40×400 – Let’s celebrate 4 years with a big dream!

Guest blogger:  Emily Fox
We did it, our kids are doing it… they sit in rows of desks or around a classroom table and DREAM. Our children dream of becoming teachers or doctors or firefighters or maybe right now it’s simply a dream of being the next superman, throwing on a cape and saving the world.  As parents we dream big dreams for our children, we dream they will leave their mark on the world and leave it a little better than they found it.
 
Do you know why we dream? BECAUSE WE CAN.  
We dream because we’ve been encouraged to dream. Because throughout our school years teachers, principals, parents and friends have asked us “What do you want to do when you grow up?”
 
We dream because WE CAN. Because we have HOPE.
What would life look like if we hadn’t been encouraged to dream? What would our outlook on life be had no one encouraged us to dream big dreams? What would we do if we had no hope, no education, no encouragement, to strive, to achieve. Where would we be? What would our life and our future look like?
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Right now there are countless children in the village of Hondzo that need to dream. They need to be educated, encouraged and inspired. They need to be told they can dream big dreams and leave their world a better place.
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Four years ago God placed a big dream in the heart of one little girl that would forever change lives, forever heal hearts, forever make an impact. That dream became FTO.
This year for FTO’s 4th birthday we want to use Sydney’s dream to give the children of Hondzo a chance to dream! We want to provide the space for the children of Hondzo to learn, be encouraged to dream and achieve big dreams!
Let’s celebrate. Let’s embrace a really big dream. Let’s totally change the lives of some 100 children in the village of Hondzo. Let’s build a school together and give them a chance to DREAM.
 
To make this dream a reality we are asking 400 of you to give just $40. Together we can achieve this dream. We can educate and inspire the children of Hondzo.
$40. So simple. So doable. So much impact.
4 years. 4 YEARS! Let’s celebrate 4 years with a FOREVER IMPACT. Will you dream big dreams with us? Will you join us? Let’s build school together!
Looking for a great end-of-the year teacher gift? Why not allow your teacher to be a part of teaching others, inspiring the next generation of Hondzo children? GIVE a $40 donation in honor of your children’s teachers and we will email you a certificate to present to your teachers thanking them for being part of this big dream!  
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Want to know the specifics?
The Hondzo School Project total costs will be $16,000. This will provide a block school building (120’ long x 28’ wide) with 6 classrooms! FTO hired 3 teachers in the village of Hondzo last year and they are currently teaching 35 students in a very rudimentary structure that simply cannot house the 70 other potential students from the village of Hondzo and the countless others in nearby villages that we anticipate reaching.
Click GIVE and designate GENERAL FUND and put HONDZO SCHOOL in the memo line.  Thank you for changing the life of ONE!!!

 

4 YEARS AGO TODAY….

On April 29, 2010 God broke my heart for the orphans even more than when I was 7.  For the kids that had no one.
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I would stand in front of children here that had no one to care for them or love them and my heart broke.  I would look at the pic of my baby sister and realized more and more that many of the kids in Africa had no food, water or medicine while I had so much.  And my heart broke even more.

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I wished I could help somehow, but then it hit me that I could.  That it didn’t have to be like this.  Then God gave me the vision for FTO and I was beyond excited (you can read that store HERE).  I couldn’t wait to help change this world.  I wake up everyday excited for how He will use me that day to further His kingdom.

 

Today as we celebrate all that God has done in just 4 years, I am amazed.  I sit here remembering all the trips to Ghana and all the kids I came in contact with.  I remember playing tag, soccer, bubbles, or just sitting and holding a little one.  I have been to Ghana 7 times and each time I go it feels like home.  It’s like I am just staying here in America for awhile, but someday I will board a plane with a one-way ticket.  I will go to the place that I call my HOME, to the place where the people and culture have stolen my heart.  To where God has led me.  Until then I will be here serving people that have also stolen a piece of my heart.  God has done so much and I can’t wait to see what He will do next.

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Thank you so much for walking this journey and changing the world…one child at a time.

 

I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.  -Mother Teresa

$23 for 23 children UPDATE

Three weeks ago, a devastating phone call came to our dear friend, John, who runs two homes, one in Ghana and one in Togo.  GMI TOGO was gone.  Burnt.  An electrical fire started so quickly no one could do anything about it.  And it spread so rapidly that they lost everything.  Every single item they owned except the clothes on their back.  Their shoes, their toys, their beds, their mosquito nets, even their food.

We praise God in all things, though, because most of the children were at school.  And that’s because of partners like YOU.  You sent those children to school and because of that their lives were spared

Now we need you again.  These children have been divided between two different houses until they can get a new one.  A new place to live.  A new place to build memories.  A new place to call home.  Home.  Something so many of us take for granted each and every day.  A home.

We have raised $14,659 are challenging 665 people to join us in the $23 for 23 children.  That’s all it takes.  665 people decide to give 23 kids a  home by donating $23.

$23 for 23

Be one of the 665 partners TODAY by clicking HERE.  Be sure to designate GMI TOGO.   All donations are tax deductible and 100% of your money will go to this designated project.

Make a difference in the lives of 23 beautiful children.

Psalm 127:1 – Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.  Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. 

The Grace House

We are excited to introduce Meagan Erickson.  She joined us in Ghana last February as a volunteer at Great Mission International.  Since then, God has laid out the plan He has for her life.  Join the journey with her at THE GRACE HOUSE.  

March 1st, 2013, I first stepped foot in Ghana, my plan was to live in an orphanage for three months and then go home. Little did I know, God had very different plans for my life. After about three weeks, I was calling Feeding the Orphans asking them if I could stay longer. So I made more plans and decided to stay for 10 months. I loved Ghana, the people, the colors, the sounds, everything was new and exciting. Let me tell you, this only lasts so long. Living in an orphanage with forty children and being the only volunteer was not the easiest. Every day wasn’t beautiful or exciting anymore, sometimes it honestly sucked!  I was tired, hot, dirty, and if the power went out one more time I just might burst into tears. This is when The Lord started asking more of me. He wanted me to go a little deeper, struggle a little more, and break a little more for Him. He was weighing on my heart and letting me feel glimpses of His plan. For a long time before I had the courage to say anything out loud, I felt God pushing me to work with young women and girls. I started to dream and think of a future, but what could I do? I was leaving in December. But then Feeding the Orphans asked me if I would like to stay indefinitely, and I didn’t hesitate.

So God was changing my plans again, but my plan was still that I would live in the orphanage. But God wouldn’t stop pushing me. He was weighing on my heart that He wanted a home for girls in Ghana, and I was the person He had chosen to find those girls who need Him. I decided to tell my plans to Feeding the Orphans, but I wasn’t sure how they would take it. Of course, they were willing to support me 100% in whatever God decided to do in my life. It wasn’t long and we were ministering to youth in one of the markets in Accra. These children have run away or been kicked out of their homes. They sleep on the streets, fight, steal, prostitute, and live a generally rough life. It wasn’t a pretty ministry, but these were the ones who needed Him more than ever. Two nights a week another volunteer named Kate and I were ministering to the young girls who were living in the market. We built relationships and trust with four girls, and it wasn’t long until The Lord was telling me, “these are the girls”.

Two of the girls who are both sixteen were already many months pregnant at the time when we met them. It wasn’t long until another admitted to us that she was pregnant as well. I knew that these were the girls whom The Lord had chosen. But I planned that I would wait until I had been in Ghana for one year, and then go home for three months and try to raise funds for a house. Well, as with most of the things I plan, God had a different one. One night while showing the Jesus film in the market, Gloria, our newly pregnant girl suffered terrible abuse at the hands of her boyfriend. As the other kids in the market looked on as if that sort of thing was normal and happened all of the time, I rushed to pull her away. As I did she was wailing and falling on the ground. She wanted to abort her baby. She knew her baby’s future was as bleak as her own. She had no money, no education, no home, she couldn’t take care of a baby and no one was helping her. I knew then that God’s plans meant now, I couldn’t make more of my own plans.  Instead it was time for me to fully submit to His plans. I immediately called Feeding the Orphans, and although I told them that the girls positively could not live in the market anymore, I was afraid.

In six days I return to Ghana, and I move two of the four girls into a home. People keep asking me if I am ready. I never know how to answer this because, no, I don’t feel ready. I am afraid. But I choose to believe that The Lord has chosen me for a specific purpose. That He will give me absolutely everything I need to make Him known in these girls’ lives. To give them a hope, not only for their future on earth but much more importantly, their future with The King.

I am weak, and I cannot do this without The Lord, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”(2 Cor 12:9) The Lord has blessed us with a most beautifully, underserving grace. Not just me or the girls, but all of us. For this reason, the name of the house is, The Grace House. I am sure much like the orphanage, the beauty and excitement will wear off. I know The Lord will try to push me deeper, ask more of me, and break my heart a little more for these girls. But I also know that I will be surrounded perfectly in His grace, and that is enough for me.

God has done much…

We stand in awe and amazement of what God has done in just 3 1/2 years.  We want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for being a part of His greater story.  And we also want to challenge you to be a part of what HE is going to do in 2014.  We anticipate more lives being changed, more children being sponsored, more children being able to go to school, more children receiving food, more children realizing the great love our Heavenly Father has for each of them and much, much more.

Join this journey TODAY by clicking GIVING.  (All donations made by 11:59 pm, December 31 or postmarked December 31 will be counted in 2013’s donations.)

May your New Year be blessed!

$23 for 23

Three weeks ago, a devastating phone call came to our dear friend, John, who runs two homes, one in Ghana and one in Togo.  GMI TOGO was gone.  Burnt.  An electrical fire started so quickly no one could do anything about it.  And it spread so rapidly that they lost everything.  Every single item they owned except the clothes on their back.  Their shoes, their toys, their beds, their mosquito nets, even their food.

We praise God in all things, though, because most of the children were at school.  And that’s because of partners like YOU.  You sent those children to school and because of that their lives were spared.

Now we need you again.  These children have been divided between two different houses until they can get a new one.  A new place to live.  A new place to build memories.  A new place to call home.  Home.  Something so many of us take for granted each and every day.  A home.

We are challenging 1,000 people to join us in the $23 for 23 children.  That’s all it takes.  1,000 people decide to give 23 kids a  home by donating $23.

$23 for 23

Be one of the 1,000 partners TODAY by clicking HERE.  Be sure to designate GMI TOGO.   All donations are tax deductible and 100% of your money will go to this designated project.

Make a difference in the lives of 23 beautiful children.

Psalm 127:1 – Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. 

A QUICK UPDATE:  AS OF JANUARY 2, OUR NEW TOTAL IS $14,639!!!  At this point, we are almost halfway to our goal and only need 680 partners at $23 ONE TIME!!  This is a ONE TIME gift of $23 for 23 children!! Join us today!!!!

Help me get back home…

Sometimes at a young age God will light a fire in your heart to help the orphans.  To change the world for Him.

And that was me.  He gave me a vision to provide food, water and medicine and make a difference for Him.  It changed my life forever and I am so thankful!

My first trip to Ghana, God told my parents to take our whole family and then we watched Him provide the money. The next trip, I was on my own and had to pay for my ticket. I watched Him provide it. And then God told me to go back 4 more times.  And guess what?  He provided EVERY SINGLE TIME. I know He will provide again if He wants me there. You see, each time I go it feels more and more like home.

Now, I have an opportunity to go back home in January with my mom, but I have to pay for my plane ticket.  I have been babysitting and saving money so I am almost halfway to my goal.  This is where you come in.  First, will you join me in praying for the people of Ghana, the children of Ghana, for this trip and for God to lead me?  Second, if you are local, I am looking for babysitting jobs and houses to clean.  (You can email me at info@feedingtheorphans.org.)  And if you are not local, I am selling domino necklaces that are perfect for Christmas gifts.  Third, if you feel led you can donate to my trip.  Just click GIVING and designate AS NEEDED:  SYDNEY’S TRIP and it will be used for my plane ticket.

Thank you so much for joining us on this journey to care for God’s little ones!!!

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. John 14:18

Giving the gift of life…

Imagine them all gathered around the tree… Your family. Each with a twinkle in their eye knowing something is different about this Christmas. Very different. You tucked away some of that tinsel… Put out a few less presents… You’ve traded the Christmas frenzy for Christ’s Kingdom.

This can be your chance. Together you… your children maybe even your grandchildren can use THIS Christmas to build CHRIST’S Kingdom.

Here is your chance. Your chance to do Christmas a little different. Go gather the family around the dinner table or maybe even around the computer and begin a little building project for the Kingdom.

Flip through the pages of the FTO Christmas Catalog… See where HE is calling YOU to build His Kingdom.

Life-saving vaccinations… Fresh clean water… A safe home for children in Ghana… His Children.

Turn the pages slowly… Listen closely… How is HE leading you?

Then do it. Accept the challenge to trade the frenzy for the Kingdom… Knowing THIS Christmas will be different.  This Christmas your family had Kingdom impact.

Ready to build the Kingdom this Christmas?  Click CHRISTMAS CATALOG to change a life.

Matthew 25:40 – Whatever you do unto the least of these, you do unto me. 

Here and There…

Guest blogger: Today’s blogger is a young lady from Marion, Kansas.  We (the O’Leary family) met her in the summer of 2012 at a youth camp.  In the spring of 2013 her youth group spent a week serving with FTO and helping us build Camp Zion to reach youth domestically.  Just a few short months later, she boarded a plane bound for Ghana, Africa to serve for two months at Great Mission International.  If you are interested in serving with us domestically or internationally, please CONTACT US.  

Serving with Feeding the Orphans has been both one of the biggest blessings and one of the biggest struggles in my life. Just like anything else in life, I had to be totally reliant on God and have total faith in him. I have had the pleasure of seeing both sides of FTO. I have worked with them both stateside and in Ghana.

I am a very plan oriented person. I like having a schedule and knowing what comes next. When working in the mission field, I have learned, plans do not always go as you would expect or like. This was the case many times throughout my service with Feeding the Orphans. Righ and Kristie O’Leary have a very prominent belief that everything happens for a reason and that if you have faith, God has a purpose for everything that happens. I loved this! It made me reach outside my comfort zone and fully rely on God. I have always been about plans being made perfect in my eyes and through working with FTO I have learned that sometimes our plans need to fall apart to make room for God’s perfect plan to take effect.

I served with Feeding the Orphans in Tennessee over spring break of my senior year with my home church’s youth group. We went down and just did what ever FTO needed done and what ever God laid before us. We helped build Camp Zion, we served widows in Knoxville, and we did some work with two inner-city families. During this time I really felt my heart for missions and my heart for those who need help, just grow immensely.

The summer after I graduated I went to Ghana and stayed in an orphanage full of kids from the ages of 6mos – 22 years old. I truly got to pour my heart into them and show them Jesus’ love. My life was shaken. I saw true poverty, suffering, and need; but I also saw so much love and faith in those children’s eyes. My faith in God grew so much that summer.

I love the Feeding the Orphans organization and the family behind it. Their faith in God is such an inspiration. While I was in Ghana, they were a huge support system and they made sure I knew they were there for me whenever I needed them. They were there every step of the way. I am so blessed that God brought us together and that I can keep ministering with them!

A difference in hosting

Guest blogger: Today’s blog post is written by Joscelyn Smith of Kentucky. We are so very thankful for her heart for the women and children of Ghana and for hosting two PARTIES WITH A PURPOSE.  More than that, we are thankful for her obedience to do just what our God was asking of her.  It only takes a simple YES!

To say that God has laid the O’Leary Family and Feeding the Orphans organization on my heart would be an understatement.  I think of Sydney when she was just 7 years old and the fact that God used her to start such an awesome organization.  What amazes me more is that fact that HE started the whole thing with two simple things; a young girl’s broken heart for the fatherless and her obedience to say that she would do what she could to make a difference.   The impact that this girl and her family have made on the women and children of Ghana and what they have done from having faith and obedience to our Heavenly Father is astounding to me.

When God first laid FTO on my heart I felt him gently tugging saying “pay attention there is more out there then just you and your problems”.   God had done a lot of work in my life and it was time I widened my view and started looking outside myself to see what I can do for God and HIS kingdom.  It was at this point I started feeling led to FTO and eventually to Party with a Purpose.  From that point God has not just tugged on my heart but completely broken it for this family and the organization God started through them.

I started visiting the Feeding the Orphans website and looking at the possibilities of becoming involved.  I wondered if God wanted us to sponsor a child, however my husband and I were not in a position financially to do so.  I wondered if maybe I was just supposed to pray for this organization and the people they worked with.  I felt a little let down, thinking to myself ok God you led me to this organization and I’m feeling like I don’t fit in anywhere.  I am a stay at home mom whose limited in time and finances, what in the world can I do?  Then one day I was looking at facebook and I saw a post by the Feeding the Orphans page and it was asking if anyone would like to host a Party with a Purpose.  I was ecstatic, this is something I can do, I sent a message asking for more information and shortly had my first party scheduled.

After the first party I was hooked!  I was so excited God was using me!  The first party I hosted raised about $600.00 and I was bound and determined to do more.  I wanted everyone I knew to host, I mean really have a party with your friends, buy awesome merchandise and support single mommas in Ghana at the same time.  I’m not sure that it gets any easier and yet God uses the simplicity of Party with a Purpose to love on single moms and further HIS kingdom!  In the past 8 months I have hosted two parties one in my parents’ home and one at my church and God has used those parties to raise about $1500 for the beautiful, inspiring women of Ghana and providing supplies and food for precious kiddos.  God also used those two parties to plant seeds in other people’s hearts and inspire them to host parties.

My favorite thing about hosting a Party with a Purpose is that it is so simple to do and yet really makes a difference.  You don’t need to have a lot of money, time, energy to host, you don’t need to be anything other than willing to have a great night with good friends and buy some cool items.