Trip Reports

Moldova: Missions Trip Report 2017

Throughout the New Testament epistles, the writers are greeting the churches, encouraging them, and sending aid when it’s needed. We are grateful to have this type of relationship with Victor Pavlovski and the work of the Pentecostal Union throughout Moldova.

A team from Heartland visited our friends in Moldova in July of 2017 and were so privileged to see how God is blessing the many outreaches of the churches there. They truly are doing just what Jesus commanded in Matthew 25…

34Then the king will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
35For I was hungry
and you gave Me something to eat;
I was thirsty
and you gave Me something to drink;
I was a stranger and you took Me in;
36I was naked and you clothed Me;
I was sick and you took care of Me;
I was in prison and you visited Me.’
37“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? 38When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or without clothes and clothe You? 39When did we see You sick, or in prison, and visit You? ’
40“And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’

The video created by our tv crew really shows this well as they chronicled the trip. Thank you for your continued prayers for our friends around the globe.
Our missions team to Oaxaca, Mexico, included students from both Heartland Christian College and Heartland Christian Academy. They were honored to serve in the mountains with local families as they painted a church and gathered wood for needy families in the area. They also participated in church meetings in the city.

Mexico 2016 from hlandtv on Vimeo.

For several years now, id318 (Heartland Community Church youth group) students have headed to South Dakota each December to help with Christmas outreaches. This year, it was a joy to again work with Joe and Becky Flood, who moved from Heartland a few years ago to pastor a church there. It sure was cold, but sharing the story of Christmas with the Native Americans was an amazing privilege.

South Dakota ID318 2016 from hlandtv on Vimeo.


Tanzania 2016 from hlandtv on Vimeo.

It is amazing the things that God lets our church and our community be a part of. We had an awesome time in August visiting friends in Tanzania. Here’s a recap of our visit.

Tanzania 2015 from hlandtv on Vimeo.

We had the privilege to send a Missions Team to Tanzania in August. They went to help teach at a Pastors Conference and preach in several outdoor crusades. Our resident IT manager came along to work on installing some WIFI improvements.

Israel 2015 from hlandtv on Vimeo.

Heartland Community Church had the awesome opportunity to work with Seeds of Hope in building a house extension for 3 elderly widows. They lived on the second floor of a old store but could no longer climb the stairs. Our team was able to build the structure for a new kitchen and living area on the first floor.

Egypt 2015 from hlandtv on Vimeo.

This was a long trip for us, but God really gave us the energy to do His work. We took part in 4 conferences and held 30 different meetings all over Egypt.

Mexico 2014 from hlandtv on Vimeo.

 

Tanzania + Kenya 2014 from hlandtv on Vimeo.

 

PHILIPPINES, 2014

SPLENDOR AMONG THE THORNS

The beauty of the Philippine Islands is breathtaking, but the poverty of its people is heart breaking and at times overwhelming. Elegant palm trees filled with their coconut fruit as well as countless banana trees grace the crowded roadways in the cities and villages. As we drive along, I see tropical flowers and plants that grow randomly along streets and in the yards of well-manicured, Spanish style homes, giving the illusion of peace and tranquility. But now my senses are brought back to realityquickly as my eyes move to the next home. With no more than pieces of board, tin, or anything that can be used for shelter, someone makes this collection of what looks like debris, their home. Articles of clothing lay draped over bushes and fences in anticipation of drying. But this is the rainy season when heavy downpours of rain come several times a day; it seems no amount of hanging out will allow this clothing to dry. And then there’s the high humidity that keeps everything damp. It makes me wonder if the poorest of the poor are ever dry. So go the impressions of my first visit to the Philippines.

Recently, I had an opportunity to go with our church group on a mission trip to the Philippine Islands. I really didn’t know why at the time, but I felt like it was something I needed to do. It was during our first stop in Dipolog, Mindanao that I begin to understand why I was there. As I was introducing myself to people at a pastor’s conference, I met a twenty-three year-old young woman who takes the gospel to the tribal people in the mountains of Mindanao. As she told me about herself and the work she did, our hearts quickly connected and she confided that her mother didn’t approve of the work she was doing.

“My mother wants me to get married and have a family”, she said, “But I don’t feel that’s what God wants me to do”. “I feel confused, I want to obey my mother but I know I need to obey Jesus also”. “I just don’t know what to do”.

She was beginning to doubt that she was doing the right thing with her life. Maybe she should listen to her mother and go home. We were able to talk during the breaks between sessions and I encouraged her to keep doing what God had called her to do, which was to preach and teach her people the gospel.

“I can understand your desire to obey your mother” I said, “But the Bible tells us we need to obey God first”. “I know He will give you peace about this if you just trust Him”.

At the end of the pastor’s conference, she thanked me for words of encouragement and the confirmation she needed for the courage and strength to go on.

After the Dipolog conference we headed by boat to Dumaguete City on the Negros Oriental island. I was hoping to see some dolphins and the scenery around the island, but that didn’t happen! What was supposed to be a four hour boat ride during the day turned into a seven hour stay on the boat with the last four hours during the night due to a mechanical problem that had to be corrected before we could leave port. This boat, which was very unique to me, had beds to lie on instead of seats to sit on! And they were bunk beds at that! A sheet and light blanket were provided if you chose to sleep. After several hours of waiting to get started, I chose to sleep. We arrived at our hotel sometime after midnight Saturday evening and exhausted, I was able to finally get into a “real” bed.

Pastor Pino picked us up Sunday morning and took us to his home where we attended church services. The Pinos’ home also serves as the location for the Bible College that Bobby and Noemi oversee. I was amazed at the amount of activity which takes place in such a little space. Currently there are about forty students attending the college. The students are housed, attend classes, and attend church services in an area that is about the size of an acre of land. The students also work in small garden plots where they learn to grow a variety of vegetables which they plant and tend. Bobby shared with me this is part of the student’s training for going into the mission field after college. When they graduate from college, most of the students will be serving in remote villages where space is limited and there is no funding. The students will need to know how to grow their own food and teach the villagers how to provide better food for their families. There are no modern conveniences to work the ground, such as a garden tiller or tractor. As a matter of fact, I don’t remember seeing even a hoe or rake! The students were on their hands and knees using small tools – and smiling! It was a humbling experience to see their eagerness to work and learn, especially when given a bare amount of tools to do the work. As our visit progressed and we travelled around the area, I noticed that lack of modern equipment to work with was a common problem in every area in the Philippines.

Monday morning we moved to another hotel or I should say “resort” for a pastor’s conference. The resort was situated by the ocean allowing me to watch fishing boats and passenger boats come and go which I had opportunity to do in the early morning hours. There was always a cool breeze coming off the water that made sitting outside pleasant, even with the high humidity. During this stay, I was able to share a room with two of the college girls. It gave me a chance to get to know the girls and have a better understanding of what their daily life was like. One evening after a meeting, we were sitting on the beds talking. I kept hearing a strange sound I had never heard before.

Finally I asked, “What is that sound”?

One of the girls said as she pointed to the ceiling, “It’s just a lizard”.

What was ordinary to the girls made me jump in fright and surprise! Of course both of them burst out laughing. Regaining my composure, I explained I wasn’t accustomed to having lizards in my bedroom. However, I had to get use to it for that night because the little guy stayed parked directly above my bed waiting for an unsuspecting bug. In fact, pretty much anywhere I went at the resort, I could look up on the ceiling or wall and see lizards!

On Wednesday we moved to yet another hotel. This one was without lizards! In the evening, we drove about an hour and a half out of Dumaguete City to a village. We attended a crusade Wednesday and Thursday evening which was the beginning of planting a church in that village.

After the service on Thursday evening, there were a few people who gave their life to Jesus and committed to being discipled. We met two young men, aged nineteen and twenty-three, who would be responsible for over-seeing the small congregation and follow up with teaching the new converts. My thoughts went back to the beginning of the early Church Era and what it must have been like for Timothy and Titus when Paul set them over a new congregation. I never dreamed I would see with my own eyes the beginning of a new congregation or be part of that beginning. But, here it was happening! The two young men we met were trained and eager to start, but they had so little to work with. They had rented a room in the village to live in. However, they lacked basic supplies like dishes and pans and supplies which I have in abundance in my home. When I heard about their lack, I was able to give some money to help buy a few things. It amazed me how grateful they were with so little. I only wished I had more to give them. I’m looking forward to hearing about these young men in the future. I know God will use them in mighty ways.

We ended our trip on Friday and headed back to the States. I can honestly say I have a whole new perspective when I compare the abundant life that I live with the lack that others suffer. I’ve had to live in some pretty poor conditions in my life, but I don’t think I have had to struggle as much as I saw people struggling just for their daily food.  I heard stories from some of the pastors we met about tribal people in the mountains having only coconuts to eat and they were running out of the coconuts. I talked with young people about struggles with family members  that didn’t understand their desire to put God first.  I saw people digging in the sand during low tide for fish or whatever was edible the sea had left behind. It would be their evening meal, if they were fortunate enough to find something. I saw people proudly holding a plastic bowl they had won as their name was drawn for a raffle prize. Yes, I saw extreme poverty, but I also saw extreme beauty. But I’m convinced, the most memorable beauty I saw was in the faces of the people who were trusting God for their daily needs. Whether it was going into the mountains to take the gospel to the tribal people, where life could end if the people didn’t accept their message or watching people with up-lifted hands and radiantly smiling faces as they worshipped God; I found in the Philippines, there is indeed “Splendor Among the Thorns”!

– Aline Marshall

 

 

India ’14 from hlandtv on Vimeo.

Brazil ’13 from hlandtv on Vimeo.

Israel ’13 from hlandtv on Vimeo.

South Dakota 2013 from hlandtv on Vimeo.

Egypt ’13 from hlandtv on Vimeo.

India ’13 from hlandtv on Vimeo.

Mexico ’12 from hlandtv on Vimeo.

Colombia 2012 from hlandtv on Vimeo.

Philippines ’12 from hlandtv on Vimeo.

Moldova ’12 from hlandtv on Vimeo.

ISRAEL, November 2011

While we were in Israel it became very clear how divisive “religion” can be. I’m not talking just about the age old struggle between Palestinians and Jews (Ishmael and Isaac) which is very apparent by the massive physical walls that separate them, but the struggle among the different denominations there as well. It was heartbreaking to see and hear about the disunity among the body of Christ. Whether it was the Traditional or Orthodox churches, we heard about the disunity from church leaders as well as our tour guides.

As usual, Pastor Charlie gave a challenging message everywhere he spoke, whether it was in Jerusalem, Bethlehem or Nazareth. He spoke to Arab and Jewish leaders and to their church members about being unified, loving one another, laying aside their differences, and putting Christ first. He also had the privilege of speaking at Bethlehem Bible College, encouraging and challenging the students and faculty there.

Touring the “Seeds of Hope” Kindergarten and Daycare, the work that Tass and Karen are called to do in Jericho and Jerusalem, was definitely a highlight. Meeting the workers and children there was such a blessing too. There is a great need for their work as well as it being an outreach tool to model the Christian life. Tass and Karen were such gracious hosts. We were so blessed during our time there with them. We need to “Pray for Jerusalem”, and that Israel as a whole would come to understand that it is about a “relationship” with Jesus Christ, not about one’s “religion”. People kill people over religion, but we learn to love and forgive one another with the right relationship with Christ, putting Him first instead of our own particular beliefs. Lord Jesus, may it be forever in our hearts, that whatever we do, it is all about you!

– Joe Flood

 

EGYPT, September 2011

The Bible says in Romans 10:15, “As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!” That was the purpose to a trip to Egypt from 09/26 to 10/04/2011 by Dave Barton and me (Ashraf Ibrahim). We went there not only to preach for the sake of preaching but to carry with the Believers that burden they carry because of the current situation in Egypt. You may be aware of that news that started in the first day of 2011 by bombing a church killing more than 25 Coptic, and hundreds got hurt. Then that shooting in train to a new Christian engaged couple with their families, some died and others got hurt. Then the revolution which brings some of the lawless thugs everywhere, stealing, high prices, no security, and with an uncertain future.

We went there to give our friends not our hollow words but the word of God that encouraged them and pushed them forward. We met with about 100 leaders in a meeting and more than 60 pastors in another meeting. Also, we had many meetings with the people and individuals. We tried to help them with many different ways, and on the last day, we showed them a DVD that our church did for them which Pastor Charles and other leaders talk a word of encouragement to them.

They repeatedly said that they are so grateful for our coming as they touch the practical way of love for us to go there in that dangerous time just to check on them. They felt how we as Heartland church love them and we are caring about them. Please, pray for the people there and the church. May God protect them and move in the midst of all these troubles.

-Ashraf Ibrahim

 

PHILIPPINES, June 14-24, 2011

The trip this year was broken up into two main sections. For the first time our entire team, which consisted of Charlie and Laurie Sharpe, Dave Barton, Kris Palmer, Tina Shively, Joe Moore, Jaymes Schrock, James Powell, Floyd Morgan, and Theresa Chouteau, went to Mindanao to attend a pastor’s conference of about 175 men and women. Pastor Charlie spoke of living a life of holiness and of having a great passion for the people in our churches. We saw a great response from the pastors there with much weeping and a great desire to reach their communities.

After this pastors conference, the team headed to Dumaguete City for our next pastors conference. Kris Palmer and I stayed in Ipil in order to speak at a couple of churches and have some deep fellowship with our friend Jamie Tan, then met the rest of the team on that Monday to begin our conference. The men and women at this conference were very receptive to the words that were brought forth.  Every time there was a chance to respond the men and women were very responsive to the Holy Spirit and the messages that He was bringing to them.

After the conference during the day on Monday and Tuesday we held a crusade in a city square for reaching out to the lost. During these meeting Pastor Charlie spoke and we saw several come and give their lives to the Lord. They also did a rice raffle for those who attended. This brought people in and also fed families that won the rice for many days.

Over all this was a very productive trip with many pastors encouraged and trained and also many souls added to the kingdom of God.

– Joe Moore


OAXACA, MEXICO 2011
We departed from Heartland with fresh snow on the ground, encountered more snow in Kansas City and landed in Oaxaca to be greeted by 70 degree temperatures.

Friday morning we toured the Erich Pollins Academy Preschool and Primary School that are operated by Fraternidad Christiana, better known as Frater. Frater is the church where our friends Lictor and Rosita Cruz are pastors.

Frater has the only Protestant Christian school in the city (Oaxaca has a population of over one million). It has been a struggle for them to jump through the bureaucratic hoops in order to establish and then continue to operate the school. They currently have eighty students in preschool, one-hundred fifty students in primary and close to one hundred in secondary.

It was great to see the advances that had been made in the classrooms and teaching areas. Academy Erich Pollins is making a great impact in the city.

Friday evening Pastor Charlie spoke to a group of about one hundred men from the Frater Church. The men in attendance covered all the age groups and were both married and single. Pastor encouraged them to seek God to be able to live pure lives and in order to be men of God in all the different facets of their lives.

Saturday morning we had two sessions with church leadership, teachers and cell group leaders. Pastor Charlie and Dave Barton both shared. The theme was being united behind your leaders.

Saturday evening, Pastor Charlie shared with the youth group. There were eighty plus kids attending. Pastor Charlie shared with them about being open in all the facets of their lives; to leave nothing hidden from the light of God in their lives. The Holy Spirit moved and kids responded in a truly supernatural way. Their lives were touched and kids were weeping with repentance. One of the main points Pastor Charlie made was honesty with their parents.

Sunday morning and evening Pastor Charlie shared in both services. The morning service saw about five to six hundred in attendance, being the main service of the week. Since there are people who may not be able to attend midweek or evening services, they come to the Sunday morning service. Arriving by various means of private and public transportation, people gather for a fellowship time before service. The evening service saw two hundred plus gather.

It was great to see the move of God in Oaxaca. The Church is growing and moving forward; Frater is an integral part of this Church and what God is doing in Oaxaca. They continue to thrive and grow in the midst of opposition and even persecution.

Pray for Oaxaca, for Lictor, Rosita and the entire Frater congregation!
– Mark Shiveley

INDIA 2010
A Heartland Mission Team traveled to India in early December 2010 to support and serve Pastor Paul Varghese and his church. Pastor Paul has been a friend of Heartland for twelve years and faithfully travels to attend our mission conference on an annual basis. The team from Heartland consisted of Pastor Charlie, Mark Shiveley, Edmond Soo, Dan White, James Powell, Jaymes Schrock, and Dave Barton.

The goal of the trip was to be a strength to the work Pastor Paul is doing in the city of Aurangabad which is located in the state of Maharashtra. While in Aurangabad the team was able to minister and hold a pastor’s conference, a youth meeting, evening crusades, conduct a church service, and hold a chapel for a school. The altars were filled at every meeting with people desiring to either make a commitment to the Lord for the first time or renew their devotion to Him. The evangelistic crusades especially saw many respond. Pastor Charlie preached a very clear gospel that required a response of making Jesus the only God and Lord of one’s life. This is extremely important in India as they have many gods and are given to just add Jesus to their list.

Every member of the team was able to share their testimony or give a word of encouragement at some time on the trip. Dan White, the worship leader at HACC, ministered in song and joined the worship team from Pastor Paul’s church in leading worship for the different meetings. One of the highlights for the team and especially touched Pastor Charlie was our ability to share in the ministry of feeding some beggars and giving them gifts of clothing. Pastor Paul and his people do this every Sunday afternoon and it was a very humbling experience.

It was a tremendous privilege to be able to serve and encourage our dear friend Pastor Paul. While our respect and admiration was high for him and his work, this was only elevated by what we were able to see and experience while there. He and his people are wonderful men and women of God who sacrifice every day to be a light in a dark place. Paul’s wife, Lissy, is such a testimony of what a woman of God can do when you give everything you have and are to Jesus. She not only takes care of and nurtures and feeds her own family of five, but has extended her loving arms to embrace another thirty or so young men in their bible college and music team. She does so with a smile that reflects Jesus in spite of the sacrifice required. We have been able to help them by purchasing them a dining set, a refrigerator, and a washing machine. We are also in the process of helping them purchase a new mini-bus. These purchases, while they mean a lot to Paul and his family, seem but the least we can do to support these wonderfully awesome people of God. The Vargheses and their church family truly are the royalty spoken of in 1 Peter 2:9.
– Dave Barton

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