A story by Amber Rynearson about the first time she came to Oasis Boys Home with Caring Hearts Ministry.
I absolutely adore kids. It’s why I’m never down in my church’s main service, since I’m up working with everyone’s children; it’s why I want to be a teacher, and have wanted to since I was a kid myself; it’s why a majority of my job experience centers around children; and it is a large part of the reason I wanted to go to Mexico.
Let me take you back- more than a year ago, my youth pastor brought forth the concept of a group going to Mexico on a missions trip, and I had no doubt in mind that I would be a part of it. On July 13, I boarded a plane with my group and headed to, you guessed it, Mexico. When we arrived, we met the staff, and then, the boys at Oasis. I fell in love with their sweet demeanors instantly, despite the fact that I had no idea how to understand any of them. I remember specifically that we were going to play a huge group game of volleyball, but the problem was that a truck was in the way, and the owner was out of town, or something along those lines. The boys and our group was somehow able to move the truck by pushing, pulling, and some heavy lifting, so that we could all play together. We ended our last night the same way, with a volleyball game, that was so ridiculous. My brother, a gangly redhead, was running around with the boys tossing hats and rejoicing or chiding each other with every point won or lost. Both parties were shouting ridiculous things like “Feliz Navidad” despite the fact that it was the middle of July. It was camaraderie and bonding at it’s absolute finest.
These boys are amazing. Luis is the sweetest: Pedro and Alex had fidget spinners they wouldn’t put down: Roberto has a fiercely competitive spirit: Dany is a little joker: Enrico is quiet and kind. Each and every one of them deserves a life full of laughter and joy, but it is expensive. That is why Caring Hearts is looking for sponsors for each of them, to help provide for their needs. You wouldn’t just pay a little bit every month (sacrifice the nights out because you were too tired to cook, that’s about how much you could be giving), but the real kicker is that you get to know the boys through letters. It is the most humbling thing to see pain, hurt, sorrow, abject poverty, etcetera, but the amazing thing is that YOU can do something about it, starting with these boys. It would be so rewarding to get to know even one of these fantastic boys. I may have only spent a week with them, but each and every one of them left a mark on my heart, and I can not wait to return.
Give. Connect. Join.
“Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” Gal. 6:9
- Amber Rynearson, 2017
By Caroline Mitchel
As the world offers more opportunity for travel, immigration and cross-cultural relationships, we as the church must not think of it as coincidental but simply as the plan God has for his people to better share the gospel. Just years ago, international mission opportunities were something that required a large amount of time, commitment, money and risk. It required great bravery and conviction to step on a plane and go to a place you had never seen or researched before on the internet. All you had were brochures or the verbal recommendations from those who had gone before you — it took immense faith and resources that not everyone had access to.
Now, international mission opportunities are literally at our fingertips. Websites have been specifically created to promote mission opportunities geared towards your age-group, profession, and hobbies. Ministries have also become more creative in ways to involve their community in missions. If you can’t physically go on a trip, you can either hop online to donate financially or you can shop on Amazon and send tangible items across the world. There has never been a better and easier time to go and give than now. But just because going on and giving to international missions is more accessible now doesn't mean it requires less faith to participate. It just means we are given more of an opportunity to display our faith through missions.
Will you now go? Will you now give?
Throughout scripture the bible is guiding believers to participate in missions and expressing the importance it should hold in our lives. Matthew 24:14 even predicts when the end times will come all according to the church’s missional reach.
“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” - Matthew 24:14
In fact, in Matthew 4:19 Jesus commanded his disciples to simply “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” That statement encompassed all the disciples were asked to do as Believers. Once we follow Jesus, he transforms our hearts into loving and serving others — most importantly, he overcomes our heart so much that we can’t help but tell people about it.
Choosing to carry the responsibility of missions as a Christian is not just for those who physically go. It is also for those who stay behind. For those of us who chose to stay home, it is our responsibility to give of our resources to the cause of spreading the gospel through prayer. Sacrificing your resources, like time in prayer or money to give, is a truly humbling and joyful experience.
Leaving the comfortability of your home, family and comforts requires immense faith. Choosing to spend your money on supporting others to go on mission is a selfless sacrifice. But spending time praying for the gospel to be shared is the most powerful resource you have. I encourage you to look at your life and consider the resources you can better sacrifice to the cause of spreading the Good News.
Will you now go? Will you now give?
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.