Ken & Linda Helser
On May 15th 1970, Ken Helser said no to music and yes to Jesus. He was inducted into the seminary of life where the Bible was his textbook, the Holy Spirit his professor, and life the laboratory of testing. Ken and Linda’s life of ministry began in 1970 by keeping runaways in their home and running a coffeehouse with Youth Unlimited. Ken did a five-minute radio show called “The Lovelight Salvation Show” that aired throughout the country. Ken did prison ministry through Chuck Colson’s “Prison Fellowship” ministry all over the South East.
Ken had a dream for a piece of land where young people could come for camps and retreats. In 1986, with faith and vision, Ken and Linda watched as the Lord provided enough money for them to purchase 52 acres of land across from their home on Beckerdite Road. A check came in on the last day they needed to purchase the land. They had just enough money left over to host a camping trip of what would become the first of many men’s retreats. On this camping trip, the men walked over the land and asked the Lord a vision for the place. While it was just woods and a cornfield, the Lord showed these men many of the things that have come to pass today.
While Ken was doing prison ministry he was advised to take up a hobby, so he bought a pack of watercolors. They were simple and fun. Ken then realized that he desired to do some serious painting. That was about the time the Lord gave Ken a key to understanding his Kingdom. He said, “The key to discipline is desire.” Ken realized that he learned to play piano, write songs, preach, paint, and write, not because he had to, but because he was discovering the treasure of God inside of him. He worked hard at what he did, but it wasn’t a chore because of his desire. As he learned who God was, he discovered his identity, passion and destiny.
A friend suggested that Ken print a watercolor of some daisies along a split-railed fence. He was astonished when it sold out in less than six months. A new ministry began through selling paintings and telling stories. Ken’s watercolors were the backbone of A Place for the Heart, funding many of the buildings on the land.
Today Ken and Linda co-lead A Place for the Heart with their son and daughter-in-law, Jonathan and Melissa Helser. Ken and Linda pour into the hearts of the students that come for the 18 Inch Journey. They are the original Cageless Birds as the first to explore their relationship with God through art. They continue to travel around the world ministering in Youth With A Mission Schools. Ken never would have believed all the good things that awaited them when he gave God his everything.
The greatest fruit of Ken and Linda’s life is family. Long ago, the Lord revealed to them that the foundation of their ministry began with family. This is true today and as Ken and Linda do everything they do out of the overflow of their love for family.