Wednesday, February 23, 2011

From Aaron: What I'll REALLY be up to at Heartline

I will not be starting midwifery training.  I'm not even entirely sure how to handle questions about what my own wife does.  "What does your wife do at Heartline?"  Can my response be, "Uh...weird, woman stuff that makes me feel instantly sweaty and makes my face turn read when she tells me about her day."  I will try my best to stay as far away from the maternity center as possible. 

Heather's previous post should be evidence of something that I have to repeatedly tell my high school
students: “You cannot believe everything you read on the internet.”

However, you can believe the following …

In the fall I will be joining Heartline to help create and implement men's training and discipleship

For years, most of Heartline's efforts have been directed at women. Research and experience have shown that equipping women and ministering to them has much quicker and much more successful results than ministry to men.  Heartline's programs have had years of success in providing women with job skills, nutrition information, and healthy family practices. However, for years, John McHoul has been burdened with the fact that unless men are also being trained, Haiti will not see the sort of healthy families that God desires.

Shortly after I arrived in Haiti, John mentioned in one of his sermons that he really had a heart to
see Haitian men be men in Haiti. After church I casually mentioned that I understood his burden
and would love to help if I could. A couple of months later we started talking about what that could
actually look like and what we could do to help men be who God wanted them to be. We're still not
entirely sure where the Lord will lead in this ministry to men. However, we have an idea where to

We want to start like Jesus started – with a small group of guys working together.

Right now, Heartline uses seven properties and a number of vehicles to do the work that they do. With that
many cars and houses, there is always something that needs to be fixed. Generators quit producing
electricity (wives get mad). Inverters go bad. Pipes leak. Cars break down. Oil needs changing.

Thanks to the grace of the Lord, the patience of my father, and the necessity borne out of always owning things that were broke down, I've become pretty handy at repairing things. And (again thanks
in large part to my father) I've gotten pretty good at fixing things in “unconventional” ways. This is a
skill that comes in very handy in Haiti where the nearest Home Depot is about 700 miles away … and
in another country. If necessity is the mother of invention, she's got lots of kids in Haiti.

I will take on the responsibility of maintaining the cars and properties that Heartline uses for ministry.
However, I won't do this alone. I will have a group of Haitian guys who I can work with - who I will be
teaching mechanic skills, home repair skills, and how to work hard in a way that honors the Lord.
We'll start the day with prayer and reading God's word. We'll be able to talk all day about what God is
doing and how He's revealing himself around us. This “discipleship” program will look much more like
the way Jesus made disciples than a traditional men's Bible study.

Again, much of this is still in the formative stages. I'm sure that much of what I have in my head will
look different once it's actually put in to practice on the ground. Even with a lot of great ingredients in place, that doesn't necessarily mean success.  This is Haiti.  Discipling and training men will be hard.  I'm sure I'll feel inept 99% of the time.  Haiti is truly gifted at keeping us humble.  But I'm looking forward to pouring into some men in the same way that I've been poured into. And I'm blessed to be joining the work that God is already doing through Heartline.


From the wife....

Since moving to Haiti I've never been more thankful to be married to a handy man who is the sexy kind of geeky. The kind of geeky that gets me internet when everyone else around us can't seem to get  connected.  Love that about this man I married.  I'm excited to see God use each of the gifts He's given Aaron. This position at Heartline seems like the perfect fit.  I'm sure it will stretch Aaron beyond belief, and give him plenty of reasons to feel like a failure, but as his wife, I have enjoyed seeing God's faithfulness in this area over the past few months.

I love getting a front row seat as I watch Aaron disciple our four boys.  They pile up on the couch with their daddy in the evenings and read the Bible together (sometimes this is a beautiful thing, sometimes Aaron's patience is truly tested as he tries to teach four neurotic squirrels about Jesus).  More importantly, he strives to live those things they learn about in scripture out in every day life...not perfectly...but honestly and intentionally.

He is a wonderful our the classroom...and in the church.  I'm already praying for this new group of men who will work together and do life together in the Fall.

One of my favorite things about Aaron is that he loves to keep the women and children in his life happy.  He's just sweet that way.  I feel excited knowing that no matter what he'll find a way to get his wife, kids, other HL women and children, or laboring moms important things like...well...electricity.  He knows 40 ways to fix just about everything, and works best under pressure (and you better believe he'll feel the pressure as his wife stands over him dramatically griping and whining about not having power or internet access).  See?  Perfect job for him.  Just perfect.  I'm excited for myself the group of guys who will be working together in the fall.


Jessica said...

Hendricks, over and over again it's so encouraging to see God's faithfulness in your life! Aaron, those Haitian men are so blessed to learn and grow under you.

Will you stay in Haiti through the summer then?


Bob & Judy said...

Aaron, your father's father began all this and deserves credit for something he would never have expected - equipping ministers of the gospel. I don't know why he decided to learn to build a refrigerator or the million other things he just decided to learn. But we all thank him for it.

Heather, I know just what you mean. I don't particularly LIKE having car batteries in the closet, but it's really nice when the electricity goes out and somehow Poppi makes the internet travel through one. Magic.

Love you guys a ton.

Zoanna said...

Handy is sexy, and a handy Christian man? The best! I know. I married one.

the amy's said...

Love it! God is so awesome! This is the perfect use of your and Aaron's God-given gifts and passions. I am so excited to hear how the Lord works all this together. I got to admit, Heartline's women's ministry, is fascinating to me, as I have been working with my midwife here. I've been going to homebirths since November and love it! I have also gotten to do breastfeeding eductation. I love reading about the ministry there; I feel a connection to what you are doing. Love you guys! Hope to see you when you get to visit. I will be lifting up these new opportunities. God bless!

mandi said...

This is awesome! I think it is a true blessing for a wife to see her husband being used in a way that totally fits him.
I'm excited for y'all! And I can't wait to tell JOhn about this when he gets home. This is HIS kind of discipleship!

Marla Taviano said...

Stinking AWESOME! I am soooooo excited about this!!!!

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

"The sexy kind of geeky". This is why we are twins. What? You didn't know we're twins?


McElroy Family Happenings said...

Outstanding! I just love it, love it, love it!

mbs said...

Perfect fit!! Plus, coming full circle in the discipleship focus...

May God pour out His Spirit on this project and touch the lives of many families through the work you two do.

The Kramer Family said...

I must admit that when you sweet people first left, I took comfort in the fact that it was ONLY for 9 months. How many times did we say that last summer..."It's only for 9 months."

But, now looking at how the Lord has worked because we've been given a front row seat in this whole process, I'm rejoicing at all that HE has done.

Now, I take comfort in knowing that you guys are RIGHT where He wants you to be. I mean seriously....Aaron fixing things and discipling men folk; perfect. And you helping women feed their babies and getting all up in their knitty gritty; double perfect.

He has gifted you each for this very thing and placed you in a land where He will receive all of the glory through your obedience. He has asked you do to hard stuff that can only be made possible through our weakness and His strength.

I love you guys more than you will ever know.

Aunt Lynsey

Megan Sandoz said...

I am so excited. This is awesome!