I was introduced to Coreluv International at the Converge Conference in Austin, TX where I reconnected with Mike Reiszner and Brent Call. After this event, I began following Coreluv on Facebook to learn more about their cause.
During this time, a transition was taking place at the Church of Westover Hills. Our senior pastor invited me to carry the banner of missions for the church. In less than a minute after accepting the call, I was invited to go on a vision trip that was two weeks away. I walked back into Pastor Jim’s office and said, “You just handed me this mantle, and I just got off the phone with a missionary from Coreluv. We gotta go.”
In September 2015, just two weeks later, I was landing in Port Au Prince with a group of youth pastors. My first impression of Myan was in the evening as the children were up praying and worshiping. The wrecking point for me on this trip was when the orphans prayed for me. I don’t know what they said, but I could tell they were sincerely praying. I just wept. I was broken because I don’t deserve the prayer of an orphan. They could be praying for so much more, and they were praying for me. In that moment, I knew we had to be a part of this.
Following that trip, Pastor Jim joined me on a vision trip as we saw firsthand the money that was raised during May Match instantly funneled into the Maissade Orphanage Project. This was the connection piece for Pastor Jim. We knew this was an opportunity for our church to be a part of Maissade from the ground up. Westover Hills wants to make a dent and be able to say in Maissade, Haiti there were orphans and now there are zero orphans. We want to develop relationships and be a part of the children’s lives as they grow.
I could have gone back to research a number of other organizations or causes, but I was reminded of 1 Kings 19 when Elijah laid the mantle on Elisha. He was found plowing with his life; his cows, his future, his income, his destiny, and his identity. He killed the cows, broke the plows, and gave into that “all in moment”. This is what it was for me; a kill the cows and burn the plows moment. We were going be all in as a church to defend the orphan.
I was determined to take this cause back to our church and light a fire underneath the feet of our young adults. We were searching for a cause bigger than ourselves when we were launching our young adult ministry. I put the flag in the ground and decided that orphan care is our cause. I believe this generation of young adults is searching for a cause to rally around. At the end of the day, I think defending the orphan is the purest cause that scripture lays out for us. I believe Westover HIlls young adults will give their lives to care for the orphan and take their mantle on. We are all in.
-Pastor Michael Hernandez