God once said, "The light will shine out of the darkness!" And this is the same God who made his light shine in our hearts. He gave us light by letting us know the glory of God that is in the face of Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6 ERV)
"Why do you keep on doing all this?"
We get from time to time. It's a legitimate question. It's a question usually raised by someone who sees how hard we work and how close we run to the edge. It's a question about the Heartlight.org, SearchGodsWord.org, Today's Verse, iluminalma.com.br, and What Jesus Did! Ministries.
Heartlight began over eight years ago. Millions around the world have been touched. We currently reach into over 180 countries with our devotionals, directly reaching over half a million different people per month with many more touched indirectly. We have 3.7 million page views and between 15-20 million hits per month. Over 150,000 per day receive one of our Heartlight devotionals or articles. Thousands use our Heart Gallery graphics and PowerPoint backgrounds each week in their worship services. Many more are blessed by HeartCards, a free e-cards service. Thousands more receive forwarded devotionals and articles.
What began as a tiny operation run out of a bedroom on an old beat up server has turned into quite an operation. We offered the Lord our five loaves and two fish, people have prayed and supported us financially, and God has done surprising and wonderful things — more than we could have ever asked or imagined!
Heartlight is a labor of love. However, we barely survived the recent three year economic downturn. We are not sure that we have enough to make the end of the month financial demands. We've been here before, trusting that the Lord would provide. He always has. However, with our expansion into other languages and some real spiritual opportunities to help folks on the other side of the great digital divide, the stakes are higher and we need your help. We promise you that we are not wasteful with the blessings and resources you entrust to us.*
We do not ask for help very often — we don't like to beg for support and don't want to have our hand out every time we send something to our readers. We have two periods a year when we remind our readers of our need for support. This is our mid-year reminder. We need you to respond if you can. (If you can't, we understand: you're why we exist — to get positive Christian resources into the hands of folks who could not afford to receive them otherwise.)
There are a number of ways you can support Heartlight financially and spiritually. Follow this link and it will tell you all about those ways to help. Meanwhile, I'd like to answer the question ...
"Why do you keep doing all of this?"
There are many legitimate answers to this important question.
- We do it because we believe God called us to do Heartlight.
- We love this ministry and what the Father has done with it.
- We are touched and encouraged by notes from people all over the world.
- We've invested so much in the work and believe it should continue.
- One message came from a person inside Iran. He needs access to Christian information that is not available in his country.
- Another message came from Nigeria. It was from a young man who is trying to hang on to faith despite being persecuted by his family and former friends who are not Christians.
- Still another ray of encouragement came from a Jewish single mom who is a believer and uses Heartlight resources to share God's grace with her grown children.
- One of my favorite recent notes came from the head of Ethiopian campus ministries who uses Heartlight resources to teach college students in the public campus ministries across their country.
- Still another came from Brazil sent to us by a minister who thanks us for our simple and plain devotionals that touch his life.
- In this last week, we have heard from people in South Africa, Australia, and Argentina who have been encouraged and blessed to keep living the Christian life despite challenges and hardships.
We continue doing Heartlight because we believe our mission is still valid, our work is still needed, and God's people still want to bless others around the world with heaven's grace. Heartlight exists to provide resources for positive Christian living in today's world. We hope you choose to help us keep the light shining.
* A Brief Explanation of How We Operate: We have one full time person whose family depends upon us for his salary and who does great work faithfully. We have one part-time person who gets a little financial help for hours of work and stress he invests. Both of these worked for 5 years with little or no compensation. Our two primary copy editors, Ray and Ed, volunteer untold hours each week without compensation. Our tech guru, John, volunteers his time to serve on our board and spends hundreds of hours per year working on our software, equipment, and helping us with tech needs as a labor of love — no small task with hackers, viruses, and software upgrades. Barry volunteers his time to help with our books and financial matters despite being a church leader with a demanding schedule, running his own business, and despite having had to deal with significant health problems over the last year. Our articles are freely shared by folks who want to bless the Christian community and who offer their work without stipend. We've even cut our operating costs by five thousand dollars per month over the last several years to run as efficiently and responsibly as possible. We're trying to be good stewards of God's resources that you have entrusted to us!