Saturday, January 31, 2009


Here is a very small word that can lead people to accomplish very big things. That word is "Go". Jesus seemed to be fond of this little verb. In Matt. 9:13, He told the Pharisee's to "Go" and learn the value of mercy over sacrifice. In John. 8:11, after refusing to condemn the woman caught in adultery, He said to her, "Go now and leave your life of sin." But perhaps His greatest use of this word was when He gave His disciples the Great Commission to .. "Go and make
Disciples of all Nations." My first trip to San Luis was 20 Years ago, June of 1989. Since then Renee' and I have made numerous trips, but illness and the birth of our Grandson have prevented us from going the last 3 years. As I write this I'm in the middle of buying Airline tickets, reserving vans, and doing all the prep work for our trip in     March. About a dozen of us will leave Pittsburgh and meet up with Kevin Macfee, my son Matt, and about 35 College Students from Arizona.  It's going to be a lot of traveling and a lot of work, but it's worth it to see the looks on the faces of the children when we arrive and the gratitude and warmth of the villagers when we sing, preach, and hand out rice and beans. Many of you have been making this journey over the years and have had the same great experiences. If someone
were to ask me why I raise the money, sit through the long flight and drive, then go do the hard work we do in San Luis, I could give them a lot of reasons, but I'll mention just three.
1) Jesus said, "Go". That command was not for just the 12.  It applies to all believers.
2) It blesses me more than it blesses the people we minister to and reminds me of what serving Jesus is all about.
3) There are people in San Luis today, who are sick, hungry, homeless and lost who won't be when our mission is done.
Whether you give, pray or go, thank you for supporting Caring Hearts.
You are making a difference today!
Be Blessed Pastor Gary

Thursday, January 29, 2009



After 2 years and 5 months of nightmarish beareaucratic red tape, Rodolfo Schmalz will finally be going to Ohio to live with his new family.

Rodolfo was brought to Bethel Orphanage by the police when he was 5 years old. He had been abused, beaten and burnt with cigarettes. For one year, he did not speak a word, and Mama Bertha thought he might be mute. Little by little he grew accustomed to his new home and began speaking, but he was always shy. As groups came and went, he made a connection with members of the Schmalz family who visited several springs in a row. They decided to adopt him, and started the process in August of 2006. In that time Rodolfo graduated from Elementary school, grew about a foot and moved to the boys home. He did well at the boy's home, establishing a firm relationship with the Lord.

Please pray for Rodolfo has he starts out this new life in the United States. Pray in the next few days as they have some more red tape to pass through with the American Consulate. Pray that he will be able to adapt to his new language, school and culture. If you are interested in contacting Rodolfo, drop me a line and I will help you get hooked up.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Our new poll is on line, please take a second and click the appropiate answer to the question "How old are you?" These polls help me know who we are reaching, so we hope you will fill it out once this month. There are no strings attached. Thank you! Ken


Our latest poll has been completed and here are the results. We had 42 people fill out the poll, 6 people (14%) who viewed it had never visited us. 19 (45%) had visited us once or twice. 8 (19%) had visited between 3 and 5 times. 3 folks (7%) had been here over 5 times and 5 (11%) over 10 times. I want to thank those who filled out the poll, it gives me an idea of how many of our friends are checking out the blog. We will have a new poll soon. Ken


Here is Dr. Rosa looking at Nene. Our clinics have been going on every other week, and Dr. Rosa has graciously given her time to help the children of Bethel with their dental needs. Now she will be working on the boys of Oasis. We praise the Lord for the new ministry that will be a blessing to our children and the people of San Luis.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


As promised, here are some testimonies from your Christmas break visitors. We hope their words will inspire you to come down to see us this year:

Pulling into the driveway, I was anxious to see both new and old faces. No matter how many times I come to San Luis, the sheer joy on the faces of the children at Bethel always takes my breath away as they run to greet their visitors. They are truly happy here and know the love of God in an amazing way as He meets each of their needs. May God continue to bless each of these little ones. - Kerrianne, St. Ferdinand Group.

On the day Adalberto took us to the dump in San Luis, I was prepared to help others. I was not prepared, however, to be the one who was touched. Seeing those people praying and praising God despite immense poverty and heart wrenching circumstances had a serious effect on me. There are days where being a follower of Christ is hard. Some day I feel so overwhelmed with finances and work, but those people literally have nothing, and they are OK! They are OK because they know that God is everything they need. They may think we are the lucky ones, and in some ways we are. But the knowledge they have - that Jesus is all you need - is something I yearn for. And my hope is that as I grow in Christ, I would with to be in such dire circumstances that Christ was all I had. How lucky I would be - Rachel, IUP Group

Wow! Praise God for this trip. I felt distant from God when I came to Mexico. It was because I was rejecting God and not giving Him any of my time, all the while struggling in my sin. Coming to Mexico has changed my life. A combination of some great people that came here with me that were chosen by God, amazing experiences here at the jail and other places and the amazing times with the Mexican people has allowed me to see and experience the amazing, beautiful, powerful, universal wall and barrier destroying lovw of our Father in heaven. Hanging out with the kids at Oasis and Bethel, worshipping God next to a brother in jail, even though we were from different places of the world and different situations and backgrounds. Praise God for His spirit. Being able to share in all of this with my brothers and sisters in Christ. Wow! I could never, ever thank God enough for what He has done. Never. Glory to our beautiful God - Jeremy, Geneva Group.


Our friends from Yuma, Hands Extended, came in Sunday to bless the church, children and Indian Village. Here is what happened from their leader, Sherry Whitworth:

This year we have been putting a real focus on reducing our trips to Mexico to save money so our trip in for the Hat Project was a big one. We took in 5 cars and the trailer along with 25 passengers (think I'm off on that, but don't have my list with me).

The trip down and crossing went great and arrived at our favorite Chinese restaurant, but not to eat. We decided on this trip to share our meal with everyone at the orphanage so we ordered fried rice, broccoli with beef, sweet & sour chicken, white rice and chop suey for 110 people. Before we left the states we packed up enough coke for 110 plus a few so that was to be our meal. We placed the order and then delivered the team to the orphanage to start setting up. Two of us jumped back in the car to pick up the food and after returning started putting out the food. Turned out we had approximately 130 people, but the food fed everyone with some of us not getting cokes, but all was good and there where leftovers. Chinese restaurants down in Mexico serve huge orders so all was well. Of course lots of prayers where said over the volume of food before we ordered and while we served as we haven't done this before. As a side note it cost us $166.00 dollars for all that food and I'm guessing you haven't accomplished that in the states before....
One of my bees Marty was in charge of the hat, scarf and poncho part of this day and she had approximately 12 tables set up and placed all the hats, scarves and ponchos on them for everyone to be able to pick what they wanted while Ken the coordinator of Caring Hearts called out families and small groups of children to come through so it wouldn't be a crazy mess...
After cleaning up and loading up in our cars we traveled into the Oaxaca area to hand out more hats, scarves and ponchos.
Adalberto the Bible school director had gone out during the week and let the people know we were coming so when he went ahead of us to let them know we were actually on our way we knew we would be meet by those already waiting. Ken was the leader of the pack and when we arrived sure enough there were 20 or 30 people already there. We got busy setting up tables and handing out numbers. Ken set up his PA system and started his part of the ministry as the crowd grew. By the time the program was over and it was time to pass out hats and such we had over 120 families. Marty and one of the other ladies with us walked through the line and passed out some really nice booklets telling them about Jesus while we had the families come through to pick out what hat or poncho suited them. Many happy and interesting faces will be on the website for you to see and like me you will begin to recognize them from time to time. By the end of the line we where out of ponchos and scarves and am guessing we only have a small start on our needs for next year.
We packed our things and again mounted our seats in each vehicle for our trip back to the states leaving traces in the dust of the village from our footprints and tire tracks. Its my hope the traces we left in the hearts of those along for the project remain longer than those left in the dirt we left behind. We were once again blessed with a crossing so we didn't have to stay in line but for a short time.
An extra happy note is that when Ken prayed the prayer of salvation I noted that we had hands raised again this visit, but as Pastor Rich reminds me a raised hand doesn't mean acceptance of the Lord and that time will tell if we truly have a harvest. That gives you hope of things to come and you know your efforts will in time come to fruit if you continue to water the fields.


Our house is about 95% complete, so we decided to move in as the final details are finishing up. We are so blessed by this wonderful gift that so many participated in. We can't begin to know how to thank everyone, except by allowing God to use us 100% so that we can care for the children of Caring Hearts and the needy people of San Luis. Juana and I are overwhelmed by the generosity and beauty of what we have received, and often feel unworthy, but at the same time we hear the voice of God proclaiming his love for us, as we reap the benefits of 47 combined years sown into the lives of Latin American people here and in Mexico City, Acapulco, Merida, Chetumal, El Salvador, Cuba, Toluca, Puebla, Guadalajara, Belize, and Brazil. To all those who contributed to our house, we thank you with all of our hearts, and proclaim a hearty welcome to those who wish to visit. Pray for God's blessing and protection, that it will be a house of rest that will allow us to prepare our minds and bodies for the great works He has prepared for us with Caring Hearts.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Here are some pictures the recent groups took of the kids here in San Luis.

Friday, January 16, 2009


For the first time, a group came to work exclusively at the Oasis Boys Home, and what a blessing they were. Geneva College, under the leadership of Karen Schmalz and Ashley Grueso brought a small group of college students to stay at Oasis and work with the boys. They held different seminars for anger management and english, and also taught them how to bake and make other kinds of snacks. They also had skits and Bible studies. In the afternoons, they did other ministries, including time with the Bethel kids, Jail ministry, Indian Village and the dump. Pedro and the boys are especially thankful for the time this group spent with them, it made them feel very special. Enjoy the pictures and watch for testimonies coming soon.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


A wonderful group of young people from IUP who attend Grace Methodist Church joined us for a week in San Luis. They did a lot of work at Ken and Juana's house, completing the trim and drywalling some rooms, as well as starting the carport roof. They also had a King's Day celebration for the kids, which they did in a traditional Mexican way, with gifts and sweet bread. They also held a carnival for the Bethel kids which was a big success. They rounded out their week with trips to the dump and jail. Enjoy the pictures! Testimonies coming soon.

Monday, January 12, 2009


From December 30 to January 6 we were blessed by a group from St. Ferdinand's Parish from Cranberry PA. This group did a lot of different and unique ministries that blessed many needy people in San Luis. They brought 9 solar panel units and installed 7 of them, which help people who have not electricity. They provide enough electricity to light a small light and a radio for a number of hours. They also gave out wind up lanterns, miniature solar panels with lights. They are trying to start a relationship with the local Rotary Clubs to be able to get more of these units out, and to keep them maintained. Some of the Oasis boys went with them for the installation to learn how to do it. They donated one to Oasis as well for them to experiment and practice the maintenance.

This group spent a lot of time with our shut ins as well. Along with prayer, rice and beans, they also helped out in different ways, cleaning up their lots, providing shelter and furniture, fixing outhouses, among other things. This is one of my favorite ministries, and I really appreciate this group for helping Sra. Inez in the work she does.

This group also helped at Ken and Juana's House, Casa Emmanuel and the Holy Spirit Parish with painting and odd jobs. And of course they spent time with the children of Caring Hearts. A busy and productive group that comes each year, a blessing for all. We appreciate you Saint Ferdinands! Enjoy their pictures. In the days ahead we will have it in their own words with their testimonies.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


We have started this new year with a bang, hosting 3 groups simultaenously. Today, St. Ferdinands from Cranberry PA will be leaving after a week of helping out needy people all over San Luis. Currently we have two other groups who arrived Saturday. IUP/Grace Methodist is here to help with Ken and Juana's house and minister to the children. Geneva College is here with a small group to minister at the Boy's Home. I will be giving more detailled reports as time allows, but I am sure you can imagine, we are quite busy. Monday we had 3 groups doing three different things at the same time, so it has been crazy! I thank God for their FLEXIBLE attitude of service, San Luis and Caring Hearts will be blessed. Keep checking in for detailed reports soon. - Ken

Thursday, January 1, 2009


I use a large desktop calendar and of course at the end of each month I tear off the top page. After 31 days of use the once bright white leaf is covered with scribble, smudges and iced tea stains. On the new one, which is fresh and clean, I neatly fill in the blocks that represent each day with scheduled meetings, services and events knowing that in 4 ½ weeks this page too will be stained and tattered when I tear it off and put another month behind me. Eventually I
reach this time of year when I tear off the last page and realize that another year is over. All the things that were written down on that calendar were done or not done, but that time is gone and 12 new fresh white pages lie before me, their ruled lines and numbered blocks ready
for new assignments. Sometimes our best plans fall short. Other times little things that didn't even make the calendar turn out to be our most successful endeavors. As we begin 2009, the whole world is holding its breath to see what is going to happen with the economy as
one bad report follows another. Of course we need to be wise and plan accordingly, but we have to remember that God has plans to give His people hope and a future. As you read this letter there are families in San Luis going through hard times we can't even imagine. Before 2009 is out they will have to make the gut wrenching decision to place their child in Bethel Orphanage. In other homes a single parent will die leaving a child who will end up at our gates. God has a plan for those children and you and I are privileged to be a part of it. Your giving, your going, and your praying has virtually saved lives in 2008 and now God will use you to give hope and a future to a child in San Luis in 2009. Don't be afraid of what the New Year will bring. Be amazed at what God has done and will do through you. Be Blessed in 2009, Pastor Gary