Jesus said, “I will not leave you as Orphans, I will come to you.” (John 14:18)
Heart 2 Heart Ministry represents a group of people from Peachtree City United Methodist Church who have committed themselves to be the hands and feet of Christ. We have been called to serve the orphans of Liberia, West Africa.
In 1991, Methodist Revered Emmanuel F. Bailey, a native of Liberia and who served churches in the United States, returned home. He spent three months searching for family members. What he found were 800 orphans living in a United Methodist school building. During his stay, he observed that apart from the homeless condition, many of the Liberian children showed remarkable resilience and hope in the face of their horrible experiences.
Rev. Bailey shared his concern & hope for the children with leaders of the Annual Conferences of the United Methodist Church. From that consultation came the dream of building a children’s home to provide a safe, wholesome, Christian atmosphere for these orphans. The road to reconciliation begins with the children.
“In a country with 26 languages and many tribal groups, this blending of children and adults from diverse backgrounds can model Christian community and the vision of a peaceful future for Liberia.” (Rev. Bailey)
Jesus began his ministry with the poor & those in need. Jesus routinely fed, healed, and ministered to the poor. Three of Jesus’ most famous parables were meant to help us understand the two greatest commandments: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.
1) The Good Samaritan defined who our neighbor is. Our neighbor is anyone placed in our path. The Samaritan asked the question, “what will happen to him if I don’t stop to help?” Seeing the injured man, he bandaged the man’s wounds and put him on his own donkey, then paid for his food, clothing, shelter and medical care. “This,” Jesus said, “is what it means to love your neighbor as yourself. This is how to be a neighbor.”
2) The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats defined the criteria that we will one day be held accountable to: I was hungry and you gave something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was naked and you clothed me, a stranger and he welcomed me in, a prisoner and you visited me. And if you wonder when you did that, I will tell you that inasmuch as you’ve done these things to the least of these, you have done it to me” (Matthew 25:31-46 paraphrase). The true sign that we trust in Christ as Lord is that we follow him and seek to do his will. He saves us not merely so that we can go to heaven, but so that we can be instruments of his redemption, salvation, and compassion in the world. As James notes, “Faith without works is dead.” Our faith is meant to manifest itself in a concern for those in need.
3) Finally, in Luke 16, Jesus told the story of a rich man who lived in a fabulous home, with the finest things to eat and drink. Outside the gate sat a poor leper too sick to work, named Lazarus (who was also a friend of Jesus’ John 11:5). Lazarus was hungry, and day after day he lay outside the gate, longing for someone in that affluent neighborhood to stop and offer him some something to eat, or help of any kind. Every day, the rich man simply stepped over him as he went about his business. During his life he had plenty, Lazarus had nothing, and the rich man did nothing.
The true sign that we trust in Christ as Lord is that we follow in his footsteps and seek to do his will. He saves us so that we can affect change. So that we can be instruments of his redemption, salvation, and compassion in the world. As James notes, “faith without works is dead”. Our faith is meant to manifest itself in care, compassion & concern for those in need.
An example of this care is the (United Methodist Church Sponsored) Bishop Judith Craig Children’s Village (School & Orphanage) outside of Monrovia, Liberia.
“Bishop Judith Craig conducted a stout defense of children’s rights. In a spirit that joined black and white, men and women, old and young together in the implementation of the Lord’s work, Bishop Judith Craig, had an unwavering hope in the future of the youngest generation of Liberia.” (Dr. Emmanuel Bailey)
Orphaned children are selected to live in the Bishop Judith Craig Village from each district across the conference/nation as space becomes available. In a country with 26 languages and many tribal groups, this blending of children and adults from diverse backgrounds can model Christian community and the vision of a peaceful future for Liberia
Through relationships, sponsorship (in which we provide food & shelter), vocational outreach, fellowship and spiritual encouragement we hope to share the joyous life in Christ.
The purpose of the Heart 2 Heart Mission Team is to love and encourage the children and adults of Bishop Judith Craig Children’s Village in Liberia. To relate to our brothers and sisters in Liberia as they are, as we all are, as fellow children of God.
We send at least one team each year to the Village to spend time with the children, to host Vacation Bible School and to spread the love of Christ. When we bless the lives of others in ways that we are able, our lives are also blessed.
PTCUMC became involved with Bishop Judith Craig’s Children Village in Liberia in 2006, when former pastor, Church Hodges, was invited to speak at the Liberian Annual Conference. Pastor Chuck visited the orphanage and saw the need for a school. When he returned to Peachtree City, he shared the story of his witness with our congregation. Our congregation responded and gave rise to the Heart 2 Heart Mission. Funds were donated and building teams were mobilized.
Together, we built and outfitted the school. It now provides K-12 education for children in both the orphanage and the surrounding community. Thirty-eight children have graduated from BJCCV. Some have gone onto Universities, Vocational & Trade School. And the need is great. The children in our care are still in need of the most basic of care: food, shelter, running water, electricity, protection.
With the blessings that have been bestowed upon us, we believe we have an obligation to empower others.
God called us to BJCCV, Liberia. The work that we are called to do, through the grace of God, we will finish. “He who started a good work in you will carry it to completion.” Philippians 1:6
Together, we move forward in our faith. Prayerfully consider joining us!