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

Big News!

Big News

I am very excited about my next steps as Director of Kimbilio Project. Moving forward, I will spend 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. During 2013, I will spend June through November in Kenya! The remainder of my time will be spent in America traveling to meetings, fundraising, and speaking engagements. I look forward to staying in touch with you while I am in Kenya and connecting with you when I return to America.

I need your support in order for this to happen. Click HERE to give and support what God is doing with Kimbilio!

4 Years Ago

St. Louis Collage

I grew up in a very small town and was raised in a Baptist church. When I was 9 years old, I prayed a prayer, which I thought meant I would go to Heaven. I thought this was all there was to being a Christian. Growing up in a small southern Baptist church I thought all there was to Jesus was legalism (not drinking, smoking, doing drugs, cursing, etc.). This is the life I lived until everyone started to get their license in high school. Being at a small high school, most of my friends started drinking so I thought I had to as well to fit in. I started chasing things of this world, while thinking all I had to do was show up at church every Sunday morning.

Senior year of high school came around and I started to realize there was something more to life than the things of this world, but did not really know what this was. Jesus started moving in my heart, but I did not know it Jesus. I went to Clemson after high school and continued to live two lives (one in the things of this world, and the other at church and Clemson FCA). Spring Break of Freshman year came around and everyone was making plans. A lot of my friends were going on the FCA mission trip. Clemson FCA does a mission trip every Spring Break where they take around 400 college students to a city in the United States to serve with various ministries. It was after the deadline to sign up, but I decided to go on the FCA mission trip to St. Louis. There were still spots open so I was able to go. I did not know what God had in store for me on this trip.

The group that I was placed with served at a transitional home for people who are homeless, called the Hope House. In the backyard of the Hope House was the home of Eric and Aaron. They would watch us play with the kids from their backyard. One day I decided to go down and talk to them through the fence. This is when God started to break my heart. On Tuesday, March 17, 2009 after our session I went back to my hotel. I opened my Bible and started looking through scripture. At this time I started balling my eyes up and knew God was telling me to surrender everything and follow Him. Throughout this trip I realized I never truly understood what it mean to follow Jesus. It is so much more than legalism and “doing the right things.” Jesus wants a relationship with us. Sitting on the bed in my hotel I knew I wanted this relationship with Him! From this point forward, Jesus gave me a new heart that longed for Him and His truth!

The next day I decided to leave the Hope House compound and went to play with Eric and Aaron in their backyard. This is when God showed me missions was going to be a part of my life forever and I felt Him tell me to go on a foreign mission trip.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity of visiting friends in St. Louis and we drove by the Hope House. I was able to reflect on God’s faithfulness and sovereignty. He had taken me to St. Louis Freshman year for me to realize there was more to Christianity than legalism. To follow Him meant that I was to live for Him, not live to not sin. Following Jesus is a true and whole surrender of all things, reading and living by His word, leaving all things for Him, having a community to hold you accountable, knowing that He gives us eternal life and that the same power that rose Him from the dead lives in us!

Vision

Everyone of you has a vision for something. This vision could be to be a Godly man or woman, great father or mother, be Jesus to people you work with, teach your child about Jesus, be a missionary, plant a church, etc.

Most of you know my vision. On June 19, 2010 I visited a children’s home in Nairobi, Kenya while participating in the Journey Internship with Choose to Invest. I stooped through the door of a painted gate to see a four-story, concrete orphanage before me. At the time I felt something move in me and I was not sure what it was. With each step that I took towards the orphanage I knew what was moving in me. It was a vision God was giving me to start an orphanage in Kenya. Not just another orphanage but an orphanage that cares for children holistically, develops leaders of orphan care within our staff, and helps other homes better care for their children. This vision began about two and half years ago when I was only nineteen years old and each day it becomes more of a reality.

If you are not aware, we announced that we are starting a Kimbilio Baby Home, Kimbilio’s first step to providing a refuge for orphaned and abandoned children. You can see that announcement HERE. Jesus brought some incredible individuals along to help make this possible. Will and Kelly Rodes (along with their two and a half year old son, Liam) who will lead daily operations at Kimbilio. As well as the Kimbilio interns (Caitlin, Ellen, Erin, and Mollie) who graduate college in May and will move to Kenya to help set up the baby home.

About two weeks ago we hosted our second annual Run for Orphans in Alpharetta, GA. Will, Kelly, Liam, Caitlin, Ellen, Erin, and Mollie all came into town to help with the race. After the race we all got to hang out and get to know each other more. I was overwhelmed by God’s faithfulness and sovereignty the entire weekend.

We ended the weekend by attending a gathering at Passion City Church. After church we spent some time praying together. As we sat in a circle on the floor praying for what is ahead, I absolutely lost it. I could not hold back the tears of joy and gratitude. I was sitting in a circle of people who were going to help make the vision God gave even more of a reality. I was sitting with what I like to call a family that will be a part of Kimbilio providing a refuge for its first children in Kenya! I thought of the babies stuck in hospitals with no place to go, no love, no care, and to most people no hope, but I was sitting with a group of people that God will use to rescue these babies, helping them know their Heavenly Father and that they are not a mistake. Two and half years ago I would never thought I would be sitting in this circle, but I worship a big God who knew exactly what He was doing and continues to orchestrate every detail in my life.

If God gives you a vision, He will see it to completion. Trust Him to do immeasurably more than you could ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). I hope this can encourage you to continue to walk in faith and trust God that He fulfill that vision. He is always orchestrating the details of your life, even when you do not realize it. One day you will be able to look back and see how sovereign He is and always will be!

In Christ,

Edward

Get involved with Kimbilio

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!

 

Some Days

There are some days, or maybe many days that I miss Africa a lot. Yesterday was one of those days. I even had a hard time focusing on the tasks that I needed to complete for the day because my heart longed to be in Africa. I do my best to use this time to pray for Africa, Kenya, the people, the children, the government, the churches, other ministries, and for my friends there.

Ernest Hemingway once said, “all I wanted to do now was get back to Africa. We had not left it yet, but when I would wake in the night I would lie, listening, homesick for it already.” He wrote this while in Africa and it is so true!

There is something so special about Africa and the people there that I hope you all get to experience one day. I promise you that your life will never be the same.

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!