How often have you heard the phrase, “It doesn’t matter what you possess, as long as your possessions don’t possess your heart”? Jesus’ well-known words, quoted above, expose the fallacy of that kind of thinking. Our actions reveal our true attitudes. Where we put our money and possessions demonstrates if our hearts are in heaven or on the earth.
Since we know that our current lives are just a blink in eternity, we have good reason to store up our treasures “where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal,” as Jesus said (Matt. 6:20). Every temporal thing that we currently cling to will one day be of no value to us. Yet we can turn temporal treasures into eternal treasures, storing them in heaven by dispossessing ourselves and blessing others. And in so doing, we also demonstrate our love for Jesus, incarnated in “the least of these,” His suffering family who lack basic needs such as food, water, shelter, and health (Matt. 25:31-46).
Heaven’s Family exists for this purpose—to be your love-link to very poor Christians around the world. We’re here to serve you as you serve them. Feel good as you read the testimonies in the pages that follow of a few of those believers who are thanking God for your compassion. Your faith is working!
Shoe Business by David Growden
Precious in His Sight by Emily Growden
The Critical Medical Needs Fund at Work in Kenya
Jeff Wanyonyi’s eyes should never have witnessed what they’ve witnessed. During Kenya’s post-election violence between the Saboat and Luhya tribes in 2007, Jeff’s parents were burned alive inside their shanty-home on the slopes of Mount Elgon. Jeff, just six years old at the time, was with them. He and his two siblings survived only because an unknown Good Samaritan risked his life to enter the burning shack when he heard their cries. Jeff’s parents, however, could not be saved. The three children were taken to the nearest safe village and left there.
Heaven’s Family staff members first met Jeff in September of last year while visiting a Christian orphanage in Nairobi adopted by our Orphan’s Tear division. Jeff’s eyes were swollen, bloodshot and obviously infected. When our staff members asked the orphanage director if Jeff had received any medical attention, the response was, “There is no money.”
Thanks to gifts to the Critical Medical Needs Fund, we were able to have Jeff examined by an eye specialist. Jeff’s corneas were deteriorating and he was losing his sight, perhaps due to smoke exposure during the fire that took his parents. The specialist recommended a six-month regimen of eye-washing treatments and medications, which he began immediately. Upon completion of the treatments, Jeff was ready to withstand surgery in April, and he underwent a successful hour-and-a-half eye operation. With additional assistance from the Critical Medical Needs Fund, we hope to soon fit Jeff with special eye glasses.
We are very blessed to tell you that Jeff is healing and seeing much better today. His teachers at school are amazed at his improvement. And because of a compassionate Orphan’s Tear sponsor, Jeff is receiving lots of love, as well as food, clothing, education and Christian nurture every day at Lynsi Love Orphanage. Thank you for caring for someone who is so precious in God’s sight.
A Love Story by Charity McDaniel
Orphan’s Tear Making a Difference in Myanmar
Thirteen-year-old Esther Moite’s heart stopped when she was told the news that her father would not be coming home. He had been found dead, murdered by thieves. Esther’s world turned upside down.
Esther’s mother tried her best to support her three children. In rural Myanmar, however, the options for employment are few. She learned of a job opportunity across the border in India, and although she hated to leave her children, she had no other choice. She left all three with their grandfather, although he was so poor he was only able to care for them as she sent money from India. Sadly, it wasn’t enough, and Esther’s mother could find no other alternative but to place her oldest child in an orphanage.
Esther was fifteen when she began her life at Love in Action Children’s Home. She missed her family very much. But she was able to attend school, had enough to eat, and was being brought up to serve the Lord.
It was during her time there that Esther caught the eye of a young man named Henry Van Biak. Henry, who dreamed of one day fulfilling his own calling to care for orphans, found his love increasingly focused on one very beautiful orphan at Love in Action Children’s Home. After two years, however, his heart was crushed when he learned that, due to her mother’s improved financial situation, Esther would be moving to another state to attend a boarding school.
Doing his best to focus his attention on his calling, Henry started Faith Orphanage with nine children who had been living on the streets. But he could not get Esther out of his mind. So he traveled in search of the one orphan whom he believed could complete his happiness. When he found her, Henry shared his heart. Esther said, “Yes.”
Life was not easy for the poor newlyweds with nine children under their care, but their small, rented home was full of love and happiness. When David Servant first visited Faith Orphanage in 2002, the children were dressed in rags and could not attend school for lack of school fees. Now, thanks to Orphan’s Tear child sponsors, all of that has changed. There are now thirty-seven children at Faith Orphanage. Everyone enjoys three nutritious meals a day, attends school wearing good clothing, and receives medical care when needed. And Henry and Esther now have three sons and a daughter of their own, living happily ever after!
Avoiding Capital Gains Tax on Real Estate Sales — Dramatically reducing the amount you lay up in taxes while increasing your treasure in heaven is wise by any Christian’s standard. David Warnock explores this exciting possibility of investing your real estate in the kingdom of God. Read More.
Of Monkeys and Men by David Growden
National Missionaries at Work in Myanmar
The Da Chin and Chinpon tribes of western Myanmar have never been described as civilized. The people live in primitive, remote villages in bamboo huts deep in the mountains. They are animists, that is, worshippers of animals, plants, and rocks. The fruit of their darkness and idolatry is drunkenness, hatred, murder and a cycle of revenge killings. Thankfully, these people have weighed heavily on the heart of one of Heaven’s Family‘s sponsored national missionaries, Kenneth Chan Hmung.
When Kenneth first visited a Chinpon village of about one-hundred families, he asked the chief if he could preach the gospel to the entire village for a week. The chief refused because of the work that needed to be done in the village fields.
Not backing down, Kenneth asked if he could preach for a week each evening if he helped them in their fields each day. The chief explained that even then, not all would be able to attend, because several men were needed to guard the corn and pumpkin fields every night from monkeys.
Kenneth accepted the compromise, but encouraged everyone to come, promising that if the monkeys caused any damage, he would cover the cost. Kenneth prayed over the fields, and the next morning, those who guarded the fields the previous night reported that they hadn’t seen any monkeys. The same was true the next night. The news spread through the village, and the villagers listened even more closely as Kenneth preached.
Two men who responded to Kenneth’s message are in the photo below. Six years ago, the older man on the left murdered a family member of the younger man on the right. Since then, both families had been enemies at war. After hearing the gospel, however, both families came to Jesus. They are now following the Lord’s teachings, and both men have not only forgiven each other, but are lovely friends and brothers in Christ.
The Good Samaritan Rides Again by Karin Trotter
The Mobilize a Minister Fund at Work in Kenya
Somewhere in a remote village in Kenya, people are worshiping Jesus and destined to live forever with Him, in part, because of a bicycle. Not just any bicycle, however, but a bicycle owned by a simple Kenyan church planter named Harun Shikuki, a bicycle that was a gift from Heaven’s Family.
For most of us, a bicycle is just a children’s toy, or perhaps a fun means to enjoy some exercise on a beautiful day. For Harun, however, a bicycle is an incredible tool to build God’s kingdom in Kenya.
Harun, just twenty-five years old, began planting churches early last year. As a typical poor African pastor, Harun could only travel as far as his two feet could take him. When he learned that Heaven’s Family was granting bicycles to evangelists and church-planting pastors in his area, he quickly added his name to the waiting list.
Harun received his bicycle in February. Recently, he was riding from his home town of Namanjala to a neighboring village to preach the gospel. On the way, he came across a man lying at the side of the road, badly beaten by a group of thugs. Here is the rest of the story in Harun’s own words:
What a day it was. I left home early in the morning headed to a rural area I don’t usually visit but today I felt I had to go. While riding on my new bicycle, I saw a man on the side of the road who had been beaten and was too weak to stand. I immediately prayed with him and asked if I could take him home on my bike. He gratefully accepted and with God’s help we were able to balance him on the bike even though he was very weak. When we got to his house he asked me to pray for his family. I joyfully did this and you will not believe it, but now we have a house church there. Five members of his family and all his neighbors have received the Lord in this home. With this bicycle I was able to go far from home and reach out to someone in need. With this bike, I gave someone a lift to his house. This is a great tool to take me to places for evangelism and church planting. Thank you so much.
Thanks to a $100 gift to Heaven’s Family‘s Mobilize a Minister Fund, Harun is a modern-day Good Samaritan who is using his new bicycle to save lives, both now and for eternity.
Join Us in Myanmar this Fall!
This fall we’re taking two teams to Myanmar, where we’ll be spending time with precious children at the thirty Christian orphanages that are supported each month by Orphan’s Tear sponsors. It is always a very special experience to visit an orphanage where one of your own sponsored children lives. The children and the directors really appreciate the annual visits by our teams.
The dates for this year’s two trips are November 6-19 and November 26 – December 10. Experienced Heaven’s Family staff members will be leading each team.
For a taste of what this year’s trips will be like, take a look at David Servant’s fourteen blog entries while he was in Myanmar last year, starting here: http://blog.heavensfamily.org/2009/11/10/.
If you would like more information and a team member application, please email your request to [email protected]. We hope you will be joining us for a trip of a lifetime!