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.

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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

Unleash!

I recently had the chance to read Unleash! by Perry Noble and wanted to let you know what I thought about this book.

As a past owner and intern of NewSpring Church I feel like I was able to get a glimpse of Perry’s heart and personality from his preaching and leadership of the staff. I truly believe Unleash! gives you a glimpse of these things as well! It is not every day that you get to read a book that is rich in personality like Unleash! Prepare yourself to get caught up in a story or metaphor and then what comes after will make your heart stop, maybe get a little mad, but in the end, spur you on to a closer relationship with Jesus Christ living on purpose, with a purpose, and for a purpose. Another great aspect of Unleash! is that it is focused and founded on scripture and Biblical truth. You don’t find many books, even “Christian books,” that take you through as much scripture as Unleash! does. Unleash! is also full of humor in the perfect moments. I often found myself laughing out loud as I read this book.

As you know, I am heading up a project to start an orphanage in Kenya and this book served as a great reminder to me as I walk out what God has called me to do. Ephesians 3:20 is a foundational verse of Unleash! and it served as a great reminder for me as I walk out a huge vision with Jesus’ leading, direction, and provision. It was such a challenge to think about and be reminded that Jesus Christ, at work in us, is able to do MORE than all we ASK or IMAGINE. We all know imagination is vast and extends very far, yet Jesus can even accomplish more than that! Unleash! will allow you to walk through some foundational principles of living a life for Jesus Christ and how to trust Him in us to do great and amazing things! I look forward to hearing how Jesus uses this book to change people lives all around the world and I hope you don’t pass up the chance to read it!

Get your copy now (online or in stores). Here are a few places you can find it online:

 

The Power of Words

This is one of my favorite videos about how powerful words are. How we communicate things can completely change what others think! I believe communication is a very important aspect of our lives and we should always be striving to communicate more effectively. This video will show how rewording a sentence can completely change someone’s reaction and response.

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!

I’m Back…

I know it is been an extremely long time since I last blogged. About 1.5 years ago I reorganized my blog with the intentions to start writing more, well that did not happen. Individuals have been asking me if I would start blogging again so they can keep up with me. I finally gave in and decided to give it another shot. I will be blogging about a variety of things, hince the name “The Variety.” I will blog about my life, Kenya, Kimbilio Project, marketing, fundraising, public relations, and much more. I hope that you will choose to follow my blog. There is a place to the right that you can even sign up to get emails every time I post a blog.

Is there anything you would like for me to write about?

This is Jacob, from a children’s home we serve at in Nairobi, Kenya.
Jacob’s story: At the the age of 1, Jacob was abandoned by a woman (assumed to be his mom) outside the gate of a stranger. This lady claimed that she needed to run to a nearby bus stop to collect a bag. She never returned for Jacob. The homeowner reported the case to the police station and he was later taken into the children’s home. He was recently adopted from the home!

Summer 2010!

Many of you know that I went to Kenya with The 410 Bridge over Christmas break, December 26th through January 3rd. This trip was life changing and I learned so much. I had an AWESOME team and I hope the memories from this trip will always be vivid in mind.

When I applied to go this trip I knew God had placed Kenya and Africa on my heart for a reason. When I was there I really learned about this passion and how much I love it there. When I looked into The 410 Bridge I saw there was something called a Journey Internship that took place every summer. This trip really sparked my interest and I decided to look into it. It looked like something I could see myself doing… I did not know if God really wanted me to do it or not though. I began to seek Him about it and see if He wanted me to apply. I felt led to apply so I proceeded. Before I left for my trip to Kenya I finished the application process. I had to fill out an application, answer 3 essay type questions, and submit a video saying why I should be chosen for the internship and why I felt God was calling me to do this for the summer. Everything with my application went great. I then did a phone interview that also went very well. Then I had to wait to see if I would get the internship. After a few weeks I found out that I did get the internship.

(Just some info on the internship: This internship is an eight-week program and it consists of only college students. We will train for two weeks outside of Atlanta, spend a month in Kenya camping out and serving in 410 Bridge communities, and then debrief for two more weeks back in Atlanta. This trip is guaranteed to change my life and many people involved. There will be a lot of spiritual growth and seeing what I really have to live for.)

I began to question whether or not this is what I really needed to do for my summer. I did not know if going to Kenya for a month was something I could physically, financially, spiritually, and mentally do. I began to beg God to show me what I should do.

I have been reading through Joshua in my quiet time and during this one morning God really pointed some things out to me and helped me make my decision. I realized I was letting fear and uncertainty hold me back from doing this internship. While reading through Joshua, God really pointed out to me how Joshua never feared. He listened to what the Lord told him and walked in obedience. He led the Israelites through many battles and never worried about what might happen. He had faith and trusted in the Lord. This is when I realized that the only thing really holding my back from doing many things that God wanted me to do was fear and uncertainty. I felt God tell me to trust in Him, know He is there and do this internship and do not let fear get in my way, for He is my stronghold. (One of my favorite verses: “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid.” Psalm 27:1)

This trip is something WAY out of my comfort zone… Camping out is not exactly what I love but I am doing it for the Lord and the people of Kenya, and that is all that matters. I know that God will be there for me and give me strength as I go on this Journey! I know that Jesus was not comfortable as He hanged on the cross for us and I am not called to be comfortable for my time on Earth. I must reach the lost and needy and that is not accomplished through being comfortable.

Learning this is something that will be with me forever. I see many opportunities differently now.  God places passion for things in our hearts for reasons and we must do something about it. Fear is something that we should not let come in our way. We must know God is there and walk in obedience.

I am just so happy God revealed this to me when we did. I just hope everyone knows that fear is something that cannot be a factor for us! I cannot wait for this summer and I am so excited about what is to come.

I just want to ask… Is there something you have a passion for and you will not pursue because you are afraid? Is there something you know God wants you to do but are uncertain what might happen, so you will not do it?

I will get more information about my internship soon and will keep everyone posted. I really some prayer as I prepare for this spiritually, financially, mentally, and physically, so please keep me in your prayers.

Here are some pictures of my trip to Kenya over Christmas break: (just a few of my favorites)

Check this video out too!!!

Wholeheartedly

Just recently in my quiet time I was reading over the script for KidSpring for this Sunday… The need to know for the week was: God Will Keep His Promises. The Bible story is from Joshua 14: 6-15. (Read below)

 

Hebron Given to Caleb

6 Now the men of Judah approached Joshua at Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know what the LORD said to Moses the man of God at Kadesh Barnea about you and me. 7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, 8 but my brothers who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt with fear. I, however, followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly. 9 So on that day Moses swore to me, ‘The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.’

10 “Now then, just as the LORD promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the desert. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! 11 I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. 12 Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.”

13 Then Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave him Hebron as his inheritance. 14 So Hebron has belonged to Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite ever since, because he followed the LORD, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly. 15 (Hebron used to be called               Kiriath Arba after Arba, who was the greatest man among the Anakites.) Then the land had rest from war.

 

Joshua and the Israelites were in possession of most of the Promised Land. They had gotten to this point because God had been with them as they fought battle after battle to win the land. In these battles the Israelites had defeated Jericho, Ai, and the five Amorite kings of the south along with their territories. They also defeated the kings and lands of the east and west. In all, Joshua and the Israelites had defeated thirty-one kings! Now, it was time to divide up the land between all of the tribes of Israel. Finally, the Israelite people would have a chance to separate into smaller groups, build homes and even form villages and towns. After many, many years of wandering and fighting they finally had a place to call home. As Joshua was dividing up the land for the tribes, he was approached by a man he had known for many years whose name was Caleb. Caleb had been one of the people to help Moses!

Here’s what happened… forty-five years earlier Moses had reached the edge of the Promised Land with the Israelites. When they got there he sent twelve spies out to scout the land and bring back a report. Two of the twelve spies were Joshua and Caleb. They all set out and explored the land and then returned to the Israelites with their report. They all agreed that the land was beautiful and full of good crops. But ten of the spies said that it would be impossible to conquer the Promised Land because the people living there were large, strong and fierce warriors. Well, when the Israelites heard this they started to panic, and they began wishing they had never followed Moses to this land in the first place. But Caleb stood up and tried to calm the people down. He and Joshua reminded the people that God would help them take the land. Unfortunately, the people wouldn’t listen. They talked about finding a new leader and they even talked about killing Joshua and Caleb. That’s when God became angry at the Israelites and punished them. He told them they could not enter the Promised Land and would have to wander in the wilderness for forty years! God, however, took notice of what Caleb and Joshua did. God was proud of Caleb for standing up to the people and being faithful. So God promised that Caleb would live to take control of his share of the Promised Land.

Now, let’s fast forward forty-five years later and we’re back to when Caleb met with Joshua as the land was being divided up. Caleb reminded Joshua about the time when they were spies and had seen the land. He talked about giving their report and the people not being faithful. He also reminded Joshua of the promise that had been made to him about the land.

God then gave Caleb a large portion of the land, just as He had promised

Verse 14 states why Caleb got the land God promised him, “because he followed the Lord wholeheartedly.” God does keep His promises but we must follow Him wholeheartedly. This rocked me! I took a step back to see if I was truly following God wholeheartedly and realized there were areas of my life I was not completely giving to him- in turn not being able to follow Him wholeheartedly. We rely on God to do all types of things and ask Him for so much but we need to analyze our lives first to see if there are areas we need to give to Him and follow Him wholeheartedly and then He will grant us His many promises.

(Definition of wholehearted: marked by unconditional commitment, unstinting devotion, or unreserved enthusiasm)

Take a step back. Analyze your life. Ask God to point things out that you need to give to Him. Trust Him. Follow Him WHOLEHEARTEDLY.

 

 

Christmas in Kenya

On December 26, 2009 I will be leaving to go on a mission trip to Kenya. I am taking this trip with the 410 Bridge. While I am there, I am going to be working with a program known as Christmas in Kenya. This is something the 410 Bridge started to reach out to children and families, and celebrate the most important gift ever given, the gift of Jesus.

In the United States the average American will spend about $750 on gifts and accessories. Overall, Americans spend about $450 BILLION on Christmas gifts each year.

These statistics clearly show that God has blessed us as Americans. Paul states in Hebrews 13:16, “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” We should obey this and share what we have. We are very blessed, so lets spread the joy. A $15 donation can bring the joy of Christmas to a child or family that otherwise would not receive a gift for Christmas. You can contribute any amount you feel led to give. Proverbs 19:17 states, “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay you for his deed.” This scripture is straightforward and understandable. If you lend to the poor, even by contributing to Christmas in Kenya, you are lending to the Lord. (Do not mistake this as your tithe!) Matthew 25:40 states, “And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Jesus said that and you cannot argue with Him.  When He says ‘the least of these my brothers,’ He is referring to the less fortunate. So do things for the less fortunate that you would do for Jesus. What would you do for Jesus if He were a child or family in Kenya that is not going to have a Christmas?

I have even challenged some of my family members to give up gifts this Christmas, because this is something I am very passionate about. As a college student, I do not have much money, so I am going to give up some of my Christmas gifts this year and give that money to Christmas in Kenya to share the joy of Christmas and God’s love with the individuals in Kenya.

Are there Christmas gifts you could give up? Are you or your family willing to give up a few gifts you do not need?

I want to challenge you to donate to Christmas in Kenya. By the way, all donations are tax deductible!

Go to this site: http://www.410bridge.org/xmaskenya.php to get more information on this and how you can donate!!

Last year the 410 Bridge was able to give nearly ten thousand children and families of Kenya a Christmas gift, lets be a part of helping them reach out to even more this year!

Mission Trip to Kenya

I hope that you are having a great summer! I wanted to let you know about an exciting opportunity the Lord has given me to go on a mission trip to Kenya!

I really felt God calling me to get involved in foreign missions and Kenya was the place He really wanted me to go. I heard about an organization known as the 410 Bridge and decided to research their trips. I prayed about applying to go and God continued to weigh it on my heart. At that point, I applied to go on this trip and had to wait and see if I got accepted. I found out recently I had been accepted. Words cannot express how excited I am, and I cannot wait to get to Kenya, where God can use me and shape me into a new person from the experience!

I will be going on this trip with an organization known as the 410 Bridge. Lanny Donoho, founder of Big Stuf student camps, started this organization. The 410 Bridge hopes to create a “mission environment” within a network of hundreds, if not thousands, of churches that is relevant, meaningful, and successful in bringing about change in individual lives as well as entire nations. This organization hopes to ignite people to become involved by providing a “bridge” not only to another nation but also to our Heavenly Father; one that God will use to lead a transformation of hearts in ways that we have not even imagined. The trips that the 410 Bridge takes are grounded in using the gifts God has given us to further His kingdom, hence the name 410 Bridge- “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4: 10

My mission trip team will be made up of approximately twenty people. We will work on projects alongside the individuals of the community to help with the needs of the area we will travel to. Kenyan leadership in the community has pointed out these needs. These projects can include; helping the Kenyans get clean water, better education, churches, student ministry, children’s ministry, drainage systems, medical clinics, and orphanage work. We will do all of this for the glory of our Almighty Father and to administer God’s grace in its various forms.

I will be flying out the day after Christmas, December 26, 2009, and I will return January 3, 2010.

I hope that everyone can support my prayerfully and/or financially. The total cost for my trip is $3,500, and I would greatly appreciate ANY contributions you feel led to give. There are also other expenses that I will also have to pay like shots and medication…

Please prayerfully consider if the Lord would have you partner with me in this mission. I would love to know if you decide to support me in ANY way. Feel free to email me at jep@clemson.edu or comment on this blog to let me know or ask any questions…

You may donate online if you go to the following web address: http://www.410bridge.com/shorttermdonate.php

At this site, it will ask you to enter your name, how much you are donating, and the trip participant’s name- Edward Phillips, then you must hit submit. The next page will have a blank where you state the amount you are donating again. Then, you will go through a “check out” like if you were buying something online. Finally, you submit your donation. (This is tax deductible!)

You may also make a check payable to The 410 Bridge and mail it to them:
35 Old Canton Street
Alpharetta, GA 30009
(Please include a piece of paper with your name and address, and that you are donation for Edward Phillips’ Holiday Service Trip!)

You may also make checks payable to me- Edward Phillips and mail them to
102 B University Village Drive
Central, SC 29630

I will be keeping everyone up to date on this trip. I should find out the exact community I will be working in the next few weeks and what projects I will be working on…

Thank you so much!

The boxed area is where Kenya is....

The boxed area is where Kenya is....