Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10-11

Friday, July 15, 2016

Emmanuel's Hope for the Future (Future Hope:Haiti)

Meet Emmanuel!

This young man is a light to those around him! We became aware of him as we followed the work of Future Hope in Haiti. The founders of the ministry were so impressed by his diligence. He served as their translator when they visited from the United States and had a dream of becoming a minister. Through the work of Future Hope and the profits from The Orange Bird Shop, which by God's grace were able to cover the cost of his second year of Theology School, his God given dream is coming true! 

This is a message from Katie, one of the Future Hope founders:

{Emmanuel} was so excited about school, thankful for the opportunity he has to go, and anxious to tell us about all he had learned. He also had every single receipt from the whole year (including books, exam fees, food, transportation-a Haitian after my own heart!

He teared up and told us he always thought his little brother would get to go to university but never dreamed HE would. Now he is looking forward to completing theology school and being able to pay for his brother one day. Ahhh, paying it forward..made this momma heart SO happy!

He is spending the summer in our community teaching the youth as well as leading bible studies with our people.

Something I did not realize before is that he is going to theology school, not just seminary. This means he will be able to preach and also teach whereas seminary in Haiti is to preach exclusively.

We are SO excited to have the opportunity to help Emmanuel fulfill his calling! We know he will be an amazing light in his future work with Future Hope!! 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Future Hope Haiti

We are pleased to partner with Future Hope for our next project.

Future Hope Inc was founded in 2014 by Kevin and Tracy Bolin and Jeremy and Katie Salsbury. God has given both families a passion for the people of Haiti and for their freedom in Christ.

Our goal is to provide opportunities for individuals to earn a fair wage to provide for their family while growing in their relationship with Christ.

People who are part of Future Hope in Haiti make crafts and are paid for their items. The items will then be sold in the US. All profits will go back in to the Future Hope program.

In addition to this, Future Hope has grown to include a radio station ministry, distribution of solar powered   radios, Bible studies, and projects and assistance that encourage the development of community provisions, sustainment and growth. 

You can read all about Future Hope on their Facebook Page and their Website! You can also purchase their artisan made goods in their online store!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Irene's Hope for a Future (The James 1:27 Project)

We first came to know about Irene in 2013. We had partnered with The James 1:27 Project in Kenya, Africa, to support a woman named Francisca who desperately needed a new home. Through the grace of God and the generosity of our customers, we were able to donate the funds to purchase the supplies for that structure! As we worked with the Project, we saw a video about the work that they were doing there and part of the video was a clip of Irene.

She (pictured in the pink shirt with her sisters) and her sisters had lost their father in 2008 and then their mother to complications from diabetes in 2012.  Since her mother's passing, Irene had been taking care of the household and her sisters. She was only 17. Our hearts broke for her. The family was receiving some assistance for her younger sisters from The James 1:27 Project, but the look in her eyes told the story of a young woman who was lost. She had dreams but no solid way to pursue them. We recognized that, as a single young woman, she was at a far greater risk for poverty, health problems and violence than if her parents were still alive to care for and guide her. We knew that God had our next mission for us. 

We have a heart for supporting people or projects that will have a ripple effect for good in their community. Irene certainly met that criteria. She had deep ties to the community with her younger sisters there and she had a goal of becoming a teacher so that she could return and bring the blessing of education to the children in her area. 

Through profits from The Orange Bird Shop, we were able to help get her in college and on her way to a four year education degree!! We cannot wait to see what God does through her heart to come back and improve the lives of children and families in her community! What a blessing to be able to be a part of God's work in Irene's life and the future students in her classroom!

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Kioko: The Ripple Effect

Last year, God laid Kioko on our hearts! He is in The James 1:27 sponsorship program and his family desperately needed a new home!

Their home was literally falling apart and his mother was in poor health. He was so stressed about his home situation that it was difficult for him to concentrate and do well in school!

 Of course, because we are moms, ourselves, that did not sit well with us knowing a boy couldn't do well in school because he was so worried about his mama in his dilapidated old house while he was away! We were compelled to join God and raise money through The Orange Bird Shop to help them out!

Through the sales from the shop and with the help of our friend, Kelly, who also raised money to help us meet our goal, we were able to donate all the money for the supplies for his new home!  The James 1:27 folks got to work and now his family is moved in and are able to move on to bigger and better things in life!

We received this letter from Kioko. (If you shopped with us, you are included in that "to whom I know" part! How about that??!!)

As usual, we only see a part of the plan that God has in this work. We saw a house that needed fixing but He was also looking after another young man that we didn't even know about! Kioko's brother, Vincent, was part of the ripple effect! The following is part of an email that we received. Not only did Kioko benefit from a new home, but so did his siblings and mother!! The James 1:27 Project is about bringing hope to the hopeless and now Vincent has hope because of the good work the Project is doing in Machakos!!  

From a distance Vincent looked very withdrawn but our visit on this Saturday would make all the difference in his life. James 1:27 had at the time only had supported his brother Kioko. Having dropped out of school because he couldn’t afford school fees, he had very few words to say. Hopelessness and despair was written all over his face. Neither the arrival of the James team meant anything for him. James 1:27 project came through for him and paid his school fees and he has since resumed school.

During a visit by the James 1:27 team to the school, the school management is full of praise for a child who most times was lost in thoughts and could hardly concentrate in school, a boy who was constantly out school.  He has since become a very hardworking boy, very committed to the studies and become an inspiration to the younger boys who are in similar situation.

 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 4:15

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Francisca: The Ripple Effect

Let us share a story with you...
There was a woman in Kenya with 3 sons and a husband. She lost her husband to AIDS and became infected (along with their youngest son) with HIV. Her husband's family blamed her for his death and ostracized her and their boys. They kicked her out of her home and banished her to a small piece of property way outside of town, where there was a little home that falling apart. The woman had no means to care for herself or her sons. It was a pretty hopeless situation. Her name was Francisca and she was praying for a miracle.
God chose to answer her prayers through The James 1:27 Project. It is an organization in her area that cares for widows and orphans. The folks at The James 1:27 Project told their supporters about her need and we knew that God was calling us to do something about it. With the sales from our shop, we were blessed to raise enough money to fund a new home for the family.

The house was built and our second task was to fund a cistern for the family to have drinking water readily available. Somehow, once again, God worked out a way for our little shop and a sweet young friend to have enough sales to fun that, as well!

That is a great story in our book, but it turns out that it was just the beginning! In the process of planning and building the home, Francisca and her husband's family were able to do some reconciling. Some healing began through the process. She was filled with hope for a future!  In the mean time, an idea had taken root in The James 1:27 Project. They wanted to begin a sewing program that would teach women the skill of sewing and would enable the group to provide school uniforms at a cheaper rate to the children in their program. It would also enable the women to make and sell uniforms to other families whose children needed them for school, which would provide some income for the women!  Guess who had sewing skills and needed a job? That's right...Francisca!! 

She now proudly shows up to the little pink sewing house....

and helps other women find hope, like she found!! 

Isn't God amazing?!!! 
Francisca is proof that God hears our desperate prayers...

 and has a plan for our good when we turn to Him!  

Francisca in her own words:
“It's unbelievable, who would have thought that one day I would be a teacher. The death of my husband meant end of the world i wanted to end my life too but what about my children? I thank God for the gift of children they gave me a shoulder to cry and lean on and work harder...”

We are so honored to be a part of Francisca's story!  We remember when we thought that God was asking a little much for two stay at home moms to accomplish. What we realized is when HE lays something on our hearts and asks us to step out in faith, HE will make it happen. We just have to be obedient. We know that we can't help everyone, but like Mother Teresa said... 

If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one.

When you shop with us, you are changing lives. We just wanted to say, "Thank you!"

Monday, June 30, 2014

Handmade Baskets from the James 1:27 Widows!

Many of you, our Orange Bird supporters and partners, have inquired about purchasing baskets made by the Widows in the James 1:27 Project. We are excited to tell you we have received a handful of these beautiful Kamba masterpieces!
Our Oklahoma friend, Don, made a trip to visit the Project in May, returning with an update and encouragement.  These women want to be a part of their own solution, using all the talent and resources God has given them. The Project is constantly working with them towards being self-sustaining.

Widows and Kamba baskets....
   These are a traditional craft and are used in everyday life to carry and store food and other things.  The Project bought them directly from the ladies who made them, and we are selling them here for a profit, 100% going directly back into the James 1:27 account.  

The eight baskets pictured here are currently available in The Shop. There are plans forming now for a return trip to Kenya in early August. If they are able to bring baskets home, we plan to make them available for purchase as you all begin to think about Christmas!
A few have even been autographed by their artists....
What a pleasure to partner with these creative souls, our sisters in Christ...
Above all, giving thanks to He who does more than we can ask or imagine!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Next Thing In Front Of Us

It can be overwhelming trying to determine God's will. I tend to look at the big picture and when you are a big picture person, it is tempting to think that the challenge you face is just too insurmountable! God has been speaking to my heart about how to handle this "overwhelmingness." I don't have to figure it all out. I just have to do the first thing he tells me...then the next....and so on until the challenge is met. I love this quote I read. It confirms that thought...

...rest with the thought that God’s plan for me might, just might, involve me doing the next thing in front of me, day after day, for years to come. -Tsh Oxenreider

Meet Kioko. He has a BIG problem.

His house is crumbling and the rainy season is coming.

 His mother is ill and unable to care for him and his siblings. He lost his father, presumably to AIDS. He has more worries in his teenage brain than I can imagine. He is being sponsored through The James 1:27 Project for school costs, some basic needs, etc. But this house problem is bigger than their budget allows. That is where we come in. God has laid on our hearts the work of raising money to build them an adequate home.

All of our profits (except from the minion goodies) from The Orange Bird Shop are going towards building Kioko and his family a new home. It is a GIANT challenge. It is a good thing that we have a God that is over all. We are just going to keep putting one foot in front of the other (or maybe one stitch in front of the other) until we accomplish this work that He has laid on our hearts! Please check out the shop and see if anything strikes your fancy. Also, we frequently do special orders...just email us and ask!!