Follow by Email

Monday, March 28, 2011

$2,700

We are $700 away from having all school fees caught up.  Fees will be due AGAIN in May, at approx $6,000 total for all 60+ kids.

Food (very basic grains) will be running out in late April.

We would LOVE to raise about $2,700 before April 5th to cover the remaining "late"school fees and supply more food.

Please let us know if you can help.  You can visit the main website HERE to set up paypal payment or to find our mailing address to send a check.  Thank you for considering!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Re-Vision

Re-vision --> (my definition) = a new view through the same ole' pair of eyes.

Last month when Beautiful Feet GO wired money to Zim for food, my cell phone began receiving multiple text messages from the +263 country code with much gratitude and love, sheer thankfulness for the gift of grain.  Food for hungry bellies.  I am so thankful that those kids are being taught about Jesus and that they have chosen to trust and believe in Him, that HE is their provision and that I am JUST the voice for their needs, and that even my voice is prompted by HIM to speak up.  They know that I am not an angel.  They know that I am not a god, and they do not misdirect their thankfulness.  They do, however, receive my passion for them as a gift...and if nothing else, they see that I am willing and eager to connect joyful givers with their plight.  They are praying for Beautiful Feet Global Outreach, for the donors, the Board of Directors, the administrators (moi) and for the future that God is planning for this organization ~ the many orphans who can be served.

Of the 60+ children that are there, spread out between the 4 orphanages we are serving, I have really only ever bonded with about 15 of them.  The other 50 I have met and played with, but not really invested in emotionally.  This time will be so different.  I will see these children this time with a revised vision.  These are children who are eating today because of the donor support from BFGO.  These are children who are attending school today because of the fees that have been generated through the love, hope and servant hearts of financial supporters and prayer warriors for BFGO.  This time, when I lay my eyes on their precious faces, scoop up their sweet bodies and plant gigantic wet kisses on their soft, black cheeks.....I will praising the Lord God Almighty for the streams of green from generous pockets, investments in their futures.  They have hope because Christ connected us all.  This is a power that is just unfathomable to me, beyond my meager human comprehension.  You, the BFGO community, are such a gift to my soul.  You are a true gift to the lives of these children.  I am so excited for God to continue to reveal what He is going to do here.......... I am so blessed.

Colossians 2:6-6 "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live IN Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as your were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness".
AMEN to that!

Are you a willing agent to help us spread the word of BFGO and what we are doing?  I want to personally thank Laura Click and Marcia Ramirez for blogging about us recently!  Because of Laura, BFGO picked up some Twitter followers and encouragers who may join with us someday as donors, or continue to market us word of mouth.  Because of Marcia's post about us this week, we received a donation from one of her readers.  That donor sent me an email to just let me know how excited she is to have learned about us.  There are joyful givers all over the world who would love to hear about us.  Can you help?  Thank you for considering!

Be blessed,
Melissa Irwin

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

From the Field

Well, I'm not in the field yet, but I will be soon enough.  Would you believe that I have even started packing for my trip....which isn't for another 21 days?  Going back to Africa is not a small matter.  I will be making lists and checking them 3 times to make sure I do not forget anything.  Power outages are the norm there, so I've got to be prepared with little LED lamps, batteries, etc.  Trust me, when it goes dark there...you cannot see a thing.

This is the first time that I plan (intend to hopefully) travel with a laptop computer.  One of the pastors there is looking into a short term broadband internet connection for me so that I can be online.  The last time I traveled to see the kids, I did not have any internet access whatsoever.  That makes working in Real Estate extemely difficult, not to mention, lack of communication with my loved ones.  Texts work okay for me, but not for my sons.....they need to hear my voice, but phone calls are way too expensive.  WAY TOO EXPENSIVE.  So - this time I am hoping to be able to communicate via SKYPE with my family, as well updating the blog with information, etc., so that you can share part of the experience with me.

Yesterday I wired $1,500 to the orphanage director.  This is going toward school fees, and we are STILL not caught up...with fees due again very soon.  In April, right before I travel I am going to send more money to them for food.  I am so thankful to have another real estate closing coming up very soon and to be able to contribute to their food supply.  (Yes, I put my money where my mouth is....in case anyone was wondering.)  :-)

I am so happy and thankful to report that Beautiful Feet Global Outreach has had a few monthly donors step forward with contribution commitments.  We are SO thankful!!!!  We are still a long way from being able to call this a well oiled, smooth running machine....but we know that God is at work in us and through us and we know that He has a plan.  Just so thankful to be a part of this journey and to watch Him at work - especially in the hearts of the orphans and the hearts of the donors and prayer warriors.  All praises to Him, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Thinking of Felix

A couple of years ago when I traveled to Zim, I met a wonderful young boy named Felix.  He is not one of the boys that I am able to keep in touch with, but his story still visits my mind.  Felix was orphaned because he was unwanted.

I used to think that "orphaned" meant that both parents had died, and most often it does.  Sometimes 1 parent has died and the other could not cope, or could not afford the child.  Sometimes parents literally drop their children off at orphanages and they never look back.  This is where I feel we truly take our opportunities in America for granted.  While we moan about the costs of these programs, and the abuse of them.... programs like welfare, food stamps, WIC, government subsidized housing (projects), free meal plan, social security, medicare, medicaid, unemployment insurance and and "free" public education.....just don't exist in most of the world.  In some regards, the poorest nations in the world are the most expensive ones to live in.

Back to Felix....  I met Felix at a boys home and got to speak with him privately several times.  He was 15 then.  Felix wanted to help the missionaries with our projects.  He wanted to work.  We discussed so many things....Felix loves movies and had many questions about America.  After time, I discovered that Felix has a brother and a mother.  A mother?  Really?  I thought he was an orphan.  He hadn't seen his mother in many years.  He said his parents divorced and his father was trouble.  His mother gave up Felix and his brother due to heartache and inability to care for them.  It took me a while to muster up the courage to ask him, but I eventually asked where his mother lives and if he wanted to see her.  He explained to me that he and his brother think she lives in a village (and he told me where)...and I happened to know that the area was a drive about 20 minutes....because I had just been to that very village the day before.  When I asked if he wanted to ever see her, his answer shocked me.  He said that he would love to see her....he said this with a light all over his face.  His next words broke my heart.  He said "I would pray that she would be so sweet to me".  He said that with a light as well.

I listened to him daydream outloud about reuniting with his mom, while I sat on the floor and painted benches for the lounge of this boys home.  My heart was so tight and my throat was exercising strength to hold in my sobs.  I wondered if his momma longed to be sweet to him, although I'm not sure she does.
Knowing that the distance was not too far (by my standards)...I asked him about seeing her.  He responded that he cannot because the bus is $4.

The next time I went to this boys home, I had wanted to give Felix $4.  Felix wasn't there that day and I didn't see him again.  Felix was strong, tender, brave and courageous...considering his circumstances.  Remarkably to me, all of the children I meet are notably extraordinary.  I'm choking back sobs now as I just attempt to share them with you.  Unlike most of us....we live in relatively good lives and occasionally face adversity.  They live lives of adversity as the daily norm, and occasioanlly face good.

The point I want the readers to grasp here is that the world "there" can halt over $4.

In Felix's country, there is no free public education.  No free lunch.  Not only are there fees to attend school, but there are fees required to take tests and a fee to advance to the next grade level.  There might as well be a fee to walk and a fee to breathe.  Food is ridiculously expensive.  It is truly no wonder to me that the kids in countries like this turn to crime for survival.  There are no opportunities.

I think these kids may be espeically at risk because they live in a pretty big city....a city that is falling apart.  They don't live in village huts, being raised by the villagers.  They don't live near streams and animals.... they cannot hunt and farm.  They live surrounded by wealth, their own people, who see them as nothing more than a nuisance.

This is why Beautiful Feet Global Outreach desires desperately, through God's guideance and grace, to get these incredible kids through school and create further educational opportunities for them....so that they can learn a trade/skill to be able to generate incomes & opportunities.  When we ask for help and donations, prayers, encouragement and support.....it is because the situation is emergent.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Strapped

The first time I met them, in their land, it was incredibly hot.  The sun seems to rest right on the tops of the trees in Africa.  I hid under those trees more than once to avoid getting sun burned.  Because I was expecting dry dirt, I traveled with sandals.  A pair of Tevo's and a pair of Keen's. Both pair had funky straps.  By the end of my two weeks, I had the most confusing pattern of suntan lines on my feet.  The sun seared my journey by foot in memory right onto the skin of my feet.  There was one patch to the far extreme outer edge of my foot that I didn't even realize at first was from the sun.  It was so dark and oddly shaped that I thought something might have bitten me.  It wasn't until I discovered an exact idential mark on the other foot that I reazlied this pattern.  The African sun would leave a lasting impression.

For nearly 6 months, back in America I could continue to see those marks across my feet.  Daily I would be reminded of the marks Africa left on me, in me, through me.  I would see the tan lines and smells of children would whisp through my senses.  Sounds of their joy in saying "Ah, ya May-LEE-Sa" danced around my mind to wake up my memory.  I would never be allowed to forget them.  God would lead me to see them each day on the sun stained marks atop my feet.  The journey He designed for me would be secured into a pair of sandals, hooked in straps.  And He would continue to move me forward in His direction, one small step at a time.

I remember the day I showered and looked down at my feet without seeing the slightest remnant of evidence that I had ever been stained.  It broke my heart and I wept like a baby.  It seemed really as though that journey faded into nothingness.  But then through another amazing prompting and an invitation, that nothingness turned into somethingmoreness...(i love made up words).  A chance to strap on those sandals again.  (For the record...I have taken the same 2 pair of sandals every time I go....which will be no different next month).

Ironicially, my sunburned sandal strap remnants had absolutely nothing to do with the naming of this organization.  Oh, I see the parallels and I get how that would make a great story... but instead it is a coincidence (on my part).  Maybe I'm not so clever.  But I am reminded in my spirit of the heftiness of the sandal strap tanning experience....and I see how God Himself intends this reminder and its parallel for my comfort, encouragement, and maybe even a dose of reality.

He did not lead me to start an organization so that I could shine, but so that He would.  Not so that my dreams would come true, but so that His will would unfold.  Not so that my love would have an outlet, but so that His love would be multiplied.  Not so that I could feel good about myself, but so that every participant (from giver to receiver) would know Him better.  It is His journey, not mine.  I'm just so honored to get to have my feet burned every once in a while.

At start up, I made a big plea for school fees and food money.  We made a quick difference.  But like the suntan on my feet - that fades quickly.  I am making another plea.  Could we use some big fat donations right now to literally change and improve lives?  Yes, absolutely!  I never want to discourage hefty giving.  But here is the deal...... the children are in such a vulnerable position.  What they need more than anything is steadiness.  Do you know....if we had 50 donors giving $50 per month...we could maintain their food and school fees?  That is right...approx $30,000 per year would keep them fed, medicated (for HIV), and keep them all in school (60-65 kiddos).  50 people at $50 per month.  Or 100 people at $25 per month.  Or any odd combination....you see....it is totally doable.  The problem is that we aren't doing it.  I believe with all of my heart and soul that God will prompt enough donors, and I believe that He will do this soon.  (I can't afford to believe anything less).  If YOU are not one of the ones, would you please consider spreading the word of this organization to your peers?  Would you just consider sharing this with others so that they can be moved to respond to a call that God might have placed on their hearts?

We humbly request your voices to speak out for us.  Word of mouth is the best (and cheapest) form of advertising.  Your generosity in spreading the word could literally save fragile lives, fill hungry bellies, and educate orphans for a better future.

Please give.  Or please talk.  Or please do both.  This is the very equivalent of strapping on sandals and getting sunburned.

May God bless you with His Holy Spirit!  (I pray this genuinely)

Humbly yours,

Melissa Irwin
Founder/Director    (to go to the website:  CLICK HERE WITH A SMILE ON YOUR HEART )

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Receipts for Food (orphanges in Zimbabwe)

Just wanted to display the food receipts for you all to see.  They currently have enough food to last through the end of April (approx).  They are eating grains and bread...nothing especially fun like fruit, juice, meat and milk....but they are thrilled to have something to fill their tummies.  Thank you so much.

Please know that you can set up regular donations on our official website.  Please go HERE to see our official page!  THANK YOU ALL.







Receipts for School Fees

Hello dear friends of Beautiful Feet Global Outreach, Inc.  I am attaching several receipts so that you can share in our joy that the money you have recently donated was spent for school fees for several children in Zimbabwe as well as food.  I received an individual receipt for every child (school fees) - which is too many to post here, but I did include the summary.  I have posted these as jpeg images.  I believe that you can click on them (each) and they will enlarge for you to see better.  I will make a separate post about the food.

You will want to come back tomorrow for more NEWS.  



Thank you to all who have prayed and donated.  May God be glorified, and may you each be richly blessed in spirit and love, hope and joy!  We thank you!

Melissa Irwin