We love missions at Heartland Vineyard Church. In fact, we believe everyone who has Christ living in his or her heart is a missionary. We have a mission, that is, a call to make disciples of people living around us. We are called to reach out to all people, from family members to neighbors, from classmates to people at work to friends to complete strangers. God wants everyone to know that He loves them and has made a way through the death of His son for them to inherit eternal life.
I received this note from one of the students that attend our youth group. As I read this story about Emma M., I was flooded with emotion. I have been praying that young men and women would be raised up within our church to serve God in the field of mission. Hear the passion in this teenager’s heart.
I’m Emma M., a 7th grader who attends One Way Youth Group here at Heartland Vineyard. In 2007, my grandpa went to Hands & Feet Orphanage, right outside of Jacmel, Haiti and a desire to serve there was born in my family! My mom and sister have gone to Haiti twice, my dad once and my grandpa has made the trip three times. We have also sponsored a Haitian boy, Roosevelt, at the orphanage. In 2013, I finally was 12 years old and was able to visit Haiti and see with my own eyes what the orphanage is all about.
I had started to make “survivor bracelets” over the fall of 2012 and decided it was something I could share with the Haitian children and nannies at Hands & Feet, so I ordered LOTS of cord and started making and selling bracelets for $4. My school helped me set up a table at lunch and I was able to pay for all my bracelet supplies to sell and 200 bracelet kits to take to Haiti! Along with that, I earned about $700 to spend on deodorant, cake mixes, tooth paste, flip flops and crayons to help stock the orphanage with supplies. While I was in Haiti, I helped build bunk beds, moved rock and concrete, helped with plumbing projects, fixed clotheslines, held a bracelet making day, and I saw how others need a helping hand in this world. My plan and hope is to go back to Haiti in 2015 and I am selling bracelets, again, to raise money for trip expenses and for supplies for the Haitian children. My grandpa wears his camo bracelet every day and says it reminds him of Haiti and seeing the kids have fun making their bracelets.
This girl is one of my heroes. She’s not asking for a handout. She wants to earn money. And this money is not for her. She wants to earn money to help meet the needs of orphans in Haiti. When we live in a society that is all about following after a basic economic philosophy, “Get all you can, Can all you get, and then guard the can,” here is a young woman with a heart to extend herself to help the least, the last and the lost.
As a church family, let’s do all we can to fulfill the great commission in our city. Easter is weeks away and it is the most fruitful time to invite people who have no church home to join us in attending one of our three Easter services. I promise you that if you invite friends and family, they will hear the good news of the Gospel.
Our church is also committed to being generous in our giving toward national and international missions. No less than 10% of all that is given into the ministry of Heartland Vineyard Church as we take up our weekly offerings is sent out to mission organizations who are expanding God’s Kingdom. We want to teach our people to tithe and as a corporate church family, we will tithe.
But maybe most important, let’s help raise up a generation of men and women who have a deep love for Jesus and understand the awesome power in serving the cause of Christ and extending the Kingdom of God.
I believe Emma is a representative of many more homegrown missionaries and for that, I praise our loving Father God.