Elaina recently graduated in April from the University of Valley Forge with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology-Counseling. She loves working with children and currently works as a teacher in a daycare. She plans on going to graduate school to pursue a degree in the business field and is marrying her best friend this summer!
i.When have you visited Caring Hearts Ministries?
I visited Caring Hearts Ministries with my youth group at Monroeville Assembly of God during the summer of 2011.
ii.How did you get involved in short-term missions?
The church I attended during high school was very missions-focused. There were always many opportunities to travel on a short-term mission trip. I first heard of Caring Hearts through my friend, Natalie, who had traveled there multiple times with our youth group and always came back with powerful stories of lives being changed. When the opportunity came for me to go, I knew right away it was something I wanted to do! The trip with Caring Hearts really sparked my love for short-term missions and since this trip, I have traveled on three more foreign trips and hope to go on more in the future.
iii.Describe your favorite or most memorable experience or encounter during your trip.
My most memorable experience on this trip happened on the last day we were in San Luis when we traveled to the local garbage dump. It was incredibly eye opening to see people call this place home. It was a massive landfill with mounds and mounds of trash, yet people lived here. It was something my mind could not completely comprehend and my heart began to break. I had the opportunity to share my testimony here, which was very memorable, as I had never shared it in front of a large group of people. Afterwards, we dispersed suitcases full of clothes and shoes we brought to hand out. I remember walking up to a woman and asking her if she wanted my shoes and gave them to her right off my feet. It was a blessing to be able to bless others. My heart was full of joy as we were able to give clothes and shoes, but it was also very heartbreaking to know these precious people would stay at the dump as we traveled home.
iv.How has your time in san Luis impacted your life back home in the United States?
My perspective and view on my life here in the U.S. has completely changed since my time in San Luis. I have learned what it truly means to be thankful and never take anything for granted. It was difficult to return home to such luxury, but it is just a greater reminder to be thankful for the things I have. I think it is so important to see different areas of the world and the way people live in other countries. There is so much to learn, but it is something that can only truly be learned through experience. Furthermore, San Luis has forever impacted my prayer life. It opened my eyes to things I never thought imaginable, but it just reminds me to never stop praying for the people of San Luis.
Your smile is one of the first things that people see when they meet you. Our mouths allow us to talk, to eat, to laugh and to breath. When children are born with a cleft palate, all of these important functions are affected. Cleft palate and cleft lip is a physical split of separation of the two sides of the upper lip and it appears a gap in the skin of the upper lip. Cleft palate can cause problems with eating, ear infections, speech problems, dental problems and more. ( according to webmd.com). Children in San Luis who are born with this challenge have little opportunity to be able to have surgery to fix cleft palate because of the cost and need of transportation to Tecate to get the surgery.
One of the ministries that Caring Hearts participates in is taking children to get cleft palate surgery. Over the years we have seen many lives be touched by this surgery. Recently, Adalberto took 4 children to Tecate in Mexico to see the dentist. All four children were checked on, and two had work done. One of the boys, was able to have surgery.
We are praising and thanking God for the opportunity to see this little guy get the surgery he needs! Thank you to all Caring Hearts Supporters for making this possible.
A Testimony from Papa Harold
Papa Harold Mckamish, the founder of Caring Hearts Ministries, ,just got back from a week with his entire family in San Luis, Mexico. His testimony of his trip is truly touching!
"THE JOY OF THE LORD IS MY STRENGTH
What an awesome once in a lifetime experience! Twenty-Eight members of our family, four generations all at one time sharing the love of Christ with the poor and needy people of San Luis.
When this was suggested to me from my grandchildren that they were planning a mission trip to Mexico in June 2016 with family members, I was elated as this was on top of my bucket list, but never suggested it as I thought it would never happen.
I then thought, OK, these 27 people are going, but they don’t intend to minister, just will stay and play with the kids at the soup kitchen and Oasis. Boy, was I wrong. Even our great grandchildren went to the various places and shared and ministered. What a joy to see all of your family ministering because they love Jesus and want to do as He asks us. Now, this was not easy as it was between 110 and 117 every day, but ministry took place.
We started each day with devotions and Worshipping the Lord preparing us for the day.
I watched and listened as one of our great grandchildren gave a testimony how God healed him after his older sister prayed for him and said, God can heal you. I watched and listened as 22 of us went to the blind center with lunch to feed and minister to the 23 blind persons there that day. As they served talking to them and sharing Jesus. The blind new we were coming and they made up a song for us that brought tears and joy to all of us. Then several stood up and shared what Caring Hearts has meant to them and how it changed their lives forever. They now have hope. We couldn’t leave the blind center until they showed us how they made mops. And they gave me a folder with pictures of various times we were there. This was a blessing for all with many smiles and tears. The blind center has been life saving.
I watched our granddaughter share in the dump how much Jesus loved those people and she ended up leading about 22 people to Jesus. One man in particular, fell to his knees with arms in the air and tears flowing down his cheeks asking Jesus to come into his life. When she was finished we all hugged and prayed for those who had needs then gave out beans. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN REALLY HUNGRY AND BE GIVEN A BAG OF BEANS?
We had a great church service on Sunday. I did not know the church was going to honor Caring Hearts for 30 years of ministry in San Luis. I was overwhelmed with such a presentation as they had photos on the big screen of ministry back in the beginning in San Luis showing people who are no longer with us. And different people had things to say. (Very moving) A lady came up and asked if I remembered her?
I said sorry but no, she said she grew up at Bethel orphanage when I was coming there. She thanked me and kissed me and showed me her children she now has.
Our group also were involved in village ministry. This is where we find a very poor area of town. We have a loudspeaker system that is attached to a car, and drive around and ask people to come to a certain street corner. Within 10 minutes we will have over 100 people show up. These are people who need food. We always have bags of beans with us to give away. We will share the Gospel with them, pray for their needs, then give them 5 pounds of beans. We always have a bag of candy for the children.
Caring Hearts has a soup kitchen where we feed children everyday prior to them going to school.
We use this facility and grounds to have various events for kids. We had two afternoons of fun filled events for about 80 children having fun and games along with having a Biblical topic to what they were teaching. Many of the children prayed to receive Jesus.
About 12 of our group went to the Cerebral Palsy Clinic to share love with these people. There were about 20 of them in their wheel chairs waiting for our arrival. We sang songs had a snack with them, loved on them, gave them a financial blessing and returned to the Oasis.
On all of our trips to Mexico we choose to have a project or so. This trip we chose to help two families to make their houses more protected from the hot sun by installing insulation and drywall under a metal roof and installing insulation and dry wall over a block wall. The temperature changed about 25 degrees within these houses making it more bearable in the hot sun. Thanks to our guys.
Five of our ladies visited the local prison. They took gift bags for the ladies with items they badly needed
They had a blessed time sharing, praying and crying with the ladies in prison.
Also, they visited a ladies shelter where they spent an afternoon sharing and praying with these ladies.
Many of the ladies prayed to receive Christ.
Our shut-in ministry coordinator took us to see several places that needed help desperately.
One lady is trying to raise five children and one who was 22 years old, blind, can’t talk, and a cripple who just lays in bed 24/7. Very sad. This family was badly in need of all necessities. Two other families were living in houses that were on fire at one time. They were all trying to live in one room that had a leaky roof and the smell of all the burnt roof and sides of the house with three mattresses on the floor.
We realize we can’t help all, but we have to try to help those the Lord puts in our path.
One of the highlights of the trip was preparing and serving a meal for all of our staff and families and for all of the volunteers who help from time to time. We had a good time thanking them and singing. It was fun seeing our great grandchildren serving the people.
Our last evening with our boys at the Oasis, we had a Pizza / ice cream party for them and the staff.
Many times we get asked when we come back from a trip, do you really think giving a bag of beans does any good, or do those people just pray and ask Jesus in their lives because you gave them something, or we have even heard those boys you are raising will be just like their other family members, no good.
Well, I guess you never were hungry, never had to beg for a bag of beans to feed your kids, Our kids have had the opportunity to go to school and could stay in school, not having to leave to watch their
smaller kids while their mom tries to find work. You have had the opportunity to hear the Gospel and about Jesus everywhere you went. WHO WELL TELL THEM IF WE DON’T TELL THEM? We are commissioned to feed them and to tell them about Jesus, SO WE DO.
We have a boy named Fernando. He came to us when he was five along with a sister and brother. He is now 18
18. While we were in San Luis a week ago, he graduated from High School top of his class. What an
example for the rest of our boys.
What Caring Hearts is doing caring for these boys does matter. All boys are also learning a trade from our vocational school and on the job training along with being trained what it is like to be raised in a Christian home.
If you want to see your family come together like never before, and grow in serving, I strongly recommend you plan a family short term mission trip serving the poor and needy."
- Papa Harold