Let's Party

About a month ago Christina and I were talking about The Pearl Village and how it's been very upsetting to see the people who live in this community not grasp the hope that is coming to the area. The people living in the village of Kalanamu, the community which The Pearl Village is being built, are hurting people. They are extremely poor, very sick and many have no means to make a living to provide food for their children. When I was there in January it had rained just for a brief moment and literally every home was empty because the women had gone to dig in the garden praying their crops had received water because they were so hungry from the drought. It broke my heart in pieces. That day, I also noticed that the people in the village weren't very inviting. It was almost uncomfortable being in the area were we were planting roots of our organization. I could feel the oppression and anger - it was like a weight on my shoulders. I asked George why are all these people were so cold and giving us the shoulder? He shared with me how the people of this village have been hurting for a long time. No one has come to help them. And they truly believe no one ever will.

Since then, I've been beating my head against the wall - trying to figure out a way that we can get the community to realize that they are not forgotten and hope is coming! I want this community to know that their lives have meaning and they are the generation that will break the cycle of poverty in their community.

The moment we walked the property of The Pearl Village, I knew in my heart that The Pearl Village was supposed to be built in Kalanamu. Yes, there is oppression, darkness and so much sadness in the area; but that doesn't mean we give up. These people need to know big plans are coming. They will soon have a medical clinic for basic medical care, acres of livestock and agriculture where they can learn how to grow and produce their own crops, new investments into education in their local school, a water well, and hope through job training and life-skills! 

So the question I asked myself was, "What do I want our first impression to look like?"

That's when I had the idea that...

WE ARE GOING TO THROW A PARTY!

The kingdom of heaven is compared to: a wedding banquet. What’s more joyful than a wedding banquet? We spend many thousands of dollars on them. This is the one event where we happily eat more than we should and dance like fools—and no one seems to mind. It is a carefree, celebratory event.

It is a picture, Jesus says, of the kingdom of heaven. And if the kingdom of heaven is among us in Jesus (Luke 17:21), it is partial picture of the essence of God's love now!

I quickly got on Skype with George, Sarah and Christina - and shared how I wanted to serve 2,000 to 3,000 people a full-blown meal with soda, fish, chicken, pork, potatoes and more... How we would need tents, chairs, and a stage for music and dancing. They were silent for a moment or maybe two. George most likely thought I was crazy (since I'm known for testing the limits in the group); but Sarah and Christina were all on board! 

Sarah shared, "That sometimes moments help people fight for their lives." I was confused by this statement. She then explained that you can give someone an item that they truly may need - but that can only last so long. "This is a memory in their life that they will never forget," Sarah said. "These people will know that when they walk past The Pearl Village and see the construction and work that is happening - that LIFE, JOY, and HOPE is coming!"

So for the past month we have been working on the details. We have rented thousands of chairs, tents and met with local vendors who will supply the food. We are throwing a party that will be unforgettable. We are going all out! Why? Because that's what God does for us. He goes all out for us. 

The Pearl Village Party will go down on Saturday, June 3, 2017, right after we host a free medical clinic (sponsored by CURA for the world). We will treat people's illnesses, feed their stomachs, break ground on a village of transformation, and party! 

Obviously - this idea isn't cheap. Feeding 2,000+ people can get expensive. I'm sure you can imagine. I know this isn't something we would normally fundraise for; but it's important. It's the first steps towards restoration and an opportunity to speak LIFE into people's lives for the first time. If you would like to donate to The Pearl Village Party you can do so here or going to our donate page! 

To learn more about The Pearl Village watch Opening The Gates to the Pearl Village! It shares the goals and how women and children's lives will be changed for generations to come. 

Hope to have you join us - as we throw the most unforgettable party these people will ever see!

Brittany Stokes, Co-Founder of Project Orphans

Building A Village and Home Of Hope

It's been a busy year for Project Orphans and we haven't even reached summer. Our team has been overwhelmed with the amount of support we have received for The Pearl Village and Suubi Home. The Hidden Jewel Gala was a huge success and we were able to share the vision of Project Orphans with so many which allowed us to raise enough funds to break ground on this project and continue to fund the mission of Project Orphans. Also, we were honored to be selected as the first NGO which CURA for the world partnered with to build a medical clinic. The CURA gala was a huge success and they were able to raise and donate funds to build Pearl Village's medical clinic and donate funds for a well + agriculture/livestock for the village. 

The Pearl Village was just an idea that was placed on George + Sarah (Our Executive Directors in Uganda) and The Project Orphans U.S. team not even six months ago. It's amazing when an idea that is faith and life ordained takes off and spreads like wildfire. Project Orphans is truly the first in the area to be constructing and implementing a village solely based on serving vulnerable women and children. For decades, women in Uganda, have been the most marginalized and hurting people in the country. Project Orphans is working to restore dignity to these women through The Pearl Village. Many of the women who will be helped are HIV+ and have been victims of human trafficking/rape, left to bear the burden of AIDS and social injustice. The Pearl Village was an idea that was founded to change this cycle! 

The Pearl Village will not only transform lives; it will restore hope to the entire community! Through The Pearl Village, women and children will be equipped with necessary life skills and empowered through income generating projects. In addition, the psychosocial support they receive will renew their purpose and dignity! Some programs and classes at the Pearl Village include: Budgeting/Financial Courses, Agriculture and Farming Seminars, Family Devotions, Life skills/Job Training for Women, Innovative Entrepreneurship, Holy Yoga & Physical Fitness Courses For Women & Children, and so much more.  

Uganda Life Skills
Pearl Village Uganda
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The entire community will have a new found hope and learn of God's everlasting love for them. Men, women and children will all benefit from the Pearl Village whether it be through a life-skills training course/program, education scholarships, micro-loans or through the CURA Medical Clinic. 

Recently, we have started to map out the land and are working with a local Foundation, focused on permaculture, that will equip our organization to help us feed hundreds of people a week by proven methods of farming. Our local contractors have started to dig around the perimeter of the land for security fencing before we clear the land and begin digging the village's well! 

You can learn more about The Pearl Village by watching Opening The Gates To The Pearl Village video here!

As for Suubi Home (which means Home of Hope) there is lots of construction happening on property right now. Next week, we hope to have the roof completed and begin working on electrical and plumbing. This is beyond exciting for our team and the community we are working in. It wasn't even eight months ago - we stood on the foundation that Suubi Home would be built on and now we are in the final stages of construction. I can't wait to see this home filled with missionaries who want to spread hope through their gifts and talents to the people of Uganda. I can't to host movie nights and devotionals for the children in our programs and those living in the neighboring village. This home will be a resource for so many. Suubi home not only will serve as the full-time residence for our directors but it will also be a full-time residence for children who are in immediate danger and need to be taken into a safe place! Suubi home will be full of joy and also share hope to the women and men in the community through devotionals, fellowship, budgeting classes, and more! We will keep you updated on the progress of Suubi Home as we near the final stage of construction. If you are interested in helping us get moved in - please checkout our housewarming registry which we would love for you to be part of. You can view our registry here!

Next month we will be taking a medical team to serve in the slums of Kampala and at the Pearl Village. We will break ground and dedicate the village as well as the CURA medical clinic. During this trip, we will pick out the finishing details and fixtures for Suubi Home and also catch up with the children and families in our Education For A Nation Sponsorship program! It's not to late to sponsor a child for the upcoming school term. Visit our website to learn more how you can support a child and give them the opportunity to receive a private education in Kampala, Uganda!

Thank you for being part of this journey. You are all an intricate part and we appreciate each and every one of you! More updates coming soon. Promise!!!

With Love,

Brittany Stokes and Christina Yarid, Co-Founders of Project Orphans
 

That's A Wrap

Hey everyone!

The last four months have gone by much quicker than I thought they would. It honestly feels like just yesterday I was packing bags bigger than me to send to Uganda! Now four months later, my internship is coming to a close and I am so thankful for all that I’ve learned and that I’ve gotten to be a part of Project Orphans in such amazing ways. I have not only had to force my comfort zone to stretch out a little more, but I have also had the opportunity to learn about very practical details that go into running a non-profit.

Everyone knows there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to make the mission of an organization happen, but there are just so many small things that encompass a lot of effort and actually bring the dream to life that we do not think about. For me, building this kind of knowledge and experience is super important because of my major. On another note, it is not every day you get to witness someone living out a vision God has put in their heart to touch the lives of so many others, much less have the opportunity to share a small part of it with them.

 I am so beyond thankful for my time and place at Project Orphans this semester! It has made the semester exciting and I have built up skills and relationships I will probably carry with me for the rest of my life. The amount of love and genuineness that fuel the work of this organization is amazing. I mean this, because it takes a lot to sustain what Project Orphans is accomplishing in such an honorable and sincere way. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for them in the future!

In the meantime, it has been so wonderful to share this piece of my journey with everyone and I wish you all the best,

Taylor, Project Orphans Inter Fall 2016

A Run For Orphans - Pittsburg, TX

Hi everyone!

            The last few months with Project Orphans have been very exciting! We recently finished what was probably the biggest part of my internship this semester, which would be the 5K Race Project Orphans put on in Pittsburg, Texas. I know I only witnessed a small glimpse into the amount of work it took for both Project Orphans and the First Baptist Church of Pittsburg to pull off such amazing event. Honestly, I was humbled and privileged to get to join Project Orphans in Texas. I have been able to witness first-hand the dedication and sincerity it takes to fuel a nonprofit. The dream behind the organization is definitely not an emotional fling, because I have watched those who are on staff give their lives to very hard work, which has been sustained for years now. It takes a sincere vision to not only push through hard times, but also to continually give your best and your all to the work behind it.

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            The day we left for Texas ended up being about a 20-hour day, from the time that we left to the time we got home, and it was well worth it. I remember as I saw all of the decorations and activities being set up at the church thinking to myself that this event was way bigger than I had thought it would be. There was so much going on, from food trucks, to bounce houses, and a DJ, to people squirting each other with glow paint. It was crazy to see how much had actually been pulled off and how many people had come together in support of Project Orphans’ mission.

            For me this event was a very important part of my internship because fundraisers are a critical component of nonprofit work, so it was a great learning experience. I got to glimpse the amount of effort it takes to pull off a fundraiser, and also how God can use it. Not only is there a lasting relationship between the community of the First Baptist Church and Project Orphans, but the event also raised way more money for Project Orphans than I thought was possible. It happened because of the willingness and commitment of every person involved, especially the community in Pittsburg, who decided to partner with Project Orphans in the effort. It was a wonderful experience because I was able to glean so much out of it, while also having fun. It was also a blessing to see the Lord come through in how much this one event accomplished.

With Love,

- Taylor, Project Orphans Intern

A Woman With A Big Dream and An Even Bigger Heart - Meet Joyce

It was only but a few weeks ago when I met Joyce.

That morning we arrived in Acholi Quarters. An area where Joyce and her family along with 10,000+ others fled to escape the brutal massacres being carried out by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).  Local vendors on every corner, kids running up and down the streets playing tag, and mommas sitting on the steps greeted us as we drove by. We pulled into the driveway of a small building, which was called their "church". We stepped inside and it was so much more than a building. You could feel peace, this was a place of refuge.

Shoes blocked the entrance and kids filled the space to the brim, laughing, singing and for what seemed like the entire time- there was nothing more on their minds but to enjoy each others company and to try to forget what life is really like outside of those walls. 

This is the daily reality for many. I remember looking up and seeing Joyce. God's hand is on her and she is different, this place was different.

And God is doing a new thing.

We took some time with her as she welcomed us into her home. She began to open up about being a pastor's wife, mom, and ‘momma’ to many of the kids she watches from her extended family and how she loves on them on a daily basis. I couldn’t help but admire her transparency, her faith, and her courage. The kind of courage that is reckless. The one that moves you!

She is doing everything she can to help support and care for her family, and we (you reading this) and I get to be a small part of that.

You see, I truly believe God brings people in our lives that carry us through seasons. Some seasons where we may feel like we can’t take another step. He brings in people who can support us, encourage us and push us closer to the finish line. There’s a fresh momentum when we begin to link arms with those paving a way for others, and when we allow God to work in us. Sometimes its uncomfortable, but God orchestrates things perfectly in His timing.

Joyce expressed the many hats she wears, and how many days she is running solely on the hope she has for her family. It's tiring. It's rewarding. It's brave, and now, It's our time to help.

She showed us the necklaces her and her daughter make and the desire to see them sell so they can have extra income to provide what her heart yearns to do for her family, and when possible for her community. They are hand woven, and take two days to finish one. They're beautiful. 

 

She has BIG dreams, and through her faithfulness and trust In God- I know they are already beginning to take shape.

Joyce may not see the big picture now, but she is making a difference! And we are so excited to join her in this journey, and support her.

My life changed when I asked myself If I would be willing enough to give what Joyce gives on a daily basis. Could I strive to be more like her? She walks and loves just like Jesus does. Brave, compassionate, selfless and looking for no reward other than seeing others reach their full potential and live a life fully devoted to Christ. 

God desires to use you just like He does Joyce and her family.  

I wanted to share Joyce's story with you, I would like to ask you to be a part of helping Joyce provide for her family and community by purchasing this beautiful handmade jewelry.  

If you'd like to do more and help spread the love she is pouring into the people of Acholi please visit our shop and purchase one of the necklaces made by Joyce!

With love,

Joy Cage

How Sophia Changed Our World

It has been a little over a week since we have been back from Uganda and I am still processing what happened on our most recent trip. I know, it’s crazy; but it wasn’t just a short visit to see the kids living in the children’s home. This time we had purpose and we knew it would be different. It was a trip that sparked vision, broke our hearts and made our role in these kid’s lives so much more real. 

There have been many people on our trip who have had a hard time adjusting to the normalcy of our life at home. I remember flying home last Wednesday and that evening rocking my youngest daughter, Kynlee, to sleep and I literally just started to weep. 

While in Uganda, I don’t know how many times we would come across naked babies covered in dirt with high fevers, horrible coughs, and runny noses. These babies didn’t have cribs, rockers or pack-n-plays - they slept on mud floors with no blankets or plush stuffed animals. I told my husband when I got home, “We are okay. We will always be okay. We have so much love in our hearts, healthy children and will never have to worry how to survive!” 

During our trip, I was humbled to take the clothes that my girls had grown out of and dress these little babies we came across. There mom’s looked at me - not with eyes of appreciation; but eyes of a desperate mother who was so thankful that someone had thought of their baby.

Project Orphans is going through growing pains. Our vision is being stretched and we are being challenged to dream bigger. I’ve seriously have been thinking how in the world are we going to raise $35,000 by December 2016, and then God starts working on my heart and showing me what else needs to be done in the small village outside the children’s home. I told God, “Seriously, if you are going to wreck my heart for your people, have me toss and turn during the night thinking of new ways to share your love, and have me go all the way to AFRICA to do it- well I am and we are willing to step-up and be obedient; but you are going to have to provide!”

This most recent trip showed me that the families and children in Central Uganda have deep wounds. Project Orphans must step up our game! We can’t just provide necessary means to survive, education, shelter and other resources. We must dig deep and begin healing wounds in these people’s hearts. This isn’t an easy task and it will take lots of time, work and effort; but we are up for the challenge!

When we were in Uganda we broke ground on the opportunity for children to attend school. It’s a huge step of faith for us. We will have monthly salaries to pay plus children’s tuition. While in Uganda, we captured the story of Sophia. I can’t wait to share with you her story and this video. She is a precious girl that motivates me every day to get out of bed and find a way for her and her friends to go to school. Sophia doesn’t know how to read or write. She barely speaks English. She didn’t understand why we wanted to video her life. But she knew we truly loved her! 

I remember on the way to go visit her home she grabbed my hand. It’s a moment I’ll never forget. She didn’t grab me because she wanted attention; but because she wanted to hold someone’s hand who loved her and who had love to give her. 

 
 

Sophia’s home was worse than our team had expected. Her mother rents a room for Sophia, herselfand her other daughters from two men who to me were completely bad news, if you ask me. Sophia’s mom is pregnant with her fourth child and she is not married. Sophia has no father figure and is stepping in at seven-years-old as the provider and caretaker.

The four of them share a twin size piece of foam for a bed - which is next to their most precious possession. Their chicken and its baby chicks. They don’t have a kitchen. In fact, they use a pair of pants as their table and table cloth. 

I’m not sharing these facts with you to make you have pity. I’m sharing them with you because this is the reality for hundreds of children living in Kiwenda and you need to know. You need to know because some how there is a reason you have taken time out of your day to read this blog. You care and that is okay. I care too and sometimes I feel completely lost and helpless. But I need to tell you - we aren’t helpless. We can change their world. Already, we are changing Sophia’s world!

Two days after filming Sophia — our team went back to her home caring two mattresses for her and her family! Sophia ran to us with the largest smile that I have ever seen. Then I realized… did she understand why we were filming her? We shared with Sophia that she is going to be able to attend school; and not have to worry about the money to pay for school tuition or her new uniform! Sophia stopped right there and dropped to her knees and started to kiss our feet. I used everything inside of me to hold back the tears that were about to pour out of me. At that moment, I wanted to get on the ground and kiss her feet. Who am I to deserve this child’s gratitude? I am no one - I’m just one part of this organization bringing the support of everyone back home who made this possible for Sophia. 

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Thank God we only documented Sophia’s story. I don’t think I could handle much more! All I know, is there will be testimony after testimony of kids just like Sophia - who never had the opportunity to even dream about going to school, finally having a chance to be more than what they ever even thought was possible. 

This idea to give education is just one of many projects stirring in our hearts! We are excited to complete this  and start hustling on the next opportunities that God is opening in Uganda! There are many more stories to share with you. I’m still putting words together for other moments we experience. 

Sophia’s story will be released tomorrow. I ask you to watch it with an open heart! Also, please share her story - the more people who know the more people can have the opportunity to be part of Sophia and so many others future. 

Our goal is to have her story shared in several homes - sparking passion and conversation to help Project Orphans in our endeavors to find sponsors for the children attending. We are also working to find churches around the United States who will share Sophia's story on Orphan Sunday (November 13, 2016) and take an offering towards this project.

If you would like to donate towards this project, know of a church who would like to share Sophia’s story, or would like more information on becoming a child sponsor - please email me directly at Brittany@ProjectOrphans.org.  I’ll make sure to get any question you have answered and humbly serve these children that you are sowing into. 

With a humble heart,

Brittany Stokes, Co-Founder of Project Orphans

And Then I Met The Girl I Sponsored...

You know those commercials they have, with the sad songs and video footage of children in 3rd world countries needing resources, asking for sponsors?

When I was younger, I couldn’t look away from the TV during those commercials as I tried my best not to cry. As I grew older, I began to flip the channel to something else when these spots came on my television. I just couldn’t keep watch what those kids were going through. It shed light on their reality of lack and my reality of being ungrateful for having plenty.

Even as a kid, I knew I wanted to be able to commit to giving towards a child like this one-day when I had my own money. So then in my final month of graduate school, I finally got to follow through on that dream in my heart and be able to sponsor a child!

I chose Project Orphans as the organization to give through because I knew the integrity of the organization. I also loved that my monthly gift was 100% going to the child!

I knew that $30 per month wasn’t much for me, and I decided to go without just a tiny bit to be able to give and be obedient to this calling God placed in my life, and He led me to Sharon, a quiet 15 year-old girl who needed someone to believe in her.

As much as I thought of how cool it might be to be able to meet her one-day, it was something I never thought would actually happen. After all, she lives in Africa and I have never gotten much time off with jobs, plane tickets were expensive, and the flight was way too long for me to even consider it!

But somehow, all those excuses no longer mattered when I knew God was calling me to do that.

I cannot tell you how crazy cool that experience was. When I would see the money going from my account each month to support her, it was never something I thought about too much. I knew it was helping someone, but to be able to see her in person and wrap my arms around her- that put things into perspective that my donation was helping support an actual person to live a better life.

Things I would have never experienced without meeting her was how she interacts in social situations, how much love she has to give, and how eager she was to sit next to me at every chance she got. I would have never had the opportunity to have her braid half my head into tons of tiny braids as I sat in her bunkroom with all her friends.

Sponsor A Child _ Project Orphans

Through writing letters, I might have learned that she wants to be a singer someday, but I would have never had the opportunity to hear her sing “Jesus Take the Wheel” at the dinner table in front of our team. Her boldness and eagerness to love is something to be admired and modeled in my own life.

Meeting Sharon makes that monthly gift so much more meaningful. It’s still the same $30 every month, but after meeting her, there is so much more meaning to it now. I know exactly where that gift is going now. I have hugged who that gift is going towards and I will never forget or take for granted the opportunity I was able to experience in getting to travel to Uganda and meet Sharon.

If you feel that tug on your heart to sponsor a child, I highly encourage you to be obedient to that calling. Yes, you will be a huge blessing to that child; but you will also be blessed in return. Right now, Project Orphans is needing your help in sponsoring students who will be attending their new school, New Creation Centre, in Kiwenda, Uganda. The monthly cost to send a child to school is just $25! School doesn't start until February 2017; but you can sign-up now and they will begin sending you updates and profiles on that child. 

New Creation Centre Uganda

I cannot tell you what a blessing Sharon is to my life, and I will never forget the experience of getting to meet her in person thanks to Project Orphans and the generosity of those who donated towards my trip to make it happen. I will forever be humbled and grateful for this incredible opportunity. 

- Christine Flores 

Meet Project Orphans New Intern: Taylor

Hi everyone!

My name is Taylor and I am so pleased to say that I will be interning at Project Orphans this semester! I am a senior at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa and my major is International Community Development. I have no idea what I specifically want to do with this degree after I graduate, but I do know I have really enjoyed learning about community development. I have imagined since I can’t remember when about working with orphans. I don’t know why, other than the fact that I love children, but years ago I can remember picturing my life in the future and having such a heart for the fatherless. That heart expanded from orphans to including all of the poor. All through high school, as I would read scripture, verse after verse jumped out to me revealing the Lord’s heart for the poor, the needy, the orphan, the forgotten. I can remember reflecting on how much the bible talks about the poor, and even specifically orphans, and I couldn’t believe this wasn’t talked about more. I couldn’t get away from the Lord’s emphasis of caring for the poor, orphans, and widows no matter which book of the bible I was in.

 There are at least two main scriptures that have always stuck with me. One of them is in Ezekiel chapter 16, verse 49. In this verse God reveals the sin that he saw in Sodom (the Sodom from Genesis) - “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy” (ESV, emphasis mine). This shocked me to find that this was how God defined the sin of Sodom. The second scripture is in James chapter 1, verse 27, which says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world” (ESV, emphasis mine). Again, this is shocking to me when I think about it. This is how God defines religion, or worship, that is pure. As a teenager these were the type of verses that were confronting me in my Western, Americanized comfort, and I knew that I could not live the rest of my life ignoring it. So I purposed in my heart to jump out of that suburbia box at any chance I got, in order to partner with the Lord’s heart and understand his devoted love to the poor, the orphan, and the desperate. I know this might have sounded a little intense, but this is the honest heart behind why I chose Project Orphans. They have the privilege as a community to live out the Lord’s heart, loving the ones he loves, every day because of the work they do, and I know God is so pleased and so proud because it is pure before him. God’s heart is so involved with orphans and the poor, and I want to be where his heart is. I can’t answer what I will do with my major, and I don’t know where I will be going, but I know where I want to be. This is why I chose Project Orphans, because they are living it.

With that, I am so excited to say that I get to partner with Project Orphans, and that they have allowed me to join in on a part of their journey! I feel like it is the perfect place and community for me to grow and learn as I am launched out into a journey of my own. 

Let's Get Real

The past four months of my life have been insane. From giving birth to my second daughter, Kynlee - who has had a pretty rough start, to potty-training Briley, to being a wife, working a full-time job, traveling to Guatemala for Project Orphans missions, deciding to build and open a school in Uganda (outside the children’s home we built about three years ago) and throwing a 5k Glow Run in Pittsburg, TX,  it’s been crazy! I have cried so many times, had doubts about leaving my children to travel for Project Orphans, been frustrated with the unending to-do-list and felt a tremendous burden on my shoulders to figure out how we are going to raise enough funds to build this school for these kids in Uganda. 

But the Lord said, “Do It.” 

So here I am. Being as real as I can get. Project Orphans is my heart beat. When the Lord told me that I was going to start an organization to build orphan homes alongside Christina (Co-Founder of Project Orphans) never did I expect the emotional toll it would have on my heart and the amount of faith I would learn to have when the Lord told us to do something that seemed way beyond our reach.

We have built five homes in the past five years for the most incredible children, provided a water well for our community in Fortaleza, Brazil, funded several community initiatives in the villages outside our children’s homes and traveled with amazing people sharing God’s undeniable love. It’s been amazing. But honestly, these things couldn’t have happened without people like you. 

The people I’ve met and some who I never have - truly have made all these things possible. We are not a huge organization caring for millions of orphans around the world. We aren’t feeding thousands of children each year. We don’t have a huge staff that is able to fundraise and promote our vision. There is just our small team, who are all volunteers, and you… and look what has been done.

I am about to head to Uganda with some pretty amazing people in just seven days. The past couple weeks have been insane for all of us! One team member has been fundraising like crazy to pay for this trip. Another is stepping away from work and going way outside her “norm” to go and serve kids she has never met.  There is a couple who is leaving work and their daughter to donate their talents in capturing amazing videos so we can share all that is happening with those who follow our organization. Another who knows this is where he is supposed to go but literally freaking out about traveling all the way to Africa! We’ve all had our moments that could have led us to stay home instead of doing what we know we are supposed to do and go

In the past three days I’ve seen more miracles than I could have ever dreamt. Donors I have never met and those who I do know have donated towards the building of this school and doing so brought me to my knees in tears. I’ve seen those who are about to depart for Uganda with Project Orphans receive new business, promotions at work and raise the funds to cover their trip. On Monday, I was running a fever and did not feel like heading to Pittsburg, Texas to work on the upcoming Glow Run; but I did, and over 45 amazing people showed up to help share with their community about the Glow Run and get behind this event. One of the girls who is traveling with us broke out in hives due to a reaction from the Typhoid medicine she had to take before traveling to Africa. Today, she literally is healed! Plus, we have an amazing intern that came at the right moment and time - who has packed duffle bag after duffle bag of items for Uganda.

Let’s be real. The devil doesn’t want us to go on this trip. He doesn’t want you to help us by praying for our team, sponsoring a child or donating to our organization. He doesn’t want to see broken and once orphaned children learn of God’s amazing grace and grow up to share God’s love with their villages. 

But guess what - that’s exactly what is going to happen. 

People are getting behind this mission and the things we’ve been called to do! Our kids in our children’s home are going to grow to be men and women of God and change their nations. We are going to raise the funds needed to give kids the opportunity to receive an education which will change their life. Our businesses are going to flourish because we are obedient to do what God tells us. Our kids are going to be healed. Our churches are going to grow. Our impact is going to be larger. Why? Because that is what our God wants for us. He loves us so much that He wants to bless us for our faithfulness in the hard times, see our families come to know the Lord and protect us in this journey of life. 

I encourage you to not give up on your dreams. Do the things that God tells you to do no matter how wild it seems. It takes faith, hard work and perseverance on your part and literally God will do the rest!

Please pray for our team as we travel to Uganda and continue to raise funds to build these kids a school. We are excited about what is happening at Project Orphans - and know this is just the beginning!

With all my love and thankfulness,

Brittany

A LEAP OF FAITH FOR THE UNREACHED

In the process, of building family-style orphan homes we have learned a lot. The children living in homes built by Project Orphans are thriving, dreaming and succeeding. The kids are overcoming the odds stacked against them every day. And we couldn't be more proud!

By helping raise the children in the homes that we have built we learned that a nurturing environment and quality education, turns into something magical. We have seen that education builds confidence and sparks motivation to dream big. 

Our hearts break for the unreached children living outside the walls of our children's home in Kiwenda, Uganda. They are malnourished or ill. They don't have clean bathrooms, safe homes or proper clothing.  The children and their parents can't read or write. They are unable to get jobs because of lack of education or skill. 

But we see hope through education for the unreached children in Kiwenda! After spending time getting to know the needs of the children and their families, we want to bring life to their community.

By building the first school in the village we will be able to provide purpose and meaning. Over 45 children will be able to receive free quality-education and also learn about Jesus for the first time. The school is named New Creation Centre. Our goal is to show these children that by having Jesus live inside of their hearts they can be reborn knowing that no matter what life looks like they are heirs to the King of Kings! 

We are excited to build the school in a community that we believe will be deeply committed to their children’s education. The parents can't afford the cost of education but they are willing to help with preparing meals, working in the garden, cleaning classrooms, etc.

Our purpose with this project is to step into this community and truly see a village transformed. This September, the Project Orphans team will be traveling to break ground on the school, begin meeting the children who will be applying for the scholarships and meet with potential staff. We have already funded half of the cost needed to build the school but still need $30,000 to finish. The school year begins in February and our goal is to open the doors of New Creation Centre for the upcoming school year in 2017. Please consider giving towards this project. 100% of online donations will go to the remaining funds needed to build New Creation Centre and educating these precious lives. 

Below are photos showing the progress of the school. The first phase of New Creation Centre will have an administration building, kitchen, library, clean bathrooms, and 4 large classrooms! 

BRINGING FREEDOM:: A MISSIONARY REPORT

My name is Madison Toney! For my second year in a row, I got to travel to Zacapa, Guatemala, with my church on a Project Orphans missions trip. Guatemala 2016 was incredible. I could share about everything God did in me over the week, but that would end up being a whole novel. So I’m just going to share the moment that had the biggest impact on my life. 

A couple days before we made our way to Guatemala, I was in my living room talking to my dad about the trip. We had been praying super heavily for our team and all the people we were going to come in contact with for a long time. That morning, my dad said something that caught my attention. He talked about how he heard the Holy Spirit say that he was going to use my team and I to physically heal people in Guatemala. Of course it stuck out to me and got me super excited, but I didn’t think too much about it. But sure enough, our loving Father fulfilled that promise. 

Our second day in Guatemala we traveled to a village to share the love of God. We got most of the people from the village to all meet up in one place, so that we could provide a ministry time. Brittany Stokes, Founder of Project Orphans, shared to everyone about what God has personally been doing in her life and how good He has been to her and her family. She talked about who God is and what He has done for every single person there, then she asked if anyone there had physical pain or illness. As people were raising their hands, she asked my team to just spread out, lay our hands on those with their hands raised and pray for healing. As soon as she said that… It clicked. That was exactly what God told my dad we would be doing. I immediately jumped up, knowing that God was going to bring healing because that was His promise, and singled out one woman who had her hand raised. We asked her where she was hurting and she pointed to her foot. We laid our hands on her foot and began praying. We prayed for the pain to leave and we demanded for God’s love to cancel out the pain. 

As we finished praying we asked if she was feeling better and she just said a little bit. So we took her down to the front so that we could have more people lay their hands on her and praying healing over her. We started battling in prayer a second time, this time with more people and more desperation for God. As I was praying I could hear that lady whispering her own prayer in Spanish. That was a really cool moment because as we were praying over her in English, she was praying in Spanish and our hearts immediately connected because, despite our language difference, that barrier was broke all because we were praying to the same God. 

After the second time praying over her, we asked again if she was feeling better. She looked up at us with her eyes sparkling and the biggest, most beautiful smile I had ever seen and shook her head yes. That day, we had 7 people confirm that they had been healed by the love of God. 

God fulfilled His promise and used my team and I to set people free in the name of Jesus. We, as followers of God, are called to do exactly that, obey God, heal the sick, and set people free!

Madison (Project Orphans Missionary)

WHY WE SHOULD CARE

What does God say about orphan care? He says a lot, actually! He cares deeply for them, and mentions orphans several times throughout scripture.

God says that HE is the father to the fatherless (Ps. 68:5), that He sustains the fatherless (Ps. 146:9), and that looking after orphans in their time of distress is religion that is pure and faultless (James 1:27).

So those are a few things that God has said about orphans, but what is our responsibility in the matter?

He calls us to care for and protect them. In Psalm 82:3 it says, “Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.”

Let’s also take a look at what Jesus says in Matthew 25:36-37 & 40.

“I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?    

And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”

Matthew 25:40 goes on to say the opposite, when they didn’t do these things for those in need, it was as if they didn’t do these things for Jesus in His time of need.

Taking these verses into consideration, when we are caring for orphans we are being God’s hands and feet. When we care for these children, it’s as though we are doing those things unto Jesus himself! How amazing is that?

I think it’s important to see orphan care not just as a duty or responsibility to check off the list, but a privilege. By providing hope for these children, we are not only helping feed their bellies and giving them a bed to sleep on, but we are also intervening on their behalf so they can lead a promising future! This isn’t just about meeting their needs, it’s about giving them hope for a future that they might not have otherwise!

Orphan care is something that is beautiful in the sight of God and it’s a wonderful thing to be able to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

Christine Flores (Project Orphans Blogger)

MEET CHRISTINE:: PO NEWEST TEAM MEMBER + BLOGGER

When I was 17 years old, God put a burning desire in my heart to help those who could not help themselves. This dream of mine came at a perfect time- right before picking a major for college!

I completed my bachelors and masters degrees in Social Work several years later with future hopes of working with a non-profit that shared my faith and passion for helping the oppressed.

I had been familiar with Project Orphans since it started, but it wasn’t until the Fall of 2014 that I felt the call to be a part of this great organization. It was at this point that God told me he wanted us to sponsor a child starting that spring, and eventually start to work with the organization. The timing of this calling couldn’t have been worse in my opinion. I had just married my husband, David, and we were broke newlyweds in graduate school who were dipping into savings each month. I trusted that God had a plan and that he would provide for us! It’s always been a desire of mine to be generous, no matter what our financial state was, and I did not want this to be an exception.

In the months following this, God provided in some big ways! My husband was promoted and started earning a much better salary, and I got a job that would pay the rest of my graduate school and provide a small stipend. This helped us get back on track financially, and helped make sure that sponsoring a child would not put us in the hole each month.

At the time, Uganda was in need of sponsors, so we chose to sponsor a girl named Sharon - from that country.  Since we began sponsoring our child, God has also provided an amazing career for me, where I have the flexibility to work from home on my own schedule. I honestly thought it would be at least five years before I would be able to help out with Project Orphans and fulfill that calling, but God has provided in amazing ways, and revealed to me in recent weeks that the time for that is now!

What the last few months have taught me is that even though certain dreams or desires might not make sense to others, or maybe you even doubt that you can accomplish them, God is bigger than those obstacles that might stand in your way! I had always wanted to do social work for a non-profit for free, but everyone always thought I was crazy. When I got into the real world, I realized that was a crazy dream and that would probably never happen… but God.

God has opened these doors for me to be able to use my skills and talents (writing and social work) to benefit his Kingdom and get to help kids in other countries in direct and indirect ways through Project Orphans!

I’m really excited for this journey and to be able to offer my time to this amazing organization that is providing change in the lives of children all across the world. It still feels surreal to me, and I’m so thankful to be able to work with a cause that is so dear to my heart!

All the best,

Christine

PROJECT ORPHANS:: BRAZIL UPDATE

Work in Brazil is underway! We are excited to see this home used to shelter and provide hope to such amazing kids.

Recently, there have been many Brazilian Governmental Orphanages shutting down -- creating a bigger need for our partner to take in more displaced children. This home could not come at a better time. Pictured are a sweet boy and his sister who have recently been taken off the streets after their drug addicted parents abandoned them. We are glad that God will continue to use Project Orphans to step in and help provide hope for children like this and show them God's everlasting love.

PROJECT ORPHANS BRAZIL:: UPDATE

Cheers to making headway on breaking ground on the Project Orphans Boys Home in Fortaleza, Brazil!

Our Project Brazil partner has been working to get paper work processed so that we can have all the permits needed in order to break ground.

 

This September, a team will be helping to break ground and start construction. We are currently planning to open the doors to the new home on August 2016.

PROJECT ORPHANS:: SUMMER MISSIONS 2014

Tourists flock to the cobblestone streets and colonial architecture in the country of Guatemala. Just beyond its attractions, thousands of families struggle to earn enough for basic food and shelter. Children, often as young as six years old, give up a chance at education in order to help sustain their families.

This past month, Project Orphans hosted a team of 23 missionaries from Pittsburg, Texas to help serve the people in need in Zacapa, Guatemala. The trip was incredible. Over the course of seven days, we were able to minister the love of Jesus to over 600 people, serve 100 families bags of food that would feed the family for an entire week, rescue a baby from the brink of death, distribute over 200 Bibles, share Jesus with children living at the dump, and dedicate the second Project Orphans Children’s home!

The Project Orphans team truly had a tangible impact on the future of Guatemala. The trip wasn’t always easy. We faced many hurdles and our faith was tested many times. At one point, we were waiting to rescue two babies who lived high up in the mountains and were dying of malnutrition. As the teenage moms left their village for the first time - one baby did not survive. This was very emotional for the entire team and the mother who lost her child. We used this experience to catapult our passion, energy and drive to save the other infant - but most of all to increase our faith in God.

Many times we don’t know why things happen the way they do. However, the most important thing the team embedded in their hearts was  that no matter how hard the situation might be - God is bigger. Over the course of the trip we saw many people fall in love with Jesus Christ and dedicate their life to serving and trusting in him. We look forward to meeting those impacted again, whether here on earth or in heaven.

MEDS FOR ORPHANS

Project Orphans needs your help on December 2, 2014, also known as Giving Tuesday to give meds to orphans around the world! 

We’ve celebrated Black Friday and saved a little on Cyber Monday - but now it is time to give back on Giving Tuesday!

Whenever you do choose to buy your presents,  Project Orphans asks you to consider buying a gift for an orphan who desperately needs medicine, vitamins or other antibiotics.

On Giving Tuesday, which follows Cyber Monday, you can do just that!  This year Project Orphans has joined with Blessings International to create the Medicines for Orphans campaign for #GivingTuesday!

A gift of as little as:

  •  $5 will supply one child with eight months of vitamins
  •  $10 will give ten children a complete course of antibiotics
  •  $20 will treat 15 children for malaria.

You can show your care for young, orphaned children around the world by making a donation through the MedicinesForOrphans.org website or by texting MEDS to 41444.

Please consider giving to Medicines For Orphans!  And tell others about this campaign, especially on #GivingTuesday

THE ORPHANS' FRIEND

“Come all kind, good people,

With sympathizing hearts,

Come listen to a few kind words

A friend to you imparts.

Be kind to an orphan child,

And always be its friend,

You will be happy in this world,

And will be to the end.

Be kind to the motherless,

Little motherless ones,

For God will forever bless

You in this world to come.

No kind and loving mother

To soothe their little brow,

Be kind to them always, friends,

They have no mother now.

Be kind to the fatherless,

Wherever you may find

One little one that is friendless,

I pray you all be kind.

For it has no loving father,

To speak with mild reproof,

Or guide its youthful footsteps

In honesty and truth.

Be kind to the little orphans,

They have no parents dear;

Be kind to the little orphans,

Speak to them words of cheer,

Then they will always love you

For kind and gentle words,

Then God will ever bless you,

For He says so in His word.”

- Julia A Moore

STARTING 2014 WITH A BANG

This year, Project Orphans has several exciting opportunities, events and announcements! During 2013, Project Orphans focused on the words, “Love Never Fails.” These words brought us around the world and allowed us to meet children who have forever changed our lives. The three words also kept us pushing forward - no matter what obstacle we faced. 

Last year, we broke ground on our orphan home in Uganda… In the upcoming months - the home will be completed and eight children, who were formerly homeless, will be snuggled up in their own bed with a roof protecting their life, dreams and heart. We cannot wait to meet these kids and see how much they flourish and grow to be young leaders of their country! 

Other exciting news… because of the huge support from local businesses and families in the Tulsa community - the Homes of Hope Orphan Gala raised over $60,000 to help build and maintain Project Orphan Children Homes. 

With all the support in 2013 - it has allowed Project Orphans to begin seeking new locations for us to build our next orphan home in 2014. After much prayer, thought and discussion - we felt called to begin searching for a location closer to the USA. This led us to zone in on Central and South America! Recently, we have began discussion with a possible ministry partner located in - DRUMROLL PLEASE… Guatemala!

 

Before making the decision about breaking ground on our next home, the Founders of Project Orphans will be flying to Guatemala to meet with the couple who would be overseeing the children’s home, visit the location where the home will be built and if all goes well - break ground on our first Project Orphans Guatemala Orphan Home. 

Please keep us in your prayers as we travel and make decisions that will impact children’s futures. Also, follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get the latest updates on our travels and upcoming events!

We look forward to partnering with you in 2014, and continuing our mission to build homes of hope for orphans around the world.

Best,

Brittany Stokes, Founder of Project Orphans