Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Put Feet to Their Faith With Samaritan Purse's Children's Heart Project!


I am delighted to share a ministry opportunity with you . . . the Children's Heart Project from Samaritan's Purse. I could write about this project to explain it, but Samaritan's Purse does a much better job, so I'll share what they say and one of their stories with you.


"Since 1997, the Children's Heart Project (CHP) has arranged life-saving operations for more than 800 children from Bosnia, Kosovo, Honduras, Uganda, Mongolia, and Bolivia.

CHP works with top-quality hospitals to provide surgery for children who live in countries where the required medical expertise and equipment are not available. Samaritan's Purse arranges airfare for the children, a parent, and a translator. A typical group includes two children, their mothers, and a female Christian interpreter.

We also locate evangelical Christian churches and families willing to host the groups. The churches commit to pray for the project, appoint a coordinator (staff or lay person) to spearhead the project, and identify a host family. The church and family provide housing, local transportation, food, toiletries, international phone cards (to call home occasionally), emotional and spiritual support and guidance for the typical time period of five weeks.

The host church and family become witnesses of Christ’s love as they experience missions work in their own backyard. The opportunity to impact the nations for Jesus through a family and a Christian community modeling the love of Jesus is enormous! Dozens of parents have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior through the project. They multiply the blessings when they take their new faith back to their families and nations."



An example of a family whose lives were changed by this project is the Chacolla family from Bolivia. "Sylvia Chacolla was born with a heart defect and grew up getting respiratory infections constantly. When her mother Miriam took her to the doctor in El Alto, Bolivia, he told her she was just being a bad mother, and that was the reason why Sylvia was sick all of the time. At 8 years old, Sylvia started having other problems. At school, she couldn't run for longer than 7 minutes, and she always had to leave dance practice early. One day Sylvia ended up in the hospital with another severe respiratory infection. While she was there, they did some tests and discovered a heart murmur. The doctors then sent Sylvia and her mom to Cardio Centrum where Samaritan’s Purse had Children’s Heart Project cardiologists present.

After diagnosing Sylvia in September 2010, they put her on a waiting list for life-saving heart surgery since her condition was worsening and her family could not afford the medical care on their own.

In December she was selected for surgery in Indianapolis, Ind. Two months later, Sylvia and Miriam flew to Indiana to stay with their host family for eight weeks. While they were in the United States, both of them went to church on Sunday and had daily Bible studies with their host family. Growing up, neither of them had ever read a Bible or experienced a personal relationship with Jesus, so this was all very new for them. Sylvia’s surgery was successful, and in the days following, both of them made decisions to trust in Christ as their Savior."
You will find Sylvia's full story at this link.

So, how can you involve the children in your ministry with the Children's Heart Project? First of all, have them pray. Join the CHP Prayer team. Samaritan's Purse is looking for people who will commit to pray for their project, their staff, children having surgery, and the children on their waiting list. They cannot do what they do without others praying for them. Consider setting aside 1 hour per week to pray for CHP

You can also be involved by being a fundraiser to raise money for a child’s expenses to come to the USA for surgery. You can use the Firstgiving web site to create your own page for your children's ministry project and have children tell their family and friends or you could hold a fundraiser and just donate on the Samaritan's Purse web site - it is project #4 in theirGift Catalog. You could raise money to pay for an airline ticket or share the cost by sending money gifts of any amount to help children in need not only receive their needed heart surgery, but to help them and their families learn about Jesus!

With Valentine's Day coming up, it is the perfect time to plan a fundraiser for the Children's Heart Project - have children design, make and sell Valentine's Day cards and give the proceeds to this project or come up with a project of your own, but think of something you can do to "Put Feet to Their Faith" and involve the children in your ministry with the Children's Heart Project!

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