2012 has without a doubt been the most blessed of God, and consequently, the most productive and spiritually uplifting year to date. God blessed this ministry with more than double the donations from the previous year, which enabled us to expand, encompassing several projects that we, as well as many others, have been praying for the realization of for many years. The following is an overview of these projects and their current outcomes:
Poverty Alleviation Project
The year started with the need to assist the victims of Typhoon Washi that struck the island of Mindanao in mid December of 2011. We were able to contact our “spiritual son” and ministry worker Nerzam (Sam) in Cagayan de Oro City. Sam already had a plan to help the destitute and homeless people there–some loosing entire houses, belongings, and even topsoil; all washed into the sea. Sam put together a program to reestablish these people that had lost their very livelihood, by acquiring leased land, segmenting it out to several families at a time; providing seed, fertilizer, and oxen to work the land. The proceeds are sufficient to supply for each family, with enough left over to help an additional family get started. In other words, this project is self-perpetuating. Sam heads up a team to minister to the people as well–with much success. Many of these people have already accepted Christ as their Savior through this project of love.
Mango Orchard Project
In March of 2012 God provided a wonderful opportunity to purchase a mature Mango orchard for the ministry. This orchard is of sufficient size to produce enough funds to establish and accommodate all ministry projects we have been praying for in the last ten years. These projects include, but are not limited to; children’s homes, youth programs, and ministering to the needs of the poor.
Sam is heading up both projects, and is doing a great job. His expertise is in the field of agri-business and ministering the Gospel. Sam leads volunteer teams for the purpose of building structures, agriculture, and ministering the Gospel throughout the region.
Mambatagan Feeding Project
About two years ago, another ministry worker; Rupert in Cagayan de Oro City, saw a great need in assisting the impoverished people living in the Mambatagan region just outside the city; he set out to help with the little he had to offer. We made the decision to help in this ministry endeavor by supplying a small amount of monthly support. Many others came forward with their specific donations to this project since then–and it just exploded from there. Rupert began this project by supplying lunches to the poor young children at their local school. That grew into providing food for their entire families and preaching the Word of God to them through weekly Bible studies. Today, out of that small mission effort, Rupert is now overseeing four home churches that developed as a direct result of his efforts, and is offering agricultural support by providing piglets and feed. The families are than required to help others get started by assisting them with what is left over (profit) after taking care of their family’s needs. This has been a wonderful project in helping the local poor and sharing the good news of the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
Mustard Seed Christian School
In April of 2011, through a mutual friend, we came to know Pastor Domingo & Anita Escobar. They lead a congregation and are in charge of the Mustard Seed Christian School, which they established. This is a wonderful ministry that we have decided to support recently. God willing, with increased donations, we will contribute to this ministry with a monthly commitment. The Mustard Seed Christian School is located in perhaps the most impoverished areas of Davao del Norte, which is near Davao City. They are doing a great work there by ministering to the needy and offering free education to the destitute children of their area–some of which recently lost their homes and all their belonging in the latest typhoon– Typhoon Bopha.
Remote Village Teachers
Years ago we became acquainted with a dear pastor in Bangladesh that ministered to ten (which later became twelve) very remote villages. We started to support his ministry with several audio Bibles, since the people in these villages were all illiterate. All the while he was diligently praying on a daily basis for the means to establish schools for the children. In November of 2011 the villagers pleaded with him for the establishment of such schools. By the beginning of the New Year (2012) we were able, by the Grace of God, to sent financial assistance to support the first two teachers–one teacher per village. We receive monthly reports of the teacher’s progress and the wonderful impact it is having on the entire villages. The children are excelling in their studies (which include academics and Bible courses) and are learning how to draw closer to Jesus more and more. The adults are being taught the Gospel message as well, and many are coming to know the Lord Jesus and giving their hearts to Him. We praise God for this incredible ministry. We now have five teachers for five villages–we are half way there. (Due to the sensitivity of these specific reports and pictures, we can not post them online. If you are interested in sponsoring a teacher for a remote village, we have 7 more villages asking for a teacher at this time. Those who are supporting this project get updates and pictures on this project.)
Our dear brother, Peter, has been very busy overseeing the various projects in central India. He and his devoted wife, Suba, have recently been blessed with a new baby girl. This baby, like all babies, is a wonderful gift of God. Besides this awesome blessing this year, we had the joy of getting to send Peter to various indigenous ministers in India to talk with them, encourage them in the Lord and see the work for the Lord going on first person. One of those ministers is Jeebanandan, who Peter was not originally planning to visit during this particular ministry trip, however, as we know God’s ways are higher than ours and His plans superior to ours. While enroute, Peter found his train was travelling not far from where Jeebanandan resides in Orissa. He felt compelled to call him and found he lived only half an hour away from the train stop. Not only that, this brother in the Lord was able to drive the distance, on the spur of the moment, and pick Peter up. This divine appointment allowed Peter to visit with this brother, encourage him in his work teaching young impoverished children. They had started building a simple school room building, but did not have money to complete it. FHM was able, by God’s grace, to provide the money for a roof, which Peter and another brother helped see this project to fruition. Now the children have a roof over their heads during the rainy season when the torrents come. On September 22, 2012 Peter was able to be there for the celebration of the opening of the school. Peter said, “I testified how the Lord provided for this school and preached a while, thanked LAF USA in the inaugural service, dedicated the school in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit by cutting a ribbon at the door.” Mr. Jeebanandan was given $520 USD for the materials for school roof. We praise God for this opportunity. This school project should now be self-sustaining, as Mr. Jeebanandan is using his small photography business to support his family and ministry work.
Children in Bala Sundaram’s care during Peter’s visit April, 2012. Peter is there in the middle in the white shirt.
Another indigenous Indian minister we have been helping monthly in a small way ($15 per month) is that of Bala Sundaram. He and his family are caring for 37 children. Although we know this is a small amount of money and the need is big, we thank God we are able to give a little, as did the little boy in the Bible, and God turns it into enough to meet the needs. God is looking for willing vessels to use for His purposes. We’ve also been privileged to help Masilimani and his mother and sisters a little bit most of the months this year to help them care for the orphans they’ve taken in and are raising for the Lord. They have 16 children. Our small gifts of $18 a month have been providing rice and vegetables for all the children for two weeks each time.
Another indigenous minister we are helping is Michaela, by meeting her physical needs through a small gift each month, so she can continue her volunteer work to provide free education for the very poor in her area as she works under the oversight of Ptr. Rohit, another minister Peter got to meet and we’d like to help more. This is the beginning.
Peter also got to visit Rao and his amazing and wonderful ministry working with the Chenchus people. This is the situation in Rao’s own words, “these so called high caste people, moneylenders and landlords have been using these people to clean their toilets, washing their cloths, cleaning their houses, utensils and treating them like ANIMALS and BONDED SLAVES; I am enclosing their photos you can see their un-hygienic and pathetic living conditions, when you see these pictures and hear their suffering stories, definitely your eyes will wet and your heart will melt.” Peter was also appalled at the living conditions, but excited about what Bro. Rao and other brothers and sisters in the Lord are helping them do. He is giving them hope and showing them they have a future in Jesus. We really want to help them with this worthwhile project.
This project Bro. Rao is doing with the Chenchus people will provide housing to keep out the rain, one room apartments for each family who helps with the work of building the small apartment complex for the 28 families. The people are working hard to build the building.
We’ve been able to continue to be a conduit with the generous support coming in monthly for Gentle Heart Children’s Home. The children are excelling in their studies and are growing in the Lord daily. The three older boys that accepted Christ last year are continuing in the faith and are drawing closer to God with their ongoing knowledge of His word.
Brother Richard of Africa Life Youth Foundation (ALYF) is very much active in his ministry endeavors, with many coming to know the Lord for the first time and many others being disciple–due to ALYF crusades and life awareness training programs conducted on college campuses. Their continual effort educating the youth about the sanctity of life, and life beginning at conception, is experiencing great success. Multitudes of young people are realizing for the first time that all life is God’s creation, and is very dear to Him– as a result many souls being saved and are learning more about the Lord through His Word. ALYF has developed their own website to share the heart of their ministry. Please visit them at: africalyf.com All donations sent that are marked for ALYF go 100% to that ministry work, which we had the honor of helping from its infancy.
God has enabled this ministry to be a part of many other projects and indigenous missionary support in various parts of the world, such as Pakistan, Mongolia, Ghana, Senegal, Cameroon, Liberia, Tanzania, Indonesia, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Kenya. For some we have been able to provide ministry motorbikes or help with the provision by paying a portion of the cost. In other places we have been able to provide much needed funds for a specific need like disaster relief or orphan care. We are exceedingly grateful to God and our contributors. Words cannot adequately express how appreciative we truly are for making it possible to get these gifts of love into the hands of those in need through the hands and feet of the indigenous ministers God has given us to work with– His laborers in His harvest field. We are so blessed and honored to be used by our Father in this way. We could never do what has been done this past year or in previous years without our most generous and loving supporters, acting on what God put on your heart. We believe God will continue to bless and use us as we strive daily to be careful stewards of all He provides. Again this year, as in years past, we (Michael and Londa) have not taken anything for ourselves or our family from the ministry donations given. It has gone 100% to the ministry work. This ministry is also where we give as God enables us.