What We Do
HEART is an acronym standing for
“Hunger Education And Resource Training”
We are a 501c(3) independent non-profit missionary training institute, but we like the term “village” better.At its core, HEART Village is a school and demonstration farm designed to equip Christian workers with practical skills to empower the poor and hungry. To some, this is our goal. To us, it’s a way of life. There are four aspects of life at HEART Village: Plant Life, Animal Life, Human Life and Spiritual Life.
HEART Village claims Lake Wales – located in subtropical Central Florida – as its home. Our campus is nestled into 40 acres of beautiful native Floridian Scrub land.
We teach Sustainable Agriculture techniques to grow a diverse abundance of nutritious and delicious food as a method of sharing food security and reversing malnutrition. Because of our unique location we can best teach students how to grow food in the tropics and subtropics (although our training still helps with farming and gardening just about anywhere in the world). We also sell many of our plants. If you’re interested, why not check out our Nursery?
At HEART Village we primarily raise chickens, pigs, fish, goats and rabbits. We also keep ducks, honeybees, cats and a water buffalo. We strive to strike a balance between representing the meat production of the developing world, and respecting the convictions of individuals (for more information check out our Student FAQs).
We teach how to raise these animals for the production of milk, eggs, fertilizer, and meat in the context of a small-scale subsistence farm; the kind that might be found in developing countries.
Because of our location we also have a variety of wild life inhabiting our campus. We teach a respect of these creatures for their roles in nature as well as the occasional dangers they might present to humans.
We believe that all humans have unique cultural, emotional, and physical needs. We also believe that all humans have a common need for nutritious food, basic health-care and genuine love. At HEART Village we teach how to help individuals find solutions to their needs in whatever context they are in.
We do not teach cultural appropriation or over-dependence on aid. Such models of development work aren’t sustainable and can be demeaning and even damaging to those we desire to assist. Instead, we teach models of assistance through genuine relationships in which development workers and peoples of every nation and tongue can mutually benefit from each other.
Frankly, HEART doesn’t “teach” spiritual life per se. We believe that God works through our staff, volunteers, prayer partners, scripture and environment to teach us about the intimate interweaving of the spiritual and the natural. We don’t want to – and honestly can’t – take credit for the deep sense of peace many experience while on our campus.
Everything HEART does is to the glory of God and in the service of his creation. Because of this, we encourage interfaith dialogue and welcome people from every background and worldview. We do ask that visitors, students and volunteers show our faith the same respect that we show to others (for more information on the spiritual life aspects of becoming a student check out our Student FAQs).
HEART’s highly trained faculty is passionate about the subjects they teach. Not only do they want you to have a deep understanding of the content, they want to help you integrate the classroom learning with application in a cross-cultural setting. All of our professors hold at least a Master’s Degree and have practical work experience in their respective fields.
HEART is not your typical college experience. Expect to get dirty as you put into practice the things you’re learning in the classroom. Developing skills that are practical in cross-cultural ministry is one of the focuses of the HEART program. You’ll do it all – work the soil, care for animals, prepare food using primitive methods and much more.
HEART has a culture of a community. You’ll share living space, classroom space and work space with students and staff. You’ll be challenged to put aside our culture’s tendency toward independence and learn to be more interdependent. A high value is placed on building relationships, communicating effectively and resolving conflicts.
HEART desires for each person in the community to cultivate a vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ. Individuals are encouraged to practice various spiritual disciplines and the community strives together toward Christ through daily times of prayer and reflection. We’re committed to training missionaries who are prepared to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Want to Know More?
Our village is open for tours Mon. through Fri. from 8 am. to 4 pm. Contact us for details. To learn more about the skills we teach, check out our Courses and Materials.
Like what we do?
There are a lot of ways to be a part of the village. Learn how to get involved at HEART.