Thursday, December 31, 2009
...And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be His people and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
He who was seated on the throne said, " I am making everything new!"... Rev 21:3-5
Happy New Year!
I pray your new year finds you as blessed as I feel I am right now, we spent the day (New Year's Eve) in 2 remote villages feeding approximately 220 families who are extremely poor, we visited the home of a family who collected cow dung and sold it as fertilizer, as their primary source of income. They invited us into their houses and into their lives, it was humbling and uncomfortable. But through ut all we say Him!
We have had some guests with us on this trip, one couple from HCM and their infant son. Ester and Tuan, have blessed us in the short time we have gotten to know them. Today she started the day off with her testimony, Wow. She decribed a life of bitterness, despair to the point of the entire familiy attempting suicide, oppression, and pain. But as He promises, one day she found Jesus, and her whole family soon followed. The result is what I belive is the same result we have, though we take it for granted.....HOPE. See Jesus makes "All things new" He delivered Ester and her family from despair and gave them a forever! Their current lives show no resemblance to their past, I am not sure I have met a more joyful, loving, caring, warm person in my life. The radiance of Christ is overwhelming in her life and it is contagious and convicting, because we have all been offered the same salvation from our dispair and depravity, yet even those of us who accept the salvation, do not fully understand our depravity enough to accept the full glory of Chirst in our lives. Every where we went and with everyone she could, she shared her salvation and offered His glory to others. It was a blessing to watch.
We finished the day by playing with the kids and then taking the older kids out to eat ice cream, again what a joy to be part of His love to these precious little ones. Many have been saved from death, while others have been rescued from horrible abuse and mistreatment, and now have a chance to find The Hope and cling to the promise that all things will be made new and there will be a day of no more tears.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
I will be posting periodically an update about the trip. You can also follow us at www.lostorphans.org
We covet your prayers and encouragement and feel free to ask me how to get involved.
Friday, October 23, 2009
So the question is “What can you and I do about it?”
It is easy to become overwhelmed by these numbers and believe there is nothing you can do to make a difference.
You can take action, and believe that together we can make a difference 1 child at a time. How, you ask?
- Visit the LOI website- www.lostorphans.com.- There you can read about the crisis in Vietnam and see the Hope that is being provided to abandoned children and expectant mothers. This Hope is soon to be expanded into Kenya and other parts of the world. To be part of this Hope:a. Click on the Rescue a Child tabb. Click on the “Click Here to Donate” line towards the bottom of the pagec. Click on the Give Now buttond. Select Lost Orphans in the pull down menue. Select “ Support a Child” (if you want to support a specific child I can get you a code to enter, otherwise your money will help support all the children at LOI)**Your donation will cost you less than a cup of Starbucks (or Texas Roast) a day, but will make the difference in 1 child’s life!
- You can “GO”….. a. What that means is that you can physically go. Our trip this December is full, but in 2010 we will have a summer trip to Vietnam, and we are planning some trips to Kenya to start our new partnership with Naomi’s Village. b. Or you can go financially with me. I am on the advisory board for LOI and will be traveling to Vietnam the day after Christmas to help expand the ministry in country. I will be working with the founders of LOI to try and gain favor with the local government, help set up better health care and water conditions for the community, as well as identifying future opportunities to serve the least and lost in Vietnam.
- You can pray! Pray for the 140 million orphans, that their plight will not go unheeded in our world today. Pray for the team and their families as they prepare to go and serve. Pray for the ministry of LOI that we would be wise in the decisions that are made and to gain favor where ever we go to make what ever difference we can make! (with your help)
So I am asking that you consider this request. This time last year I was sitting in your shoes and being challenged by someone I respect to answer the call. This will be my second trip to Vietnam and I look forward to serving with 23 others as well seek to live James 1:27 “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you”
If you would like to donate, I would first ask that you consider sponsoring a child. Their plight is far greater than my need to raise funds for a trip.
If after that, you feel lead and want to help offset, part of the $3000 cost of this trip, please follow the same instructions above for sponsoring a child. But after step “d.”, select TEAM MEMBER DONATIONS and put my name in the comments section so the funds will be properly applied.
Another option is to send a check made payable to Lost Orphans International.
Lost Orphans International P.O. Box 1388 McKinney,TX 75070
Please put my name and “Winter Trip” in the memo line. I covet your prayers for the team, the ones we serve and the ones yet to be served.
Michael Henry Mshenry20@yahoo.com
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
2. go to http://hv.thevillagechurch.net/sermons and listen to the following(you can also print them off to read)
Buying the Field
Heart Matters (Part 5)
Heart Matters (Part 4)
Heart Matters (Part 3)
Heart Matters (Part 2)
Heart Matters (Part 1)
3. Read "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan and "A Hole in the Gospel" by Richard Stearns
4. Go, give, seek
Friday, June 19, 2009
"We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake, O my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name." Daniel 9:18-19
JUNE. 18TH - Pray for a safe travel for the team, that each of us would remain healthy and energized. Pray for cohesiveness of our team, our focus unified, that our fatigue and travel would not hinder our spirit.
JUNE. 19TH -Pray for no opposition from the government of Vietnam. Intercede on behalf of Vietnam as a nation as Daniel did for the nation of Israel in Dan. 9:4-19
JUNE 20TH - Pray for our families left behind at home as we usher apart from each other( husbands taking care of the children without their mommy )
JUNE 21st - Pray that the Vietnamese would not see foreigners but ambassadors of Christ. Pray that God would prepare the hearts of those we come into contact with, allowing God's purpose be accomplished.Pray that Satan would not be allowed to distract us from our purpose there, that our own comfort would come from the Lord. Pray for our strength, that we would not grow weary and homesick.
JUNE 22ND - We have some ' literature ' to distribute. Pray that it would go into the right hands. Pray that each of us would be sensitive to the Spirit's leading, in all things!- Pray as God presents opportunities, we would be bold and courageous to share Christ, beyond just serving.- Pray for our joy in serving the the orphans, the sick and handicapped, the unlovely.Pray that God would make himself known to each of them.
JUNE 23RD - Pray for each of us by name.
1. JACK HARRISON ,
2. JOHN DAT NGUYEN
3. CHRISTINE THUY NGUYEN
4. TIMOTHY CYPERT ,
5. MONICA CYPERT ,
6. DEBRA AMERSON
7. GARY AMERSON
8. CELESTE GWYNN
9. LEE ANN FILLEBROWN
10. JENNIFER HENRY
11. NINA HAYES
12. MICHELLE MC NARY
13. VICKIE SMITH
14. PRISCILLA SWANSON
15. JESSICA TERRY
16. ALLISON TERRY
17. KATELYN TERRY
18. BRIDGETTE KING
19. CHRISTINA MC KOWN
20. JENNIFER WURSTER
21. LINDA CALVERT
22. MISTY BOUNDS
23. LORI WILKERSON
JUNE 24TH - Pray God for our freedom and pray for the troops overseas who protect that freedom.- Pray for our stamina. We must be tired.- Pray for our own spiritual growth in this experience, that each of us would be an encouragement to one another.- Pray our eyes be fixed on Jesus, that as we hope to minister to these destitute people, our own discomforts and ' issues ' would not matter.
JUNE 25TH - Pray that others would see our good deeds (action behind our faith) and that it would spark a desire for others to help.
JUNE 26TH - Pray that a system of adoption would be put into place so that the orphans there would have Christian homes and families. - Pray for Lost Orphans International Organization.
JUNE 27TH - Pray how we can further our involvement as a church.Pray for our safe return trip HOME!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Our involvement is to cook (100 dozen eggs, 40 lbs of bacon,toast, oatmeal, and assorted pastries and baked goods), but also to engage these people in conversation and offer to pray with them and just to listen to their "story."
Our "group" has also recently visited a nursing home on Valentine's day where our kids handed out Valentine treats to the men and women in the facility, we are scheduled to work at a community center in a couple of weeks that serves a large Hispanic and economically challenged neighborhood, here in Rockwall. Also we are scheduled to serve in a dinner worship service at a church in Oak Cliff that opens the doors to the homeless and mentally impaired people in that community. This organization offers a warm dinner and a place to worship every week.
Now I write this not to say look at us, but because I am struggling with the questions is this what I am supposed to be doing? Is this it? On the surface I get a great "feel good" from all this and I believe in the work that is being done, but in reality, it requires very little from me. Sure maybe a little courage and a Saturday night here and a little sleep there, but is that really a sacrifice?
I was introduced to a blog by my wife "The Journey" (you can find it in the section on the right side of this page in blogs I like). It is the blog of a 20 year old woman from Tennessee, who lives in Uganda with 15 kids (orphaned), the only way to describe her is to say she literally is "Jesus in skin" to that community. I challenge you to read her blog and see what I mean. I also have recently read about a couple of local high school kids who have done amazing things, in raising money to build water wells in 3rd world countries and serving the homeless of Dallas, and raising money for the Invisible Children of Uganda. Top that off with what we witnessed in Vietnam, where the sister who run the community there in LaGi are so selfless, that they beg for money, not for themselves, but to give away. And the family who basically left a cushy ministry job in a prominent church to start a ministry for the "crazies" on the streets.
In light of this and all the need, injustice, poverty, disease, hunger, the billions who live on less than$2 a day, the millions afflicted with HIV, the approx 140 million orphans world wide, and the millions who die each year having never heard the Gospel of Christ; are my deeds sufficient? Is my action or reaction to these challenges only enough to easy my conscience? Or should the fact that my Savior humbled Himself to give up His God form, to become flesh, and limit himself to humanistic traits; He gave all, including humility on a couple a pieces of wood, so that I could live the American Dream? No so that I can live eternity with my Creator. That should elicit a response from me that shows gratitude and an understanding that the effectiveness of our deeds in this world come from a focus on a promised one!
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Funny that 17 weeks later when we finally reached the community, there were 20 of us. I am thankful that I am surrounded by a group of friends that help me see clearly. I have always said I am a better coach than player; I like to challenge people, but people like Bill, Aaron, Mike, and Brian are good at throwing it back at me. It was clear to several of us that we were being called to go, but all had doubts, that is until He, decided to squash them in a matter of hours.
Over 400 families received food and money provisions; we were able to give every family at the food distributions a 22 lb bag of rice, 1 lb of sugar, 1 liter of fish sauce (protein), and a 5 Lb box of noodles. This along with the equivalent of $6 US will feed a family of 4 for 2-3 weeks. We also gave much needed clothes and shoes as well as balls and small toys. We also handed out over 400 Vietnamese Bibles.
All this was in addition to the supplies and love we shared with the kids at the Community in Vietnam. That community is the orphanage that the Lost Orphans organization supports. There are currently 49 children there and 1 expectant birth mother. There are also I believe 5 ladies who have recently had babies that are living and working there and will probably leave their babies there, because they have no way to care for them. The day we left another young lady stopped in who was expecting and agreed to give her baby over to the Sisters who run the community, this girl had the baby yesterday and they asked Tim Cypert to be the god father, sponsor the baby, and name the child. We had so much fun loving on these children and spending time with the them. We were able to provide them with some new clothes, shoes, took them for ice cream, and to the beach.
I was encouraged after seeing the community, these kids may or may not get adopted at some point, but regardless they will have the best care. They get a very nice home/facility to keep them safe, they get to eat 3 meals a day, they get to go to school (which is not free and many kids in families to do even get to do this), and the organization is working on a way to send them to college. The Sisters provide love, education, discipline, and teach the children about Christ's love. In many ways these kids have more opportunity than a large portion of the children living with families in Vietnam. Some of the older kids were left at the community as toddlers or young children and have heart wrenching stories. 4 of these children, the oldest are girls ages 5-7, they were the hardest to reach at first, but gradually came to trust us. These girls are beautiful and I am hopeful of a bright future for them. The rest of the group was either born into the community or left there as babies. It was awesome to watch the way God organized the team, with a diverse mix of people with different talents and passions. Everyone had a place that they naturally fit, so all aspects of the trip and the service were covered.
I again appreciate you willingness to be part of this, and know that I was blessed far beyond anything I could have imagined. I know that we don't have to travel literally to the other side of the world to see what I saw, but there is something to serving the least and the lost outside of our comfort zone. It challenges in ways you can not anticipate and removes barriers and strips you bare. I hope you all have been blessed in supporting us, that is my prayer for you, and I pray that God shows you and your family favor.
We are all called to give, pray, and go, though not everyone can do all at the same time, so I challenge each of you to continue to get uncomfortable and answer the question " wanna go?" as often as you can. Also please let me know how my family can support you as your walk down the roads God has put you on.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Gal 6:9-10
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Day 4- Jan 2, 2009
This was our last full day in LaGi with the Sisters and the kids. It was by far the most fun day we had. We started the day by picking up the Sisters and 2 of the kids. Twins My (Me) and Dat. They were all dressed up, My is a beautiful little girl, who I think is almost 3. we went of to a remote mountain village that is government sponsored for an ethnic minority group. We provided provisions for 96 families and again the people were very grateful and it was a joy to bring them a blessing.
The Vietnamese people are a very sturdy and strong group. They also surprised us with their strength. The other thing I noted was their sense of community, it seems they looked out for each other, I guess as a matter of survival.
We also toured a few homes in the area, which were the homes of some men who have Leprosy. These men live in huts outside the family home. It was very difficult, because at first it was very awkward. The men thought we were there to make a spectacle of him, but the Sister explained, that we wanted to pray for him and talk to him about Jesus. This turned the situation around, as he explained that he knew Jesus and wanted to Bible to read. So we presented him with the Good Word and prayed over him. It was very surreal seeing him and imagining what it would be like to be afflicted with such a horrible condition. But God is good and this man was filled with joy from the encounter.
After our work, we had lunch and went to the community (Orphanage). There we loaded up 20 of the kids and headed to the beach. The sisters were able to round up 7 mopeds and we got to jump on them and ride the 10 miles to the beach. It was crazy, 14 adults an 5 kids on 7 mopeds....now that is Vietnamese style!! See in Vietnam the main mode of transportation is a moped..though these are more like a cross between a moped and motorcycle. The Vietnamese will carry an entire family on 1 moped, so 2 adults and 2-3 children will be on 1 moped!!! The craziest part is that only the adults are required to wear helmets!!!!!
I drove with Kim Cook, my dad had Jennifer Wurster, Frank had Lauren Burden, Aaron drove Bill and Nhoung, and so on. We were quite a site rolling through town and attracted alot of strange looks and laughs from the locals. We also were blessed that no one was injured, even though there were many wrong turns and of course we drove in Vietnam where there are no real driving laws.
We also engaged a few locals in beach/surf soccer. It was very funny, a bunch over big out of shape very white Americans against very lean locals! They however thought we would be easy targets and underestimated us. All of us have or currently play soccer, so we surprised them a bit. It was a fun time and they were all great sports, after the short game we shook hands and embraced, it was amazing. We were in Vietnam, on a beach, playing soccer in the winter!
Our third day in Vietnam was amazing. We started the day by going out to a remote village near the mountains. We were not able to get the bus down the dirt road to the distribution point, so a local brought his ox drawn cart to help. We loaded it up and went on down the road!
The next stop was at a seaside village, where many very poor people reside. These people would be considered homeless in the States. However in Vietnam the government provides shelter, but no food or water. Where as we provide food and water then shelter. So we traveled to the area to feed about 120 families along with the help of the local Red Cross. Aaron was asked to pray at this stop. We had a great time interacting with the people and helping them carry their provisions. These people were so grateful and happy we were there, but also had a great spirit about them and dignity.
It was a moving experience, as Frank is pictured with a former leader of the S Vietnamese military, who was stripped of all property and status after the war, yet still organized and lead this group with dignity. I was asked to help this man (18 yrs old)to be carried along with his provisions to his family. He is one of many children born severally incapacitated because of the effects of the chemicals used during the war. It has become so apparent that while the US suffered a severe emotional, mental, and physical loss in the war, the Vietnamese suffered so much more. Regardless of your opinion of the war and the politics involved, the toll on these people is tragic. There are parts of the country side still devastated by our herbicides and a large portion of a whole generation of men is dead. And those still alive are handicapped from a war injury or face other obstacles. We saw very few 40-60 year old men who were fully functioning and healthy.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
We also saw the grave of a 3 month old orphan that was sick and died the day we arrived. I was moved by the grief Sister Mia and the other nuns, not that I would not expect them to be sad, but they were crushed. I shows the love and devotion that these sisters have for the children.
These pictures are of 2 of the older girls, Tram and Ngung.