Grace Does That
I don’t remember what I said only that my words were cutting and filled with anger. My husband looked at me stunned, confused, and hurt. He could have walked away, he could have retaliated but he didn’t. Instead, he walked toward me and wrapped his arms around me. He spoke gently, “Amy, this is not like you. What’s going on?” In that moment, I experienced grace in a way I had never experienced it before. All the anger, all the frustration, all the pain, all the shame was lifted from me. It changed me. Tears ran down my cheeks and my defenses fell as I melted into his embrace. Grace does that.
Jesus did the same for the people He encountered. Know what Jesus didn’t do? He did not demand that anyone get their act together before He would heal, forgive, or love them! He loved people just as they were. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself and He was not counting our sins against us! (II Corinthians 5:19) He extended love and grace to those who may have seemed to us to deserve it least.
Matthew was one of those “least.” He was a Jew who worked for the enemy, Rome, collecting taxes and robbing his own people. He was hated by the other Jews and considered to be the worst of sinners. Jesus went to Matthew right there on the job and simply said, “Hey Matthew! Follow me!” Then He went to Matthew’s house and had dinner with him! Scandalous! Know what Jesus didn’t do? He didn’t say, “If you will stop collecting taxes then I’ll be your friend and Savior.” Matthew left his job, invited others to meet Jesus and was a changed man. Grace does that.
In Jesus’ darkest hour His friend Peter abandoned Him, and yet when He rose from the grave He told the women at the tomb to go tell His disciples “and Peter” that He would see them in Galilee. Peter must have been relieved to hear that Jesus still considered him a disciple and that He had specifically wanted to see him! (Mark 16:7) I Corinthians 15:5 even tells us that Jesus went to Peter before He went to the other disciples! Know what Jesus didn’t do? He did not condemn Peter or wait for him to beg for forgiveness. Jesus sought him out! Peter went on to become a pillar of the Church, ministering to and comforting others, because he had been loved by Jesus. Grace does that.
In John 4 Jesus met a Samaritan woman who had been divorced five times and was currently living with a man who was not her husband. Know what He did? He offered her living water to quench the thirst in her heart for love. He did not tell her to get her act together or even to stop living with the man she was with. In her excitement, she left behind her water jug and ran to tell those she had previously hidden in shame from about Jesus. Many of them believed in Jesus because of the woman’s testimony. Grace does that.
In Acts 9 Saul was traveling to Damascus threatening and murdering anyone who followed Jesus. And know what Jesus did? He appeared to Saul and simply asked, “Why are you persecuting Me?” (because what you do to others, you do to Me). A few days later Jesus sent a man to tell Saul that God had chosen him to tell others about Him. Saul’s name was changed to Paul. Not only was his name changed but his heart was too. Jesus did not mention that Paul had been a murderer or a self-righteous know-it-all because where sin increased, grace abounded! (Romans 5:20) Grace does that.
In Luke 19 Jesus met another tax collector named Zacchaeus and said, “Hey Zacchaeus, get out of that tree and come here! I want to go to your house!” Jesus doesn’t say a word about the unsavory nature of Zacchaeus’s work or character. But Zacchaeus was changed. He declared he would give half his possessions to the poor and pay back anyone he had defrauded with interest! Grace does that.
Our ugly is God’s opportunity, a holy moment, when God gently whispers, “This is not like you. What’s going on?” And our lives are forever changed. Grace does that.
Meet The Author:
I am 49 years old and married to my college sweetheart for 27 years. My husband is in the Air Force so we currently live in Germany though we are both natives of Kentucky. We have a 24 year old daughter, Megan, and a 22 year old son, Sam. We have two furry children- Lucy, a 10 year old Spaniel and Shoshanna, a 3 year old Australian Shepherd. I enjoy reading, nature, hot baths, a clean house, playing games, and decorating.
So Why Mission Work?
It's a funny question, "Why is mission work important to me?" My first thought is everywhere we go and even our own homes are "missions." Our mission is to love whether that's the person across the street or in another country! But when I think of "mission trips" I've been on I see how missions have changed me. I always say my trips to Haiti set my compass back to true North. When I am with the Haitians I am reminded that it is not in the accumulation of wealth or power or material possessions that we find true joy, but in relationships with God and others. While I go and share my material wealth, the Haitians share in their spiritual wealth and my soul is fed. It is a mutual giving/sharing of what we have. Hope this makes sense!
Thanks Amy for sharing your story and being a constant reminder to love everybody, everywhere you go. - The CHM Team
Lebanon Presbyterian Church
On June 12th Lebanon Church began their journey to Mexico for a mission trip with Caring Hearts! Their first day was mainly filled with traveling to Mexico, but that night they got to play soccer with the boys at Oasis and then went to the stadium to watch some of the boys play in an actual match! On their second day they went to work on a house lived in by a man, Pedro, his sister Virginia, and her daughter Victoria. The team completely tore down an exterior space and reinforce part of the existing roof and were able to build an interior wall on this day. The roof project took them a couple of days but they finished it and it looks amazing! On their third day the team went to the Immigrant House, where those who are unable to cross the US Border or have been deported find refuge and provided dinner for them and shared the Love of God. On their fourth day the team went to the boys home to spend time with the boys making suncatchers out of glass. After dinner they traveled to the immigration shelter. They served a pizza dinner to people that are homeless because they were either deported back to Mexico or had sold everything to take a chance to be able to cross the border, but unfortunately, they were denied and sent back. On the fifth day the team went to the soup kitchen where they helped prepare food to feed the children there. They also came with ice creams and crafts to do with the kids at the soup kitchen! On their last day they went to the Caring Hearts Church for a wonderful Father's Day service. At the Oasis Boy’s Home on the final night they made a charcoal camp style fire and invite all the Caring Hearts Staff along with the Lebanon Church group and the boys for a do-it-yourself foil pack dinner followed by S’mores. The evening finished with much laughter, games, soccer, and dancing! Lebanon Church had an amazing week in Mexico and we are so thankful for their work they did!
This team from Heartland came and helped with ministry, a work project, and spent alot of time with the Oasis boys, investing in them and showing them love. Coming from Indianapolis, the team was led by Dan Hennessy, who has been to San Luis multiple times. They worked hard and fast, painting the outside of a home that is in the process of being built for Isabel, our beloved cook whose current home is in almost unbearable conditions. In addition, they visited and ministered at the dump, the blind center, rehab centers and the soup kitchen. During the shut in visits, one of the team members was moved to give away the shoes off of his feet. This gesture of giving was a great example of the team’s attitude as a whole. They were truly willing to give their time, emotion and belongings sacrificially. They loved as Jesus loved. One extra special thing from this team was that they brought hockey sticks and taught the Oasis boys how to play hockey! This was the first time the boys played hockey, and they LOVED it! The week was filled with joy, tears, laughter, prayer, and play. Thank you Heartland church!
A Blog Post by Liz Meyers.
One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the story of Jesus walking on the water. Matthew 14:22-36 says this:
“Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went on the mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’
‘Lord, if it’s you’, Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’
‘Come,’ he said.
Then Peter got down from the boat, walked on the water and came towards Jesus. But when he saw the wind he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord save me!’
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’
And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘truly you are the Son of God.’
When they crossed over, they landed in Gennesaret. And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought their sick to him and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.”
Through this story I am reminded again and again that God is good. I am humbled by what little faith I have. I am reminded that I am Peter. I am the one that calls on God to put me on the water, to do the impossible through me, to bring me beyond the waves. God says COME. God calls on me to look at Him, to fix my eyes on Him, come to Him, follow Him, TRUST IN HIM. I am Peter. I begin to step on the water but am swayed by the winds. Reality hits and I panic. The waves grow bigger and I lose faith and I begin to sink. Yet I am Peter. I am grabbed by the hands of Jesus and pulled back into the arms of Christ. It is also then that I am humbled and in awe of my little faith. I am Peter. I am called. Although I may have little faith, God still calls me to do extraordinary things. I am Peter, and this is amazing grace.
Have you ever felt God moving in you, stirring your soul, and calling you out beyond your comfort zone? Yea, it is a scary yet exciting feeling. It is terrifying to step into the unknown and take the call that is being presented to you but find hope and peace in the fact that our God is alive, he is here, he is moving. In John 16 Jesus is speaking to his disciples and is preparing them for a time of unknown in a world that will reject the message they are preaching yet assures them with these words: “I have told you these things, so in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Whether your call is to international missions and serving people all over the world, sponsoring a child through financial resources and prayer, volunteering locally, or simply showing love to those around you, know that God has placed that call on your life for a reason. There will be times when you beg God to bring you closer to him, to strengthen your faith in him, to do the impossible through you. For those times I encourage you to trust. In those moments, you are Peter and God is calling you to come. Will you take the initial call? Trust. When you are on the water will you be swayed by the inevitable waves? Trust. Spirit lead where trust is without boarders, let us walk upon the water, wherever you call.
The gospel message is a message that causes radical life change. It is transforming and redemptive. To know that Jesus came, chose to die for the sins of those that followed him just the same as the ones who hated him, and through great love endured a cross to ultimately conquer death once and for all, is that work of only the one that is able to save a sinners heart and redeem the most broken.
I challenge you to accept the call the Lord is placing on your life and run into the unknown whole heatedly. For it is in this place that you experience the greatness of a God who loves and a God who saves.
On my way down to Mexico I wasn’t sure what to expect, but as we crossed the border and entered into the town of San Luis I was very surprised. Being so close to the United States I would have never imagined that the poverty level could be so astounding. Participating in the Shut-in Ministry for the sick and elderly I was able to see the effects of poverty up close. It was heartbreaking, watching children drop out of school to take care of their sick families and seeing kids live in extremely poor environments with most of the homes not even having the bare necessities. One family that will always stand out to me, was this boy named Alejandro. Alejandro is 20 years old, and he was born with severe disabilities, unable to walk, talk, or move, he is bedridden all day. As shown in the picture, this is how he spends his everyday, laying in this bed, while his sister, Marianna (16), and his brother, Ramon (14), stay home from school to take care of him. Their mother is busy trying to make the little income that she can working on the onion fields and their father recently suffered a stroke, so the children now help care for him too. One of their main duties right now is to keep the flies off of Alejandro, since they do not have an air conditioner they have to keep the door open, and the flies swarm around Alejandro's mouth with him unable to swat them away. Ramon dreams of becoming a doctor one day to help people like his brother, and Marianna dreams of becoming a veterinarian. This was just one of the many families in the Shut-in Ministry that broke my heart with their difficult hardships and hopeful dreams. But the one thing that gave me peace leaving this family is knowing that we can help them. Through Caring Hearts we can make their hardships a little less difficult and their dreams a little more of a reality. Will you join me in helping Alejandro and families like his?
Written by Matthew Simpson
She sat in a weathered chair in front of her simple brick home. A black bandana covered her head, bald from chemotherapy. Three young girls, under the age of 10, played around her. The youngest took a big sip of a nutrition drink leaving a white mustache on her beautiful brown face causing all of us to laugh. She squealed with delight at the attention she was receiving.
This is the kind of moment you can’t even dream of when planning a missions trip for 30 plus college students from an engineering school in Arizona. We set up roofing jobs as a part of our Tin Roof Project and we plan for ministries like visiting shut-ins. But in our 20 years we have never had the two come together quite like this. You hope there will be moments of intention, moments where hearts are recalibrated and perspectives shift. You hope for moments where you can actually see lives being changed in real time. But we can not manufacture these moments, they’ll must be orchestrated by God.
Facing a diagnosis like bone cancer in such a desperate situation would test even the most devout in their faith. But for Imelda, it’s a chance for her to prove just how good God is at creating divine moments like this! She sat proudly in that old chair, a brand new tin roof gleaming in the Mexican sun meant no more rain running down the walls turning dirt floors into a muddy mess during monsoon season. The doctors tell her that the treatments are working. She holds on to something that will level all of the desperation, that will bring the work of the enemy to ruin-Imelda holds on to hope In Jesus.
Earlier that day, a group of our students replaced her crumbling roof with a tin roof that will last. And now here we are gathered around Imelda and her family praying, laughing, crying. We gave her beans and some other essentials. We gave the girls tooth brushes and the nutritional drinks.
When we finished praying for Imelda she spoke and Aldaberto translated her message to us. These were her words; “When Jesus heals me, I want be a missionary like you.”
We were not worthy of that moment. Despite the good we try to do, we couldn’t earn a statement like that. Her faith humbled us. Her certainty in the face of overwhelming odds inspired us. Not “if” but “when” God heals her, she plans to serve others! Hearts were recalibrated, perspectives shifted, lives were being changed in real time. Only God could orchestrate a moment like this!
In Romans 8:28, the missionary Paul writes, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." It is my prayer that we walk through life with faith like Imelda, no matter the circumstances, always trusting in God to work things out as we follow Him.
Please pray for Imelda and her family. Please prayerfully consider giving to Caring Hearts so people like Imelda can get the treatment they so desperately need. And if at all possible, book a trip with Caring Hearts and watch God orchestrate moments like this...in real time.
Today as we celebrate the life of Billy Graham who has passed, our ministry gives thanks for his faithful ministry which led our founder to the Lord, and eventually to start Caring Hearts Ministry. Our founder, Harold McKamish was led to the Lord at a Billy Graham Crusade him and his wife Daisy were going through a hard time after Daisy’s brother had passed away at war. Daisy and Harold went to the crusade in search of something bigger than themselves, and they found it. The life change that took place at that crusade while listening to Billy Graham talk is what led them to start Caring Hearts Ministry, which has led many people to Christ over the past 30 years. We honor Billy Graham, and recognize how the Lord uses our lives for impacts greater than we will ever know.
Harold McKamish- 2/24/2018
I was busy doing various things around the house and decided to come in to the house and rest a bit. I turned on the T V and felt a sadness in my heart for a moment. I heard the announcer saying “ The Reverend Billy Graham had died at the age of 99 years old .” I say for a moment, because I know Billy Graham is now where he has been telling the world what they must do in order to be spending eternity with Jesus, and now he is there with the one he loved so much feeling the loving arms of his Savior wrapped around him.
As I sit there, my mind went back to my life in 1968. I was a young man at the age of 38. I was very busy in trying to support my family. You see, I felt the best way to support my family was to make more money to be able to give them what they need and to give them nicer things . But, that is not what they needed. They needed a daddy who could spend more time with them, playing with them, sharing good things with them and telling them more about this thing called life. they needed
a dad to show his love in ways other than providing things. There was turmoil within our home at that time.
Daisy’s brother was in the army. He had no business being there because of a medical problem he had, but non the less he was there. He was in Vietnam. One day in October 1968, we got word he was missing in action. This surprised us because he was due to come home. We found out later, he was due to come home but he signed up to go look for some of his comrade’s who were missing in action. He did not return and it took awhile before they found him. This was a very sad time for us.
I suggested that Daisy go to Florida to be with her mom and dad. While she was there, mothers day came, and it was on that mother’s day that the soldiers came and knocked on the door to tell them their son was killed.
A couple of weeks later, while discussing various things, I told Daisy there has to be more to life than this. All I was doing was working. If I had extra time, it was devoted to work of some kind. That week in the news paper I read Billy Graham was coming to town. it’s time to change your life. We went to the Billy Graham crusade at Pitt Stadium on that October day in 1968.
While I was sitting in my chair listening to the news about His death, my mind took me back to that stadium. I could hear his plea, his call, get up out of that seat, make your way down here to the front of the stage, don’t delay, come. and in my mind I could hear them singing , JUST AS I AM WITH OUT ONE PLEA, BUT THAT THY BLOOD WAS SHED FOR ME, AND THAT THOU DID’ST ME COME TO THEE, O LAMB OF GOD, I COME, I COME. As I sat in my chair, I saw myself standing in front of that stage looking into the eyes of Billy Graham and couldn’t wait to say yes to that alter call , and the feeling that I had. I truly felt that I was a new creature in Christ Jesus.
So hearing of Billy Graham’s passing was mixed emotions to me. But, I was so great full, and for ever more will be because it truly changed my life, and probably a lot of family members with out them realizing it. If you never asked Jesus Christ into your life, do not delay, do it right now . THANK YOU BILLY GRAHAM
Caring Hearts Ministries has grown tremendously since it’s humble beginnings in 1986. When the founder of CHM prayed for God to show him where his help was needed most, the Lord showed up in amazing ways. Papa Harold’s eyes were opened to the town of San Luis, Mexico, and thus began Caring Hearts Ministries.
Since this time, the organization has grown through seeing a need, praying for provision, and the Lord providing. A boy’s home, a soup kitchen, a garbage dump ministry, a blind center, and a local church are not just built overnight. It took trust in God’s plan to provide the supplies, the labor, and the correct timing for each of these ministries to take off and be the best resource for the struggling people of San Luis.
It is a lot easier to say “I’m going to trust in the Lord to provide this need” than it is to actually follow through with that thought. In fact, there are followers in the Bible who though they may have been wary of the calling or the logistics that lay behind the vision, remained faithful and their provisions were met abundantly.
As the Israelites were traveling to the promise land, they longed for the food they had left behind in Egypt. They continued to follow the calling to the promise land, and the Lord provided through showering the land with bread.
In 1 Kings, Elijah is met with famine and drought. He continues to serve the Lord and pray amidst his struggle and he is led to a river for water and the Lord sends raven to provide him with food.
When people gathered from miles around to hear the Son of God preach, the disciples were concerned about providing all these followers with food. Jesus continued his teaching and trusted in the Lord and fed a crowd with five loaves of bread and two fish. As if that isn’t compelling enough, there was even food left over!
A missionary from the 1800s once said, “God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supplies” (Hudson Taylor).
Caring Hearts has trusted in the Lord’s provision for years and will continue to praise the Lord for his provision as they continue to discover the needs of San Luis, Mexico. As we continue to work on the new Life Center, a drug rehabilitation center, we will continue to pray for the supplies, the labor, and the guidance in this ministry.
What vision has the Lord placed on your heart? In what ways are you yearning for the Lord’s provision?
Our prayer for you is that as we continue to act on the needs we have found in Mexico, you continue to find the needs around you in your own communities. Trust in the Lord’s provision and He will provide you with a surplus of resources to carry out His commandment of being His hands and feet here on Earth.
Caring Hearts Ministry is
This November, we are showing our gratitude to the Lord and to YOU, our supporters for all that has been accomplished in 2017.
#1 Thankful For New Interns & Volunteers
Caring Hearts has been so blessed with the addition of our new interns and volunteers! During this holiday season, we want to extend our thankfulness for the time they dedicate to the Caring Hearts Mission. It is willing hearts like these that make our ministry successful! In addition to our interns, we have several incredible volunteers helping us from all across the country with things like video and media, thanking supporters, event planning and more. If you want to join our volunteer team, email email@example.com today!
#2 Thankful for our Mission Teams
Another huge thank you goes out to all the teams who are working in San Luis to finish out 2017 strong! We are so appreciative of your huge hearts and hard work! (Christian Heritage Church, Monroeville Construction Team, Cranberry Churches, Chi Alpha Phoenix, & the Nashville Team)
#5. Thankful for Growth
We have seen huge growth in 2017 in our church and local missions! We have over 200 children coming to the soup kitchen each day to be fed. Many lives are being touched by your generosity! We are so thankful and so blessed!
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?