October 18, 2018 | Mikayla Heldt

Garry and Patty Heiney, AGWM Missionaries to Venezuela

Southwestern Assemblies of God University’s (SAGU) Southwestern Missions Association (SMA) is raising funds to go towards Samuel’s House – a children’s home in Venezuela.

Samuel’s House is a home started by Assemblies of God World Missionaries Gary and Patty Heiney for kids in need living on the streets and in marginalized areas in Venezuela. The country is currently experiencing civil unrest due to unhealthy inflation rates and growing socialism. According to Intercultural Studies professor Rennae de Freitas, 70% of Venezuelans are only eating one meal a day. Because of these shortages, Samuel's House was raided resulting in a significant loss of food and supplies for the children.

“We’re a part of the Body of Christ and when one suffers, we all suffer,” said de Freitas. “In this particular situation, I just feel like we’re a part of that body so we’re going to help.”

SAGU students, faculty and staff are encouraged to participate in the Giving Project each semester – by collectively giving money to a specific need somewhere in the world.

“Our work, the way we earn our money, has eternal implications when we give.”

This semester’s Giving Project was determined by SMA executives and an encounter with a faculty member whose family supports a child in Samuel’s House.

“I just feel like the Lord unfolded this with a conversation with one of our faculty that was very connected to this ministry,” de Freitas says.

For last semester’s Giving Project, SMA chose to help a Women’s Teen Challenge – a substance abuse recovery program – facility in Ventura, California that was heavily damaged from the wildfires that occurred in December of last year.

The campus was able to raise an impressive total of $7,416 for the Teen Challenge facility.

De Freitas strongly encourages everyone to give, not only because it’s a biblical mandate, but because she believes that even a little bit of money that students give can “impact the nations”.

“What students do may seem insignificant right now in their lives but it is, especially when we connect it to what God is doing in the world,” she said.