Map of Panama
Heart's Cry Children's Ministry Newsletter
In This Issue
The Big Move
Life in Panama
Ministry Begins
Want to know how you can get involved?  Here's how:
  • Donate Montly:
    Join our Heartbeat Team
    and support us on a monthly basis.  Simply click on our website at and it will guide you on the easy steps to start that process. 
  • Donate a one-time gift:  Make the check out to Southbridge Fellowship; Remember to put in Memo Line: For Heart's Cry Children's Ministry!; then mail to HCCM at PO Box 17507, Raleigh NC  27619.
  • Donate Stock or other non-liquid gifts by simply responding to this email or calling us at (919) 926-1332 and we will tell you how.
  • Join our Prayer Team by responding to this email and we will add you to the Heart's Cry team!  Please commit to praying for this ministry on a daily baisis.  Prayer is a crucial facet of this ministry.
  • Host a Panamanian Coffee Time with Matt and Misty at your home and invite your friends or neighbors.  This informational gathering allows us to share our ministry with many people in a non-intimidating setting.  We will be home for 3 weeks in December, so let us know soon if you are interested in hosting between December 9th thru January 1st.
  • Share this email with others who have a heart for orphans and encourage them to get involved with this exciting ministry.
  • Tell your local church about our ministry.  We are thrilled to be able to share what God is doing through this ministry with your pastor and/or congregation. 


Panama Fun Fact:
A large portion of the new James Bond 007 movie was filmed here in Panama!  When it show the slums of Haiti, that is actually part of the slums here in Panama.  (Guess they didn't want to film in Haiti with the political situation.)  And the boat scene was filmed here as well on the Carribean side.  A few of our friends were extra's in the film-- one actually has a quite a bit of face time!  We went and saw the film at the movie theater here and everyone was cheering when it showed Panama.  Pretty cool stuff!!   

Thank you for your involvement in Heart's Cry Children's Ministry.  We hope this newsletter will keep you up to date on HCCM.  Please contact us should you have further questions or comments.  We praise the Lord for all He has done, and anxiously wait in anticipation for what lies ahead.  Please continue to lift us up in prayer in the days and weeks ahead.  We are so thankful for each of you.  Thank you for your heart for the orphans of Panama.   
                                                              Love in Christ.
                                                      Misty and Matt Hedspeth
The Big Move
 Send off group  
We made The Big Move on October 2nd.  Some friends surprised us and came to the airport for an awesome send-off.  We were totally blown away!  Could not stop praising the Lord.  We felt the love of the Lord and of you all through these dear, dear friends.  And right before we moved, Ashley and Sarah threw a picnic for us.  What an awesome time that was to hug and say bye to our sweet friends.  We have been showered with love from so many of you.  Thank you for your support!!!  The Lord has blessed us through you all.  October 2nd was a LONG, exhausting day - yet your love and support before we left made all the difference. 
    We made it to our apartment in Panama with our 2 dogs and all our luggage early the next morning.  (Each of these things were a huge answer to prayer!)  It was tough getting ready for the move and then moving, but we made it!!  The Lord provided every step of the way.  We were quite nervous, having never lived in another country before.  Yet so excited for what lay ahead. 
    Once we arrived, it was full steam ahead.  Our apartment was a wreck, as it had been a rental unit and we had some work done on it before we arrived (supposedly) to get it in livable condition.  They were nowhere near finished, but finally completed it 3 1/2 weeks later.  We were without a kitchen for that whole time.  I had never been so thankful for a sink before the move!  Making coffee in the bathroom was getting old.  After a lot of perserverance, the work was finished and we started to feel settled.  Our friends here helped take care of us in the meantime though, bringing us food or taking us to dinner.  And our crate arrived right after the work was completed too, thanks to a generous donation from some friends back home.  I was thrilled to have my dishes/pots/pans and a few things from home.  After all that, our apartment was finally starting to feel like home.   
Send off group Life in Panama
Well, this is it... Panama City, Panama.  We live in an apartment building up on a hill, and this is the view from our apartment building.  The view is the greatest thing about it!!  In this picture you can see a building  that looks like a cone.  That building is MIDES, the department of government over families and adoptions here in Panama, where we will be working.  Traffic in Panama is CRAZY, so we are very blessed to have found an apartment near where we will be working.  Otherwise you could spend many hours in traffic to go just a few blocks. 
    Let's see, how would I describe life here?  The only word I can use to describe life here is Chaotic.  It has been so challenging to get our home settled and start our life here.  Slowly, though, we are feeling much more at home.  We started our Spanish classes a few weeks after moving, so that is helping tremendously.  We are taking an intensive course so as to learn as quickly as possible. 
    It is Winter now, which is funny to call it that.  It just means a ton of rain.  It is hot and humid, with rain almost every afternoon at least once each day.  And when I say humid, I mean extremely humid.  Their Summer starts the first of the year, and they say it is awesome: no humidity, lots of sun, and a breeze off the ocean.  Can't wait!  This past  week was full of their independence day celebrations.  There are about 3 different independence days in a row, but the entire city pretty much shuts down for 8 days.  We were floored!  We have learned how much Panamanians love to celebrate (or should I say Party?)!  Especially the one's down below from us!! 
    There are approximately 3 million people in the country of Panama and a little less than half of the country's population live in Panama City.  It is a busy, loud place with few traffic laws and very poor planning/zoning.  Just craziness everywhere.  Traffic is so bad that I have been scared to drive here until 2 days ago.  I finally braved it and drove by myself to the store because Matt was sick.  I was so proud!!  And Matt is doing much better today.  We have had way more sicknesses than I care to count since moving.  I have been sick more day's than not.  It's been quite the adjustment for us in every way.  Yet, here we are!  And we know, without a doubt, this is where God has called us for a time.  We praise Him for this crazy city!!     
Ministry Begins
Send off groupWe met with MIDES right before their independence days and received the go-ahead to begin work.  Great news!  We completed all our preliminary formalities and the Director said "Okay, let's get to work."  Just what we wanted to hear.  We will begin our work by meeting with several orphanage directors and working with them to get their standards up to those under the new law here in Panama.  We have made more trips to several of the orphanages close by, so as to meet with the directors and assess needs.  There is a huge need for psychologists and counseling for the orphans, as so many of them have been physically or sexually abused.  Please pray for our efforts to coordinate the much-needed counseling for these children. 
  Further, we will begin working with MIDES in driving the social workers to do their investigations of the birthparents, so as to work the children through the system and work towards getting them in to loving homes.  RIght now there is such an extreme delay.  The children sit in orphanages for years, if not all their lives, when their parents abandoned them at birth and will never return for them.  The lack of resources, training and also desire of the country, has prohibited these children from being adopted into families.  Recently there has begun a movement to change this.  PLEASE PRAY.  While there is a move towards changing this broken system, there is also now a push towards making birthparents keep their children at all costs, even when they have no desire to be parents or when they have no resources to do so.  This generally leads to extended family members taking the children in and they often turn them into slaves working in their homes.  A move has begun here to prevent the future orphan population in wrong ways.  We have had many discouragements while digging into the orphan situation here.  Our hearts are continuously broken over the plight of these children.  We have learned of the huge problem with sexual abuse of children in the interior of Panama.  The statistics of molestation are absolutely astounding here.  Please pray for the protection of the children.  We covet and need your prayers in the days ahead, as this is a giant battleground.         
Heart's Cry Children's Ministry     Post Office Box 17507     Raleigh, NC  27619 
919- 926-1332 USA
001-507-6546-1576 PANAMA