Into the darkness…

The sun beats down on the village of Ningo on the outskirts of Ghana… penetrates the buildings and the people. For these people,

IMG_6300

the sun and the heat doesn’t phase them. They are here, all gathered, hundreds of them, because today is a special day.

You see, for years this scorching sun could not burn through the darkness that settled itself in the village, thick and suffocating. This darkness that claims hearts and heads and in its heaviest moments claims the lives of young babies, sacrificed to honor fake gods and idols of man. But today…

Today, the SON has invaded the darkness.

IMG_6548

The SON, Jesus Christ has entered into this village and things are changing.

Despair is being defeated by hope.
Depravity is being devoured by opportunity.
Child sacrifices are being replaced with child dedications.

Parents dedicated to raising their child for a life lived in honor of Jesus.

Righ and baby Evelyn

Meet Evelyn, her parents now known as Deacon Josiah and Rejoice, have stepped out in faith, dedicated her to the Lord. Our Feeding The Orphans team was there to celebrate with them on this special day.

For the past three years Feeding The Orphans has invested in the people of Ningo and we have been so blessed to battle the darkness that is here. This darkness rages on even now and we are fighting it with the Son. Together with Pastor Fred we have watched God grow this group of believers from a mere 12 people to over 200 faithful followers. A community of people clinging to the hope of Jesus.

IMG_6401

We know that Darkness can be defeated by the SON.

We are so thankful for each of you who join us as we minister to the people of Ningo. When you choose to “Finish For One” this Summer, you are finishing for children just like Evelyn. That they may receive not only things to meet their physical needs, but the one true thing that can quench the needs of their heart. YOU become weapons battling against this darkness. Because of you and your support, Feeding The Orphans can bring the Son to this, one of the darkest of places. The children won’t have to be devoured by the darkness they can be dedication to the Savior.

IMG_6833

Will you finish for the village of Ningo and her children this Summer? Register to #finish4one here!

John 1:5 – The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Reaching across the globe….

Right now in Ghana, in the small village of Hodzo there is a school filled with smiling children and stocked with school supplies. These supplies, such a simple thing for most children here in the United States, are a true treasure to the children and teachers in Hodzo. But, the story of how these supplies came to the children and teachers of Hodzo make them all the more special.

In wasn’t a grant or even the sacrificial gift of a donor that made these supplies possible. It was the huge giving hearts of students at Walnut Hill Elementary in Liberty, KY. Last year, the students at WHE spent weeks collecting school supplies for Feeding The Orphans and the children of Hodzo. The support of Feeding The Orphans didn’t stop when the collection ended. Many of the teachers at WHE also supported FTO during the Forget The Frock campaign. Recently, Feeding The Orphans, Founder, Sydney O’Leary and Forget The Frock, Founder, Emily Fox were able to visit WHE and share with them the impact they had on children across the globe!

Hodzo - FTF

“WHE wants to thank both these amazing young women for coming and sharing with our students how they chose to make the world a better place. Thank you!” – Matt Willoughby, Assistant Principal

Making a difference doesn’t always mean you travel to the other side of the world.

Sometimes, helping can be as simple as collecting.

We are so thankful to WHE and their ongoing support of Feeding The Orphans. If you or your organization would like to explore ways to partner with FTO simply email us! Let’s partner to care for children.

Clean Water for Ghana – Sydney Shares Her Heart on Local News

Our own Sydney O’Leary was interviewed on WBIR news’ Live at Five about our current Change for a Change campaign. “After we drilled the well, we got to see the children going to school and flourishing,” she says. That’s truly our heart behind this campaign, along with bringing Jesus to those who don’t know him in Ghana. Board member Kristin Miller is a nurse practitioner at Trinity Medical, a Knoxville doctor’s office, and she shared the creative way she brought Change for a Change to her workplace. We also got to hear her heart for Ghana.

Watch the video for an update on what God is doing in Ghana! Click here to learn more about Change for a Change. If your heart is stirred to make a difference and provide clean water and Jesus to communities in Ghana, click here to make a donation to our Water for Life fund.

A dream of clean water

Guest blogger: Chris Ensley is the youth group leader of Marion Christian Church in Marion, Kansas.

Everyone has big dreams in their lives. Adults tend to keep these dreams to themselves or share them as something that will never happen. Kids, on the other hand, share their dreams like they expect them to happen. There is a special young lady in my youth group named Kennedy who has a dream that involves orphans on the other side of the world from her in small-town in Kansas.

photo 3

Kennedy’s dream is to personally raise $15,000 to build a water well in Ghana, Africa in order to provide clean water for orphans in remote villages. Recently Kennedy had won both the KGTC Distinguished Student Award and the Alicia J. Pippen Scholarship for her efforts to raise money through the Change For A Change fundraiser to provide clean water for orphans.

What is even more impressive, Kennedy took advantage of the spotlight of receiving these special awards, not for herself, but to promote and sell hand-made products women in Ghana made. In just two days Kennedy sold $800 of merchandise that will go directly back to the women in Ghana so they in return can care for their kids, thus preventing more orphans.

IMG_3040

You can call me naïve, but I believe dreams can come true. I believe God has blessed Kennedy with a huge heart, sheer determination, and a great work ethic that will make Kennedy’s dream of raising money for a water well a reality.

image

Kennedy is an inspiration for everyone to not tuck their dreams under the pillow, but to live in a way that makes dreams possible. And God enjoys making dreams reality that involves loving and serving others. It is an honor for me to have Kennedy as a sister in Christ, in my youth group and I am a very proud Youth Pastor who is learning from this young lady’s example.

Esther’s Hope

 

EH-Logo-MED-Trans

 

The love of a Savior.  The promise of a King.  The redemption that can only come from our God.

 

Esther’s Hope…in late 2013, God laid on my heart that our FTO ladies’ program needed its’ own name.  A name to set it apart.  As three of us stateside started praying several names came to mind, but the one that always “stuck” was Esther’s Hope.  I was a little hesitant with the name God was laying on our hearts because I didn’t want it to be focused on only one of our moms.  This program was about all of them and the love that our Jesus has for each of them.  Then in April 2014 we received the devastating news that one of Esther’s twins, baby Atsu was very ill. So ill that he might not make it. As we gathered in our basement packaging hundreds of tshirts for Forget the Frock, we prayed. We pled with our God to save this precious child.  As the day wore on, we received the text of “he is gone”.  In the arms of Jesus he was now resting.  Tears flowed on both sides of the ocean for our sweet Esther, for Atsu’s twin brother, for the journey they would now walk.  Personally, I found myself angry and asking God, “What are we truly doing? Here we are on this side advocating selling tshirts that are supposed to provide medical care.  Selling thousands for our FTF campaign and in the middle one of our moms loses her precious baby.”  Many tears flowed.  Over and over again from all of us.  The next day, I found myself on the phone with our in country missionary.  As I shared my frustration, he quickly stopped me.  He started sharing the words Esther had spoken that morning as she was grieving her baby.

“Even in this I have Jesus.  Through our Bible studies at our FTO ladies’ meetings, I have learned that God loves me and He is always near. Even in losing my baby I have Jesus and I have hope that can only come from Him.” 

And the beautiful name of our ladies’ program was confirmed….Esther’s Hope….a hope that can only come from Jesus.

ESTHER AND BABY

Come be a part of the story of redemption and love of Esther’s Hope as we empower single moms across Ghana.  Come be a part of their story of being able to be the moms they long to be.  Come be a part of a greater story, the story of a Savior’s love.  Click SHOP to see the beautiful products they are making or email esthershope@feedingtheorphans.org to host your own trunk show.

The Little Things

As many of you know, the children of Great Mission International – Togo (GMI – Togo) lost their home in a house fire on December 9, 2013.  For months they have prayed for a new home and YOU have helped provide that for them.  Words cannot express our gratefulness OR theirs!!

GMI togo new house

Now these precious children need you again.  One week from today they will be moving into their new house, but they need a few items to make their house a HOME!!  Below we have attached a list.  Please join us in praying over the needs of the kids and then pray about how you can help them get moved in.

 

Just choose the item you wish to purchase from the LIST then click here to GIVE.  Choose GMI and then add your item in the NOTES section.

 

Thank you for always being a part of what God is doing!!

GMI Togo needs pic

Matthew 25:40 – whatever you do for the least of these you also do for me. 

Real Future Academy in Hodzo, Ghana

Guest blogger: On May 21, a team from Cornerstone Church of Knoxville traveled to Ghana to serve with us.  A member of that team, Bill Cahill, shares his perspective of the trip and the hope that Jesus left behind.

Ghana, Africa Missions Team, May 2014

School Construction Project in the Village of Hodzo

 

How often do you get an opportunity to participate in an activity that tangibly changes the course of a child’s life?  Well, a small group of people had the privilege of doing just that recently when Feeding the Orphans (FTO) sponsored the building of a school in the Village of Hodzo located in the Volta region of Ghana.  Cornerstone Church of Knoxville partnered with FTO in providing a team of constructors.  A portion of this team also participated in FTO sponsored orphan care activities in many different locations across southern Ghana.

DSC_8955

The FTO construction team worked alongside of local village residents to construct a six room school of significant size with the length of the building over 125 feet long and 20 feet wide.  In a temporal sense, the building represents the first safe permanent structure for purpose of educating children of the local village.  The gift of education provides hope, in this life, for a better future for these children.  FTO will sponsor dedicated teachers for the school and future expansions of the building will provide living quarters for the school staff.

IMG_0519

In a spiritual context, the school building represents much more to the local villagers and surrounding community.  It is truly difficult to put into words the appreciation and excitement that the community has displayed related to having this school built in their village.  The significance of educating the children of this region can already be seen as manifest in number of children registered to date at over 100, and the school has not opened yet!

IMG_0259

It is humbling to see the villagers love for their children and their desire to be given the opportunity for an education.  In many ways this is a picture of our Heavenly Father’s love towards us, His children.  FTO’s message to the village during the school dedication ceremony at the end of the project was simple and clear; we are here because of one reason and one reason only: Jesus Christ – the man – who He was and is and what He has done for us!

DSC_9078

Please join FTO in celebrating the salvation of nine brothers and sisters during a church service held in Hodzo on Sunday during the week of construction of the school.  FTO is humbled to be numbered among the laborers in the field where the harvest is plentiful!  It is our prayer that this school will be the light of Christ in this region, that God will be magnified through its presence in Hodzo and He will use it to impart hope to our precious brothers and sisters in Africa.

DSC_9122

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?
 Screen shot 2014-05-18 at 7.11.30 PM
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.
photo-2
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!  
IMG_8367
 
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!!!

 

Position Available: Missionary to Ghana

 

1511625_495468760565439_4247545559909130543_o

Missionary needed in Ghana for at least one year. Can raise financial support through Feeding the Orphans. Responsibilities include:
1)assist with FTO women’s program
2)product development and production
3) helping with bimonthly meetings
4)pursuing avenues for retail development within the country
5) shopping at local market for product supplies
6)assist with other others of this growing ministry
7)kit assembly supervision prior to discipleship meetings
Sewing skills a plus, but not a requirement. This position can be a single woman OR a couple/family. Please email info@feedingtheorphans.org for more information.

 

 

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.
DSC_0093 2

 

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.

Screen shot 2014-04-29 at 12.17.42 PM

 

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.

Screen shot 2014-04-29 at 12.25.13 PM

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