Dennis Heppner grew up in Canada and was called to ministry as a young boy. Dennis and his wife Denie, who was also called to missions as a child, pastored 4 churches in Canada, but in 1987 the door opened to come to the Philippines as missionaries. They brought their 4 eldest children with them and the kids grew up here. In 2006 they adopted Emma Rose, a special Filipino treasure and a gift from God to their family.
Dennis has been a missionary evangelist in Asia for 25 years. He was the director of LIFESCHOOLS of ministry and pastored 3 churches in the early years of his ministry based in the Philippines. He is currently the founder and President of Developing Effective Leaders (DEL), superintendent of Church of God West Asia, and the founding and lead Pastor of the vibrant, growing Church of God Makati.
In 1990, Denie began to use her nursing skills to help urban poor women and children. She and Dennis founded Gentle Hands Inc., a humanitarian organization whose focus was a birthing clinic where women received good prenatal care and had a safe place to give birth. 6,000 babies were born at Gentle Hands from 1990 to 2005.In 2005, Charity Heppner-Graff, their oldest daughter, and her husband Evan, took over the administration of Gentle Hands. The birthing center was phased out and it is now an accredited child-rescue center and ministers healing to sick, malnourished, or orphaned babies and children. Many of these children find their forever families through the work of Gentle Hands.
In 2011 Jonathan and Tracey Heppner and their two children moved back to the Philippines after an absence of 9 years, to assist in publicity, media and fund-raising for Gentle Hands in Manila. In 2012, Jonathan finished at Gentle Hands and joined the staff at Church Of God Makati as Assistant Lead Pastor.
Through his extension ministry in and throughout India, Dennis saw the need for children in India. After prayer and support from Denie, Jonathan & Tracey, at the end of 2012 Gentle Hands of India’s vision came to being. An old orphanage is being renovated and a children’s home outside of Chennai will begin to house the many orphans that India has.
Dennis and Denie and their whole family, including Josh and Melody who live in Canada, are committed to missions, leadership, and the call of Christ.