The Children’s Heart Project of Samaritan's Purse identifies children with life-threatening heart disease in countries that lack technology and training, and matches them with North American hospitals and surgeons that donate their time and services. Children's Heart, featuring Cissie Graham Lynch, is a reality program telling the story of three of these children that, without help, are running out of time.
Children's Heart is premiering on network television over the next couple of weeks and we are thrilled today to feature an exclusive Roof with a View interview with Cissie herself.
How did the concept of Children's Heart begin?
I was really excited about Samaritan's Purse's (SP) Children's Heart Project (CHP) and wanted to challenge the Samaritan's Purse staff to share what SP and CHP are to a whole new audience. I felt it was important to reach a younger generation as well as an audience that wouldn't normally turn on a Christian show. Children's Heart will give an inside look at all the hard work and details that go into getting children to the US so that they may receive surgery that will save their lives. The viewing audince will experience all the relationships that are built, the unknowns to the the family, the heart ache, the worries, the love, and the excitement of bringing children from Mongolia to the US. More importantly, viewers will see the great works of Christ.
What captured your interest in the Children's Heart Project and how did you become involved?
I found out the week after my wedding, to be able to graduate, I had to do an internship. I have grown up with Samaritan's Purse as a part of my life, and as I mentioned, I have always been excited about Children's Heart Project.
At what point did this ministry feel personal to you~different than what you "just grew up around?"
To me, growing up around the ministry of my dad (Franklin Graham) and my grandfather (Billy Graham) has just been a way of life. I've never known anything different. However, I do not take it for granted that I grew up with a family that has shown me the love of Christ and are amazing role models to me. The greatest thing that my Mom, Dad, and Grandparents have taught me is, as a Christian, you can not compromise. Our sole purpose on this Earth is to simply share the Gospel and love of Jesus Christ. As I have gotten older, I have realized that I don't have to be in a far off land to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ but the mission field is right here in our backyard. If you honor the Lord and His Kingdom, with the gifts, money, opportunities, relationships, and talents He has given you, then HE will honor you. However, if you do not, then he will find someone else who will.
If there is a family even in the United States that is blessed with a child that has a life threatening heart condition, what word of encouragement would you want to share?
Prov 3:5-6 The Lord has a great plan for your family and your child, and remember our hope is in Him.
Our theme verse at Roof with a View is Matthew 10:27. How does this relate to you in view of Children's Heart?
I feel very close to this project, since I myself have had two heart surgeries in High School. In a sense, Children's Heart is the "housetop" that the Lord has allowed me to share in the light what I too experienced in the dark.
How long did CH take to film?
We started the process in March of 2008, and finished filming end of August 2008.
Where was it filmed?
Most of the filming took place in the SP international headquaters in Boone, NC, San Antonio TX, where the children had the operations, and Mongolia.
Ada Livingston (Samaritan's Purse employee), Otga's family members, Cissie and Cindy (CHP Project Manager for SP).
How many episodes are there going to be?
7 part series
Can CH be shown at my Church or is it just for television?
We are looking at completion of the editing process at the end of July, and with prayer we are looking to air this on a few Christian and mainstream media.
What was the greatest thing you took away from working on CH?
The greatest reward was to watch the families accept Jesus Christ in their hearts during this time. When we open up our arms with love and build relationships with these families, they wanted to know why we wanted to help them and their children. It creates many doors to share the Gospel.
Otga and Ada using Cissie's IPod to sing Otga's favorite praise song, Yes Lord! Cissie said, "Otga was so precious to watch as he was on fire for the Lord when he went home after his surgery."
If this sparks interest for a family to become involved with the Children's Heart Project, what is the best way for them to get plugged in?
The goal of CHP is to bring more and more children over each year, but we need more hospitals, doctors, churches and families to get involved. If we are not currently working in a city near you, there are many expenses to get children here to the US, so donations are always greatly accepted. However,we especially need a lot of prayer in for the selection process,the children that are chosen, our staff, doctors, and everyone involved. We couldn't do any of this if it were not those who faithfully pray for CHP.
Thank you for sharing your heart and about this project, Cissie! RWAVers, don't forget to check here for Children's Heart listings and showtimes in your area.
God bless you and happy Friday!