My Heart For Harvest Celebration Ministries

Steve and Connie Hutto
In 1998 God spoke to Connie and me to establish a missions organization. God had given us a love for the nations. As I was exposed to folks from other nations such as India, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, God begin to hone in on those areas we were to be involved in.

We started with India. This was because I met Pastor G.R. Purushotham from India in 1996 when he came to the United States. He told me repeatedly, while here in the States, "You must come to India to preach the Word of God where the people are so hungry for the Word." I went in 1997 for the first time and he was not kidding! It changed my life. (More on that first trip here.) Pastor Purushotham has been promoted to heaven, but his wife Padmini, and his son, G.P. Samuel have taken up the mantle to continue the vast ministry to Pastors and churches in India. We at HCM are thrilled to partner with Brother Samuel to help complete church facilities and help to offer support to pastors in India. And in addition, I'm thrilled to continue to preach the Word of God in India!

In 2006, I met Pastor Manfredy Zelaya from Honduras. He, Connie, and myself sat in a Zaxby's in Athens, GA for a couple of hours talking about the ministry to Honduras. God moved on Connie and me right then and there to become more involved with this man of God from Honduras. In 2007, I visited Honduras 2 times. I've been many times since. In 2011, just having returned from Honduras, God told me to pray that Harvest Celebration Ministries would "flourish" for His glory. I've been praying that since, and God is causing it to happen!

HCM's ministry to Honduras includes ministry to the small, outlying village of Concordia. From Concordia, several children are sponsored monthly, and others are waiting to be sponsored. Other children are sponsored from the capitol city of Tegucigalpa. There are regular outreaches to the village of Concordia which include a hot meal for all the children who come, not just the sponsored ones. God is truly causing HCM to flourish for His glory!

My heart is that we can eventually partner with God in a full-time capacity to reach these nations, and others He places on our hearts. My belief is that He will provide folks who share our vision, who will partner with us on a regular basis with financial support to bring this vast vision to reality. My request is that you pray about joining Connie, myself, and Harvest Celebration ministries in this quest.

We are available meet with you to share and discuss the HCM vision of reaching the nations of Honduras and India with the life-changing love of Jesus. I can be contacted at harvcel@gmail. Please feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions. If you desire to go ahead and support HCM financially, you can set up your donations here. https://www.paypal.me/harvcelmin 

Connie and I thank you so much for your prayerful consideration! God's richest blessings to you!

In Christ,
Steve Hutto



How Short-Term Missions Changed My Life (Part Two)

As I said in my previous post, my first trip to India changed my life as a follower of Christ. It was during this trip many things happened touching my life deeply. The following is just one of them.

It was morning. I was waiting for my ride to the meeting place. A young Indian pastor (Thomas) had stayed nearby and was waiting with me for our ride. We began to chat about Thomas's life. I asked him what his life as a pastor was like in India. He told me about a typical Saturday and Sunday in His schedule.

On Saturday evening He, his family, and church members meet for all-night-prayer. They start at about 11 pm and pray until about 5 am. They break shortly for tea and pray some more...until about 7 or 8 am. Thomas said when prayer ends he and his family head home to clean up for their first service. This service lasts about 3 hours. Around 11 am or 12 noon, they break for lunch. After a short rest he and family head for another small congregation to conduct a service during the afternoon. After the service they break for dinner. After the evening meal they move to yet another congregation for their third and last service of the day. I was overwhelmed at their dedication and commitment to serving Jesus. I was wondering when they rested. However, rest was not an issue to them. It was very obvious...the joy of the Lord was their strength.

As Pastor Thomas was telling me this I turned off the TV in the hotel room on which ESPN was playing. The TV was somewhere around 13 inches, and black and white. (Some of you have never seen a black and white TV.) But they did have a satellite feed with ESPN in English! I was so convicted over my lack-luster Christian life-style I turned it off. As Pastor Thomas continued and tears began to stream down my cheeks. God had pierced my heart and emotionally it was almost too much for me. Then Pastor Thomas began to cry. We both sat and wept as we worshiped the God who is worthy of it all.

It had become so clear to me that what I thought was a deep commitment to Jesus was very shallow. Jesus was important to me. I was a pastor! But for me it was NOT all about Him. He was important, but not the CENTER of it all. Like so many Christian Americans, I was too busy for Him. Most of all I did was for ministry sake...but not for Jesus. God used this first visit to India to shake me, to awaken me, and to prepare me.

I returned to America with a renewed commitment to live for Jesus 24 x 7. I wanted my life to be consumed with Jesus, ministering to Him and to others like my friends in India were consumed.

When it was time for me to return to the States I was ready. I couldn't wait to get back to the comforts of America. It was great returning home to my family. However, a week after I was home I began to realize my first trip to India was just the beginning. What started as a visionary trip had turned in to a calling to the nations on my life. I had to go back!

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Culture Shock Is Mostly Your Friend

I'll be the first to say that there is trouble in America. But, we are still a very blessed nation. All you have to do is travel to another nation and observe. America is still seen as the land of opportunity to folks from almost every nation. Millions of folks have come to the U.S over the years to start a new life for themselves. And millions have done very well. Again, we are still a blessed nation!

However, the problem for we Americans is that we tend to be unaware of how about three quarters of the rest of the world lives. We're enclosed in our own culture making us oblivious to the rest of the world. This causes even Christians in our blessed nation to be insensitive to the needs of those in other parts of the world. It also produces an insensitivity to the needs of our neighbor, right here at home. There is a solution to this however. It's probably not for everyone, but definitely for most of us. The solution is to go on a ministry trip to another nation and culture.

I went on my first missions trip to India in 1997. Simply stated...it changed my Christian walk, hence, my life! First, I encountered culture shock. Culture shock is the feeling of disorientation experienced by someone who is suddenly subjected to an unfamiliar culture, way of life, or set of attitudes. Culture shock is a challenge. Culture shock is a good thing however, because it gets your attention! Culture shock demands we focus on the differences we are not accustomed to. God employs culture shock to change a believer's life in a positive way. One more thing about culture shock. It makes real the truth that not everyone lives like we do.

Second, this missions trip with its culture shock made me a million times more appreciative of our way of life back at home. I was able to see all the ways I had been taking for granted the blessings God has poured out on our nation. God has blessed our nation because many people have taken the gospel to other nations of the world for centuries. If we want to stay blessed, we must continue to obey His command to "Go"! (See Mark 16:15-16)

And third, short-term missions made me realize that having "things" is not where true joy and happiness come from. As a follower of Jesus I knew this in my brain, but not in my heart. Through the culture shock I encountered, I saw people with far less "stuff", and far more every-day challenges than me. But they were happy. They had a joy I didn't have. They  relied on the pure presence of Jesus. They had no choice but to fully trust in His Word. It broke my heart, not for them, but for me. As I said, it changed my walk with Jesus.

Let me encourage you to consider a short-term missions ministry trip. But plan to go to an area where life is hard for the folks who live there. Plan to encounter a really strong case of culture shock. Jesus said to "Go", so that part is a no-brainer. If he said to "Go", then the money part is easy. Your part is to obey the call to go. Your part is the simple decision to go. Then start looking for opportunities. Many local churches support missions and missionaries in various places around the planet. So finding an opportunity won't be hard. If it changed my life, it will change your life. Go with a servant's heart, because missions is all about service.

Finally, Harvest Celebration Ministries was conceived of and birthed as a result of my initial visits to India. God has opened doors many times in India, Honduras, and Guatemala. We've only just begun!