Monday, September 19, 2016

They Need Food

Dear BFGO Community -

I'm begging for your forgiveness as I have been silent far too long. Life has tossed me a few good excuses, but please know that I am aware that I could have done better at keeping you up to date. This is my effort to jump back in.

BFGO is still moving and shaking, even when I'm silent. We are still serving and ministering in the day-to-day, even though you may not be hearing about it.

*If you would like to skip directly to the immediate needs, please scroll to the bottom.

It has been a hectic year in Zimbabwe. If you care to follow along with the news headlines, I do prefer the BBC application or website for accurate information. There is civil unrest, violent clashes between the people, the military police and government, including bombings and burning down business establishments. It's not good. There is a cash crunch and food shortages, and where commerce is operating, prices have been grossly inflated. It is more difficult than ever to be one of our kiddos over there. And it is nearly impossible to be the orphanage director. Along with running operations of the orphanages and the school, our sweet Fatima has endured tragic loss. Her husband passed away. One of the children died of illness, and just this past week, one of her brothers was murdered and his body was discarded into a river. And somehow she still manages to provide excellent care and direction to the children with the gospel as her first priority.

The children are growing to be oh so big, and babies continue to be registered with us. I think we are up to 18-20 infants and toddlers. I truly wish each one of you could experience living with 20 babies and 5 teenagers in a 3 bedroom house. Or, if that isn't your cup of tea, perhaps you wouldn't mind experiencing 25 teenagers in a 3 bedroom house? Or 22 elementary age? It's bananas.

Our Board Secretary, Elaine, has spent a lot of time in Zimbabwe over the past year and is on her way back again in November. She personally oversaw the training of new caregivers, and she took one of the babies in for eye/neurologic surgery, then stayed with him for several weeks for his recovery. We've recently learned that his surgery was a total success. We truly praise God for His hand in making it all possible, especially for all of the funds donated to cover the expenses and the hands of the gifted surgeon. Little Muna would have a completely different future if it were not for the movement of  hearts stirred to care for him. We are forever grateful for this.

Here are the immediate needs, one of them being quite urgent:

1. The orphanages have enough maize and beans but they are almost completely out of perishables. Because of the volatile economy, we need to make an immediate push to raise funds to stockpile more food. There is an immediate concern that food will not be available to purchase in the very near future (October) because the government is trying to issue a new "fake" currency. The last time this happened, people died from hunger. Unfortunately - I have only learned of this today and only because I reached out to them and asked for an update on the food situation. They are afraid to ask for too much - but in times like these, they need more than we could every give. If I could send them $2k - $4k by the end of September (over and above their monthly support), I do believe it will sustain them for another 3-4 months. Please, please consider donating to this fund immediately, HERE.

2. Our young man, Richman, is nearing the end of his 2 years of Bible School. He will be graduating on December 2nd. He still has outstanding school fees and a graduation fee that need to be paid before the end of October. We are hoping to raise $500 for this. Direct link to support Richman:  HERE

3. This last need isn't urgent, but it is important. I personally am looking for monthly support to cover my missions travel fees and to contribute toward a salary for myself. My goal is to raise at minimum of $1,000 per month and to have that split 70/30 for salary and missions travel expenses. Please consider partnering with me directly, HERE.

Our website: will direct you to all giving and sponsorship opportunities.

Thank you for taking the time to read and catch up. Please know that we are continually grateful for our supporters and that the children are living drastically better lives because of you.

Humbly and gratefully,

Melissa Irwin
Founder / Executive Director