and God said GO

Almost two and a half years ago, I sat in a church gathering with my own children (and a few extra ones) between Righ and I.  I opened my heart for God to lead me, to lead our family, to guide our path. You see, we were about 3 months into our first adoption and broken completely for children all over the world, including right here in Knoxville.  As a matter of fact, we had three extra children with us that morning from downtown who we thought of as our own.  Boys that have forever changed our lives.  Boys that God opened our hearts to and boys who taught us things we would have never have known otherwise.  Today was different, though. God had something else in store.  It was all about to change.


Then, one of our dearest friends stepped on that stage and bore his heart for all to see.

He led us through the 10/40 window and the unreached people of the world. He shared of the need so many people in the world have, of knowing a Savior that came to take away their sins.  To die for them. To give them life.  And they have never heard His Name uttered.  Not once.  My tears fell as I listened to God speak through our friend with tears falling down his face at the same time.  My heart was broken….into a million pieces.  I knew God was stirring us to GO, but I just wasn’t sure where.  Then, as Reid prayed over our communion time I poured my heart out.  Please, God, I want to be obedient. I hear you calling, but I’m not sure what you are saying.  Open my heart, open my ears, open my eyes and I WILL LISTEN!!!  

Suddenly, I knew and the tears came faster.  Africa.  The place where two of our children were living, waiting for us to come to them.  The place calling our names, calling our family.  Right then, though, I knew I didn’t want to plant an idea in my sweet husband’s head.  I wanted God to show Him, not me.  As I looked over all the little heads (and big ones) sitting between Righ and I, I could see the same tears flowing down his face.  Could it be?


After the service, we loaded the children in the car and I could barely contain myself.  (You see, God has really worked on my patience.)  I somewhat calmly asked Righ what caused his emotions in church.  As he told me, “I feel like God is calling us to Africa,” I wept with joy and fear.  And I said, “I heard the same thing!  And then…..” All of a sudden, he interrupted me, “The Beebes will be with us!”


I sat in disbelief. God had spoken the same thing to us at the same time during communion.  Missionaries to the people of Africa.  Sharing the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ and our friends would be with us.  Wow!!  Now what?  We weren’t sure, but we were ready to follow.


The next few months, we continued to minister alongside the Beebe family (and our dearest friends in the world, the Von Hagens, the Brownings, the Bowlings, the Bales, the Rodgers) to the children of inner city Knoxville. We shared the Gospel to the fatherless right here and we waited for God to lead us.  I watched Reid, Robin and Righ share the love of Jesus through Scripture and I felt unworthy.  I am not a teacher, but all three of them are.  What could I offer?  What could I give?


LOVE.  Hugs. Kisses.  My heart.

God opened my heart to my gifts, the ones He had bestowed upon me.  Ones He had called me for.  He  gave me a vision for women, mothers and their children.  I saw myself walking the dirt roads of Africa and loving God’s people, His children.  Loving the little ones, but also teaching the women that they are fearfully and wonderfully made.  In His image.  HIS children.  His blessed ones.   Teaching them their worth in Jesus Christ.  Showing them the freedom they can have in HIM.  And I felt a peace.  A peace that only He could give me.

From that point on, God began to pave a road that I did not plan.  He gave my oldest daughter a vision to provide food, water and medicine to the children of Ghana (Feeding the Orphans).  He brought my African children home and broke my heart in the process for the mothers and children left.  He showed me mothers from the vision and He laid out a plan.


Then, when I (and Sydney) so desperately desired to live in Africa, He said not yet.  Your place is here.    You are to be their voices.  Their advocates.

And then He called one of my best friends to live in Ghana among the people that held my heart.  Among the mothers He had called me to help.  Among the children who Sydney dreamt of each and every night.  Once again, I did not understand, but I trusted.  I trusted in a God who always has a greater plan.  Who always knows best.  And I thought about how much I would miss her each and every day.

You see, when God spoke to Righ and I that we would be missionaries to Africa, we thought we would move.  Not His plan. When we thought the Beebe family would be involved, we thought they would stay here.  Not His plan.


His plan?  For them to move to Ghana (and take a piece of our hearts with them) with their 5 boys, who I lovingly call the “Beebe boys” and for us to stay here.   Once again, we are a team.  A team of two families ministering to the fatherless of the world.


And today, as I listened to my friend talk from across the ocean, I longed to be sitting next to her.  I longed to be serving with her, again.  Like we had done so many times before.  Not His plan.  Instead, I listened to her tell me as she was delivering food to Feeding the Orphans’ Chorkor mamas, she kept thinking I should be there. I should be hugging them, holding them, telling them of Jesus’ love because that’s my heart, but it is also hers.  And I realized God’s plan because as she talked God was showing me His perfect plan.  Her family there loving them and my family here advocating for them.   Hearts connected to a people we both love so dearly.   And I trust.


Now, the Beebes are full time missionaries IN Ghana, West Africa.  And us?  We have followed God to be missionaries TO Africa (and other countries plus domestically) through Feeding the Orphans in a story only He could write.  After working for 15 years in the pharmaceutical industry, Righ has come home to be the full time director of FTO.

With 7 kids, that does not make sense to anyone, but it is where God has called us and we are following.  We are trusting.  Some days we start to doubt and then He sends us reminders like these.

Smiles like these.

And tears like these.

They remind us we are doing what He has called us to do. They remind us of what our purpose is in this life….to train our treasures He has entrusted us with under our roof, to glorify His Holy Name, to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to care for the children of the world, the fatherless.  To show them that they truly are not fatherless, but have a Heavenly Father who loves them beyond their imagination.


And to do that, we must raise our own support.  We could take a percentage, a salary, from Feeding the Orphans, but our hearts cannot do that. What is given for the children goes to the children.  What is given for the single mothers goes to them.  God will provide for our needs and He does each and every day.  We trust Him, but if you would like to join our family on this journey, click PARTNERSHIP.  None of it would be possible without you….and God, of course.

So come along on this journey and join our two families as we follow Jesus to where He has called us by following our blogs, Beebe and O’Leary.  Then pray about how God wants you to make a difference in the lives of His little ones.

for we walk by faith, not by sight – 2 Corinthians 5:7



  1. Moved to tears… I needed the reminder today. God’s story written by Him and not us. Thank you for writing all of this… I remember it all like it was yesterday. Love you so much. Can not tell you how this ministered to me today. Thank you!

  2. What a blessing to read this. I so agree with Robin, this really ministered to me today, and am so moved to see what God is doing. May God continue to uphold both your families with His right hand and pour out His blessing over you.

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