Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Have I introduced you, our BFGO friends to my youngest children before?  I rarely get to capture a photo of my oldest since he is nearing 23  and doesn't like to "pose"... but here are my two youngest.  They are learning so much about BFGO, about Africa, poverty and orphans.  Through it all they are learning some examples of the love of Christ.  I pray it stays with them always.

I brought them each a little gift from Zim just recently.  I found some precious handmade "piggy banks"...except that they are not pigs.  They are elephants.  I am encouraging them to use their little banks to save money for the kids in Zim.  Sadly though I also got an "elephant bank" to save money for a family vacation...since we never seem to go on those... and that bank already has more change in it than the BFGO bank.  Oh well...I suppose we will always be a work in progress.

Finally...I'm mailing out BFGO donation receipts this week.  If you are one of our donors and your address has recently changed, please email me an updated address.  melissa (@)

God bless your year, month, week, day, hour and moment!

~  melissa irwin  ~

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Bestman & Peanut Butter

**BFGO sends out a monthly email newsletter.  If you are not on that email list please contact me and I'll get you added... or you can sign up to receive it via our main website.  :-)

In our last newsletter I shared my feelings about Bestman.  Bestman is currently the oldest boy in the house.  I thought that he had just graduated high school..but while I was there in December I learned that he is just now entering his final year.  I learned so much about him and am so thankful.  He continues to amaze me with his very precious spirit, servant heart and overall intelligence.

Bestman earned the highest grades for his level.  He loves school.  In much of Africa, you are considered an adult and can earn some sort of diploma when you complete Form 4 and write your O level exams.  But, you can also go on to 2 other levels of school if you desire and if you have the grades to support it.  I believe that the next level is called the "A" level.  Bestman loves to learn and wants to receive the highest level of education that he can, so the plan is for him to move on to an "A" level boarding school when he completes his final year at the orphanage.  BFGO wants to help make that happen for him, so his future school fees are a priority for us.  Bestman displays the qualities of a leader.  There is truly no telling what he is capable of.  And that he is filled to overflowing with Jesus makes him just that much sweeter.  I have so loved watching him blossom over the past 3 years of getting to know Bestman.  I adore him!  (And I miss him now terribly!).

Bestman lost both of his parents at a very young age.  His mother passed away when he was 2 leaving no memory for him.  There were 7 children in all, with Bestman being the 2nd youngest.  His youngest brother, Eric, is also at the orphanage.  Two of his older siblings passed away as children and his oldest siblings are married.  None of his older siblings can afford to raise he and Eric.  They tried.  But Bestman was without shoes, money for school and often was without food.  He spoke to me of his oldest brother with a soft tone of sadness.  I know that he feels like his brother could have done more and not given up, but at the same time Bestman knows that God ordered his steps.  He is so thankful to be at the orphanage where he is so well cared for, and where hope breathes.  I love that through this painful life he has had to live, he has more love than anything else.  He is just precious.

This past year the chicken project was a success, and continues to be.  The kids have raised their own chickens and as a result have eaten well.  Praise Jesus!  Their crops did well also and so these projects are continuing with slight improvements being made as necessary.  Fatima, our orphanage director (and fearless leader overall) has recently implemented a peanut butter project.  The middle aged kids are making peanut butter.  I did not get to see this process or taste it...but I am so excited.  It is just one more way for them to have proteins when they need them.  I learned about this on my last day in Zim which is why I don't know more details...but as soon as Fatima shares the plan with me I will share it with you.  I'm just so proud of them for being smart, pro-active and making wise investments...(peanuts don't grow for free)... and that the children are learning such valuable skills.  I really believe this group of kids could lead the world, well.

Happy New Year to our precious BFGO friends, donors and prayer warriors.  We couldn't serve the Kingdom in this manner if it weren't for you.

Please consider joining us as a monthly donor via paypal.  We have a Tier 1 $17 per month giving level...and with enough donors, we can make immeasurable impact.

God Bless!
melissa irwin
founder/executive director