Thursday, May 16, 2013

On Our Sleeves

He instructed Moses to teach them not to neglect the poor. To make a case while He had Moses's attention on the mountain, He specifically noted women who had lost their husbands and therefore lost their livelihood. Losing a husband meant losing his income, his potential. His promise.

When God relayed the importance of teaching the people (His people = the Israelites) He also used the example of the fatherless. A child without a father (or a mother ... eh'hem) was directionless and un-nurtured. In many cases, unloved. Alone. Without resources. Without help.

God loved poor people so much that He asked those near them to care for them and to make sure that they had food to eat.

God loved the fatherless so much that He instructed the Israelites to make sure that they were nurtured, fed and loved. That they would know they had value and worth in the eyes of the One true God.

When Jesus came, He taught God's children how to serve and love with their hands - hands that would represent the hands of God. He motivated them to move, love and serve with feet that would represent the feet of God. His own feet. The feet of Jesus.

Jesus modeled love for us. He carved it out in the shape of His big heart, placed it in our hands and then asked us to deliver it to the world. He wants us to walk around with His heart on our sleeves.

For the past two days I have personally worked via social media and email to try and raise money for a specific, special and urgent cause. Warm, heavy winter blankets for the Zim orphanages. Overwhelmingly and swiftly, people ran with the feet of Jesus and loosed the grip on money for them in order to give what was from Him - to meet this need. Sweetly.

It is incredibly beautiful and valuable that this happened - but if you played a part in that in any way I am asking that you look down at your palms and stare at them for a moment. And then look at your bare feet and try to see the journey that Jesus has walked with you. In your palm, I ask you to try and see what He has given you. My prayer for you, for your benefit and for His that you will always see that your hands and feet belong to the Lord of all and that He has great plans for the steps they will take, the work they will do and the for the things they will let go of.

You are dear.

You are treasure.

You are beautiful.

You are His.

He loves you.

Don't ever forget this.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Winter Blankets - a tremendous and immediate need

She gave up a comfortable life to rescue them and give them a home. Her story still blows my mind. She left her job. Her husband left her. She is the one on the ground doing it every single day - serving orphans with her fibers. She gives it all she's got. A remarkable and brave woman. She lives her life at the foot of the cross giving everything she has to the One who gave her life. Daily she worships. Daily she petitions. Daily she sacrifices. Daily she gives.

The kids need SO much! To run these orphanages she needs so much more money that she is currently earning and receiving. Top priorities are always food and school fees - meanwhile some of the structures are falling apart. Rents go unpaid. The truck breaks down and sits for a time unrepaired. There is no "credit". There are no food-stamps. I honestly don't understand, emotionally or literally, how she decides what to do and what to ignore. I cannot fathom that struggle.

But right now - truly right now......  winter is setting in and they NEED blankets. The blankets have not been prioritized over the past couple of years and as a result they deal with a lot of winter sickness. Without heat the children are so cold at night and most of them develop colds and flus. They have blankets now but they are lightweight. What they really need are heavy winter blankets. The orphanage director, Fatima, has made this a priority.

Winter in Zimbabwe is starting right now. Nights are cold and within the next 2 weeks it is going to get much worse. We cannot purchase blankets here and ship them because the cost is outrageous. Even though blankets are expensive in Zimbabwe - it is still far more cost effective to purchase them there. They have been priced at $30 each and we would love to purchase at least 50 blankets. When? Right now!  We need to raise $1,500 by Friday 5/18 so that we can wire the funds on Tuesday 5/22 and they will have the blankets by the end of next week and then can use them year after year during the winter seasons.

Please tweet this post, share it on Facebook, point to it on your blog! Do you know a business owner who might willing to be a great blessing to these kiddos?

We are offering BFGO t-shirts to anyone who can donate at least $30 for a blanket between now and Friday 5/18. Just go to our website, click on the Donate tab and follow instructions.

Below is a photo of the founder and director of the Zim orphanages. Her name is Fatima! She is an angel and she needs our support. Please keep her and this great work she is doing in your hearts and prayers.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Power of Three

We knew that establishing a child sponsorship program for our Zim kids was going to have to be unconventional. Zim is expensive and complicated. It would be so fantastic if $28 per month could cover school fees, food and a roof over their heads but it doesn't. We have figured that honestly to sponsor a Zim kid would cost more like $120 per month. Even so - we landed on $90 and we've divided that up 3-ways. Each child needs 3 sponsors - and to offer monetary level diversification, the sponsorships are set up at $35, $30 or $25 per month. We at BFGO thought it would be simply AWESOME if people would gather in groups of 3, whether it be friends, neighbors, family or co-workers, to join together in sponsoring one child. This way they could share the prayers and the love that a child needs.

Matthew 18:19-20
  "Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in Heaven For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them."

One person can agree to send $90 per month to sponsor a child - but what happens when two or three of you are gathered together praying for that child in the name of the Father? How might that strengthen you? How might it strengthen that child? What happens in the heavenlies when this takes place? When you join with another in prayer for the health and well-being of a BFGO child, or for their safety, or their education and their future - doesn't it say that it will be done?

I believe in the power of 3 believers coming together. I believe so strongly! We are averaging about 52 kids in Zim right now. If each child had 3 sponsors that would be 156 people strong! If we aren't believing that this power in prayer and love couldn't change the trajectory of their lives and futures - we aren't trusting who God says He is.

Are you getting ready to believe?

<object width="560" height="315"><param name="movie" value=";hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src=";hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="560" height="315" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>

I hope you'll listen to the song in the youtube video above. This man is a native African singing a gorgeous inspiring song called "I'm Getting Ready".

Below are images of several children in our Zimbabawe Orphanages who do not yet have ANY sponsor. They each need 3 people to step up and help them live out the purpose of their lives. If you are feeling so bold and brave - would you consider approaching your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers to join in a sponsorship with you???  You will never regret that decision.

This is lovely Miriam.

Sweet, quiet Panashe.

Our newest and youngest babe, Tino.

Fast, Jackson. Full of smiles and great hugs!

Sweet, Pamela. 

They are all waiting for 3 sponsorship levels to be filled. They are eager to write letters and make you pictures for your refrigerator. Are you getting ready?