GREETINGS TO ALL OUR PARTNERS - March 2011,

WHAT'S BEEN GOING ON LATELY WITH OPEN HEARTS HELPING HANDS?

On the FOOD side...

We've been busy here in this first quarter of 2011 and thought we should share what's been going on since you, the readers, are the biggest part of this effort.

First, we should mention that the crops are growing and hope is in the air as the four tons of seed you bought last year is coming to maturity in the next 30 to 60 days. That investment will really be a help to the food situation of our brethren in Zimbabwe and we thank you for your sacrifice in that area. Below are some shots of hoes and seed being delivered to the San brethren.

The flip side of that coin is that although the crops are coming, they are still two to three months out and the Christians in Zimbabwe have the same bad habit that most of us have, they like to eat on a somewhat daily basis. February was not as wet for the crops as might have been hoped so some are beginning to worry a little.

Last month we purchased four hundred 50 kilo. bags of food for Chistian families and we are in the process of transporting and distributing that meal. That is 400 Christian families that will have food to eat for the next six weeks or more. There were actually 100 more families that are requesting help, but this emptied us out for the moment. Our hope is that by time this food is distributed our coffers will have refilled themselves somewhat because of the wonderful commitment of so many partners. Again, I've got to say thank you for joining us in this effort.

On the OPERATIONS side...

Those that have been with us for awhile know that 100% of the funds donated to food actually get used for food and transporting that food. We keep another account however, called OPERATIONS, in another bank in another state, just to keep it completely separate. That account is also funded by donations that are directed specifically to that account. We use the OPERATIONS account for everything besides food. We use it for bank fees, accounting costs, and mundane costs associated with keeping things going. We also use it at our discretion to help with temporary needs that are not food needs. We use it for medical help, phone bills, bicycles for walking preachers, blankets for naked children and adults, purchasing donkeys, plows, and lumber to build corrals for the donkeys. Anything that we think needs doing for Christians in serious need that is not food... comes from this account.

Two more donkeys were purchased last month, one of them being pregnant. Three for the price of two, sweet huh? These animals for the San brethren were funded by Jim Allen and we want to give a pat on the back for his help. Jim does a great worrk. See Jim's work here below as well as another pic of food and seed being received.

On a less humerous note, Charity Chikombe, wife of Solomon Chicombe and mother of two small children was diagnosed with cancer last month. OH3 sent Solomon funds to take Charity to South Africa to see specialists. The prognosis was that the cancer cells could be burned off, but the Chikombe's visa expired before the procedure could be performed so they had to return to Zim. We will be sending more funds to help them with their return trip this month out of our OPERATIONS account. Solomon is a young preacher and although my experience is limited with African preachers, IMHO he is one of the best speakers i heard. He is well liked by the brethren there, teaches well on his feet, and his wife Charity is a joyful, hospitible, supporter and encourager of his work. As well, she is the daughter of Mountbatton Brewer, gospel preacher and one of our trusted messengers. We solicit your prayers on behalf of Charity Chicombe. She is a worthy young Christian woman. Below is a pic, from left to right... Solomon and Charity Chicombe, and Charity's mother Linette Brewer. I apologize for forgetting the name of the other preacher on the right that was visiting that evening.

The above needs have drained the operations account. If you feel confident in our judgment in how we use these funds we'd invite you partner in these needs by sending your donation to the Indiana account listed on this website. By all means however, if you have to choose between FOOD and OPERATIONS, choose food. That is our main thrust here at Open Hearts Helping Hands.

As usual, for more info or questions you can always check out our website farther at www.OpenHeartsHelpingHands.com or email me direct at mcmurray@spiritbuilding.com.

Remember that Open Hearts Helping Hands IS an IRS 501(c)3 tax deductible organization.  We make no bones about standing here with our hand out. :-)

I cannot thank you enough for joining with us in this effort. God will reward your efforts.

Mac