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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Update on School Fees

I finally received confirmation that the $1,200 I wired last week to the orphanage director for the school fees did arrive safely.  Their power has been out and so she has not been able to email or text me (dead battery).  But she is charged up now and I was able to speak with her this morning to verify.

For a little trivia - the wire transfer takes about 4 business days to complete.  One time last year, a digit was entered incorrectly (at a different bank) and the transfer took almost 3 weeks to complete....so I am very careful now to triple check everything and to confirm receipt on the other end.  One bad experience has raised a fairly significant red flag....so I just cannot rest until I know the money was received.  This is why I  am so particular to post it here as well.  Just want you all to know!

IN OTHER NEWS:  I am creating an official monthly newsletter.  The blog will continue to serve as regular updates, such as this one.  However, the monthly newsletter will serve to send a monthly summary. If you want to receive our newsletter, please email beautifulfeetgo (@) gmail (dot) com : and I will add you to the email list!

Have a great weekend!  OH, and yes we still need to raise more funds for school fees to help get them caught up, and to try and get ahead for the next round of fees due in April.  Your financial support is invaluable!  Thank you.

melissa

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Beautiful Footprints

I'm meeting with the web developer tonight to hopefully finalize some details on our official website.  I am so excited!  We should have it launched officially in the few days...maybe the weekend ....or next week at the latest.  I'll post about it here, of course.  So, stay tuned.

We are also launching an official newsletter.  More than anything, we want our information to be available.   We want our donors to know what is going on, how they are helping, and to be able to see the fruits of their giving.  I love telling you all stories about the kids in the orphanages, and about their fearless director.  As this organization and ministry grows, there will be more stories to tell.  I look forward to continuing to be open and expressive as my feet continue to walk this journey.

If you are interested in receiving the monthly newsletter, please email beautifulfeetgo @ gmail (dot) com and indicate "newsletter" in the subject field.  We'll get you signed up.

THANK YOU TO OUR PRESENT AND FUTURE DONORS!  You are leaving beautiful footprints in this world.

Glory to God!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Update on School Fees

Today I wired $1,200 to the Zim orphanages for school fees.  It is not enough.  In fact, they need $3,000 more.  But it is what we have and so that is what they get.  For now.

To bring you up to speed quickly, the school fees are past due.  There are close to 60 children in school (4 different schools at different ages and locations).  If the fees are not paid very soon, the children will be expelled.  If they are expelled, then the orphanages can be penalized to the point of being shut down.  We are trying to get their fees caught up, and to get into a position through donor support where we can get ahead on their school fees so that this is never a fear or threat on their precious educations and livlihood.  Of course, we are also trying to get in a position to provide their food as well.

While we *are* anxious to do special projects for the children, what we are faced with is the reality that at this point their basic needs are not being met due to financial hardship.  We cannot even begin to focus on enlarging their future opportunities until the basic needs are met.  I find this both comforting and frustrating - but real and true - because this is the VERY situation that this organization is in.  We are walking side by side with the orphanages in Zim encountering the exact same struggles (financially - meeting basic needs).  I am more confident than ever that God is leading us and that our spirits are being touched with patience and knowledge.  Hope is heightened and faith is strong.  Nothing is possible apart from God.  With God, everything is possible.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Small Victory

The wire transfer was received and the children have food.  They have brown bread and sudza.  Sudza is like a thick porridge.  It doesn't have any flavor (in my opinion) but it has made them very very happy.  They are overjoyed.  This food should hopefully last 4 weeks, but they are cutting portions to help this food last longer.

Thank you all!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

100 x 100

If 100 people donated $100 right away... we could cover the school fees for all of the kiddos at all 4 orphanages in Zim for this session, and we could provide food for the next 4 months.  This would save the orphanage from being shut down by the government.  And that will give me time to raise up more partners who might be willing to commit to $25 per month to keep these kids fed and educated.

WOULD YOU BE ONE OF OUR 100 PARTNERS TODAY?

WOULD YOU BE ONE OF OUR MONTHLY PARTNERS ONGOING?

The kids need us and we need you.  You can make a HUGE impact today.  You will save lives, literally.

Please spread the word on Facebook and Twitter.  If you are agreeing to be a partner with us, please leave a comment.  I'm praying for 100 comments by the end of the week.

***don't be afraid to get your friends, co-workers, families and others involved.

Thank you.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Update on Food

Hi all.  Just wanted to let you know that on Friday 2/4 at approx 1:30pm, we initiated a wire transfer from the donations we received into our business account, in the amount of $1,600 to the orphanage director in Z.I.M.  The specific total of the food donations was $1,475.00.  We took $25 from our general fund and then my husband and I added $100.  It typically takes 4 business days for the wire transfer to be complete.  I sent the orphanage director a text message to let her know we had initiated the transfer.  Below is how she responded:

"Thank you Mighty Woman of God.  IT WILL GO A LONG WAY.  Have a lovely weekend.  Love you lots.  Fatima".

Soon after I also received a text message from one of the children (the home shares a phone).  It said "Hi Aunt Melissa.  We love you so much.  Thank you for the wehat & maize.  Thank you so much.  Love you a lot."

They know full well that this food comes from a group effort of donations, that it is not from me specifically.  But they know I am their advocate and they love to thank me for what we are doing.

When I receive the receipt from the International Wire Transfer department, I will post it here for all to see.  Fatima well email me copies of the receipts from her food purchases.  She does not have daily access to internet, and electricity is a constant problem, but as soon as I have it, I shall post here.

Thank you to all of you who have partnered with us to provide the kids food.  They need it so badly.  Our next big issues is to (1) continue to provide food (2) pay their school fees so that the children do not get expelled, and so that the government does not shut down the orphange for not having the kids in school.  My current effort is to raise $4,220 in the next few weeks if possible.  It's emergent.  Of course.

If you want to be a prayer partner for Beautiful Feet Global Outreach, please consider praying that we can get to a place quickly, where we may provide the basics and get caught up (and ahead) on school feels so that we may prevent "emergencies" in this area in the future.  Thank you so much.

God bless!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Food Update & School Fees

I'm very excited to report that we will be sending $1,500 to my ministry partner in - Z i m - tomorrow for food costs.  She just spent $600 on credit for some grain.  She will use the money to pay that off and then to purchase more grains.  The children are having to cut back on their portions and number of meals, but this will keep them going for a few weeks, hopefully.  They also have a small vegetable garden, which is not producing enough to feed 70 mouths on a daily basis, but they can get creative with it to add some flavor and nutrients to their porridge.  The children will not get to have any meat, juice or milk for quite a while.  Even though I know this will be difficult for them to adjust to, I do believe they will be okay and my prayer is that we can help them afford to add these things back into their dietary routine soon.

**for the record - credit does not mean credit card.**

Through this process I have learned more about how critical the school fee situation is.  I want to be perfectly honest with you.  I knew school fees were a problem a few months ago, but I didn't inquire about details.  I had the overwhelming sense at that time to not try and meet every need.  (This was before BFGO).  I didn't ask for details, and true to form for my ministry partner, she didn't press.  (She trusts God more than I ever have!)  The decrease in donors and goods led them to start a garden.  This was wonderful!  I'm anxious to see where their garden actually is because they really don't have room for one, but this is what you do in Africa when the going gets rough.  You cannot run to the welfare department and apply for food stamps.  You can't go to the food bank.  You claim a plot of 10x10 land, possibly even on the side of the road, and you cultivate it, sleep on it, live on it and harvest whatever you possibly can.  I couldn't be more blessed and thankful to know that my friend there was not going to wait for a donor.  Obviously eating has to come before education, because what good is education if you are starving to death?  BUT HERE IS THE DEAL WITH EDUCATION:  If the kids are not in school, the governement can shut down the orphanages.  Now, when you think of government, you think of the good ole' USA.  It isn't the same there.  Not by a longshot.  The government *there* can take the buildings, the land, the whole shebang.  It isn't our world.  It is a very different one.  So it is very important that the kids all be in school - it helps not only them, but to legitimize their orphanage home.  RIGHT NOW TODAY - all of the children are in school with unpaid fees.  They could be expelled at any time.  The total cost to cover all of the children is $4,220 for this session.  There are 3 sessions per year, so yes school is expensive.  Their fees will be due AGAIN at the end of April.

We are looking for partners who will either give a one-time gift today or who will partner with us monthly at either $27, $37, or $47 per month (or more) to keep up with these expenses on an ongoing basis without needing to claim such a sense of urgency.  Would you prayerfully consider partnering with us?  We really need a minimum of 120 solid partners to do just this, even if we never do anything else.

We sincerely appreciate you!

We have a donate button at the top left of this blog.  Please bear in mind that paypal charges a fee.  We prefer large donations (or all donations) be mailed to Beautiful Feet GO, 6840 Bridgewater Drive, Nashville, TN 37221 - but if paypal is best for you we will NOT complain!  Thank you!