2 Haiti 4 Him

The Heckman family serving the Lord in Haiti at Emmaus Biblical Seminary

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

23 Days til we leave... and SO much to share!

So today marks 23 days (actually 22 since I am posting this after midnight!) until we leave for Haiti...

The last 5 days have been filled with so much excitement... I can't wait to share it all with you!  I have to say that I am extremely tired this evening but I SO wanted to catch you all up to speed, so I figured I'd keep the words short and sweet... and throw in LOTS of pictures to make up the difference :)

Last week we finished up Cross Training with a very special commissioning service and said our goodbyes to some wonderful new friends... some of which are already on the mission field as I write!

And they also held a service for all of the MKs too!  It is a tradition for the kids to put their handprints on the wall in the MK center...

and Ethan was sure to put his on, in style!

The MKs (minus Haylie... who was at camp!)... and the interns who poured into them!!!

Shortly after the commissioning service we got on the road to start the 12 hour drive home! We were SO excited that we were able to make a stop in Columbus, Ohio to catch up with Matt and Stacey and Lily and Sophie before they head back to Haiti!

And there's no better place to hang out...

... than the McDonald's Playland!

We had a wonderful visit with the Ayars family, and then headed on our way to NJ.  We arrived just before 4am on Saturday morning!  After about 5 hours of sleep we were up and ready to get started packing more stuff up and getting things ready for the Rinnier family to move in!

By Saturday evening, we were in full swing... both families doing the exact opposite things!

As we consolidated and boxed up our things to leave...

They were moving stuff in and getting unpacked to stay!

And then... Sunday morning was SO special!  We had our first of 3 commissioning services here in New Jersey... and  I can't even begin to put into words how wonderful it was to be blessed by our West Park Church family!

 The service was full of special music (and Kelsey Pastirko sang- as per my request!!!) It was beautiful!

My extended family came for a big family picnic on Sunday, and also surprised us by coming to the service (my mom put that together without me knowing it!)...  they came from Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky and from all over NJ!  It was such a huge blessing to have them all here to join us in our special day!

Right after the picnic, we packed up our stuff and headed off to Delanco Camp- for Teen Camp!
We are the missionaries for the week and are leading the morning chapel services!

 We came back home this afternoon to pick up Ethan (he has been sick for the last few days... please pray for both the kids as they are not feeling up to par... I think all of the running has worn them out a bit!)...  we also did some more packing this afternoon and then had dinner with our dear friends for over 10 years- Jason and Katie Wilson!  (At a favorite spot of ours- Sgt. Smokey's!) We love getting together with them and reminiscing about old times and sharing the exciting things going on in our lives!
After a great dinner with the Wilson's, we headed back "home" and spent the rest of the evening with the Burnley, Torpey, and Rinnier families back at the Burnley house (next door!).  I wish I had taken pictures... a house filled with laughter and stories and crazy kids... as always!!!  We sure are going to miss those special nights!

Tomorrow, we are going out to Camp Edge for a day at their Hands and Feet Missions week!  We are SUPER pumped about it!  We have lots of fun stuff planned for the campers all about missions- from teaching them a song in Creole, to eating Haitian food, and so much more...  can't wait to share all about it soon!

As I sit here in bed and type I am overwhelmed with feelings of joy and the realization of just how blessed we truly are...

Blessed that we have the privilege of being sent off by OMS and church friends and loved ones...

Blessed that we can share at camps about God's love and His call upon our lives...

and blessed that we have such amazing friends that support us and love us in so many ways!

God is so good!  We are reminded EACH day of His faithfulness and blessings as we prepare to go...

2 Haiti 4 Him!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

30 Days, 3% Left to Go... and LOTS of other numbers!

Lately we have been living in NUMBERS...

... thinking about all of the different numbers surrounding our days left here in the states is making my head spin!  But with that being said, it is all exciting stuff and important numbers FOR SURE!

Here are just SOME of those numbers!

30- the number of days until we board a plane for Haiti!...

4-  the number of days until CROSS Training is over (which is so bittersweet... we have LOVED learning so much useful information and meeting all of the wonderful missionaries and staff here at OMS and will miss them all when we leave here on Friday!)...

 7- the number of hours that we drove on Saturday to get Haylie to Ohio... so that my Aunt Lynne could drive her to PA... so that my mom and dad could take her back to NJ... so that she could get to Delanco Camp for Middler Camp this week!!  (Delanco is her FAVORITE place in the world!!)

...oh and another number that is fresh in our minds is 12- that is the number of inches of hair that Haylie donated to Locks of Love last week!!!!

          Haylie on the ride to NJ!    And with Maddy- her counselor at camp!

9- the number of us who went to church with James and Loni Hill (fellow missionaries-and prayer sponsors- here at OMS headquarters) and Loni's parents who were visiting from PA.  We were blessed by the service this past Sunday and by the warm and friendly atmosphere that was felt the second we came in the door! Thank you Southland Community Church in Greenwood!


(The kids were pretty excited about the donut selection there too!)  :) 

12-  the number of people who supported us in prayer on Sunday night, at the home of Al and Valetta Crumley. We were privileged to be surrounded by missionaries who have served for MANY years with OMS (one who has been with OMS for 70 years and others who were close behind that number!!!!) These faithful servants have left lasting impacts on the mission fields in India, the Philippines, and Taiwan... and that's just to name a few!  Some of them still serve here at headquarters in some capacity, others are still writing books about what God has done through their lives and ministries, and others are still traveling, mentoring and training up young missionaries.  These men and women are FAITHFUL in prayer too!  How humbling it was to sit among God's saints and to have them lift us up in prayer!  (... And the pie that was served afterwards was an extra special treat too!!)

3%- the percentage of faith promises we need to be at 100% funded!!!!  Isn't that AWESOME!?!?!?!  We are SO thankful for God's faithfulness and provision and for the many people who have sacrificed so that we could go and serve Him in Haiti.  We know that this journey would not be possible if it weren't for the faithful giving of God's people!

If you are interested in partnering with us on a monthly basis, we would LOVE to have you join our team!  We are just a few hundred dollars a month away from meeting our goal... God gave us the date of August 22nd as the day for our departure, and we are trusting that everything will come together by the time we board that plane!

If He speaks to your heart, and you feel Him leading you to support us either monthly or through a one-time gift, please follow the link below or email us at pheckman@onemissionsociety.org for more information!


And finally.. one last number we want to share with you...

19-  The passage in Philippians 4 that we are holding onto right now!...

"You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, His generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus.  Our God and Father abounds in glory that just pours out into eternity." (The Message)

Through the generous giving of God's people, we are able to make an eternal impact!  Thank YOU for sending us (through your gifts and your prayers!)... 2Haiti4Him!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

35 Days and 1/2 Way Through!

Tomorrow marks 35 days until we leave for Haiti... and today we are officially halfway through our Cross Training here at OMS Headquarters in Indiana...

I just want to catch you up to speed on some of the awesome things that are happening here... and I can think of no better way to do that than through pictures!!

Each day, as I mentioned in a previous post, we spend time in the training room, hearing from different OMS staff in different areas of expertise.  They are helping us to understand who we are in Christ and how we function so that we can best serve on the field... they are equipping us with interpersonal skills so that we can better relate to one another- whether it be fellow missionaries or the people we are going to minister to... they are teaching us OMS Core beliefs, the process of spiritual formation, the doctrine of holiness and the reality of spiritual warfare and how to defend ourselves against the enemies attacks!

All of this has been REALLY GOOD stuff!!

Every Tuesday and Thursday morning we come together for chapel services (the cross trainees and the OMS staff) and after a time of worship and announcements, each missionary is given the opportunity to share testimonies...

 This is a picture of Chuni and Carolyn Pema, an amazing couple from New Zealand, sharing their hearts and telling about their call to serve the Lord in India...

And Steve and Melissa Gross (our fellow Haiti missionaries and dear friends!) as they share about how God used experiences to lead them to the mission field to serve at the Cowman International School, just a few miles down the road from where we will be serving.

The kids have been doing some SUPER exciting things in their Cross Training sessions as well!
Earlier this week they worked with missionaries who do puppet ministry and they made their very own puppets...

Then they put on a puppet show!....

And yes...  you are seeing that correctly... Ethan gave his puppet armpit hair... OH the joys of having a teenage boy!!!

The kids have continued to build bonds of friendships with the Gross kids and they are growing closer each day!

Today was the perfect "half-way through Cross training" celebration for us... OMS held an all campus picnic full of FUN for everyone!!!  Check out some of the fun that was had...

Ethan was ON FIRE today!... many of the OMS staff mentioned wanting to get him an agent because of that pitching arm!  He was dunking people left and right :)

Haylie and Hannah are having a blast in the inflatable slip-n-slide!

This is Phil and David Long, the OMS president, playing a non-competitive (haha!) game of Cornhole!

Ethan, once again, using that arm to win himself some fun prizes!

I LOVE this picture!  This is Carolyn (the missionary to India) and Melissa Gross having a TON of fun in the sun!

Phil and Ethan preparing to race to the finish!

Haylie taking on that challenge as well!...

Below are missionaries Melissa Reese (heading to Spain with her husband to work in church planting and teach English) and Andrea Walker (working here at headquarters on the Mobilization team)...

And Jeremy Reese (Mel's husband!) and Steve MacInnis (Also heading to Haiti to work in the area of discipleship training and encouraging Haitian pastors!)

Losing to the OMS president in Cornhole made Phil all the more eager to dunk him... he did it on the first throw!!

All of the kids then had a chance to throw water balloons full force at some of the OMS staff and CT missionaries while they were being shot at with water guns!

AND THEN... The meal was AMAZING!  Pulled pork, hot dogs, and TONS of homemade salads and desserts!  They are feeding us well!

Today was another awesome day here at OMS and another reminder of the blessing it has been for our family to be here!  And as you can see above, the kids are continuing to make connections and are truly loving this experience!  Praise God!

So much more I want to tell you... but I will save that for next time!

Please continue to keep us in prayer!


Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Gift of Friendship... & 39 Days and Counting!

Today marks 39 days until we leave for Haiti!

I ended our last post with a cliffhanger... a "to-be-continued" story about the amazing blessing God has provided for our family... and now for the big reveal!

When we arrived at OMS on Sunday evening, after dropping off our stuff in the apartment and getting settled in for a bit, we joined the other missionaries (24 adults and 15 children!) who are also attending CROSS training for a meet-and-greet picnic. It was a great time of food and fellowship! 

We had no idea what God had in store for us upon arriving at the picnic pavilion that night!  Shortly after sitting down to our meal we were informed that another family who is also going to Haiti was at CROSS training with us!  Within a few minutes we were introduced to the Gross Family... it was at that moment we knew that God had answered yet ANOTHER prayer!

As many of you know (and quite possibly experienced yourself), big transition in anyone's life can be a difficult time, but big transition during a teenager's life can be extremely difficult!  Ethan is the kind of kid who likes routine, appreciates consistency...  when we shared with him what God was laying on our hearts to do...  to move our family from South Jersey (the only area he has ever lived in) to Haiti, from school to home school, from being surrounded by familiar faces, family and friends to a place where new relationships and friendships would need to be built... needless to say, he didn't take it very well.

Although time has allowed Ethan to adjust and to accept this call, he has been anything but excited about this new journey.  Our prayer has been that CROSS training would be the experience that he would need to help him to not just be okay with this, but to be joyful about this calling that God has placed on our family....

And THAT is JUST ONE REASON why meeting the Gross family was a HUGE answer to prayer!  Since our introduction last Sunday, our kids (and us parents!) have been INSEPARABLE!  I could tell you about all of the fun they are having, but I prefer to just show you...

First I want to show you what OMS did for Ethan... yeah not one... but TWO birthday cakes!  This was the beginning of an AWESOME day...

This is Ethan, Caleb and Samuel eating lunch together in the cafeteria (as always!).. I have no idea where Ethan gets his silliness from...

The kids playing four square together (the weather has been BEAUTIFUL!)...

Hannah and Haylie join them in this picture (which is another HUGE blessing.. the girls are the same age, both love riding bikes and being outdoors... yeah- pretty awesome right!!!!) God not only blessed Ethan but Haylie too!

The Gross Family's youngest, Sarah, joins the pile-up!

For Ethan's big 13th birthday we took him to Incredible Pizza- an awesome place in Greenwood, with a BIG buffet, TONS of games and  LOTS of fun to be had! (AND an OMS special rate got us the buffet for $5.50 a person! WOO-HOO!)

This picture shows all of us getting ready to go play a lively game of Laser Tag! (well.. except for me, since I was taking the picture!)

The kids riding Go-Karts around the "Indianapolis 500" track!...

And bowling...  

By the way...  Ethan told me that this was his best birthday EVER!

On Friday night, we went out to a little frozen yogurt place called Ella's where the kids enjoyed a special treat (thanks to our prayer sponsors who blessed the kids with gift cards there!)

As you can see better in pictures than if I told you myself, our families have become dear friends in just the short time we have been here at CROSS Training...  not just our kids, but Phil and I are SO blessed by the friendship that we are building with Steve and Melissa too!

God has given us a GIFT, one that was completely unexpected (which are always the best!).

We are continually grateful for how our Father takes care of us... he knows our hearts and desires to meet the deepest needs in our lives.

Last night, before bed, I asked Ethan if he was ready... if he was getting excited about this new adventure...

and with a smile on his face he said...



I am so overwhelmed with how God continues to bless our family throughout this journey!
I can't help but feel like the psalmist...

Psalm 40:5 says this,

"You have multiplied, O LORD my God,
Your wondrous deeds and Your thoughts toward us;
none can compare with You!

I will proclaim and tell of them,
yet they are more than can be told."

2 Haiti 4 Him.