GREETINGS TO ALL OUR PARTNERS - FEBRUARY 2014,

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.

What's been going on?

We continue to see positive changes in this work of assisting Christians in desperate need. The economy over the last couple of years in Zimbabwe seems to have done somewhat better for the brethren and the rains in the Northwest, although sometimes running the rivers out of their banks have been a blessing to those who had seed to plant. Talk of the drought in this area has almost ceased. The T'sholotsho region where most of your dollars go to help Christians among the over 25 congrgations in this area has gradually required less and less assitance.We are presently shipping approximately twice per year with food and/or seed.

The men who serve as delivery people continue to travel into the bush areas and preach the gospel to receptive souls. Month by month the number of Christians continue to grow in this field of labor.

Has there been a need for food?

Yes and no. Although the T'sholotsho area of Northwestern Zim has decreased in need, our new area of work has increased.

As new congregations among the San people (the original bushmen of of Zimbabwe) were established over the past four years the need of these babes, these New Testament Christians grew since these people lacked basic neccesities such as blankets for the colder months or any means to establish themselves as farmers and locate in an area where congregations could be formed and grow, giving up their nomadic bush lifestyle. Some of the deliveries from 2013 are pictured below.

 

WHAT ABOUT NOW, WHERE ARE WE?

Last year, during 2013 approximately $20,000 was raised and sent in two shipments, one in the spring and one in fall as requests for food came in. Although we are encouraging and accepting donations every month, we try to save up for these requests for aid. Help continues to arrive via PayPal and checks from across the nation.

A special opportunity arose last year. Additionally and seperated from the food account for Zimbabwe we were excited to be invited to help with gathering funds for Gabby Otvos. She is the wife of a Romanian preacher who was in desperate need of surgery on a large tumor located on her kidney. Because her husband is fully supported from outside the country he could not access the health care system in Romania. Dr. Donald Langley, in Lakeland, FL arranged for them to come to the U.S. get the the surgery, recuperate and return and we are happy to report at last word that sister Otvos is doing famously. That was a $50,000 effort also funded by individuals who love the Lord and their brethren.

I preached a meeting with the Southwest congregation in Lakeland in March and met/spoke with Roxanne Otvos, the daughter of Mario and Gabby Otvos who is presently living here in the U.S. while attending school. She was very gracious and extremely thankful for all the help that was poured out for her mother and reported that Gabby is home in Romania and doing wonderful. Roxy is pictured here.

OUR PROMISE TO YOU REMAINS THE SAME

in spite of being falsely accused by some, 100% of your funds given for food continues to go into an account for food and transport. That account is located in Florida and is kindly administered by Jeanne Sullivan.

We have an "operations" account that many of you have funded separate and apart, in a different bank account, in a different state (Indiana), to pay for accounting fees, Gov't fees, preacher support, medical travel and Dr's bills, donkeys, bicycles, computer replacement, tuition, plows, blankets, and other one-time needs for Christians. These things are in addition to the figure above. 100% of the money given to the food account has, does, and always will go to food and transport.

All the above is what YOU have been doing for the past five years. No one associated with this effort receives any pay. Our work is all volunteer. All gifts and contributions and results come from concerned and giving Christians like you. This work is yours in the name of Jesus.

CLOSING NOTES THAT BEAR REPEATING

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.

ROUND UP...

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