Click on the articles below to read the latest news from HFH including team trips and special projects.
Dr. Roger Allen Briggs, (co-founder of Hearts for Heaven) age 66 of Indian Trail, North Carolina was called home into the arms of his Savior on Sunday, August 2nd, 2015 in Meadows of Dan, Virginia. He was born in Asheville, NC on January 18, 1949 to John Logan Briggs and Martha Marie Marlowe Briggs Godley. He was preceded in death by his father and brother, Bruce Briggs.
Roger grew up in Charlotte, NC before attending the University of North Carolina, School of Dentistry. There he met his wife-to-be Beth Spangler of Greensboro, NC. After graduation and marriage the couple moved to Hayesville, NC where they opened their own dental practice. They sold their practice in 1991 and moved with their four children to Texas for Bible and missionary training. From there they moved to Guatemala in 1994 and shortly after established Hearts for Heaven, Inc.. Roger and Beth operated as dental missionaries for six years before transitioning to working with local churches and communities. Through feeding programs, teaching seminars and pastoral care, Hearts for Heaven has touched the lives of thousands of children with the love of Christ, which was the foundation of Roger and Beth’s life and marriage.
Roger truly embodied the call to be salt and light in this world. It began in his home with his wife and children and extended out from there. His impact on different lives in different places is countless and won’t be fully known this side of heaven. And in true Roger fashion that’s how he would prefer it – he would be the first to say, “To God be the glory.”
Roger is survived by his loving wife, Beth; a son and daughter-in-law, John and Eliza Briggs of Guatemala City, Guatemala; three daughters and sons-in-law: Rachel and David Rosser of Jefferson City, TN, Rebekah and Michael Stockstill of Weddington, NC, and Sarah Briggs of Nashville, TN; nine grandchildren: Elsa, Amos, Josiah, Maggie, Eliana, Ari, Asher, Seth and Lina; a sister and brother-in-law, Beverly and Michael Newsome of Weddington, NC; and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held Friday, August 7th at 1:00 p.m. at Siler Presbyterian Church in Wesley Chapel, NC, near Charlotte, NC. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to Hearts for Heaven’s general fund (Briggs Paypal) or to Sponsor a Child (here).
Siler Presbyterian Church
6301 Weddington-Monroe Rd.
Wesley Chapel, NC 28104
A wonderful ministry trip for the Sunset Church of God short term mission team, Oct. 4-11, 2014
Under the strong leadership of Carson and Linda Daves, the first team out of Asheboro, N.C. to serve with Hearts for Heaven in Guatemala arrived two hours ahead of their hostess, Beth Briggs. Beth’s late arrival was due to a much needed back surgery for Roger that had been scheduled just two days ahead of the teams’ arrival. The team settled into their temporary home for their week, Las Casas, and were given a wonderful time of spiritual food the following morning at Fraternidad Cristiano.
Shortly after this time, the team experienced quite a cultural shock when we climbed the challenging washed out road into the squatter settlement, La Primavera. Praise God, the permanent paving stones have been laid for approximately 200 yards at the top of the main road in! Here we began the first of many Vacation Bible School times with the children God brought our way.
In the early stages of a flight abroad and the mix of a language most on the team are unfamiliar with, ministry seems a bit awkward, with unknown results. In the middle of this mix comes song time in Spanish, prepared Bible lessons and the fun of doing a craft…. not to mention candy at the door. Bingo! Communication began between the children we serve and team members: Carson and Linda Daves Sylvia Farlow, Ken and Stephanie Hatcher and their two children, Cameron and Jaxson.
Four more times of VBS followed there at La Primavera Monday and Wednesday. The children loved it and sometimes came to two VBS sessions in one day! Walter began our time with personal sharing that touched us all deeply. From there, he led us each morning up the streets of La Primavera to visit in the homes of the wonderful children that we minister to. They have so little and yet, they are quite content.
Both Tuesday and Thursday we ventured out to communities we serve in the rural areas of Guatemala. Each opportunity offered us a new group of children in which to share the love and hope of Jesus Christ. In one of these communities, San Antonio Buena Vista, Pastor Walter felt that 12 – 24 children responded to the call to come forward to ask Jesus in their hearts. In our home visits with Walter, another four individuals gave their hearts to the Lord.
We are often reminded that ministry is not measured in numbers. However, we are aware that folks very much want to know that there are positive results in a ministry like Hearts for Heaven. In the end, we are reminded that although we prepare to serve the Lord, we’re not teaching lessons, we’re teaching people! Also, if people don’t know how much we care, they couldn’t care less about how much we know.
Other teams like the Asheboro ministry team came to Guatemala prepared to teach “the least of these” by caring to take time out of their busy schedules and share God’s love. May the Lord see in each of us the desire to reach out daily and care for those He places in our paths!
“…and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks…” Is. 2:4
For the last two years Hearts for Heaven has been funding and building a Vocational School in La Primavera, a squatter settlement in Villa Nueva, just outside of Guatemala City. This area is known as one of the most dangerous in all of Guatemala, and the number of friends and acquaintances of Hearts for Heaven who have died here is terribly high.
In the midst of the violence is a haven of peace within the four walls of La Primavera’s Feeding Center. And now, right next door the Vocational School construction continues. Block by block, bucket by bucket, team by team, the building continues.
Although the final third floor has not been completed, three classes are being offered in the current year. These classes include: Keyboard, Physical Education and an Ethics class.
Currently, Pastor Walter Giron is over the Vocational School and the Feeding Program M-W-F, growing a strong youth group and leading the Sunday Children’s Church. During the week he continues to visit and pray with the individual families of our feeding program. The number of homes he has visited is over 40. Our time in La Primavera readily shows us that Walter and his wife, Damaris are getting to know the people, gaining their respect, and serving a very vital part in the community and with Hearts for Heaven Ministry. Please keep them and the people they serve in your prayers.
School vacations in Guatemala take place in November and December and that’s when we have our Vacation Bible schools. This year, VBS in La Primavera got off to a rocky start and I do mean that literally. On the very first day, with 90 kids in attendance, suddenly from up above, rocks were thrown onto the tin roof frightening all the children. But that wasn’t all. The second day with 95 kids, someone pushed a huge bolt into one of Oscar’s pickup tires. Thankfully, that was the end of the battles and it was smooth sailing after that. Wednesday, there were over 100 children and by Friday, the last day, there were 157 kids. It was a tremendous week. Praise God! He is faithful.