Click on the articles below to read the latest news from HFH including team trips and special projects.
“Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Matt. 26:40
This past month Roger and Beth Briggs, founders of Hearts for Heaven hosted two mission teams. And as always the hard work and preparation pays off with so many people being blessed by the love of God: the Guatemalans and also the Americans who make up the team. Who was more impacted is often the question: the local folks, on their dirt floors with little food and opportunity or the short term teams from the States?
Hearts for Heaven hosted a youth team from Open Arms Community Church, in Easley, South Carolina (facebook.com/pages/Open-Arms-Community-Church). This team worked out in the small village La Mercedes which is close to Mexico. The team worked on construction for the new Feeding Center which will be opening later this year, held a Vacation Bible School with the children, and helped host a bi-annual Pastor’s Conference there. Almost 200 pastors and teachers attended the conference, two coming from Mexico! This youth teams had great attitudes and worked with the local Guatemalans so well. House visits are always a meaningful time as the teams visit families, pray with them, give testimonies, and provide rice and beans.
The second team was from Lifepoint Church in Hilliard, OH (http://lifepoint.cc/). This wonderful church has made two trips to Guatemala this year and is planning on a third! Hearts for Heaven cannot express thanks enough to this compassionate church that is beginning to sow into Guatemala. On this trip they worked with over 700 youth in 5 different villages. With their love and excitement they made a tremendous impact in each place. Specifically, in La Primavera, after their witnessing there will be started a youth group with a Guatemalan youth minister. One particular set of events that made an impact was when the pastor of Lifepoint took about 5 boys from the settlement to McDonald’s on two separate days. Now, McDonald’s is a big deal to these poor young men and actually will be a memory they will never forget. But Pastor Brad also asked the hard questions, challenged these soon to be men, and showed them respect that “the world” would never give them. Now, these boys will be part of new youth team there. Pray for La Primavera, and thanks be to God for Lifepoint and their willingness to invest time and money there.
Wow, what a summer. Thanks to so many of you that support this ministry. Please continue with your support and prayers – Guatemala thanks you.
Hearts for Heaven has been extremely blessed recently. Through another ministry which delivers shipping crates from the States to Guatemala we have received spanish church material for over 75 churches!
TJ Hanken with Resource Now informed us of a crate coming down and withheld the whole crate for Hearts for Heaven. When it was time to pick up the material David drove down to Villa Nueva expecting to pick up a few boxes but quickly learned that he was going to need more trips and a bigger van! There were so many boxes that his two sons, Amos and Josiah, who were in their car-seats were initially quite scared with all the boxes closing in on them. The next day, and with a much larger van, David returned to pick up the rest of the material.
The material is from Crossway, bound and new, never been opened. Also included in the shipment are about 10 boxes of new Spanish/English bibles. There is teaching material for adults, teens, children, children CDs, Vacation Bible School material and youth magazines. It is safe to say that these churches have never seen anything like this. Oscar, our national director who helps to train the teachers in over 90 churches, when told about the material was very excited but had only one question, “Are there Bibles?” And praise God there are lots of Bibles.
We just wanted to pass along this neat story. We’re blessed to be a small part of God’s work as he extends his hand out into the seemingly forgotten places of the world. Thanks to many of you as well who pray for and support this ministry.
Noah and the Ark last week – Abraham this week! This year out at La Primavera we’ve been walking slowly through the bible trying to hit the major themes. Each week we sing some songs, have a short lesson and then a craft or coloring page and finally a bible verse. And always before the kids leave we hand out a fruit of some sort. The kids are so excited to come and participate and it’s amazing how much they know and remember. All the kids know who created this beautiful world and its animals; who Adam and Eve are and what they did (sin); how that sin grew and filled the world with violence and corruption; how God started his grand plan of redemption in Noah and is continuing it in Abraham. All of these things are pointing to God’s greatest work in Jesus who won the victory over sin and death.
We’ve also been blessed to share the work out at La Primavera with another couple from North Carolina, Nathan and Allison, and their two kids. They’ve been a great help and have been very encouraging. And just this last week we had a Guatemalan friend go out to help, Javier. Sunday’s are a big day for the kids and we are blessed to be a part of it.
This last week we had the pleasure of having a team from Higgins Memorial Church in Burnsville, NC come down for some work. They had 4 solid days of work at Oscar & Thelma Martin’s home near Guatemala City. Oscar and Thelma are Hearts for Heaven’s Guatemalan directors.
The Martin’s have been working on their house for about 7 years and only this past December did they move in. Oscar has worked on the house as money has allowed and always seems to keep the house in second place behind the ministry. It was with a little prodding by Roger Briggs and Allen Peterson that we convinced him to let a team come down to work on his house alone. So it was a great joy to help out a fellow brother and even more to help his wife and child get the finished home they deserve! We can’t thank the team enough for their work: from electrical wiring to painting to installing security bars and finally placing some concrete flooring. The team had many men in the building industry who were only so glad to share their time and expertise. Although, we are always shown some expertise by Oscar and his Guatemalan workers.
On Monday the team visited La Primavera where our biggest Feeding Center is located. One of the team members had brought over 200 pairs of shoes for the kids! Before the children had lunch we walked them upstairs and had them pick out shoes that fit. After running out of kids shoes we allowed the children’s mothers to come in to get shoes as well. It was a fantastic time seeing these kids get high quality used shoes with some of them being brand new with the tags.
A big thanks to the team from Higgins Memorial in Burnsville, NC. If anyone else is interested in short term teams please contact Hearts for Heaven by clicking (here).
“…to loose the bonds of wickedness…”
In the well known Ch. 58 of Isaiah we get a glimpse of the tragic state of Israel. Here the prophet doesn’t mention idolatry, nor sexual impurity nor even murder. In this chapter Isaiah condemns Israel for their false religion, lack of mercy and compassion, and heavy yokes placed upon the poor; this echoes the very first chapter of his book. Isaiah’s judgment, put very simply regards how Israel loved their neighbor – a touchstone of the teachings of Christ.
It is this law of love, the truncated meaning of the Law, that God has fulfilled in the hearts of Christians, through his Spirit. We are the salt. We are the light in a fallen world. God is reconciling this world to himself, through the church of Christ – his body. It is with these powerful truths that the Christian can live in this world, yet as one yearning for another. It is with confidence that we can stand for righteousness, pointing to the day that God’s righteousness will reign fully. And, less we have eyes that don’t see or ears that don’t ear, may we be reminded of Isaiah’s judgment of Israel and their lack of compassion for others. The heart of God, and the work he has done in your own heart, has social implications.
A great group of seven men from Lifepoint Church in Columbus, Ohio came down this last week to work on the Vocational School in La Primavera. God multiplied our strength and we completed much more than we had planned. In fact, by lunchtime on Thursday we had achieved our initial goal of placing 9 concrete columns. From that point we managed to place concrete flooring on two levels. The team worked with about 10 Guatemalans who were nothing less than amazing in their strength, knowledge and diligence. Speaking for each of us Americans I can say it was an honor to work with such fine young men. At the end, to top everything off, Pastor Brad with Lifepoint presented a tremendous donation from his church enabling the continuing of construction and giving 10 Guatemalan men steady work for months to come! (for more information on donating click here)
The team also enjoyed house visits within the community of La Primavera. It is a blessing to these families to be visited by people they do not know yet come bearing beans and rice, a small offering and prayers; small whispers reminding them that God has not forgotten them. In fact, during these visits the team witnessed three people put their faith in Christ for the first time.
Please pray for La Primavera. It is a poor community with much violence and broken homes. We’re hoping to finish the school by the end of the year and start classes in 2014. Our efforts are meager, but they are small traces of light in a dark world.