Christopher ’94 and Phileena Bacon ’95 Heuertz - 2005 Young Alum Award Recipients
Chris’94 and Phileena Bacon ’95 Heuertz received the 2005 Young Alum Award for a decade of service and leadership in ministry to the poorest of the poor.
Even before he graduated from Asbury College, Chris felt a calling to work among the impoverished as a result of service in India with Mother Theresa. When he graduated with a degree in missiology and theology, he returned to India and began working to establish a children’s home through Word Made Flesh Ministries.
The home’s focus on children suffering from leprosy or AIDS tied closely to the organization’s goal to “birth communities... placed and nurtured within the Two-Thirds World mega-cities.” Within a year, as Indian field director for Word Made Flesh, Chris began a second children’s home in Madras.
At the same time, Phileena was traveling to Madras on a Word Made Flesh short-term team to explore her lifelong calling to missions. After graduating from Asbury College with a degree in elementary education, she joined with Word Made Flesh on a long-term basis in India.
In April 1996, Chris and Phileena married, and their life together has been integral with Word Made Flesh’s mission. Chris was appointed executive director of the organization in the fall of 1996, leading an American staff of three people. During his term at the helm, Word Made Flesh has grown to include more than 100 staff members in Bolivia, Brazil, India, Nepal, Peru, Romania and Thailand, focusing on ministry to destitute children and women.
Phileena is now director of community care and coordinator of child advocacy for the organization.
The Association of Evangelical Churches and Ministries ordained Chris as a minister in 1997, he has served as an adjunct professor at Lakeview Bible College and Seminary in Chennai, India, and he has contributed to several books. The couple has traveled as speakers, teachers and servants to nearly 60 nations from their home in Omaha, Nebraska, Word Made Flesh’s headquarters.