Monday, April 8, 2013

T-Shirt Truth

T-Shirt Truth:
This shirt was sold by Feeding the Orphans in the USA to raise orphan awareness.
Now it is clothing a young boy in Ghana.
And, the words are true - 

Hard words, aren't they?

Again, this post has two authors.  A few thoughts of my Dad from our visit to Ejura are shared later in this post...

Our family is tremendously impacted by the sacrificial giving of so many in the States for God's ministry here.  All of our monthly support funds our ministry here - transportation for ministry, emergency needs that come to us, internet to share photos and stories with you, equipment purchases for the film outreaches, replacement for flat tires, vehicle repair, etc...  We pray and try to steward well what is sent to our family in monthly support.

Other times, special gifts are sent to us us, and God always shows us clearly where He desires for us to use it.  You would be amazed at the number of needs God has met through your giving!  Over this past week, a gift from a homeschooling mother selling bread provided for the immediate need brought to us,  extra food was provided for a family because of a gift from our neighbor - the extra food  is now being shared with a double orphan in need, and two children sent us money that was used to help a pastor giving his life away to help fatherless children in a community virtually void of Christ.   We can not tell you all of the stories, but want you to know that the Lord has led us clearly with so many "extra" gifts.  Each of you have blessed others beyond measure and one day you will hear all of the stories in heaven.  We are amazed by God's provision for his children.  THANK YOU FOR REMEMBERING PEOPLE HERE WITH YOUR GIVING!

Months ago, I wrote a post titled Disney in Ghana.  I created the comparison between Disney in America versus Disney here in Ghana.  There is a great contrast in what constitutes "dreams coming true."

In that post, I shared about a young boy, Timothy Lumsdaine, who gave us his all of his savings before we traveled to Ghana.  We prayed about how to use his money and the Lord led us purchase deworming and parasite medication for a village.  Life changing impact was made through his sacrificial gift, and it was done in the name of Jesus Christ.

A few months ago, my parents called and we learned of another sacrificial gift coming to Ghana.  An elderly woman at their church, Myrna King, did not receive any gifts for Christmas last year.  Instead, she asked her family to give her money to be given for ministry in Ghana.  My parents shared that they would be bringing this money with them, along with other financial gifts so Reid and I began praying for what God would want us to do with it.  Soon, God answered.

In January, we ministered in Ejura and saw many children with heads that looked like this one.

Missing patches of hair indicate the child has ringworm and likely other worms and parasites in their system.  These both suck nutrients from the system and prevent complete nutrition from absorbing in the body.  One dose of deworming medicine rids the body of the nasty bugs for three months.

We knew God wanted to money from Myrna to provide for the children in Ejura to be treated against worms and parasites.  However, there were 1100 people estimated to need treatment between the two villages.  Feeding the Orphans immediately agreed to provide the rest of the needed medication!  WOW!  All of the financial gifts my parents brought with them provided for the transportation to take it to the remote villages 10 hours from our home!  God always provides!  ALWAYS!  

In a few weeks, we are going to dedicate the FTO well in Paulkrom (another blog post about this amazing story coming soon too - I hope!).  As in Deti when we dedicated the well last year, we would love to provide dewormign medication for the village and school children.  If you would like to help provide deworming medication for this outreach, please contact Feeding the Orphans.  We estimate needing at least 400 doses for this village.  This is a picture taken last week in Paulkrom.  The need is great there as well.

Finally, I love this picture from the deworming and clothing outreach in Ejura because it shows that receiving a small gift of medicine or one piece of clothing is still "Disney in Ghana."

Now, some thoughts from my Dad about distributing the clothing and dewormer in Ejura.

Guest Blogger:  Robbie Franklin, my Daddy, shares a few thoughts
(There is more still to come from him!!  In this post there are a few thoughts from him with the rest coming from me, Robin, your normal blogger.)

When we arrived at the church in Abrewa Ano, the building and grounds were covered with women, men, and children.  We came with a fully loaded trailer of medication, clothing, shoes, and goodies.  

When we arrived at the church, everyone was singing and dancing.  A praise service was happening!  Everyone was so joyful and exuberant.  

Women were dancing while sweat dripped down their face.

Children were clapping and singing.

Everyone was so excited about worship!

After the time of worship, Janet shared with everyone about how God called her to trust him during her cancer.  Her story touched hearts and challenged us to walk out our faith.

We began with the deworming medication first.

Even Braden, age 9, became a pharmacist.

Donations from God's people provided doses of medication for 1100 children and adults!!!
 We distributed the deworming medicine to the men first, then the women, then the children.

 The entire family worked together, along with Ernest and Wahab to make sure everyone received a dose.  Because this medicine is most effective if it is taken at night, everyone was given one dose to take home and administer in the evening.

Ernest translated all day long.  He was invaluable to the team.

Some children were sweating profusely on their mother's backs.  It was extremely hot inside the church building.

Everyone waited patiently to receive their medicine.

After a long time, we had handed out the appropriate doses, and we made the preparations to distribute the clothing.  Donations of clothing from MLI Ghana and Feeding the Orphans were consolidated to have enough to share with the people.  Huge bags of clothes were opened and dumped onto the floor for the people to come and choose one new piece of clothing.

We started with the adults, so the children were sent outside to play futbol (soccer) with the Beebe boys until it was their turn.

Again, because this village worships Christ, there was an overwhelming peace among the people while they waited.  Everyone waited patiently for their turn.  It was very orderly.

Each person stepped forward and whatever they touched first became the one item of clothing they would take home.   The men were excited about a new tie or a sports jacket - even if it was too small.

The men and women choose carefully.  Remember, whatever you touch first is yours!

The kids play outside while until it is time for the children to come inside.

The girls line up before going inside.

One child ended up with one of our shirts that we sold to raise money for Godwin's adoption.  I can't believe it is now being worn by a child in this village.  
T-shirt Truth:  "I will not leave you as orphans.  I will come to you."  John 14:18
"Millions of orphans...millions of orphans...millions of orphans...  Will you come?...Will you come?...Will you come?  Yes, I'll come.  Because Jesus came for me."

One little girl in Knoxville, Reagan Hooks, sacrificially provided some new clothes for the children specifically for this outreach!  Sadly, I was outside taking photos when the specific ones she sent were handed out, but every child adored their new clothes.  Reagan, thank you so much for your generous heart to help! 

Some handmade dresses from Betty Barkley are also now adorning the children!  To know these dresses have been handmade with love is such a gift!


Handmade Pillowcase dresses also blessed the children!  Thank you!

Our boys also cleaned out their closets for this outreach.  After seeing the need here for clothing, they wanted to give away what they could to bless others.  Their closets now only hold the clothes they need.  Everything else is being given away.
I nearly cried seeing this little boy in one of Franklin's shirts.  His "Perfect Aim" band shirt now covers this precious little boy.  
The next day as we drove through the village headed to Mbana, Franklin saw the same little boy running through the village wearing his Perfect Aim shirt.  Wow!
T-Shirt Truth - "We make it our aim to please Him.  2 Corinthians 5:9. 
We aim for perfection.  2 Corinthians 13:11.  
What's your aim?"

Even the Tate family is represented in this village now.  When they came in December, they left nearly all of the clothes they wore, so they could be shared with those in need.  Now their clothes are clothing the children of this village!

One more gift given was new Bibles for the church.  This village boasts of 10 students going to senior high school.  10 students out of a village of about 600 people.  They are very proud of this fact, and they should be.  In the remote areas, many children do not have the privilege of any education beyond primary school.  Yes, primary school.  Few people in the village can read English so we didn't leave many English Bibles for them.  Eventually, we will work to find Bibles in their local language and take them if possible.

Janet enjoys playing hand clapping games with the children.  The kids were always around her!

Dad entertained all of the children with his nose flute!  They were very curious about it!

Many of the young children wanted to touch my skin, and some of the very young children looked at me with eyes full of fear.  In Ghana, I was called, "Obruini" meaning "White Person."

One little boy carries the gifts for his family home.  

While we head home to our comfortable house, everyone here walks home to their huts.  

The day was very orderly with everyone receiving a dose of medicine, followed with clothing and finally a biscuit (cracker) to everyone.  I wish that all of you who sent money to buy and transport the medicine, the clothing, or the flip flops could have witnessed the joy on the people's faces as they received their gift.  Reid, Ernest, and Wahab explained that all of these gifts were sent from brothers and sisters in Christ because they wanted to share His love.  They explained that the gifts given today were not going to last, but the love of Jesus lasts for eternity.

One more t-shirt truth for you to ponder.  I think this t-shirt actually came from the Oleary family as their own children cleaned out their closets.  The Olearys are the founders of Feeding the Orphans.  
Read this t-shirt truth knowing a child in Africa is now wearing it.  Read it knowing the children in this village have no electricity within miles of their huts.  Read it knowing the children walk barefooted  carrying water on their heads for drinking, cooking, bathing, and washing because running water is a foreign concept.  Read it knowing children in this village are eating dead mice for dinner.  Read it knowing many children will not eat today.  
Read it asking yourself the question...  
T-Shirt Truth.  "Why should we eat like Kings and Queens when they have nothing?"

This picture reflects our heart.  Franklin is kicking the ball in the center of picture wearing a t-shirt that says, "Hope in the Dark."  That's what we are doing, through the power of the Holy Spirit - we are bringing "Hope in the Dark."  Beside Franklin runs a little African boy wearing a shirt that was once his.  A little boy running with purpose and running with aim.  A little boy, we pray, running for Jesus!  We pray this little boy will aim for perfection in pleasing Him - the Savior who came for him!  

As in other Africa scenes, the little boy's red shirt is the only splash of color.  Because Franklin is wearing brown, Franklin is faded into the background in this photo.  The memory of our presence in this village will fade as well.  We won't be remembered for long.  But the love of Jesus will not fade.  The HOPE of Him will not grow dim.  The TRUTH of him will not change with time.  So, as I see the little boy running in a bright red shirt, I pray that the tangible touch of Jesus given this day will last for all eternity of the lives of Abrewa Ano.  

"We make it our aim to please Him."
2 Corinthians 5:9

"We aim for perfection."
2 Corinthians 13:11


Annie said...

What a beautiful post. I loved reading all about the gifts for your precious people and God's provision.

Stephanie Estabrooks said...

Hi, Robin,

I have started the task of going through my closets. Is there a way that I can donate clothing to you to give out to those in Ghana as presented in this blog? Thanks.

Stephanie Estabrooks

Reid said...


Thank you for considering those in need here. The best way for you to donate clothing and get it to Ghana is to contact Feeding The Orphans through their website: