Orphans?

img_1222It wasn’t what I was expecting. When I was invited to take a look at Paul’s Children’s Home, the orphanage that Pastor James is running in Yangon, Myanmar, I was expecting a stereotypical orphanage. Knowing that we were in a developing country, I was afraid that I’d see one of those cold, sterile places where kids sat with blank faces staring off into the distance.

That’s not at all what I saw. I saw a family… a big 15 child, three parent unconventional family. I saw happy, well adjusted kids that had experienced incredible tragedy in their young lives. I saw kids playing, going to school, doing homework, practicing music, interacting with each other and their “parents”. The most remarkable thing that I saw was that I was unable to distinguish between the “orphans” and Pastor James’ biological children. I saw a family.

I noticed another thing. The children were naturally learning about a God that really cared about them. They seemed to be accepting God’s blessing of a safe, loving environment and not focused on the injustices that brought them to that place. It was an incredible honor to baptize a couple of the older “former orphans”. I’m deciding to call them former orphans… they have been generously incorporated into a loving earthly family and as a result they have now been united with their Heavenly Father (it just doesn’t seem right to identify them as “orphans”).

I know those kids are being well taken care of, but I cannot figure out how Pastor James and his family is able to make it happen. As I was leaving the country and asking what I could do to help, James asked me to pray for income to sustain the Children’s Home. I tried not to make promises when I was there, but in that moment I made two. I promised that I would pray and tell the story of that amazing place where God is turning something so broken into something so stunningly beautiful. I also promised that I would be the first person to commit to partnering with Paul’s Children’s Home by contributing the $30 a month to support one of those “former orphans”. We are still figuring out just how to handle the logistics of properly accounting for and getting the money to Pastor James each month, but if you want to be a part of this miracle, please let me know.

Reid

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Home

An odd thing happened in imagesthe Singapore airport (I may have spent a little too much time in that location – actually quite a few odd things happen in an international airport at 3am, but that’s not my point). A family came and sat next to me… they were speaking Spanish and it reminded me of home. I was a bit amused at my reaction and a bit pleased that I have gotten so comfortable in my neighborhood in North Aurora, Colorado that even though I didn’t understand much of what they were saying it felt and sounded a lot like home. When I tried to tell them that, they moved a few chairs away from me – I chose not to take it personally.

It reminded me how much my life has changed in the past few years. On my way to Myanmar, sitting in the Singapore airport, hearing a family communicate in Spanish reminded me of home.

It also reminded me of the importance of “home”. Physical and spiritually we look for, we long for “home”. A place that is comfortable and safe. A place where we are accepted and valued. A place where we can relax and be ourselves. The Bible says that God has prepared a place for us – “home”. We get imperfect glimpses of it here on earth… but some day, we get to go home.

Reid

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BIG

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The world is a big place. Seems like a fairly obvious statement. But watching the sun come up over the Singapore airport and having just sat in the airplane as we flew over the US, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, The Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia and Myanmar, knowing that just around the corner is India, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Viet Nam, Thailand, Bangladesh – millions and millions of people, the world seemed to get bigger… right now the bigness of the world is a bit more personal.

The world is a strange place. When you get a few miles away from home you see people wearing strange clothes, eating strange food, speaking in strange ways (and I made all of those observations in San Francisco!). But even as the strangeness is gets more pronounced the farther you get from home… there really is a lot of sameness. Little kids in Singapore playing on the moving walkways, the familiar looks on people’s faces of worry, fear and happiness.

The world is our home. As pleased as I am to be an American, I see the how interconnected we are. I have devoted a lot of time and energy the past few years talking about our community… that our problems are community problems and that any real solutions must be collective, the community working together. I’ll admit that the world is certainly bigger, stranger and more complex than my Aurora, CO community – yet we are all in this together.

I’m not quite sure what to do with this “clearer than ever” thought. But I am thankful for the amazing opportunity see and experience this big, strange world. And I am really grateful to be called by God to represent Him, to be His feet, hands and voice wherever He might send me.

Reid

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Unexpected & Unanticipated

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 8.22.13 AMThe Lord leads in unexpected ways and in unanticipated directions. The truth of that thought certainly has b
een confirmed to me the last few weeks. I am about to jump on a plane that will eventually take me to Yangon, Myanmar. That is a direction that I did not anticipate. I am eager to find ways that I (and others) could encourage and equip immigrant and refugee
pastors that are so dedicated and working so hard right here in our community… but “right here in our community” was what I anticipated.
On Sunday the 18th in Yangon, I will be preaching at Mosaic Church of Myanmar, assisting Pastor James baptize eight believers and getting to know the dozen or so kids in their orphanage. Tuesday through Saturday, I will be training pastors. I will be preaching at another church
n Sunday the 25th before heading home on Monday. Those are all activities that were no where on my radar screen 60 days ago.

Another unexpected thing is happening. Our church, people in the community and a number of friends of mine have affirmed this venture in ways that have surprised me. I let people know that I’d be going on this trip and there were some expenses that needed to be met, but I really expected to self fund some or much of the trip. But with very little arm twisting my trip is fully funded and I even have enough after the expenses to give a cash gift to the orphanage. It seems as though God has placed this trip and our ministry on people’s hearts in unexpected ways. I’m happy about that, but also a little bit surprised. It has prompted me to b
e especially sensitive to God’s leadings and open doors, because he seems to be “up to something”.

I will be sending (via email) and posting (on Facebook) some pictures and observation. Keep on praying… God’s at work!

Reid

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So, I will be traveling

God does work iUnknownn mysterious ways.

I have intentionally developed relationships with immigrant and refugee pastors in our community. These pastors usually serve without pay and very little training. I have tried to offer them support and encouragement and have talked some about finding ways of providing more training for them. As I’ve prayed about finding better ways to support, encourage and train pastors, I’ve envisioned that taking place right here… in our building. It looks like God may have answered my prayer, but in a way that I didn’t anticipate (I have got to learn to be much more specific when I pray). The other day I was invited to come to Myanmar (the country formerly known as Burma) in September to train pastors in Theology and Preaching. The idea is that if those dedicated men and women who are sacrificially serving could do it with a bit more skill and knowledge the Kingdom of God would be greatly benefitted.

Another “coincidence”. I have gotten to know Moses pretty well, he is the pastor of a Burmese Church just a few blocks from us. As we have gotten to know each other he has told me about James, his brother who is doing ministry in Myanmar. James leads a small church and orphanage. The church he had been connected with does not believe that Jesus is equal with God the Father… kind of a big deal in Christianity. James informed me the other day that after talking to his brother about me and Mosaic, he has changed the name of his church to Mosaic Church of Myanmar and wants to affiliate with us. I don’t know what that means for sure, but I may have inadvertently launched Mosaic ministries in Myanmar!
Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 8.22.13 AM

So, I will be traveling to Myanmar September 15-27. Its going to be quite a trip. They have me scheduled to teach for 4 hours a day, do 2 hour services in homes in the evenings and preach in the Sunday morning service… all being translated from English to Burmese. I’m also planning to spend a couple days with Pastor James and the Mosaic Church of Myanmar (I’m starting to like the way that sounds).

In order to do this, I am going to need your help. Would you be willing to pray for me as I prepare and then go on this trip. I think it is an awesome opportunity, but quite a heavy responsibility. I need people praying that God would use me to strengthen His church in Myanmar. It is really important that those God has called will accurately and effectively teach his Word and lead His church.

Frankly, I also need your help with some of the costs of the trip. The church in Myanmar will be digging deep to take care of my expenses once I get there, but I need to come up with the $2000 its going to cost for airfare and misc expenses. Would you consider helping out?

Please let me know if you will be praying for me and this crazy trip. Please let me know if you will be able to help with some of the expenses of the trip. You can give online at www.MosaicofAurora.com or by sending a check to Mosaic Church 1445 Dayton Street Aurora, CO 80010. Make the check out to Mosaic Church so that you can properly claim the gift on your taxes.

Thank you so much!

Reid

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Blessed are those who have regard for the weak

Psalm 41                                                                                                                                          1 Blessed are those who have regard for the weak;                                                   the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.                                                                      2 The Lord protects and preserves them—                                                                 they are counted among the blessed in the land—                                                       he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.                                                 3 The Lord sustains them on their sickbed                                                                  and restores them from their bed of illness.

The words jumped off the page, “Blessed are those who have regard for the weak” (Psalm 41). I have a new and heightened understanding of the weak. In the past couple of years as I have been a part of planting Mosaic Church and living in Original Aurora, I have seen the weak in our society up close and personal. Many of my friends and neighbors have so few options and opportunities, they are ignored and practically invisible. Those who have the least influence, the least power, the weakest in our society are my neighbors… the poor, immigrants, single moms, refugees, the homeless, those with language barriers, the uneducated.

I am well aware of the Bible’s clear message that God cares about and cares for the “least”, the weak among us. But this morning as I read Psalm 41, I saw the clear truth that God blesses not just the weak, but also those who have regard for the weak. What an encouragement that God sees those of us who have chosen to work with the weak and vulnerable. God promises to bless, deliver, protect sustain and restore those who work with and minister to the weak. Wow, how blessed am I?! What an amazing thought that God pays special attention to not just the weak and vulnerable but also to those who care about and serve the weak and vulnerable.

My friend and neighbor “Cynthia” is weak. She has an ugly personal story of abuse and abandonment as a kid and young adult. She spent years living in a unbelievably destructive lifestyle that she is paying for now. Cynthia is estranged from her family, lives in a homeless shelter and has overwhelming physical and mental health challenges. Cynthia has so many pressing needs that its hard to know how to help. I often wonder whether my/our efforts are helping much. But here’s what I do know: Cynthia knows that there is a God who cares enough about her messed up life to send us to pray and give and encourage and try to help. Her problems are not solved, but she is a bit better off than she was a couple of months ago. I also know that God does really care about her. And now I know that God is and will continue to bless us because we “have regard” for her.

I am claiming a chunk of God’s special blessing for me personally as well as the team here at Mosaic. But now I also realize the Biblical truth that all of you that have helped and supported our work are also in line for God’s blessing for regarding the weak. I’m happy to share that blessing. I am so pleased to be partnering with you in the ministry here in Aurora… every day I am fully aware of the fact that I could not possibly do this without your help, prayer and finical support. It just wouldn’t be possible. I sometimes feel a bit guilty for suggesting to some of you that we continue to need your help and support. But it does take a bit of the sting away realizing that as you help us help the weak, the marginalized, the poor and disadvantaged that you step in line to receive even more of God’s blessings.

If this a moment that God prompts you to give and/or help in some other way, follow His instructions and get ready to be blessed.

Reid Hettich, Pastor                                                                                                                    Mosaic Church of Aurora                                                                                                                1445 Dayton Street                                                                                                                       Aurora, CO 80010                                                                                          www.MosaicofAurora.com                                                                                                             303-870-6055

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a crumpled $10 bill

crumpled-ten-dollar-10-us-bill-B3CARTI did a classic double-take as I noticed the name on the offering envelope, “Cynthia” and “Daryl”. Inside the offering envelope there was just one crumpled $10 bill, but there was so much more. Cynthia and Daryl are homeless. They get a small disability check every month, but it isn’t enough to survive on. Cynthia and Daryl go to local food banks and other charities to get basic necessities. Cynthia told me the other day that when thy get their check they use the money to stay in one of our cheap hotels on cold nights. She told me that after the check runs out (and it always does before the end of the month) unless they are able to find someone who will take them in, they ride the city bus at night as long as they run just to be out of the cold. Cynthia explained to me that a day pass on the bus is about $5 per person and that they could usually barrow or panhandle that much.

As I looked at the crumpled $10 bill in Mosaic’s offering, I felt a bit guilty realizing that the $10 represented a night out of the cold on a bus. I struggled to come up with a time when I had given that much. I suppose ten bucks is the inflationary adjusted equivalent of widow’s mite that we read about in Mark 12, that that caught Jesus’ attention. That offering represented real faith, real sacrifice… it epitomized the true humble, generous nature of true Christianity. 

I am constantly amazed at what I am learning from my neighbors. Because of my friends Cynthia and Daryl, I see more clearly my selfishness, God’s goodness and the simple yet profound faith of the spiritual giants that God allows me to hang out with here in Original Aurora. 

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