Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Introducting ~ Midwin

Her favorite subject in school is Integrated Science.  Age 16.  This is Midwin.  Both of her parents died of HIV by the time she was 8 years old.  Extended family was not able to or willing to afford her care and this is why so many children end up in an orphanage.  She is in Form I (grade 7), so she will have at least 3 more years of school.  Midwin has 3 brothers, (2 full and 1 half) also in the orphanage.

Many children in Africa start school late (if at all) because their families never had the money to get them started.  Or they start . stop . start . stop.  This would explain why Midwin is a bit older.
In about 2 weeks, I will be with these children once again, the sweet Lord willing.  I will be working hard (with help) to pull together a program to make it possible for you to pair up with a child, in support.  I am so excited and filled with hope over the ways that this program can impact lives, not just theirs, but yours too.

Please consider sponsoring a child.  Each child will need 3 sponsors at the 3 following levels per month:  $25, $30 and $35.  I will make it possible for you to communicate with your sponsored child at least twice per year.  Feel free to scroll down through this blog to see our featured children so far.  We haven't listed them all... so there are many more.  But if you see a child here on our blog that you feel you would like to sponsor, please go ahead and reach out to me so we can get that set up for you before the official program launches in October.

God bless and thank you so much.

~melissa irwin ~
executive director

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Introducing ~ Gennette

Gennette - so pretty in pink.
Gennette is getting close to celebrating her 9th birthday!  She and her brother were referred to the orphanage in 2009 when her foster parents passed away.  I do not know anything about her natural family but hope to learn more in August when I see her again.  She is a precious thing... isn't she?  Gennette is quick to smile and one thing I know for sure... she is glue to those 2 girls you see in the background.  They are the best of friends!  I am so excited to think that Gennette may have sponsors someday who can meet her needs every month.  Would you please consider sponsoring her?  What a great opportunity to teach your own child to love and serve from such a young age.  I'm kind of dreaming and hoping that some family with 9-10 year old girls will come along side Gennette and form a lifelong friendship.  That would be such sweetness in Jesus name.

Gennette will need 3 sponsors at the 3 following monthly giving levels:  $25, $30 and $35.  Together at these levels her needs will be met.  Glory!

God bless and thank you for following along with BFGO on this precious journey.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Meet Marlena

Marlena is one of a sibling group that all live in the orphanages.  These children have the same mother and different fathers.  Marlena has never known who her father is.  Her mother runs off for months and even years at a time, often to other countries.  I have been in the room when the momma has called the oldest daughter . . . nothing ever could have prepared me for the joyful squeals that commenced.  "My momma called me!".  Unfortunately, according to the oldest daughter, this only happens about 3 times per year.  Sometime she is in Zim.  Other times, Mozambique.  At other times she is in Botswana.  They haven't seen her since 2010, and that was only for a few hours.  

Before Marlena and her siblings were rescued and brought into the orphanage, they were eating leftovers from a school that they lived near, and none of them were personally attending school.  They lived with their grandmother who sent them into the streets to peddle for money.  Often they were sent in to the streets to "sell" the leftover food scraps, and they themselves were not allowed to eat.  Local leaders became aware of the girls and their needs which resulted in their placement at the orphanage.

I am particularly fond of this precious girl.  Her birthday is 9/22/97.  Marlena's favorite bible verse is Romans 10:17 and her favorite school subject is Math.  She is a little difficult to get to know, but her dimple has drawn me in time and time again.  Often she tries to find a way to be right next to me without giving me the time of day.  It is not uncommon for her to look away when we make eye contact.  I wonder what lives in her broken heart.  But on my last visit... there were times when I would sit on the sofa turned to one side talking to another child and then would discover that Marlena had managed to quietly as a mouse, seat herself next to me with not much more than 1/2 inch of space in between us.  Other times, she would lay her head in my lap and wait for just the right amount of attention... (not too much).  And this girl loves hair... so she has braided mine many times at this point.  She would have me return to the states looking like an African Princess if I would allow it.

Marlena has 3 years of school remaining and needs a sponsor.  If you would like to sponsor Marlena, please contact me.  Our sponsorship program will launch officially in October, although we can get you signed up in advance.  She will need 3 sponsors at the following levels $25, $30 and $35 per month.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Meet ~ Misheck (aka Mr. Charming)

Misheck was born the day before Christmas in 1997.  He is 14.  Misheck has never known his mother as she abandoned him at a young age, so he has been raised by his father, and at time, step-mothers.

For me, Misheck slipped in under the radar last December (2011) while I was in Zim.  He wasn't there... and then he was there, and I wasn't quite sure who he was.  It isn't all that uncommon to have curious kids from the neighborhood to want to get a peek at the white lady staying in their neighborhood... so I really thought he was just a carnival spectator waiting for the white lady to dance... (yes, they love for me to dance!).  He is SO charming and so curious... inquisitive without ceasing.  After he appeared the following day, I finally asked... who is this kid?  To my surprise, he was a new resident of the orphanage.  A youth leader who had really found a tender heart toward Misheck sought care for him at the orphanage.  Misheck still has a dad although the dad has been unable to care for him.

Misheck wasts to be a pilot... and I do truly believe that if we invest into his future, He will soar!  Misheck loves the Lord and proclaims this often.

If you would like to sponsor Misheck, please let me know.  Our sponsorship program will officially launch in October but we can get you set up in a tentative fashion now.  God bless!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Orphan Facts & Fiction

FACT:  There are more than 150 million orphans in the world.

FICTION:  They are all up for adoption.

     Let's just begin here.  I know many families who have adopted or who are in the process of adoption... I love them.  I love their hearts of service and love, especially where the gospels have driven their decisions to lay it all down before the throne, to take a helpless and vulnerable child into their homes and lives to provide them with endless supplies of love.  Every fatherless child dreams of family.  When family shows up... the gospel is coming together in the flesh and it is stunning.  BUT - what you may not realize is that most orphans are not even up for adoption.  For many it is due to government regulations, lack of leadership, etc.  I can't explain it because I don't understand it... but it remains true... most of our world's most destitute orphans aren't "available" even if you want them and try to convince the authorities to allow you to claim them.  It's not happening!  Not anytime soon.  So...

     what about them?

The very last thing that I, as the leader of BFGO, wants to do is to take attention away from adoptable children.  Heck no!  Go get them!  They are waiting for you!!!  But what I do hope to inspire in this position that I'm in... is the courage and the stirred heart for you to also reach out and help the helpless, send love to a child who cannot come to you and to lift up the futures of the ones who, without you, have no future at all.  I ask you to remember those who cannot be adopted.  I ask for you to care for the ones who need the love to come to them, serve them right where they are and provide a better tomorrow for the ones who may be stuck in a dry land.  

     The sad truth is that even most of the adoptable kids are not getting noticed.  There are more than enough Christian families around the world to quickly solve that problem.  If you've ever considered adoption... have no fear.. God has gone before you and He is WITH you.  It is a shame when we allow fear and uncertainty to be our barrier.  I know this because fear has been a blockade for me in many ways, many times.

     Today - would you carve out $10, $25, $35 or $50 bucks a month to share your wealth and improve the life of a child in our BFGO orphanages?  These kiddos cannot be adopted.  In their land, they are viewed as garbage, discards.  We can change their futures by keeping them in school so that at the end of their tenure, they are afforded the same opportunities as the other kids.  Even more than that... with our love and support, their opportunities can be even much greater.  

     Please join with us.  We currently have 65 kids who need 3 sponsors each!  They all need school fees, food, meds, housing fees, and other essentials.  These 3 categories are $25, $30 and $35 per month.  If these amounts do not work in your budget, we gladly accept any other amount $8, $12, $4... whatever you can give which we apply toward the grand total of serving the orphanages.

     Beautiful Feet Global Outreach, Inc. is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit; an orphan care ministry based out of Tennessee, currently serving in the southern region of Africa.  You may learn more at www.beautifulfeetgo.org  and we also offer TONS of info on our facebook page, including financials.  Our sponsorship program will officially launch in October, though you can begin participating now, "unofficially"if you'd like.  Just review the previous featured kiddos and let us know which one is on your heart.

     Sign up here on the blog to receive updates by email.. each week we feature one child from the orphanage because we want you to get to know them and their stories.

    Here are some of our sweet, precious kiddos...

In humble service to our precious Lord,

melissa irwin
executive director & founder

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Meet Our Money

Today is Tuesday, as you may have noticed.  It is the day that we feature a child of the week, but today is going to be a little bit different.  I have been babying our financial summary for the past few days and I am going to feature it instead.  Why?  BFGO is in great need of more financial partners in order to carry out our mission.  We repeatedly hear that the push back is that (1) we are new (2) our financial statement isn't published (3) we haven't established a reputation yet.  Well, these 3 things are true.

      We are still new.

  •       We were founded in 2010 although I had been serving in Zim since 2008.  
  •       We started fundraising in 2011 so we have one full accounting year under our belts.
  •       We have passed the IRS test and have been granted 501(c)3 status as a charitable non-profit.

      Our financial statements have not been published.

  • We raised less than $50,000 in our first full year, 2011, and were not required by the IRS to do a complete tax return.  We were required to do a 990N postcard.  We did.  It satisfies the IRS but is not really informative at all.  
  • As of TODAY, a full 2012 financial summary has been posted to the BFGO Facebook Page.
  • As of TODAY, copies of 2012 checking & savings account statements for BFGO have been posted to our Facebook page.
  • As of TODAY, copies of every outgoing International wire transfer to our Zim Orphanage Director have been published to our Facebook Page.  
  • The only thing not published are the names of donors and individual amounts.
      We haven't established a reputation yet.
  • This takes time.  The board members and I are dedicated to upholding the highest standards of service, ministry and responsibility with regards to BFGO.  We are all moms, church members, hard-workers and have humbly received the grace of God in salvation through Christ.  We have all given beyond our means, prayed fervently and served humbly.  We know that this work, this organization and its mission are from Christ and belong to Him.  We cannot establish much more of a reputation than that...but we believe over time, watchers will begin to recognize and believe that we are who we say we are... orphan care advocates with the mission of Jesus in our hearts.
So - the child we feature today is this mid-year financial summary below.  Please see our Facebook Page for the pdf documents of our statements and transfer receipts.  WILL YOU PLEASE SHARE THIS AND HELP US FIND OUR DONOR PARTNERS AND PRAYER WARRIORS?  God bless!


Click HERE for a link to the Mid-Year Financial Summary

And click HERE to go to the Beautiful Feet Global Outreach, Inc. Facebook Page to find the links to our various statements and wire transfer receipts.  

God bless each of you!!!  

In Christ,

Melissa Irwin
Founder/Executive Director