Comment: Please use the enclosed check to purchase a donkey for the San people. We cannot thank you enough for helping to organize and run this charity. It seems all of our lives we've heard about "starving children in Africa," and I've always felt compelled to help, but wasn't sure about any of the "missions" collecting for this cause. We love knowing that our money is not only helping those truly in need, but they are also of "the family of believers." We are also confident in the way the collected monies are handled. Thank you for your wonderful work. - T & D Day


Comment: African greetings from Zimbabwe. We hope this note finds you well. I would like to thank all the brethren who helped us to go through the past year, brother and sister Schimottou, brother and sister Chaffin, brother and sister Payne, Kimperheights church of Christ, Mike Divis and the Open Hearts Helping Hands members for the financial and material support you gave us and also the members at Mahusekwa for the moral support they gave us. - Farai Chingondi


Comment: I appreciate your help and support and also the outpouring we have experienced concerning the need in the Mutare area of Zimbabwe. We give sincere heartfelt thanks for your help. - JB


Comment: God bless each and every one of you my brothers and sisters in Christ, involved in this work, thank you in Christian Love - TM


Comment: Thanks for the report.  I hope to continue getting such reports. A check for $100 from me to "Open Hearts, Helping Hands" should be picked up this afternoon by the postman.  Please use this email as my authorization to divert the money from food to pay toward the $1000 you used to help pay expenses for Mr. Brewer. I appreciate the report and the efforts being put forth to help the poor saints in Zimbabwe. - KK


Comments from OH3 contributors:

Our family has decided to commit $__ per month to feed a family for the remainder of the year. We feel this is a noble cause. Thank you for your work. God bless. D&JA

Dear OH3 staff. Thank you for volunteering to help serve our brothers and sisters in need. Please accept my family’s gift to help feed our family overseas… we pray God receives the glory for all that is done. J&AD

Dear Sir, Greetings to you n the precious name of our Savior. Please use $__ for food and $__ for bibles and songbooks as needed. G&CT

Thank you for the work you are doing on the Zimbabwe brethren’s behalf. NC

Thank you for helping in this way. JS

Enclosed is our first check to OH3. We learned from Carl McMurray of the good work you are doing and want to share in it… Thanks to all those involved in setting up this non-profit organization which allows us to help such a work and have our donations be tax-deductible. BM

This check is to cover several donations. The first $__ is to cover donations from our granddaughter and grandson as Christmas gifts from 2008. LM

I am sending $__ from my brother and I in memory of an uncle who just passed away. LDM

Hello, I learned about you through Lanier church of Christ at Buford, Ga. I cannot sign up for monthly contributions (I’m looking for a job like millions of others) but I’ll send what I can. Thanks so much for your work in his name. SK

The enclosed check for $__ is money raised by six elementary school children who wanted to help the brethren in Zimbabwe. They worked for the parents to earn $__ each, then gave the money to my wife who teaches their bible class. With the love of Christ. MC

Thank you for the opportunity to help our brethren in Zimbabwe and surrounding areas. DA

Thanks again brethren for the opportunity and your work to get this job done. I am looking forward to getting my bracelet. J D&DB

The Brownsburg congregation has a yearly holiday dinner where members meet and spend time together. Each year we hold an auction and give the proceeds to a worthy cause. The money this year was split between more than one cause. OH3 was chosen to receive a percentage equaling $___. This is not a work of the church and the money came from individuals (and of course NOT from the treasury). AH

Our prayers are with you and the work you are doing and also the people of Zimbabwe. D&JA

Dear Carl, we appreciate the work that you are doing with Zimbabwe Christians. Thank you for letting us know about our fellow Christian’s needs. Different individuals at Brookhill church of Christ have donated $_______ that we hope will help. We are remembering you and the Zimbabwe brethren in our prayers. In Christian love, TB

I’m sorry to know of the hardship in Zimbabwe and grateful for the opportunity to help. With love and concern, MB

My wife and I hope this will help our brethren in Africa. May God bless you in this good work. R&FC

Use as you see fit, for food or operating expenses. May God bless your efforts and that this crisis will soon pass. JM

This is a donation for food to be sent to the brethren in Zimbabwe. Thank you or your hard work and service. S&AZ

Thank you for facilitating this gift for food for brethren in Zimbabwe… Thank you for making this giving process so easy. CA

Please use this for food for our brothers in need. If it needs to go to other resources as well, that is fine. JC

This is from my parents. They would like it to go toward food for our brethren in Zimbabwe. LG

My husband was a guest preacher at a nearby congregation last Sunday. He mentioned the need in Zimbabwe and one of the members gave me $___ after services to send to you. JR

Mike, I am so happy that you have given us a way to help the brethren in Zimbabwe. They are always in or prayers but I am so glad to be able to do something physical as well. May God bless you and all those who are in this ministry with you. AC

This is from a lady at church. Her family won’t be able to come to the pizza/game night for OH3 tonite so she gave me this check on Sunday. I didn’t even look at it till today, but when I saw he amount I wanted to get it to you right away. I will be sending more after out Pizza/game night fundraiser. JR

I hope this will help one family to survive one month. I pray God will bless all your efforts and bless me that I can do more to help you, and others in the future. May God bless those how can’t help themselves. JB

Our family chose to eat lunch at home yesterday instead of going out – and send the money to OH3 instead. J&JR

This payment is for food. We leave it to your discretion- one month for three families, three months for one family – whatever you think best. Thanks for providing this opportunity for us to help. R&GW


Comment: Dear OH3, I was told that we could request a certain group for our donation. Our check reflects a desire for our gift to the ______________ church. Thank you very much. - A Concerned Christian

Dear Concerned,
This is a little difficult to explain so please read my reply carefully and please write again with any questions you might have.

OH3 is happy to direct food assistance to specific congregations that you are presently helping, but it must be in ton (for twenty families) or half-ton (for 10 families) increments. In order to keep prices reasonable we must deal in shipments that put the best usage to trucks and drivers, therefore we only deal in ton and half-ton shipments. We cannot buy or deliver in single family increments. Food is hard to come by, time is short, and delivery is too expensive when diesel fuel is near $8 per gallon.

If you, or anyone, are presently sending help to a specific church or individual families and you wish to use OH3 as your delivery vehicle, we encourage you to pool your donations to arrive at a price for a ton ($1,000, 20 families) or a half-ton ($500, 10 families). We would be happy then to make delivery to any church of Christ or group of brethren you direct the food assistance to.

You will need to pool your donation with others and then send in the total with directions to which group of brethren you wish the help sent. OH3 cannot keep track of multiple individual checks directed to multiple congregations and people. We hope that this does not discourage anyone from helping.

Thanks for asking Concerned, others have asked the exact same thing. (posted 2/24/09)


Comment: Dear Carl, We appreciate the work that you are doing with the Zimbabwe Christians. Thanks for letting us know about our fellow Christian’s needs. Different individuals at ____________ church of Christ have donated $2020 that we hope will help. We are remembering you and the Zimbabwe brethren in our prayers. - In Christian love, TB
- A Concerned Christian

Dear TB,
Thank you so much for your heart of compassion and those in that congregation. Your words are very kind and much appreciated, but it is actually you and loving brethren like you across the country that are making this thing work. Praise God for his wisdom is showing us that individuals can move mountains when everybody has a shovel. We really don’t need huge institutions that eat up the funding. Thank you again, Mac. (posted 2/24/09)


Comment: Dear OH3, " Thank you for the work you are doing on the Zimbabwe brethren's behalf" - N.C.

Dear NC,
I took your short note to use here because we at OH3 receive short thank yous like this weekly and often daily. On behalf of all of us at OH3, let me say thank you, and all the others, for your sentiments and the kind words that come our way. They are all appreciated. Do not think however, that we don’t know that it is because of your sacrifice, your budget cutting, your pizza parties, your garage sales, your afternoon cokes, and kid’s chore money that we are all able to do this to help the children of God and give Him the glory for shared blessings. Soooo, may I instead, thank you NC for letting us team up with you and so many others to accomplish this effort. -
Mac (posted 2/24/09)


Comment: Thank you so much for the info [E-News]. I was getting a little concerned that I was sending money and the Lord’s people were not getting it! As you may know that when I sit down to pay bills biweekly I have been sending a check. I hope to double my contribution on future checks. The Lord has blessed me and I know God expects us to share and I pray for them often. I know I am so blessed and thankful for all God gives to me which is more then I deserve. Please email me if there is something I can do extra! You should encourage others to mail checks if PayPal is a problem. Also there is no fees for checks! God bless your work and may many more brethren help in the work. - M.M.



Comment: Hello, I was wondering about the need for New Testament Bibles. I was thinking about asking our congregation to give aid to your program. By individuals I want to know if New Testament Bibles could be purchased and sent to help aid you in teaching them to study. Would this be permitted? And who should I contact in order to get permission, or send them through. - Janet Bryant, Westwood church of Christ, Glasgow, KY

Hi Janet,
Although English is spoken throughout Zimbabwe, there are three major tribal languages that they are even more fluent and comfortable in. Songbooks and Bibles are in very, very short supply and especially in the bush is the need present for Bibles in their own language. In a few places we visited 5 or 6 songbooks and the same amount of Bibles seems to have served the need for 45 to 50 brethren. We can arrange Bibles for purchase and delivery, in the native language, from Botswana and/or Zambia. They don't have to be shipped from the U.S. OH3 would be thrilled to be your messenger on behalf of this need.

At the moment of this writing I cannot quote you the price of Bibles or even just New Testaments, but if you or those you worship with would like to help with this need just send the funds to the Florida OH3 address (the food account) on the CONTACT US page of this website. Please include a note stating that you would like those funds to go for Bibles, songbooks, or whatever. We will set that money aside until it appears that all of it has come in and then wire that amount to our contacts with instructions. That amount, the number of Bibles purchased, and the price for each will then appear on our OH3 News page, with our great thanks. Thanks for the inquiry.  - Mac


Comment: I think it would help to have a link from your home page to the Contact Us page. The home page presents the need, but gives no method for sending $$. Even though Contact Us pages commonly give phone #'s and addresses, I did not think of looking there to find out where to send a check. Instead, I looked on the What Can I Do? page. - Peter Thompson

Good Morning Peter,
Thank you so much for reading our info and taking the time to suggest an improvement. Actually, there IS a different colored, "click here" hotlink on the home page in the second section, #1. I can see how someone might miss it though, so we're taking your suggestion to heart. My most excellent webgal will change the hot link word to a hot link sentence and help it to stand out more and grab attention.

Thanks again for your suggestion and I hope you will see your way through to join with us in this effort.
- Mac


Comment: If I send $40.00 per month, how much of this really goes to the needed family? After expenses, etc. God Bless - Bernard J. Queen

Bernard
Food donations of $40 are dedicated 100% to food and transport costs. It can be broken down into the cost of the meal, fuel, wire transfer costs, and about a buck to pay the return postage on the thank you note so that the receiving family doesn't even have to pay that.

Operating expenses like incorporation fees, filing fees, and accounting fees are requested from separate donations please. We need these also, but we will not use money dedicated to food for these costs. These things will actually be paid out of two differeent bank accounts. I hope this helps. You can also get a breakdown of costs per metric ton (the way we purchase food) by going to the FAQ section and clicking on WHERE DOES MY MONEY GO?
- Mac



Comment: I appreciate your efforts in this area. We here at Humble were about to have a discussion about this need and using one of the other mechanisms for getting food to our brethren. This approach certainly provides an outstanding opportunity for our members to help fellow Christians.

It is my intent to help in this effort and will do so when I return home from my current travels. However I do want to express my concern about the elephant hair bracelet. While I expect the main reason it is being offered is to be a discussion initiator, I believe you should discontinue it. The write-up describing the bracelet points to the fact that it is nothing more than pure superstition and really has no place among Christians. Please reconsider your use of it.

Thanks again for your efforts and I'll be in touch in the future. - Wallace L. Ottersbach

Brother Ottersbach,

Thank you so much for even considering to join with us in helping these saints. It is so appreciated. And thank you for your thoughts concerning the bracelets. You presented your objection in such a kind and thoughtful way that we certainly WILL consider what you say. Perhaps we might even change the wording in the ad. You are absolutely right in pointing out that the bracelet had its beginnings in pagan superstition. That is not why we're offering it though. As you are well aware, we don't believe a word of the superstitions, nor do the Christians in the bush who wear them in Africa today. I wrote those ads so that people who receive this gift might know the "original" source of the bracelets since these adornments go back over 1200 years. Wearing one is much like wearing a peace sign or Egyptian Ankh today. These ARE symbols of Africa however, and we thought them a real tie to the bush and what we're doing. They are sold in Zimbabwe as souvenirs (not pagan symbols anymore) and are available from MANY African jewelry merchants online (again, as a fashion statement rather than an ideology). Thank you for having a concerned heart. - Mac


Comment: I've been wanting to organize something like this. Thank you for doing it. An organization called Compassion International is what prompted me to look for people to help. They have you "adopt" a certain child and correspond with that child. Is that a possibility with the way you are organizing things? - Laura Alvarez

Laura,
No, not at this time. The way that we manage to cut our costs is by dealing with a ton or half ton shipments at a time. That breaks down into 10 families or 20 families at a time. The only way that we might guarantee you corresponding with the same family each month is if you get 9 (or 19) friends to "adopt a congregation." I'm guessing that way we COULD direct the same funds each month to the same congregation. But at present the need is so great and we're so interested in getting food to where the need is among over 110 congregations that we won't guarantee that each month your help will go to the same individual family. Thank you so much for your heart of compassion though. -
Mac



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