2 Haiti 4 Him

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

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Haiti is BEAUTIFUL!- Part One...

For SO many reasons, I can say that Haiti is truly beautiful!  Now that things have slowed down a bit, I am seeing it even MORE!

Haiti is beautiful because...

We have had the privilege of working at Emmaus Biblical Seminary this year and it is an amazing and beautiful place to serve! The semester came to a close on May 16th- with a service at Pillatre Church.

A celebration of a year of hard work and dedication and commitment from a great class of students! It was great to see the smiles on the faces of our faculty too- people who have invested 4 years of time and energy, and an outpouring of love on these graduates!

We are going to miss that fourth year class SO much!  Excited to see how God is going to use them to further His Kingdom here in Haiti.

Haiti is beautiful because…

I have LOVED homeschooling this year and it has been a beautiful experience for me, one that I am so incredibly grateful for! Not only is the school year ended for EBS but our  home-school year comes to a close this Friday for Ethan and Haylie and they couldn't be more excited!!!   The kids have done so well- despite transition into a new country, many interruptions throughout the school year, and having to do school even if its 100 degrees- I'm SO proud of them for enduring with positive attitudes (most days!) and for their hard work!!

Haiti is beautiful because...

I have had the opportunity to watch Ethan and Haylie grow closer to each other this year- it has been a beautiful thing to see!  They truly enjoy each other and have a blast together!  Thankful for the opportunity they have had to appreciate one another and to find new and creative ways to have FUN!  (even IF doing chores is one of those things!!!)

Haiti is beautiful because…

not only have our children grown closer together this year, but our family has too!  We have spent so much time together: laughing, hiking, working, praying, eating, playing, learning, bon-firing, celebrating, beach-ing… 

SO many beautiful memories and times together! (I LOVE Haylie's face in this picture- its priceless!)

Haiti is beautiful because…

Phil has a knack for making things beautiful!!!  To see how he has literally TRANSFORMED the seminary over the past 9 months has been SO awesome!

Phil not only landscaped the grounds but he also made those beautiful chairs too :)  

He never ceases to amaze me!

Aside from making the grounds beautiful through chairs and landscaping… Phil has also become quite the gardener!  Our garden has been such a blessing to us missionaries, to the seminary students and to the community!  It is a beautiful thing to be able to grow food that can bless others (Eric and Martie Buzby- YOU are our inspiration and we have YOU to thank for so many WONDERFUL seeds!!!  WISHING we could grow some of those AWESOME strawberries though… boy are we missing them right now!)

Not only has Phil been growing tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, lettuce, carrots, beans, pineapples and papaya…  he is also propagating new plants to put all around the seminary.  I can't wait to see how much more beautiful it will be in the coming months!

Haiti is beautiful because…

The people are beautiful!!!  Inside and out!  Getting to know SO many new people, and building lasting friendships has been one of the biggest blessings to our family! We are so grateful for our Haitian brothers and sisters!

From Simeon, Leme, Enick and Junior…

To students (like Romual- on the left)...

and Thelo and Walnique…

To Noelle (one of Stacey's beautiful friends who has quickly become one of ours!)...

and to Maxi (Phil's co-worker and our dear friend)…

To fellow youth leaders…

…these are only a few of the many great relationships that have begun over the last 9 months.  We are excited to continue to grow deeper relationships and begin new ones in the coming months :)

These are only a FEW of the reasons why Haiti is SO beautiful! We have so much more to share in the coming weeks…

Today marks 6 weeks before we head back to the states for deputation.  We will be in New Jersey for only 3 weeks- speaking at local churches and spending a week at Delanco Camp!

We will be posting dates and locations soon. If you are in our area- we would LOVE to see you!

Stay tuned for more of beautiful Haiti…


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Busy Weekend FULL of blessings!

This past weekend was BUSY… super special… but BUSY!!! And FULL of blessings!

We celebrated Haylie's birthday on Thursday!  I cannot believe she is 12 years old. 
Not. Possible.

We had a chicken pot pie dinner, as per Haylie's request, and invited our EBS missionary family to join us in the celebration! (And we enjoyed the delicious mashed potatoes and rolls courtesy of Stacey and Cheyenne!)

We invited Simeon and Lémé and Junior to join us for birthday cupcakes and singing for Haylie after dinner (unfortunately I didn't get them in ANY of the pictures!)

Well… I at least got Junior's arm in a picture… :)

(I even made mint chocolate chip ice cream with purple food coloring for the occasion!)  Ice cream is always a SUPER special treat around here!

Later that evening us girls watched a chick flick (13 Going on 30… LOVE that movie!) at our house while the guys watched Iron Man at the Ayars!  And in the middle of the movie, we paused to watch a beautiful dramatic production put on by the Burnley Bunch in honor of Haylie's big day!!!!

It was BEYOND special for her!  Thank you Kris for always being SO thoughtful… and SO funny!!!

The next night, the festivities continued with a sleepover!  Hannah Gross and Alanna and Brianna Bundy have become SUCH great friends for Haylie!  They laughed pretty much ALL night and the whole next day!  

On Saturday morning, after making egg sandwiches for the sleepover bunch (why they call them "sleep"overs I have NO idea!;), we headed up to the library for our last youth training event of the semester.  In 3 words:


This time, we talked with the youth leaders in attendance about the importance of having a mission statement for their youth ministry programs.  God desires for us to be intentional about our ministries and we encouraged each church group to work together with their leaders to create statements and images to define their group, and have Scriptural support behind what they created.  After showing them a model from our youth ministry experience… we let them loose to be creative together!

After about 45 minutes, each group chose a representative to share their purpose, image and Scriptures with the rest of the group…

Check these out!

This group chose an umbrella… their reason being that they want their youth to understand that God is their protector.  Using Psalm 23 and 91 as their basis they also made sure to share with the group that they left plenty of room for others under the umbrella- and that symbolized their desire for evangelism.

Good stuff!

MANY of the groups decided to use the image of a tree… but all of them came from different angles.  And they were all really great!  Using John 15 and Galatians 5, they talked about having roots founded in Christ, branches abiding in Him, lives of fruit from the Holy Spirit. 

Each group shared different ideas and perspectives...

And yet their foundation remained the same...


I loved how each group made sure to stress that youth MUST be grounded and rooted in Christ.  
It's one thing to say it.. but its another thing to have a purpose statement and image that constantly reminds them of this reality.  It was SO cool to see them so excited to go back and share what they have created with their youth!

Another group used a candle… talking about how their youth are the light of the world.  It is their job to shine bright for the world to see… so that those who are lost can come to faith in Christ!  We have been given the light, not so that we can hide it, but so that we can share it!

The group in the pictures below used the same image that we shared with them but they made it their own… which I loved too!  Using the body- each part having a specific function within the ministry… The head- we provide our youth with knowledge. The heart- we teach them to love and be obedient to God's Word.  The hands- giving them opportunities to serve and worship.  The knees- teaching and setting the example of the importance of prayer.  And finally- the feet- going and sharing the Good News with others...

And the last church chose the symbol of a rock in God's hand.  Their desire is to teach their youth to be vessels for God to use.  Wherever He may choose to send us, we must be willing to put our lives in His hands and trust Him with the outcome.  Another GREAT image and purpose statement for youth ministry!

We had 8 different churches represented, over 30 people who came out to be trained in 
youth ministry!!!

It is so exciting to be a part of what God is doing through Emmaus… to have the opportunity to use over 15 years of youth ministry training and share it with people who are so hungry for it!!!

Next month, we have the awesome opportunity of partnering with a church in Lory!  We will be bringing a LifeTree Adventures mission group to the church and doing a 2 day youth retreat there.

Below is the group of youth leaders who attended the training on Saturday, and who are working each week with the youth in Lory.  Can't wait to see what God is going to do through that retreat!  

Your prayers as we plan for the retreat and also for the hearts of those who will attend to be prepared for what God wants to say to them are much appreciated!  More info on that mission trip will be coming soon!  So very excited about this new partnership with Group and LifeTree too :)

I know that I say this ALL the time… but we are continually blessed and encouraged by your support!  Your love, prayers, emails, Facebook messages, care packages, cards etc. etc. etc…. are so appreciated and are such an encouragement to us!

We LOVE hearing from you and would love to pray for YOU too!  Please don't ever hesitate to contact us and share what is going on in your lives. :)

Thankful that we are in this together!