GREETINGS TO ALL OUR PARTNERS - AUGUST 2011,

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

That's the question that comes our way when we run late with these reports. Although we are embarrassed to be late... again, we are truly glad you care enough to ask. This is nothing more (or less) than an effort of New Testament Christians who care, so your concern is welcomed.

There have been a number of ups and downs since our last report in March. Let me run through them so you can see what YOU have done, and then as always, my email box is open if you have any questions.

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 is what we told you in our last report, and we praise God for answered prayers. Hope came to fruition as all over Tsholotsho crops were harvested and requests for food decreased dramatically among our brethren in that area. Those four tons of seed you purchased for brothers and sisters there really paid off.

The fact that they weren't burdened with delivering food supplies however, did not stop the men we work with from continuing to visit these villiages and study with brethren and visitors. Mountbatton Brewer writes in one of his reports...In my last report I told you about the meetings that was to be at Magabelana in Tsholotsho. 350 people attended and in the evening the number was about 400.See photos. I thank all brethren who attended and all those who worked hard to prepare for that meeting. 03 June to 05 June.

Some of these meetings are pictured below.

One of the "downs" that we experienced in this "up and down work" was during the return from one of these trips. Again, let me quote from from one of Mountbatton's letters. Hello,
Monday, 18 April a little after 8pm. From a preaching trip with Solomon and Israel Lunga. It had rained too much. The roads bad as they are and very slippery. I slipped off the road to the thick bushes. We were stopped by a stub that hocked the rear exel. The truck is damaged
.

"Damaged" was a slight under use of terms. If he had been most of us, the truck would have been totaled. The radiator, front end, steering gear, and even the the engine was damaged. Luckily, I suppose, Brewer has worked with a mechanic shop before that seems to do well by him. For $13000, he got everything replaced, including a new motor and a paint job. We have been setting money aside for repairs, replacement, and things like this in our transportation fund so although it emptied the coffers of OH3 we were able to help in this need without further requests for funds from you, our partners. This was a great relief to all of us here at OH3 as we know that many out there have already sacrificed. Note his accident below and also note that none of the men were hurt in the wreck. Again, we thank God.

One of the "UPs" that we can report on was the successful removal of a cervical cancer from Charity Chicombe. She had to go to South Africa for the procedure and again for a follow up, but as of this writing this mother of two and wife to Solomon Chicombe, gospel preacher and another of OH3's messengers has been declared cancer free and is healthy and well. We rejoice with this young family who has been going through so much over the past few months.

OH3 did assist the Chicombe's with their medical bills and travel to South Africa. This was done from the operations fund, not the food fund, and if you have checked out the NEWS page on our website OPENHEARTSHELPINGHANDS.COM you can see that that we're not quite halfway to replacing those funds. If you'd like to help us replace those funds in our operations fund, there are direction on that page and I will thank you in advance.

ABOUT THE BUSINESS OF FOOD...

In our last report we wrote... 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. Those 400 families were fed, and then have eaten of their harvest and have not needed food in this past quarter. We're thankful for that and interpret that as an improvement in the situation in Zimbabwe.

You might recall however, that four congregations of the San people were not able to be helped. We just didn't have the funds. They have "gotten by" till their crops came in. With seed that YOU provided planted in furrows ploughed by donkeys that YOU bought for these brethren. They have eaten their crops up though and now are asking for help. This is an on going effort in helping these bethren change from the nomadic lifestyle of the original bush people to an agrarian lifestyle where they can meet together and form local congregations to encourage and help one another serve God. YOU have helped them with donkeys, plows, seed, blankets and food. There are now four congregations of San people numbering about 180 families. It is a difficult things to get the food into the bush and across the Black River where they live, but Mountbatton Brewer continues to go and teach and YOU are backing up that teaching with your concern.

Just this past week YOU provided four and half tons of meal and vegetables in 50 kilo increments for these 180 Christian families. Back in the late spring Brewer warned that this need might arise and we are glad that with your help, this need could be met. Once again, our coffers are near empty, but brothers and sisters and their children are eating and that is our goal, not money in some bank.

The picture above is one of Brewer crossing the Black River to get into the territory of the San people. What you're seeing are all the young men who wait by the river to push you through if you get stuck in the sandy bottom. They do this with the hope that you will tip them something for the help they offer. The picture on the right is one of the "shed" where the San people usually meet for worship. Here they are meeting for a special study with the arrival of Brewer, Solomon and Esrael.

Above left, Brewer preaches to another congregation of the San people. Notice the blocks that they have begun to collect. They are obtaining and saving these as they are able to build themselves a meeting house. Above right, the San recognize their own responsibilities as one of the San brothers takes a turn at preaching. This congregation is in the midst of great cultural changes as we described above and only a couple of years old, yet brothers are already accepting that they need to become teachers themselves. Praise God.

ROUND UP...

The brethren have food, Charity Chicombe is given a good report from her cancer Dr., and Brewer's truck should be repaired and back on the road soon. God has blessed this effort this past quarter and he's done it through your hearts and your love for your brethren. Thank you so much for making this work possible. Special thanks to those who have added Open Hearts Helping Hands to their bill-pay function at their bank and help us on a regular basis. We couldn't do this without you. Also special thanks to those who spread the word through the churches and bring other partners onboard. You are jewels indeed.

It bears repeating that 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 funded only by donations that are directed specifically to that account. We use the OPERATIONS account for everything besides food and transport. 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.

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.

ONE LAST WORD...

i hesitate to mention this last note, but i'm compelled to. One of Brewers helpers is a teacher and preacher by the name of Esrael Lunge. Esrael has a family consisting of his wife Sibo, two children and his young sister. Esrael receives $100 per month to support his family by preaching and working with Brewer. With the dollars plunge in value and the acceptance of the US dollar now in Zimbabwe, Esrael was forced to leave the compound where his family lived and he kept the grounds to supplement his support. He is now forced to live without running water and even a flush toilet. One child has already had a medical emergency that came close to claiming her life. If you or your congregation can assist this young man to reach his budgeted request of $300 per month that would be a blessing. You can contact him by email directly, and OH3 would even act as your messenger (indivuduals only please, no congregations) so you could claim the tax deduction. For more information, Esrael's email for direct contact, or to assist him contact Mike Divis at MikyyyD@aol.com.

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