Midwest Tour

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This week part of our Choose to Invest staff has been traveling throughout the Midwest to visit churches, Journey Alumni, and supporters.

We left Atlanta on Sunday night and drove to just south of Nashville. We then departed Monday morning and drove 6 hours to Rochester, IL. We visited with Rochester Christian Church, who is a church partner. We got to cast vision and give project updates to members of their missions board and Journey Alumni.

On Tuesday morning we drove 5 hours to Cedar Falls, Iowa. In Iowa we have been spending time with Journey 2010 intern and board member, Diana Mesher. Diana hosted an event for us and we got to meet some Journey 2013 interns and cast vision to individuals who were interested in Choose to Invest. We got to spend time with an incredible family as well. This family is near and dear to my heart, and huge supporters of Kimbilio. They hosted us at their house for the night and we got to see their farm!

Now we are headed to Chicago for the Empowered to Connect Conference. This is a two-day conference designed to help adoptive and foster parents, ministry leaders and professionals better understand how to connect with “children from hard places” in order to help them heal and become all that God desires for them to be. This conference will play a large role in training our Kimbilio staff and caring for the children of Kimbilio.

After the conference we are headed to Warsaw, IN to spend time with other staff members and alumni as well as have a few meetings with a church and other organizations.

Total we will travel about 2,000 miles and over 30 hours,

Be on the lookout this week because I will be launching a new website with a new blog!

 

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Meet Moses

Meet Moses.

Moses 3

Moses’ mother came into the hospital bleeding but denying she was pregnant. She had taken pills with chemicals in them in an attempt to abort her pregnancy. The pills did not kill Moses, but they caused her to start bleeding and go into labor early. You can see the chemical burn marks on the right side of his body. Moses’ mother gave false information to the hospital about who she was and abandoned him after he was born. He remains in the hospital with no one to care for him, because all the children’s homes in the area are full.

He needs a refuge. The Kimbilio Baby Home will be providing a refuge for children like Moses! Many children, specifically babies like Moses, are abandoned in hospitals by their mothers, left on the side of the street, in pit latrines (restrooms), or in garbage dumps. The Kimbilio Baby Home will allow us to start caring for these children who in the eyes of many have no hope and love. We will also be able to learn about our model, care, staffing, medical needs, budgets, volunteers, and much more.

I am headed to Kenya in June to be the visionary leader, lead our Kenyan and American staff at the Kimbilio Baby Home, build relationships with other children’s homes, work with the government, etc.

Will you help me get to Kenya to provide a refuge for children like Moses? To donate and join my monthly support team CLICK HERE and choose “Edward Phillips” in the drop down box for the fund to give to.

I Need Your Help

Kimbilio Project Logo

The past eight months have been nothing short of amazing. I have been living in Atlanta and working full-time for Choose to Invest, as Director of Kimbilio Project. Kimbilio is swahili, Kenya’s native language, for refuge. Therefore, Kimbilio Project is a refuge for orphaned and abandoned children in Kenya, Africa. I have seen God move this project forward in ways that I could not have imagined. The exciting thing about this, is that it is only the beginning and God is going to continue to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

We are getting close to our goal to purchase the land in Kenya where we will build the permanent facility for Kimbilio! We are currently going through some legal processes to become registered in Kenya and hope to purchase the land soon after we reach our goal. We are also starting the Kimbilio Baby Home. We will rent a home in Nairobi that will become the Kimbilio Baby Home, where we can implement our child development model and begin bringing hope and love to children from the start. The home will be led by our newest staff, Will & Kelly Rodes. We will also hire the following positions in-country; Direct Care Givers (to be moms), Social Worker, Security Guards, Nurse, Cook, and Maintenance. I have also been able to hire four interns that will move to Kenya from nine months to one year to help start the Kimbilio Baby Home.

Most of you probably saw the big news, that I will be spending six to eight months of every year in Kenya to lead the Kimbilio Baby Home, build relationships with other children’s homes, work with the government, and lead our Kenyan and American staff.

I need your help! In order for this project to continue to move forward I need to fundraise my salary as a missionary. This will be accomplished through people like you deciding to join this movement. I have never been this excited and passionate about Kimbilio Project. God is moving and I hope that you can recognize this and join the movement. I am blown away that I get the opportunity to wake up every day and fight for the most vulnerable and least of these. I am asking you to be involved as a monthly supporter so I can continue to be Jesus’ hands and feet, leading a movement to change orphan care around the world!

To donate and join my monthly support team CLICK HERE and choose “Edward Phillips” in the drop down box for the fund to give to.

If you have any question feel free to call, text, or email me!

Thank you so much,

Edward Phillips

The Rodes Family

Our vision for Kimbilio Project has always been to have an American family that lives in Kenya to lead our staff. In August, I felt God prompt me to start praying for this family. At the time I was very confused as to why He wanted me to do this because I did not think it was time to even think about hiring this family. Just a few days later I received a text message from my sister asking me if I remembered Will and Kelly Rodes from NewSpring Church, in Anderson, SC (the church I attended while in school at Clemson University). She told me to go search for a blog they had posted about their next steps. I found their blog and as I read it I stopped in my tracks and was in awe. Their blog was announcing how Will was resigning from his job at NewSpring and he, Kelly, and their two year old boy, Liam, were headed to Mozambique to attend a missionary training school. They would return home at the end of December, believing God would have their next step ready. I knew Kelly because she worked the front desk at NewSpring but had not actually met Will. I decided to reach out to Will and ask him to grab coffee before they left for Mozambique. In the chaos of packing his family up, he found time to meet with me.

We shared our stories and how God placed Africa on our hearts. After our time together came to an end, I knew there was a connection and they were supposed to be a part of Kimbilio. I realized this is exactly why God prompted me to start praying for the family that would lead Kimbilio in Kenya. I kept in touch with Will and Kelly during their time in Mozambique. God brought along the four ladies, Kimbilio interns, in October and that is when we knew God was leading us back to the idea of the baby home. I presented this idea to Will and Kelly and asked them to pray through whether they would be a part of this in any way. After much prayer as to what God had next for the Rodes family, they knew Kimbilio was what was next. Will, Kelly, and Liam were able to travel to Kenya at the beginning of January to spend time with the Avery’s, founders of Choose to Invest, and the rest of our staff in Kenya. After returning home they completed interviews with members of our Board of Directors. Everyone was in agreement and knew that the Rodes family was the perfect family for this job!

I am so excited that Will and Kelly are now on board with Kimbilio. From the start I felt an immediate connection with this family that I cannot even explain. God has made that connection stronger every day. I love Will, Kelly, and Liam and cannot wait for God to use them in Kenya for Kimbilio Project!

To read more about the Rodes family and the Kimbilio interns click here: www.choosetoinvest.org/kimbilio/staff

Jehovah Jireh

Choose to Invest is doing their first short-term mission trip this coming summer and I am helping plan this trip. We just recently sent invitations out for the trip. Yesterday I felt God tell me that I needed to email all the invitees and help them understand more about fundraising. Today I sent this email to those individuals and now want to share it with everyone. I hope this is an encouragement for your walk with Jesus and helps you see more of who He is…

Most of my job is fundraising for Kimbilio Project. Every day I wake up to very large numbers that I need to fundraise. I also get the opportunity to wake up every morning to a very large God that will meet those needs. The thing I love so much about this is I know there is nothing that I could do to make these things happen. It is clearly and obviously Jehovah Jireh, the Lord who provides.
The other exciting thing about fundraising is that there are many people who know right now they are not called to GO, but are called to give and help others GO. One preconceived notion that hinders us is we think it is bad to ask for money and people do not want to give. This may be the case for some individuals, but definitely not all. People want to be a part of your story and they will want to be a part of your trip. They are able to be a part of your trip with financial support. You are asking people to be a part of what God is doing in your life and the advancement of His kingdom. You should not feel guilty for that. This goes for people of all ages, young to old.
There are even stories in the Bible of people we would consider heroes of the faith that asked people to give to what God was doing. These were people like Moses, David, Nehemiah, and Paul.
God is a God of details! I see this everyday as I work. I always stand in awe of His sovereignty. He orchestrates the smallest of details that lead you to see His plan and sovereignty. I could tell many, many stories of how He has orchestrated details for Kimbilio. He will do the same for you if it is His will for you to be a part of this trip.
Trusting in Him,
Edward
P.S. It has been a while since I posted a blog. I am attempting to make a come back!

 

Baby George

I recently wrote a blog about a little baby boy that I met in Kenya over the summer. That blog was posted on the Choose to Invest blog (Invest Thoughts) today. Check it out here:

While in Kenya over the summer I had the chance to spend time in the area where we plan to buy land and build Kimbilio. During my time in this town I visited the local public hospital to meet with the social worker to find out statistics on orphans and abandoned children in the area. Emily, the social worker, went through her records to recall the number of children’s cases she had dealt with thus far. Between January and June the number of abandoned babies in this hospital had already doubled the total number of babies that were abandoned here in 2011. Emily then informed me how they were having to care for a lot of these children in the hospital because the orphanages in the area are full. They do not have the resources or staffing to care for these children within the hospital and since the orphanages in the area are not taking in children; the babies are being sent hours away to other homes. She explained how the area is growing and the number of abandoned babies will continue to increase as well. According to her records from the past few years, the number of abandoned babies increases in the final months of the year so she expects many more cases to come. Emily also informed me that the cases she has are only children abandoned at the hospital or that are brought to the hospital.  Many other children are abandoned within their communities or are taken to the nearby police station.

As I was saying goodbye to Emily and thanking her for spending time with me she asked if she could show me something in the hospital. Of course, I said yes. I walked with Emily down a covered walkway into the adjacent building. This was the maternity ward where every bed in the building was occupied by an expectant mother. We turned a corner, and walked down another hallway and entered a room. This room was very small, hot and muggy. Emily began to explain to me that this is where the babies are brought after they are born. She turned, picked up a two week old baby boy, and placed him into my arms. Emily then told me how two weeks ago when baby George was born his mother had gone to use the bathroom and snuck out of the hospital. When they tried to trace the name on record, she was no where to be found because she had given a fake name. Baby George was still in the hospital because Emily could not find a children’s home that had availability to care for him. She stared into my eyes as though I could fix the problem. I was torn up inside, because I could not fix this problem at the moment. After thanking Emily for her time and saying goodbye to George I proceeded back to my car.

I realized I could not fix the problem then and there but I could fix it soon! That is why Kimbilio Project exists! We will be able to provide a refuge and holistic care for babies like George who have no place to go. This is only one example and reason why we have urgency in starting Kimbilio.

Will you help us provide a refuge for babies like George?

Edward

Posted from: http://www.investthoughts.org/?p=1751

You are probably wondering

Kimbilio Project Logo

If you are not aware I work full-time for Choose to Invest as Director of Kimbilio Project. You are probably wondering what exactly I do as Director of Kimbilio Project for Choose to Invest… Well, wonder no more!

First off, I just want to say how thankful and blessed I am to have this job. I love working for Choose to Invest! God gave me the vision and dream for this orphanage on June 19, 2010 and this vision and dream are now a reality! Jesus Christ is so faithful and sovereign! I look back and see how He has orchestrated my entire life for this (more details to come about this). Over the past few months God has really shown me exactly what the vision of Kimbilio is and how we will care for these children. I am so excited for what is to come for Kimbilio Project!

My biggest focus is fundraising. I do a lot of networking and building relationships with various people. I am seeking people who will share in our vision to build a children’s home for orphaned and abandoned children in Kenya, Africa. I also seek out individuals and ask them to get involved in other ways as well. I have set fundraising goals that I am striving to accomplish so we can provide a refuge for these children.

Kimbilio Project has various partners. For example, an architect, occupational therapist, nurse, counselors, teachers, musicians, and much more. I try to keep in touch with these partners as much as possible to let them know what is going on with the project and keep them involved in their specific areas as we grow.

Most of what I do is involved with communications, marketing, and social media. I make sure that I am always up to date with what is happening in those various fields in order to get better at my job and work more effectively.

Public relations is a key aspect to Kimbilio Project. In a way, this is free advertising. I write many media pitches and press releases to various media outlets and do follow ups. These stories are allowing people to hear my story, learn about Kimbilio Project, and learn about Jesus Christ. To date about eight newspapers and magazines have covered my story, three of which I was featured on the front page! Check out the “In the News” tab to read some of these stories if you have not gotten a chance to already.

Another aspect of my job is event planing. Last March I planned Run for Orphans, a 5K and Fun Run in Alpharetta, GA. This will be an annual event for Choose to Invest and Run for Orphans will hopefully take place in other cities around the United States in the future. I also coordinate other events for Kimbilio Project, like dessert & coffee nights or banquet/gala events.

Over the summer I had the chance to re-brand Kimbilio Project. I am also in the process of getting other pieces designed and videos produced. I get to manage the Kimbilio brand. This consist of being sure our style sheet (colors, headline and text typefaces, logo placement, and more) is abided by on everything that relates to Kimbilio. Consistency is key!!!

There are other things involved with my job but this should give you a better picture of what I do each day.

Do you have other questions about Kimbilio Project?

Would you like to be involved?

Comment on this blog and let me know!