2019 Advent Letter
Pastor Dave Frincke
Dear Heartland Family,
Advent is a very special time of the year. It’s a seasonal rhythm for us as we remember that Jesus Christ came to the earth to save, rescue and redeem His people. It’s also a season of looking forward in anticipation for His return. This time of remembering and looking forward is significant for us as a church. As I remember all that God has done at Heartland this past year, I can’t help but smile and give thanks. And as I look forward to what He is calling us into, I am filled with so much joy and excitement.
Let’s Remember Together
2019 has been quite an extraordinary year in Heartland’s call to be a “neighborhood congregation”. Our impact at Northside High School continues to grow as we get more opportunities to show students the kindness and love of Jesus. In addition to partnering with Young Life to minister to students on campus at Northside, we began hosting Young Lives, a ministry to teen moms. I have really appreciated our community groups pouring out so much love and support for these moms and their babies as they meet in our building. This was also the first year we were able to partner with the Northside Neighborhood Association in hosting 4 food truck rallies at Lakeside park. Thousands of people came to the rallies. I loved seeing families sitting down on the grass to eat, play and enjoy conversations with their neighbors. It takes time and consistency to build trust. All of these things, including our continued commitment to Lightfest, Revive (our youth ministry), community group service projects, prayer walking and so much more, help contribute to Heartland making a redemptive impact in the Northside Neighborhood.
Not only are we serving our own neighborhood, our St. Michael mission at Ridgebrook continues to impact many families. Our volunteer team goes above and beyond every week as they share the love of Jesus with these kids through food, fun and Bible teaching.
This was also a year for the Unity Driven Bus Project to begin. The team has worked so hard in renovating an old school bus and getting this outreach ministry on the road. They’ve seen hundreds of college students come on the bus for worship, prayer, ministry, conversation and of course… coffee.
In addition to our neighborhood and regional presence, this was another year of major international impact. We sent ministry teams to Wales, England, Brazil, Serbia, Burundi, Kenya & Mozambique. Through United Adoration, we have raised up international leadership teams who are carrying the vision forward. This year alone, United Adoration hosted 19 songwriting & worship arts retreats across 4 continents as we work to empower congregations to write and sing their own songs and heal the relationship between artists and the Church.
Through Pat Jehl, our evangelism training ministry in Africa went to a whole new level this year. Heartland sent over another 12 evangelism tents a couple of months ago. Already, we have verified reports that through just 2 of those tents, the Jesus Film has been shown in 10 additional villages, church attendance has doubled or tripled in certain places, 6 new churches have been planted and 9 more are getting ready to be planted next year. Wow!
And there’s so much more. I wish I had time and space to share with you about all of the people getting healed and set free through healing prayer and SoulCare; all of the kids being discipled and raised up for ministry; helping to start worship and healing nights at St. Francis University; our dynamic men’s and women’s ministries; powerful ministry to the churches and clergy in our diocese; our involvement in the unity movement happening in Fort Wayne; and the list goes on.
As important as remembering is during this Advent season, I also want take a moment to look forward.
Let’s Look Forward Together
I love that we are a pioneering church. I know that 2020 will bring us many new Kingdom adventures. But I want to highlight 2 incredible opportunities we have right in front of us: the Heartland Food Pantry and Streams of Hope Christian Academy.
Heartland Food Pantry
For many years, we have operated a food pantry where we provide food and ministry to thousands of people every year. Earlier this year we applied for a $25,000 matching grant for our pantry… and we got it! We are so excited to be the recipients of this grant because it gives us a unique financial opportunity to do things that we couldn’t normally do. We have some great plans to streamline the storage, sorting and distribution of food as well as better serve those who are in need.
Streams of Hope Christian Academy
The idea of Heartland starting an educational school has been in our holy imagination for years. But it was this year that we felt the Lord tell us to move forward. And He has confirmed that word time and time again all throughout this year. My heart is breaking for families in our country. It seems that the enemy is doing everything he can to infiltrate, complicate and tear families apart. My prayer is that Streams of Hope will help bring families together while meeting the unique educational and spiritual needs of each student. We are on target to officially begin Streams of Hope in the Fall of 2020 for students in grades 1 through 12. We are taking a unique approach to education where all of Heartland’s DNA, culture and values will be expressed from the beginning to the end of each school day. (To find out more, please visit www.streamsofhopeacademy.com).
The Lord has blessed us with a lot of space to start Streams of Hope. But the rooms we need to start with are in need of work. We need to upgrade the HVAC, flooring and bathrooms in our first two classrooms as well as install new exterior security doors. We’d also love to begin utilizing the courtyard as an integral part of Streams of Hope, but a lot of work needs to be done to make that a reality. It’s also on our heart to have scholarship funds available for families who need some help with tuition.
I am so thankful that all bills are paid and we are on track to meet this year’s budget. However, the cost to match the food pantry grant and prepare for Streams of Hope is significant and exceeds what we are able to budget for. It’s because of this that I would ask you to prayerfully consider giving a special, year end financial gift. Your year end giving will help us move forward in both of these areas and fully embrace what God has prepared for us to do. There are many ways to give financially to Heartland; including Sunday mornings during worship, online at www.heartlandfw.org/giving or mailing in a check. No matter which way you decide to give, please write “2019 year end gift” in the memo section of your check, online form or envelope.
When we invest our time, money and prayer together as a community, we can accomplish great things for the Kingdom of God! Thank you all for your love, prayers and financial partnership. I look forward to discovering all that God has for us in the coming year.