Over memorial day weekend, Grace City Church brought a team of 16 people to San Luis to partner with Caring Hearts in many ministries. They drove after they finished work on Thursday, arriving late at night, and wasted no time the next morning, waking up to go visit those in prison and share God's love. They prayed for people at the Blind center and watched God do miracles. On Saturday, they ran around, playing with the children at the soup kitchen and teaching them a bible lesson about God's love for them. The group was very musically talented and used their gifts to lead the Caring Hearts Church into a time of worship with songs they learned in Spanish. They passed out clothes and food to those in need at the dump, and prayed for the sick at the shut in ministry. One thing that was particularly special about this team is that they didn't just come and act as missionaries for a week, but their time in Mexico was a continuation of the mission they are on in Vegas. Las Vegas is known for being a city far from God. They believe that they will one day see "Sin City" transform to "Grace City".
"During the shut in ministry, the first home we were in was the most impactful. It was the home of a blind mother and blind son. The son had lost a leg. Their illnesses were due to diabetes. The mom was in her seventies and the son in his fifties. They lived in a very small place. It impacted me most because we sang a song with them and they sang along with such joy despite the things they were going through. It encouraged me and taught me a lot in my own faith that our joy cannot be taken away."- Acamy
This is a bit of my testimony to tell you how I know God had a plan for my life.
I will start back in High School, where I met a beautiful young lady in Spanish class. This young woman became my wife, now going on 67 years, who is my partner in all I do. The Lord blessed me with good work habits, since He had a plan for my life in later years. Those good work habits paid off for me, my family, and for what would later be Caring Hearts ministry.
Years later, In 1968, my wife’s brother was killed in Vietnam. This was a wake up call for me. I realized that all I was doing was working long hours, and my wife and I weren’t that happy. We agreed that there has to be more to life than what we were doing. It was a short time later when I read that Billy Graham was coming to Pittsburgh, where we lived. We went to that meeting, and it was there that I committed my life to serving Christ.
I made up my mind that day that I wanted to be a "do-er" of the Word, not just a hearer. From that time forward, the Lord tested me by putting different ministries or opportunities to serve Him in front of me. I did my best to say “Yes Lord, here I am”.
The Lord allowed me to start my own company in 1975. Today in 2017, that
company is still active with my sons running it and the company still supporting Caring Hearts Ministry. My construction company was a part of the building of a Television Network called Corner Stone Christian. Later, in 1982 I went up to the station to say goodbye since my wife Daisy and I were moving to Arizona to start another business, leaving my sons to take over the one in Pittsburgh. The President of the station said to me, “ You think you are going to Arizona on business, but, the Lord has something far more than you could ask or think that He has for you.” I heard that, but it did not mean anything at that time.
We were in Arizona a short time when we started going to a little church. While in church one morning, I felt in my spirit I was to give a man sitting up front in the opposite corner from where we were sitting $ 50.00 I had a battle going on with in my spirit. I did not even know that man and I didn't know why I felt I needed to give him money. However, I obeyed . When the service was over, I went up to him , said "Good morning", and slipped the $ 50 into his hand and quickly turned and left.
I found out this man was a retired pastor, named Brother Knell. He called me a couple of weeks later and asked if we could have a cup of coffee. I met with this pastor and he proceeded to share with me that he and his wife were completely out of food at that time and that $ 50 was from the Lord through me. I found out they lived in a small 24 foot trailer and had very little income.
THE START OF CARING HEARTS.......
While having coffee with Brother Knell, He asked me to take him into Mexico with my large van. He had heard of an orphanage that he wanted to bless by taking a lot of badly needed items. I agreed, and we left for Mexico in November of 1986. This completely changed my life forever.
After many hours of looking, we finally found the orphanage. We met a man in his 70’s with a truck and camper. This man was driving through Mexico when he got on the wrong road and ended up in the city dump. As he looked around he found children on their hands and knees going through the garbage looking for something to eat. He inquired with those working in the dump, and he was told these kids were abandoned by their parents. He started to pick them up and take care of them. He had 35 kids from the ages of 3—12 that he was trying desperately to help.
We passed out all of the things we brought with us to those kids, played with them, and prayed with them. It was very hard to leave, but we promised we would be back to continue to help them, AND WE DID.
This opened our eyes wide and our hearts. There were needs every where we looked. We would go to Mexico every weekend to be a blessing and try to be obedient to what we felt the Lord was sharing with us to do. This was the beginning of Caring of Caring Hearts Ministry.
You see, I did not plan any of this. Now, 30 years later, the Lord still has me involved with Caring Hearts. Now, the ministry in San Luis has an orphanage for boys, a soup kitchen, a rehab center, a blind center, a watering hole in the same dump, and more. Caring Hearts has seen thousands give their life to Christ. We have seen hundreds be blessed with new homes and other badly needed items, and we have been blessed with other people joining in to be service to the Lord through Caring Hearts. There are many of stories of miracles and stories how countess lives are changed through this ministry. The ministry is sustained through supporters and donors, but also through the business I started long ago. God has used everything in my life to carry out the work he is doing.
God truly had a plan for my life. He has one for yours too. Will you be obedient to what He asks you to do?
In March 2017, a group of 7 young adults came to San Luis and shared God's love through outreach and work projects. The Leader of the Team, Kelly Yost, shares her journey with Caring Hearts and the guidance of the Lord in her life.
My name is Kelly, I’m 23 years old, and currently live in Maryland, where I work as a preschool teacher. This year has been an eventful one as I have decided to move across the country to Phoenix, Arizona. I am planning to go to graduate school and continue teaching when I move this summer. I look forward to living closer to San Luis as well so I can visit Caring Hearts more often.
"I have been going to San Luis since 2009, it was my first mission trip and my first time out of the country. I guess you could say that I had no idea what I was in for but all my expectations were blown out of the water. The people of San Luis have showed me so much more about what it truly means to not only love God, but show His love so freely. These people have so little and want nothing, they are truly thankful for all that they do have, something I still struggle with even though I have so much to be thankful for. They love so hard that you can feel it as soon as you enter a room. They have taught me that language knows no bounds. My favorite part of every trip is spending time with the kids more specifically the boys of Oasis! They all have such beautiful souls each one of them funny, creative, smart and loving in their own way! Since I have had the opportunity to go there almost every year since my first trip I have had the privilege to watch a lot of these boys grow up and I have loved every minute of it! I love being able to come back and see all the familiar face, as well as I love getting to make new friends and learn their stories. I try to spend as much time with the boys as I can, I love playing soccer with them even if they laugh at me, but most of all I love their hugs! Another one of my favorite things is construction with Marcelo, he has taught me so much over the years about what it really means to work for the Lord, he finds such joy in construction that it's contagious. Every year I cannot wait to do construction with him and have the opportunity learn even more! This year we had the opportunity to build a house for a family of 5. We had the opportunity to pray with the family in their new house as we finished our last bit of construction. Being able to see it go from a cement pad to a complete house is a blessing. Fast forward nine trips later and I'm happy to say that I will defiantly be headed back to Oasis as soon as the opportunity presents itself, because Oasis is home now and every time I get the opportunity to go I do, because they are my family!" - Ashley Rearick
This is one of the beautiful things about the Caring Hearts family. First time volunteers join with people who have been going on annual trips for years and they get to see the impact that a week spent loving those in need can make. The missionaries leave footprints in the sand and on the hearts of the Mexican people. Although the week may be short, the impact is eternal for both the Americans and the local people.
Carrie Galicic, who came with Lebanon Presbyterian Church in November explains her experience in a beautiful example.
I can't begin to tell you what this trip has meant and continues to do for my family in their faith journey! I came with my daughters; one that has been down 3 times and one that this was her first. What a blessing we went home with! The people we met on our journey down there hold a special place in our hearts. Pedro and the boys along with Pastor Francisco are our extended family now. They are a part of such a great ministry. It warms my heart to have had a small part in it. Adalberto is and always will be my and my girls Mexico Grandfather. What a blessing he is to the people of San Luis and the groups that he works with that visit there. I have been on this mission trip twice and will continue because everyone is family and I truly miss them when I return home. - Carrie Galicic
December 15-21st, 2016
A group of 10 young adults from Nashville, Tennessee and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania came to Caring Hearts to spread the love of God and bless the people of San Luis. They visited the dump, the youth and womens rehab center, shut ins, and blind center. The team helped put a roof on the house of one of our shut ins families. The head of the household, Simona, is 70 years old. Her roof leaked and was not safe shelter from the elements. The team worked and finished not only this project, but also was able to do yard work for another elderly woman who was in danger of being in trouble with the government because her blindness and physical problems kept her from being able to clean up garbage and bushes around her house.
One very special thing about this trip, was that many people worked to make it happen. A group of girl scouts, a bible study from The Move Church in Nashville, and a service group of music publishing companies called M+C (Music meets Community) worked together to provide gifts for each child at the soup kitchen and donations for those at the dump.
The team raised money in Nashville through fundraisers and support. One team member, songwriter and artist, Sammy Arriaga, performed at a writers round raising money for his trip and others. Additionally, several song writers in Nashville performed at a local church and trendy music venue called The Anchor Church who donated the space to allow the team to throw a Christmas Party where they raised money for their trips and to buy the boys at the Oasis Boys Home Christmas gifts! Greg Montella, a baker, donated nearly 200 desserts to make this fundraiser and party a success.
Another exciting thing this team was a part of was helping to launch the new agriculture project at Oasis. Teaming up with Healing Hands International, the team learned about farming in poor areas. The goal is to grow food in a sustainable way, using the resources that are readily available to practice farming, entreprenurial skills, and team work. Now, raised beds cover the area behind Oasis Boys Home, with seeds that are germinating and getting ready to produce crops for the boys at Oasis to eat and cook with. There are so many potential opportunities that can come from this. We look forward to seeing the plants spring up soon!
"Visiting San Luis Mexico has been a life changing experience for me. Ive fallen in love with it ever since my first trip that I went to in August. So far I've gone 3 times this year and every time I go I fall more and more in love with everything there in San Luis. For me Mexico has been something really special. Since I grew up with the same culture, I can relate to so many things when I'm there. Being in San Luis Mexico just feels like home to me. In conclusion, this taught me how much work there is to be done outside of our day to day lives. I always look forward to the next trip and hope more people get to experience this because its changed my life."- Lalo Guzman
Christmas is the time of year when we celebrate the arrival of the greatest gift that was ever given. Our Lord humbling himself to become a helpless baby, who would eventually give his life for us, is definitely something to celebrate.
The humility with which Christ's original gift arrived is something that can guide us. He didn't descend with trumpets and thunder, displaying all the splendor that he could rightfully claim. He was born just like any other baby, and in a barn no less. He did have star and a host of angels to declare his birth, but the only ones who showed up were some stinky shepherds and a few foreign wise men (who were probably a few years late to boot). And that's just the way he wanted it.
Take a look at some of the ministries you can help maintain by giving to Caring Hearts. You might be surprised that even a seemingly insignificant gift can have a huge impact.
A message from Sherry
Due to new governmental regulations, we were limited in the number and type of supplies we were able to bring across the border. God in his providence, allowed us to receive what we needed. Not all of what we wanted, but what we needed. We purchased all of the medications we needed at local pharmacies and truly bolstered the economies of San Luis and El Golfo with our presence.
We diagnosed and treated many new cases of diabetes, hypertension, pharyngitis, ear infections, back pain, knee and leg pain, STDs, and multiple other conditions in addition to treating many nonhealing wounds. Our doctors identified 3 children with significant heart issues and the ball is now rolling to get them treated. Our clinics included teaching videos on hypertension, diabetes, obesity, healthy diets, personal hygiene, dental hygiene and multiple other health topics that ran while our patients waited to be seen. Handouts were available on all of these and other health topics to reinforce the teaching we did about their disease processes and how to control them. All of these were well received by our patients and many commented that they had never had any medical professional spend the time with them in assessment and teaching that they received from us. They also repeatedly mentioned how compassionate the team was in all aspects. Mike, our optician, saw more patients than anyone and the people of these towns are now delighting in their new glasses and clearer vision. Our ministry team prayed with everyone seen in the clinic and handed out Bibles to those who did not have one. After clinic hours, teams went out to see shut in patients with Inez and provided wound care, teaching and encouragement to those people and plans are being made to continue with their care.
We could go on and on with stories of the trip, but suffice it to say that God was at work in a might way using us to bless his people. It was wonderful to see boys that grew up in Oasis stepping up to the plate to minister to others as they have transitioned into adulthood. Witnessing the love, praise and joy at the worship service led by Pastor Francisco, ministering to our translators and seeing young men and women considering careers in service to the Lord made our hearts overflow with joy. What a privilege to minister to these most needy people through medicine, but mostly through sharing the gospel and the love of our Lord Jesus.
The term "missions trip" sparks alot of different thoughts, emotions and viewpoints. When I tell people that I lead short term missions trips, I get responses from people everywhere from "Thats such a good thing to do" "I bet that is very fulfilling" "Why do you have to go to another country to serve?" "Isn't it better to just donate that money than spend it on traveling there?" "I heard that missions trips do more harm than good". As someone who has been on many missions trips and works for a missions organization, I have heard and contemplated all of these phrases.
I have heard stories of missions groups going to Haiti and building huge compounds and homes in a place that has no access to water. Three years later, a beautiful, million dollar building stands vacant, because if anyone lived there they would have to walk a huge amount of miles to get water. But the team has photos of them working hard in Haiti, and the donors have no idea that there money was completely wasted, and the same amount of people still live without shelter in Haiti.
I have heard of groups going to countries where they are unwelcomed, bringing food in a way that caused an uproar causing people to riot and kill one another.
Of course we also encounter the common problem surrounding any outreach or free program, does this enable and cause the people to become dependent?
To all of these points, the answer is yes ,with short term missions can come many problems if you aren't careful. The best service trips and programs are done in communication and partnership with a ministry that already exists through the locals in the town or village you are going. At Caring Hearts, we do everything through the local church, partnering with our Mexican brothers and sisters, serving along side them. When we go to build a home for one of the sick families in the Shut In ministry, we go with Marcelo and the older boys from the Oasis Boys' home to work with them. We go to the church and prisons simply to encourage and partner with the pastors and ministries that already exist. We go into the villages and tell the people that they are loved and seen by God and give them food. But during those times they are introduced to Adalberto and the other church members who will be able to continue to visit them once we leave.
As missionaries, we come bringing the funds to provide alot of food and resources. We also come bringing refreshment and fresh excitement. We give special opportunities for ministry, a free VBS, an extra worship service. But at the same time, we travel to visit our brothers and sisters, in the same way you spend time and money to visit your struggling sister with a new baby. You could mail that sister a check to hire help and buy diapers, but your loving presence makes all the difference. This is why traveling on short term missions is important.
On the other hand, short term missions are just as important for the missionaries. I see missions as a pipeline for people to understand their true purpose. To get away from all the busyness and all of the stress and noise of everyday life, to give up all the things we do each day for ourselves, to pay our own bills, to get our own bodies in shape, to make sure our houses and cars are clean and presentable, and instead concentrate solely on meeting needs and sharing hope with others. This is where we find out who God created us to be and the gifts he has given us. We experience love for others and understand that THAT is how our God also sees us. As we pray for God to do miracles, and we are able to provide answers to the prayers of the poor and sick, we are reminded that God wants to answer our own prayers and meet our own needs as well.
To me, this is why missions are important. It is important for both the visitor and one being visited. When done from a humbled place of wanting to share and be shared with, from a place of visiting brothers and sisters in a foreign nation and letting them tell you their needs, and from a place of compassion and willingness to learn, missions trips are powerful for all involved. We serve those in front of us as if they were God himself standing in front of us, and in return, we are blessed by them.
Missionary Ambassador for Caring Hearts Ministry
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’