GREETINGS TO ALL OUR PARTNERS - FEBRUARY 2012,

WHAT'S THE NEWS FROM OPEN HEARTS HELPING HANDS?

That's always the question that comes our way when we run late with these reports (And I'm always late somehow) This is nothing more (or less) than your effort, an effort of New Testament Christians who care, so your concern is welcomed.

How about a summation?

During 2011 our partners (that you reader!) contributed just under $34,000 to helping New Testament Christians family by family. As you already know, these contributions were/are ALL from individual pocketbooks, wallets, checkbooks, charge cards, garage sales, giving up lunches, children's chore money, movie money, pizza money, and numerous other INDIVIDUAL sources. No funds were requested or accepted from any church treasuries. I've got to say that efforts like this make me so proud of my Christian brothers and sisters that it sometimes causes me to weep. Basically those funds were spent on a food shipment of nearly $14,000, another one of $13,000 and a seed purchase of nearly $7,000.

Additionally, OH3 was able to basically rebuild the truck that brother Mountbatton Brewer has put over half a million miles on, while he preaches and delivers food to brethren. If you remember, Brewer slid off off the road and pretty well totaled the truck last year putting him and us almost out of business. We finished off that rebuild with four new tires in January

The truck, out of business a few months ago and then back to work...

WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON?

The last time you heard from me and OH3 was August and the four tons of seed that YOU purchaced through OH3 was in and food requests from the Tsholotsho area (Northwest Zimbabwe) was down. Thanks to God and our partners approximately 120 villiages where New Testament Christians were located were eased from the food shortage problem.

Please let me add a note here. There are a number of evangelists that are working in DIFFERENT areas of Zimbabwe to help Christians procure food and seed at the right seasons. The rainfall over the year can be different from North to South and from East to West. Needs can be different at different times of the year and although those helping in these different areas can overlap in their efforts sometimes, sometimes reports can be confusing. We at OH3 do not presume to speak to the needs of the whole nation or even outside the particular areas where we are focused on the needs of Christians, but only in the Northwest area of Zim where we try and keep close contact with our messengers. Leslie Maydell (coming up from S. Africa), Paddy Kendall-Ball, and Al Payne are just a few of the names of men who come quickly to mind who are working in other areas. There are other good men working also and we would just ask that you might keep reports from different areas of the country in their context. Becasue one area has rainfall, good crops, and a good report does not neccessarily contradict another part of the county having scarce rainfall and resultant hard times.

Becasue the immediate food needs in Tsholosho were lessened over the past few months, OH3 was able to turn its attention to the San people. We have introduced these folks to you as the original bushmen of Zimbabwe. Christians of that group in quite a few villiages, a number that is growing by leaps and bounds, are in the process of changing their culture from a seasonally roaming, hunting and gathering culture to a farm based agrarian culture where local congregations can exist, worship together as spiritual families, and encourage one another. Oh3 has helped in that effort from our Operations fund (NOT the food fund) by helping to purchase donkeys and ploughs and corral lumber for farm work. Brewer, Chicombe, Lunga, and the other men that work together to deliver food and seed also preach and teach and hold protracted meetings with the San as they make their rounds. Almost every report of their travels bring news of baptisms and growing congregations among the San People.

Some of these meetings/preachers are pictured below.

As well, note the cool mobile baptistries that they use...

FROM LAST YEAR ALSO...

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 those funds have been comepetely replaced, due once more to the generosity of our partners. Below is the latest pic we have of Charity and Solomon and their family, cancer freel

 

We're going to leave you with this last pic, below, from Zimbabwe. I hope it means as much to you as it did to me when I read the tagline that brother Brewer attached to it in his report. His description of this pic was, "San people being addressed by headman who gave words of wisdom and thanks to OH3 for all their help." That reference to OH3 is you, reader. What a great thing you have done in the Lords name.

ABOUT THE BUSINESS OF FOOD...

We have recently been contacted by Brewer with the statement that last years food crop, although good, is about used up and some are beginning to need food help again. We are gathering funds as quickly as possible for another food shipment, but we're only about halfway there. If you've been wondering about the need, stop wondering. Now would be the perfect time to spread the word that funds are needed once again. Things have been improving and we pray that they will continue to improve for our brethen in Zimbabwe, but for now, the opportunity to extend a "cup of cold water" in the Savior's name is still present. Can you help?

ROUND UP...

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 and travel, 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.

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.

LAST WORD...

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