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

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Mission Accomplished: Francesca's New Home!! {The James 1:27 Project}

Back in November of 2012, the Lord laid on a special project on our hearts here at The Orange Bird. The James 1:27 Project in Kenya wanted to build a home for an HIV positive widow, named Francesca, and her three sons who needed better housing. By the grace of God and the generous customers who purchased items from The Orange Bird Shop, we were able to reach our {seemingly impossible} goal by the end of December!

As with most construction projects, it took longer than anticipated to be completed, but we are so delighted to announce that the house is mostly completed and the family of four has moved in!! So without further ado... 
THEIR HOME BEFORE
 (a 10x12 ft. structure)

and
 AFTER!!!

We are thanking God for the opportunity to use our gifts and talents for His glory! What a special thing to be part of the Lord's plan to answer Francesca's prayer for a new home! What a blessing to have secure and sturdy shelter! That is something many of us here in the U.S. take for granted!

An unexpected blessing came from all of this. It was something we didn't even realize was part of God's plan until we were told about it later! We knew that when Francesca's husband died from AIDS, his family blamed her and stripped her of her property. She and her sons were ostracized and forced to leave their home and move out to the country. We did not know, however, that their current place of residence was on land owned by her husband's family. Through the process of The James 1:27 Project folks obtaining permission to build the new structure, communications were reopened and healing began to take place between the estranged family members. Praise the Lord! He is the healer of broken things whether that is broken, leaky houses or broken, hurt hearts or in this case both!!! Friends, we don't have the whole picture, but the Lord does! He loves us and wants to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine to show us that love!!

Ephesians 3:14-21
For this reason I kneel before the Father,  from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Thank you for partnering in this project with us! Since our donation for Francesca's house, we have been saving the profits from our sales to purchase a rain water collection system for her. This would save her family an immense amount of work obtaining water, as the closest source of water currently is half a mile from their home. We are anxious to complete our goal and get that money to the good people at The James 1:27 Project! We would be so grateful if you would check out our shop! Also, if there are any special order items we might be able to do for you, just ask! We would be happy to consider it!

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