From the monthly archives:

May 2008


by Original Author on May 10, 2008

Originally posted by Betty Jo Harter

Dear Friends,


Thank you for your prayers, encouragement in emails, phone calls, and “old fashioned mail”. The adjustment of our move from the Philippines to America has been so much greater than I ever anticipated, especially for me. I keep admonishing myself that I am to be contented in whatever state I find myself. I have to admit that I have not been submissive to the command.

Everything here in America is very unfamiliar. Some of the culture that is familiar also saddens me. Too many people are in too big a hurry, I call “busyness”, to involve themselves in activities unrelated to reaching out to others… self denial is foreign to so many of us. Oh, how I remember in the 1940’s my Granddaddy saying to my Grannie as he would drive down the road in his old car in what he considered heavy traffic, “Ella, where are they going? All these people, where are they going?” Granddaddy, I wonder the same thing in 2008. Lydia August keeps asking me, “Mama, where are all the poor people?” Oh, I know they are here; maybe the Lord will guide us to those that are “poor in spirit”.

I am continually torn in heart over settling the adopted children here in America, trying to regain lost years with birth children and grandchildren, and my longing to care for our many children and church family in Philippines. Sometimes the burden is so great. I try to hide it from the children, but I will be reminded in a moment of loose threads in our lives and burst into tears. God has been merciful to always direct us, bring us into submission, and hold us tenderly in His care.

I speak weekly on our Vonage phone line in the Philippines with the children and Annie, our social worker for Beauty for Ashes. The children tell me of the fish they catch daily and eat from the farm. They love farming and harvesting the fruit and vegetables. They speak of the little games and activities under the mango trees. “Mama, we planted sunflowers for you (my favorite flower) we place a sunflower on the table in front of the church every Sunday for you.” They then sing to me “You are my sunshine”. I know that the Lord has blessed us and lead all these children to Beauty for Ashes… Lord willing there will be many more to come. They would not have had homes and land for expansion and self sustaining activities had you not helped financially. I am very thankful and humbled that Beauty for Ashes is such a bright spot in the terrorist island of Mindanao in the Philippines.

In your letters and emails you have inquired how you should continue to send in your financial support to help in this ministry. Please continue in the same manner that you have given in the past years; mail to White unto Harvest and designate the contributions you are burdened to send for the children of Beauty for Ashes. Your constant support has been a witness of God’s blessings on this work and His direction without the aid of a Mission Board or Foundation. Now, as in the past, it is important that you know that the funds have only been used for the ministry in the Philippines, even though our personal finances are great, because of the adoption of our 13 children, we have not used the funds designated for Beauty for Ashes.

Our desire is to visit as many of you as possible since we are now living here in America. We have had numerous “set-backs” since our arrival here. I have been hospitalized, two of the children have been hospitalized, and my ability to do what I need to do just on a daily basis has been a great challenge because of my back surgeries and Lupus. We desire to visit you and let you know personally how much we appreciate your support. Lord willing we will visit with you.

I am including recent pictures of the children in various activities on the property; farming, schooling, playing enjoy!

God Bless,
Mom Betty
Photos BFA Children Farming Time


Update of the Work in the Philippines

by Original Author on May 10, 2008

Originally posted by Elder Gus Harter

Dear Friends,

We have been back in America for three months and are finally becoming acclimated again into our culture. America has her faults, but it is still the most wonderful place in the world to live. May God bless America again. Thank you again for help in our move back home. We have secured a nice home but it is a little crowded. Betty Jo and I share our bedroom with five babies. Hopefully this will only be temporary. We will do better in the future when our house in the Philippines is sold.

I have received several calls from supporters asking if the work in the Philippines is still in need of help and if so how will funds be sent in the future. The need in the future will probably be greater because of the expansion of both the children’s home (Beauty for Ashes) and continued growth of the churches. The method of receiving funds will remain as before. Brother Dave Bergman has done an excellent job in receiving and accounting of funds, including the purpose for which they are sent. In this letter there is an enclosed return address envelope and a card for you to designate how the money is to be used. Our greatest need is Beauty for Ashes and the care of the orphans. It has been our joy to supply them with food, clothing, housing, education, caretakers, and an abundance of love. The Lord willing, this labor of mercy will continue. Regarding our churches, we plan by the blessing of our Lord to both maintain and expand this work. We desire to supply funds for transportation in evangelism, provide Bibles, books and literature for spiritual growth, and aid for improving church structures. In addition, I plan by the Lord’s blessing to travel among them at least two preaching tours a year and train other American ministers to help by personal visitation. It is not our desire to be a burden to anyone, but if our Lord lays upon your heart a desire to help, funds will be used for these purposes and your contributions will be greatly appreciated. We are most excited about the expansion of our churches in the Philippines. The island of Luzon, especially Manila, is experiencing some excellent growth. In the last three months the ministry in that area has baptized six new ministers and many of the members of their congregation. A few of these men have been close to joining for several years. Others have been introduced to our churches in the last few months. This is the fruit of the meetings held with ministers described in our last letter. One minister, Alan Tuda, is located in Cagayan Valley about 12 hours drive north of Manila. He is an excellent minister with a good understanding of our doctrine and practice. The success and diligence of our Filipino ministry after my absence is extremely encouraging.

In the later part of summer or early fall we will be making a video of both Beauty for Ashes and White unto Harvest. I am confident this method of communicating these works of mercy will increase interest, understanding and desire to help. Brother Lloyd Wilkenson, a deacon of Bethany Church in Atlanta, and a great supporter of White unto Harvest has found a professional video photographer who is willing to go to the Philippines to make this film, if we will cover the expenses of travel, lodging, and special equipment. This is an exciting addition to our work.

May our gracious Lord bless your family and church. We especially encourage you in your daily personal walk with our Lord. Remember, “He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that worketh in us.” Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.

Your Servant in Christ,
Gus Harter

PS. Our current email address, street address and telephone numbers are:

11966CR 166
Tyler, TX 75703

Gus Harter – 903 330 3206
BettyJo – 903 3303207