One of the primary values that TFC and Onesimus were founded upon is to focus on deeply impacting the individual lives of the children and families that we serve. Rather than focusing on numbers we focus on individuals. Individuals like Rahel.
The minute I left Ethiopia last June, I began praying for God to show me every way possible I could advocate for the children I loved so dearly from thousands of miles away. I wanted everyone I knew and loved at "home" to love and care about the children the way I did. I shared stories with anyone who would listen. I longed for everyone to understand the great need that was in Ethiopia, even if their own eyes had not witnessed it. Some listened. Some did not. But, God continuously poured opportunities into my lap.
One of those opportunities was sharing in a place I least expected. As a public school teacher, I never dreamed that I would be able to share my stories with the children at school. Luckily, God had things planned long before I ever traveled to Ethiopia.
In August of 2010, I became co-sponsor of our school's service club, Kiwanis' K-kids. This club participates in a variety of service activities on a local, state, national, and international level. So, because of God's amazing provision, I was able to introduce the children in Ethiopia to a group of 50 4th and 5th graders here at home, sharing ways that they could help them! I can't describe the way my heart swells to watch the kids I love here working and serving the kids I love all the way across the world. It is humbling, in fact, to know that God wanted this!
In October, I was able to share photographs and stories, and it was heartwarming to answer their questions and share with them how different things are in other places for children their age. Then, as a club, we decided to participate in the Chicks for Change campaign. They were so thrilled! We collected empty milk jugs from the local Starbucks to use as our containers. Then the kids started collecting their change!
Also, our K-kids hosted a school-wide Chicks for Change campaign. Letters went home with over 800 students about Chicks for Change and its goal. Eight hundred new families learned about TFC and the work that is taking place in Ethiopia. God is so good. All week I watched as the change poured in! Each day the number grew and I thanked God for His provision and sovereignty.
Truthfully, I am overwhelmed by the way God has provided in allowing my two worlds to collide. I pray that He will continue to allow me to advocate for the children I love so. Listening and watching my students' excitement about being involved is absolutely amazing. Giving back is a good lesson for someone of any age, and, as they give to the children in Ethiopia, my students receive an invaluable lesson. My prayer is that God will continue providing ways for hundreds of people to learn about and support The Forsaken Children. Truthfully, I never dreamed that my students here would be able to help serve the children in Ethiopia. But, God allowed it and the GES Kiwanis K-kids were able to raise $1,828.38 for the Chicks for Change campaign. To God be the glory!
"'For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' Then, the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'" Matthew 25:35-40
The 2012 change campaign is called Give Me Five. Your change gives hope! Please read more here.