Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Introducing Midwin

I have been captivated by the smile of this child since I first met her in 2008.  Midwin and her two brothers have been living at the orphanage since 2006.  Their parents both passed away of diseases, first their mother in 05 and then their father in 06.  There wasn't anyone who was willing to take care of the children so they were entered into the orphanage.  Midwin was born on May 12, 1998.  Her favorite bible verse is 1 John 4:7  "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God."  Sweet Midwin, she is typically so quiet in my presence.  I'm hoping to peel away some of her layers in August and learn more about who she is.  The 2 photos above are from December 2011.  The 2 below are from April 2011.

If you would like to sponsor Midwin for school fees and essentials, please let me know.  Our sponsorship program (web program) will launch officially in October, however.. we can start you off as a monthly donor now and transition you to the sponsorship program in the fall if you'd like to go ahead and impact this beautiful girl!  God bless!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Crusade for Reality - 200 People Wanted!

I have the opportunity to speak regularly with people who are on a crusade for something... anything.. to bring awareness to the need of those in poverty, including but certainly not limited to orphans.  We all recognize the same thing... it's difficult to get people to listen and to care.  So very difficult.

Last week, my friend Marcia who is also a BFGO board member stated that when she posts a status update or a blog entry about American Idol, she receives hundreds of comments... but when she posts about Beautiful Feet G.O. all she hears are crickets chirping.  It is so sad but so true.

The reality of the condition of most people in America is that they care more about reality tv than about reality itself.  It is a sad state when the public cares far more about engaging in hot topics that don't amount to a hill of beans in the Kingdom of Heaven.

I'm on a crusade for reality... the real kind.  I don't want for people to feel guilty... I want them to just get real and feel true joy for it, be blessed by it and be transformed for it.  Let's have our guilty pleasures but let us not place them above reality.  At the end of the day, are we helping anyone?  At the end of the day, are we serving God?  At the end of the day... are we thankful for His abundant grace and mercies lavishly poured upon us minute by minute?  At the end of the day, are we on a crusade for reality?

Reality that people are lost, many are hungry and countless numbers lack any ounce of hope. Reality that God, through His word, has called us to serve the poor, feed the hungry and to care for the orphans and widows.

BFGO is in search of more friends who really understand this principle, who want to partner with us to greatly and positively impact the lives of orphans.  We are not trying to be the most well known organization and we are not in competition to reach the most children or to be the "most" in any way.  We know that there are 200 people out there who care enough to support our Zim orphanages.. we just need help connecting with them so that we can continue to carry out the work that God has called us to do.

We need 200 people to sponsor a child in October.  Only 200 people out of 7 billion in the world.  We only need 200 sponsors!  This is 3 sponsors for each child (due to high cost of living in Zim)... to pay for school fees and all of the essentials (housing, food, medications, teachers, school supplies, etc).  Those sponsorship levels will be $25 $30 and $35.  (Each child needs one sponsor at each level for a total of $90 per month).  In addition, BFGO needs monthly donors at lower amounts to help fill in the gaps, cover the unexpected expenses that come up every month and to keep our program running.  For all donors who want to participate but cannot swing $25, $30 or $35... we deeply appreciate recurring monthly donations at any amount... you can literally set up for $5, $8, $11, $19 or whatever!

For the record, there are not any paid employees of BFGO and there will not be any salaried or hourly employees of BFGO until donations exceed what Zim needs and we find ourselves in a position of growth.  Then and only then will salary be considered and only for the purpose of growing the organization.  

Are you one of our 200?  If you are ready to join us today, we greet you with a mighty Howdy and Welcome in the Lord's precious name!!!!!  We are featuring one child per week here on the blog so that you can begin to get to know them.  We'd love for you to join us now as a donor or at the least, please select a child in October when our "official" sponsorship program begins.  You will be able to communicate with your child at least twice per year via letters.  You will also receive a photo and it is also the goal to have you receive a video greeting from your sponsored child once per year.  Please help us spread the word... RETWEET this post, post it to your facebook.  We'll love you and be so grateful for your prayers and your willingness to share.  No crickets please... we need megaphones!  

God bless!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Squeeze For Sweet Ruth

This is Ruth. 

Ruth was born on Aug. 25, 2002.  Ruth may have missed school in her early years due to lack of finances within her family because she has just recently completed grade 1.  While I am not certain of how long Ruth has been at the orphanage, it has been confirmed for me that her mother died and that someone drove Ruth to the center of the city and abandoned her there.  Ruth is precious and sweet.  The thing that stands out in my mind about her is that she is a bit shorter than the other kids her age but twice as solid.  Every time I hug her and go to lift her off the ground, I'm reminded of how powerful her little body feels.  I can barely hold her.  She's heavy.  I wonder if she's carrying all of that heaviness in her heart or in her memory.  These abandonment's really break my heart.

Abandonment is a common practice and a theme that you might begin to recognize as we continue to feature a different child every week.  I am sure that many of our readers have traveled and served in 3rd world countries but to those of you who may not have had that experience yet, it is truly eye opening.  So many countries in Africa have very small concentrated areas of wealth while the vast majority have nothing.  Most governments are not "for the people" but for the concentrated groups of the wealthy and they are operated like kingdoms instead of governments.  This sets up little abandoned sweethearts like Ruth to suffer; not having anything for today or for the scope of her tomorrows. Unfortunately the flaws are not likely to get worked out in Ruth's lifetime.  Mommas will continue to die of Aids and nearby acquaintances will continue to take orphaned kids and drop them off in the center of the city to wait for the trash collectors to figure out what to do with them.

I recently came across two sets of statistics about this country...(Zim.bab.we).  Between data provided by both Unicef and CIA it seems that there are between 1.5 - 2 million orphans in this country.  Keep in mind that this country is smaller than Texas.  Only 2% of these children have a safe place to stay and the majority are not receiving an education.  While I do not know what God has planned for their futures, I know that He has called us to make it broader, wider, deeper and more hopeful.  He has asked us to sew into the least of these by giving up the most of ourselves, for Him.

Thank you so much to all who do that with and for BFGO.  If I could pick up each one of you and squeeze you I would.  

Here I am squeezing Ruth...

Ruth needs an education sponsor and an essentials sponsor.  
Please consider going to bat for sweet Ruth.

God bless all,
melissa irwin
executive director

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I'll Be Honest...

I'm not a big shopper.  In fact, I really strongly dislike shopping.  There is possibly once exception to this statement... in that I love antique stores or unique stores with artsy things. The last "thing" that I purchased in a store in which I enjoyed shopping was a $30 bench made by an Amish man out of reclaimed barnwood.  But other than that, I don't enjoy shopping.

When my 2nd and 3rd boys were born, everything was different from when my oldest son (now 23) was born.  I was able to shop online for everything from diapers to formula, at good prices and often with free delivery.  I practially stopped going IRL shopping altogether.  For a while there was even a grocer in our town that delivered and I used their services for about a year.  The only time I go shopping in actual stores is if I'm needing something that I truly should inspect with my eyes before I purchase.

All of this to say that the internet has revolutionized the way I shop and probably the way most of us shop.  I'm going to keep preaching this next part because I cannot begin to stress how much it will serve the Kingdom if we will just take one extra step and switch our shopping habits just a smidge.  And I'll start by sharing my own real life examples!

Our family doesn't really have disposable income.  So when we do shop online it is usually because we really need something, with a few exceptions.

Our needs recently:
1.  school clothes for Shawn
2.  Summer shirts for Shawn
3.  Work shoes for hubs
4.  New shades for our door that had to be replaced due to storm damage
5.  Mother's Day gift.
6.  Father's Day gift.

We were able to purchase every one of the above either from EXACTLY the store we wanted them or exceptionally equal or better stores that we had never even heard of before... by using the BFGO Lambshops shopping launch site.

Recent wants:
1.  Books
2.  2 nights hotel stay in Gulf Shores

We were able to purchase the above also through Lambshops.  So far, we have raised almost $50 for Beautiful Feet Global Outreach just by doing it this way.  No, it didn't cost us an extra $50... it didn't even cost us an extra penny...   we simply earned $ for BFGO because we went through Lambshops and those retailers  (crews for shoes, amazon, hotels combined, blinds . com, etc.) were graciously willing to "give back".

Can you imagine the kind of impact this would make if hundreds or thousands of people would jump on board?  You can find furniture, high end gadgets, electronics, jewelry, cosmetics, high-end clothing, etc.  The lists are endless.  There are plenty of bargain sites too, like Dollar General.  Need vitamins or supplements... you can find those too.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE start doing your online shopping through our site.  It will make a huge difference in our orphan care ministry!

One of our donors recently purchased a mattress!  Seriously, people... revolutionary!

God bless!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

This is Jackson....

 **Update** - Jackson's photo did not display properly when first posted.

This is Jackson.

Jackson is one of three siblings who were rescued and brought to the orphanage.  They arrived in 2009.  Their parents both passed away of HIV/Aids.  Jackson is 10.  DOB 2/10/2002.

I can't wait to see Jackson in August.  He is a mysterious one... can't you tell?  He seems to wear the expression of hard life on his young face.  I've been staring at his photo for 10 minutes and it has truly drawn me in.  Who will he grow up to be?  Will he grow up at all?  I pray in his heart that he knows he is loved.

Jackson needs a sponsor.  His school fees at this age and level cost $110 per session, or $330 per year.  Would you please consider sponsoring Jackson?  He also needs a sponsor for essentials.

Jackson is in the photo above at far right looking straight at the camera.  What a smile!

God bless.

melissa irwin
executive director
beautiful feet global outreach, inc.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Child of the Week - Meet "Pretty

I'd love to know a lot more about this tender child than I do.  She has never shared a single intimate detail of her life with me.  Quiet.  Wordless.  Guarded heart.  Even her hugs for me are quick and loose, letting go before she truly latches on.  But she is pretty.  "Pretty".

Details come to me from leadership.  This is all I may ever know.  Pretty was abandoned in the city of Harare.  A relative left her in a busy district and claimed that she was going to guy buy some food and other essentials and would return soon.  She never returned.  A good samaritan found her and took her to the police station to seek safety.  The police took her to the hospital for a medical checkup and soon she was accepted at the orphanage in Zim.  She hasn't been there much more than a year, I believe.

Pretty was born on July 15, 2000 - so she is 11, very soon to be 12 years old.  Her favorite bible verse is John 3:16 (yes, Lord).  Her favorite subject in school is English.

Pretty needs a sponsor for school fees and also for essentials.  We will officially launch our sponsorship program in the fall but please don't hesitate to contact me here if you would like to go ahead and sign up for Pretty.

God bless!