Heart's Cry Children's Ministry
Heart's Cry Children's Ministry Newsletter
June Update
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We are so excited to update you on not only the work in Panama, but also what the Lord is doing in us personally. God is changing our lives in many ways since we have been here and we praise Him for it. He is teaching us to hear His voice and know His love like never before. Misty and I have never taken the time to actually stop and listen to the Holy Spirit in us, but He definitely has a lot to say! We have a Father who is neither impressed by our works nor disappointed by our failures. He simply loves us and wants our hearts, not our flesh! He has slowed us down in order to transform us. This transformation always requires waiting on the Lord, and this is very hard for performance-based people like Misty and I. God is working to get rid of this performance-based, man-pleasing spirit in us and replacing it with a desire to only please Him. This preparation has been painful at times, but we have never experienced freedom in the Lord like this before. We are hungry to hear what the Lord is doing in your lives so please let us know so that we can grow together as one.

Matt and Misty Hedspeth

Map of Panama POST-ELECTION UPDATE: Now that Ricardo Martinelli has been elected president of Panama, we are excited to be working closely with MIDES (the department of government that handles adoptions and orphan care). Because of this relationship that the Lord formed over one year ago, we have been put in contact with the new Director of Adoptions, who takes her post officially in 6 weeks. She has more interest in making changes to the system and using our help than we ever imagined! We are meeting with her very frequently now for the purpose of putting together a proposal for changes in the adoption law, drafting guidelines, creating foster care, and many more things such as this. Moving these abandoned children through the family investigation process more efficiently (thus into loving homes) and establishing a regulated foster care (so as to more adequately care for the emotional and physical needs of these babies) are two of our many goals. The new government is going to allow us to organize a "pilot foster care program" where we will train the families, train the orphanages that are involved, and oversee/monitor the giving of approximately nine children into foster care for the purpose of showing how effective it is for the long-term health and well-being of these children. Pray for wisdom and godly families to be provided.

HELP FROM COLOMBIA: We visited Bogota, Colombia during the end of February this year for the purpose of learning why that country has such a world-renowned adoption and orphan care process. The Lord totally blessed our trip and we learned more in a week than I ever could have imagined. We plan to return to Bogota very soon for the purpose of performing a full investigation of the I.C.B.F. (their equivalent of MIDES) and the new director of MIDES is planning on going with us! That is huge because it shows the depth of her commitment. This will allow us to utilize many resources currently available, rather than reinventing the wheel. God has miraculously opened up these doors in these governments and we praise Him for it. We know that He loves these precious children way more than we can and so we trust Him fully to proceed as He allows. He must continue to open the doors or this work will not go forward. We are spending our time now gathering resources from all over the world (literally!), rewriting guidelines, and meeting with many people for the purpose of establishing our relationship as a consultant to the Panamanian Government. Please pray for open door and for the Lord to break hardened hearts, especially in the judicial branch of government here.

LOCAL BODY: God has also called us to share with the Body of Christ here locally the need for us to meet these orphans where they are, and to not "walk on the other side of the road". We met with three different churches and were able to speak to their congregations about the situation in Panama with orphans. God is slowly raising up believers who are dedicated to what we are calling the Godparent Program, which is a long-term commitment of mentoring or spending time with an orphan at a particular orphanage on a consistent basis. This has introduced us to other believers that truly have a God-given compassion for orphans. We will begin placing children with these godparents soon. More important than the adoption into a human family is the adoption into God's family, so pray for miracles to happen in these children's hearts!

VISA PRAISE: Also, our temporary visa was approved yesterday! That means that we don't have to keep traveling back and forth every 3 months under a tourist visa. Then in 1 year we can apply for our permanent visa. Praise God, as this went way faster than we had anticipated!! We are still awaiting the approval of our non-profit registration here in Panama, which is crucial to the work ahead. Please pray that this would also be a speedy process.

PLEASE PRAY for these abandoned children, and that the believers in Panama would be led to rise up and show the love of God to their orphans. Pray for Ari, Misty and I to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and to only go where God is calling us. Also, pray for God's protection during our trip to Colombia, and that it will be a productive trip according to God's will. Thank you all for your support in these endeavors.

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