ART, DESTINATIONS, International, Performing Arts, TRAVEL

Global Hearts Ministries Hosts High Tea


This won’t be my usual travel article, but it will be about far away places – Central Asia, in fact.  If you know me personally, you know matters of faith are even more important to me than travel itineraries.  If we were to sit down for a chat, the conversation would certainly include my last trip or my next one, but you’d also hear about my Buffalo Gals Bible Study, Rockwall Bible Church and Global Heart Ministries.  Since Global Heart Ministries is about to have a wonderful event, I want to invite you to attend.

What is the Open Hearts Tea?

The Open Hearts Tea will be a traditional high tea, on a Sunday afternoon, complete with cucumber sandwiches and your favorite hat (should you choose to wear it).  Imagine getting all dressed up for an elegant soiree with friends, both old and new.  Each table will be hosted by a lady who’s set the scene with her own tableware and decorated it from her own imagination – sort of like Pinterest, but live!  Your hostess will serve you tea from her own teapot and offer delicious tea time treats from The Hope Center’s excellent chef.

At the tea you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about Global Heart Ministries and the exciting work they are doing in Central Asia.  In fact, you’ll hear directly from the hosts of several women’s talk shows which are popular in Central Asia.  You’ll be amazed by what they have to say.  This event is free, but chances are you’ll be so excited by what you hear that you’ll want to get involved.

20160606_090725And What is Global Heart Ministries?

In a nutshell, GHM creates quality Christian programming for Central Asia.  That may not sound all that exciting.  For most of us, Central Asia is just a bunch of countries on the other side of the world; places like Uzbekistan, Azerbaijani or  Turkestan whose names we might not even know how to pronounce.  Did you know Central Asia is a breeding ground for ISIS and other terrorist organizations?  It’s also the area of the world most un-reached by the Gospel.

Americans have no concept of what life is like in these countries.  Oppressive government, oppressive poverty, oppressive religious leaders and no hope for anything better.  However, there is one thing most families have and that’s a satellite dish.  While they can stream anything on the internet, very little of what is available is in their own language and what little language-specific programming they find is worse than their reality, poorly produced programs from the government or religious leaders.  Imagine yourself doing chores around the house while your toddler watches TV.  Instead of Disney and Sesame Street your precious child watches other children singing about the joys of martyrdom as they dance in a circle. Welcome to Central Asia.

Now imagine you have a choice.  Instead of allowing your child to watch gloomy indoctrination into martyrdom, because nothing else is available, you can turn on a lively well-produced animal program, in your own language, featuring people from your country who are filled with joy and offer hope.  You know what you’d prefer your child watch!  The animal show I’m talking about is just one of the programs Global Heart Ministries is beaming into Central Asia.

me too
Steaming wrinkles out of a backdrop for video shoot

So, What Does That Have to Do with Me?

It just so happens these amazing programs are produced right here in Plano, TX and you can help.  I’ve had such fun getting to know the people of GHM and have had the opportunity to do everything from pick up doughnuts to edit script translations to shop for a family of Central Asians to click the slate during a week of filming.  Whatever your gifts, they can be put to use at GHM and that’s why they’re having the tea.  They want to let you in on the exciting things the ministry is doing and introduce you to Esther’s Friends, a women’s support auxiliary for GHM.

Though there will be opportunities to plug-in offered at the tea, there is no obligation what so ever for you to do anything but have a fun Sunday afternoon.  Global Heart Ministries just wants to share the joy of the work they are doing.  Please contact me if you and your friends have an interest in attending.




Party Offers an Answer for Terrorism


Louise Mandrell 001
A picture of Louise Mandrell today with tickets from her show in 1999.


The corner of Plano Parkway and Custer Road is quite symbolic in my mind.  On one corner sits IILM, an Islamic learning center.  Across the street is The Hope Center, an edifice devoted to Christian ministries.  I’d thought for a long time how ironic it was that the buildings stared one another down on a daily basis.  To go to The Hope Center the day after the Paris massacre was quite poignant.  

Louise Mandrell

Let’s start with Louise.  There was a time when Barbara Mandrell was the biggest thing in music – not just country music, music.  Her little sister, Louise is a powerhouse talent on her own and if there had not been the Barbara phenomena, who knows how well-known the little sister would have been in her own right.  Unfortunately, the Mandrell name suffered a scandal (an undeserved scandal, I might add) and after the facts of the matter came out, the public had already moved on.

Being the apple of the public’s eye is not always everything it’s supposed to be.  Louise has continued to be a successful performer and has a very loyal following.  I saw her back in 1999 in her own theater in Branson.  Today, she devotes most of her time to charities and causes she cares about.  She is a loyal patriot and a strong Christian.  When Global Hearts Ministry invited her to come perform for a fundraising event, she was thrilled to come.

Global Hearts Ministry 

Last week on my Faith Talk blog, I talked about Global Heart Ministries and the circuitous route I traveled to find out about them.  Long story short, Global Hearts Ministry creates Christian TV programming in native languages for Central Asian countries – nations dominated by radical Islam, the very brand of terrorism that just attacked Paris.  Because we support the ministry, we were invited to their event and as circumstances would have it, the event ended up being on the evening right after the Paris massacres.

I go into it in greater detail over on Faith Talk, but Global Hearts offers the only real antidote to radical Islam – Jesus Christ.  They are taking the antidote right to the crux of the problem – Central Asia.  If you really want to make a difference in the War on Terrorism, I suggest you check them out.

The program was wonderful and I learned a lot about the ministry, which you can read about over on Faith Talk.  Louise Mandrell was not the only celebrity in the room.  I actually got to meet June Hunt, who sat at my table – or perhaps I should say I was privileged to sit at hers.  Also on hand were the stars of the shows produced by Global Hearts Ministries.  If I named them here, you wouldn’t recognize their names or their faces, but if you lived in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Iran or Afghanistan, their names and faces are as ubiquitous as Ellen and their shows are just as popular.

Back to Louise

At the end of the program we were treated to a mini-concert by Ms. Mandrell and she packed a whale of a show into her short performance.  She sang some great songs, regaled us with both inspiring and humorous stories of the Mandrell family and finished off with a little fiddling.  In our swag bag, we found the autographed picture above, along with some other treats.  It was a great night for a great cause.

Here’s some shots Bill got during her performance.  I hope you enjoy them and I hope you’ll be back soon to see what other exciting things I’ve been up to.