshar about his infrequent visits and apparent lack of
heart toward religious matters. Courageously, Bashshar shared how God had touched his heart and how he was now following Christ. “If
you want,” Bashshar said to Mullana Kareef, “I will give you some books that opened my
eyes.” To Bashshar’s surprise, Mullana Kareef wanted to see the books, so he gave him one
booklet about Jesus written from a Muslim’s perspective. This opened the door
for other books.
of conversations between Bashshar and Kareef turned into months, and then years, as the friends
discussed the Bible and the Qur’an—and Jesus and Muhammad. Ever so
slowly, cracks began to appear in the walls of Kareef’s personal Islamic fortress. He began to comprehend that Jesus was the only One
who could forgive sins. Finally, in the fall of 2009, Mullana Kareef professed his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
and was baptized. His wife and three children also believed.
Kareef discreetly told a few
members of his mosque about his decision to follow Christ and his baptism. As
expected, he was immediately stripped of his position, and the stunning news
quickly spread. The Muslim community began to threaten him with violence, and Kareef and his family were forced to relocate to preserve
their lives. Bashshar, the “apostate” who had
“poisoned” Kareef, was also targeted, and both men
have since faced many threats and false accusations. Yet both have stood firm
in their faith and are enjoying the true peace and joy that comes with knowing
Faces from a Hidden Holocaust by David Servant
The Christian Refugees Fund at Work in the D.R. Congo
Many people have have heard of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, when
800 thousand people were slaughtered during three months of brutal ethnic
cleansing. Most, however, don’t know that the Rwandan genocide fueled two major
wars in the neighboring nation of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The second
war, which began in 1998, involved seven foreign armies, and it directly or
indirectly resulted in the deaths of five-and-a-half million people. That makes
it the world’s deadliest conflict since World War II, yet it
has been largely ignored by the rest of the world, a hidden holocaust that is
not over yet.
have to confess that statistics such as those I’ve just mentioned rarely affect
me like they should. It is only when I meet the actual people who are lost
within those statistics, look into their faces, and hear their individual
stories, that my heart breaks. And that is what happened when my wife, Becky,
and I were in eastern D.R. Congo in February.
the city of Goma, we met with many refugees who are
being served by our Congolese partners and listened to their stories. In one
place we met with seven women who live with their children in tiny one-room
shacks. All were displaced when their villages were attacked
by members of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).
All of them love the Lord. Here are just a few of their stories:
Banyere Bushashire’s village was
attacked in 2007, and she and her three children escaped into the jungle to
hide. They eventually made it to Goma after U.N.
Peacekeeping Forces temporarily opened an escape corridor for fleeing refugees.
For one year, Banyere didn’t know if her husband, who
was away from home during the attack, was dead or alive. She now knows that he
survived, but it is too dangerous for him to join them in Goma because he would have to travel through rebel-held regions. So they have not
seen each other for about three years.
Ndatoola Nabahoko’s husband was
kidnapped two years ago by the FDLR and Ndatoola was raped by rebel soldiers. She and her four children
subsequently fled from their home village in Masisi into the jungle, through which they journeyed seven days without food until
they reached Goma. Ndatoola’s husband escaped captivity after six months, but he is still in hiding in the
jungle. He cannot travel to Goma because he, too,
would have to pass through dangerous rebel-held regions. Ndatoola’s only hope of being reunited with her husband is if the U.N. Forces can again
open a corridor for safe passage.
Bhati Aline was eighteen when she fled from her village to Goma alone, separated from her parents, in early 2008. She later learned that her
parents are still alive but in hiding, and they are unable to join her in Goma for the same reasons as Banyere’s and Ndatoola’s husbands.
With the help of our trusted Congolese partner, pastor
Simeon Muhunga, Heaven’s Family has opened a
micro-bank in Goma to specifically help Christian
refugees start small businesses. A loan of just a few hundred dollars is often
all that is needed to start a business that can sustain a family. Gifts to the
Christian Refugees Fund have made this possible.
Birth Quake by David Servant
The Disaster Relief Fund at Work in Chile
Chilean mother Angelica Fernandez could only visit her
three children secretly. She knew that her violent and estranged husband was
serious about his threat to kill her if she contacted any of them. So for eight
years—after she barely escaped his abuse and moved fifteen miles
away—all of her brief meetings with her son and daughters were
clandestine. They suffered silently without their mother, doing their best to
hide the shame of being sexually abused by their own father, trapped by poverty
and injustice. When Angelica learned three years ago that her youngest
daughter, age fifteen, was pregnant, a victim of her father’s incest, it broke
her heart. She sought solace in a local church, only to be asked to leave
because she wore trousers to the service.
When the earth violently shook Chile for six minutes in
the early morning of February 27, 2010, Angelica’s unfinished little
house—that she had been constructing with her earnings as a domestic
maid—crumbled. That was of no real concern, however, as Angelica could
only think of her children (and grandchild) living with their father in the
coastal town of Coronel. When she learned of the devastating tsunami that
struck Chile’s coast two hours later, she feared the worst. Gathering some
relief supplies, she headed for Coronel. Due to fallen bridges, blocked
roadways, and tsunami flooding, she was not able to reach her destination for
eight long days.
looked like a war zone. Landmarks were gone. Rubble and dead bodies were
everywhere. The house where her children and ex-husband had lived was gone,
washed away by the force of the tsunami.
search was hopeless.
deep despair, Angelica inwardly vowed that she would never return to Coronel.
She decided, however, to visit the town cemetery where her mother was buried,
to pay her respects one final time. As she searched for her mother’s tombstone
among the mounds of rubble, she noticed a human hand protruding through a crack
in the wall of the cemetery’s stone mausoleum. She notified some relief workers
who had also just reached Coronel, and together, they cleared the mud and
debris that blocked the mausoleum’s door. Gaining entrance, they found that
twenty-five people had been trapped inside the mausoleum for eight days. All
were covered with mud, dehydrated and weak, but conscious and alive. Angelica
discovered that the hand she had seen protruding from the mausoleum belonged to
her son. He was hurt, but he was alive.
amazingly, among the twenty-five people lying in the mud and debris were
Angelica’s two daughters, clinging to each other, struggling for life. When
Angelica recognized them, she fainted.
week later, I heard Angelica give her testimony before 1,300 people at Grace
and Peace Church in her hometown of Valdivia. The Christian couple who employed her as a maid had invited her to church, and
she had given her life to the Lord. Our team met the next day with Angelica in
her employers’ home. She told us that the body of her ex-husband had not been
found, and more tragically, the same was true of her granddaughter. But
Angelica knew that her granddaughter’s life was just beginning in heaven, as her’s was just beginning in Christ. I could not resist
giving her pastor $2,000 from our Disaster Relief Fund to assist her in the
reconstruction of her damaged home—along with an addition that would
accommodate her three children.
wife and I have started involving our children in our stewardship decisions,
having family discussions before we make contributions to the ministries we
support. As we talked about a contribution to Heaven’s Family, my son
felt that we should give to the General Fund since you know the needs better
than we do. What are your thoughts on this? Read Answer…
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