Kids and Backpacks

Guest blog: Today we would like to introduce Chris Ensley. He lives in Marion, Kansas and is a youth group leader. The Lord brought he and his family to FTO several years ago. His wife, Jessica, serves as our Sponsorship Coordinator and they are both huge advocaters for FTO and the fatherless around the world.

In mid September I was contacted by the Oasis Conference (a middle school and high school youth conference sponsored by Manhattan Christian College) director, Natalie Holdren, about a partnership with Feeding the Orphans and the Oasis Conference. The conference board wanted to try something new this year by offering a service project for students and youth workers to be a part of during a time between the main sessions.

I thought it was a great opportunity for Feeding the Orphans and for those attending the conference. There were two issues: First, “How can youth and youth workers in the Midwest serve orphans in Ghana, Africa?” Second, “We have three weeks to plan and obtain any and all supplies.” FTO director, Righ O’Leary, was able to quickly connect with those leading the orphanages in Ghana and ask what is something needed. As the answers came in it was evident God was directing everyone to the same way – orphans need school supplies.

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From collaborating efforts between FTO and the Oasis Conference (who willingly purchased all supplies needed and provided the needed manpower) the service project came together – a Backpack Packing Prayer Party. Let me explain. Youth groups attending the conference signed up in a time slot (which all slots were filled) to come fill a backpack with some school supplies, candy (what every child needs), a note of encouragement written by students, and students prayed over the orphan who would receive the backpack they packed.

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Through this amazing opportunity, 284 backpacks were ready to be shipped to Ghana and placed in the hands of an orphan. As many of us parents realized just a couple of months ago, backpacks and school supplies are everywhere in the U.S. and school supplies are necessary for our children to be educated effectively. In Ghana, backpacks and school supplies are not as nearly available as they are for us. We cannot thank Natalie and the entire Oasis Conference staff enough for this incredible blessing for the orphans. And we praise our living God and Savior for opening doors and hearts to serve in a way that location did not hinder.

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And those backpacks have made themselves across the ocean and into the hands of children in the village of Hodzo and the community of Ningo, two areas we are planting the Gospel of Jesus Christ so deeply.  And those backpacks have brought smiles and joy and love to many!

Backpacks from Oasis

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