Why We’re Moving the Green Bean Project and What to Expect

Fall is certainly here! In fact, I’ve already seen snow. How about you?

The last three months of the year are some of my favorites. In our family, in addition to all of the usual holidays we also have multiple birthdays and anniversaries in October and November, and of course the Green Bean Project!

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Normally, we would be announcing the start of the Green Bean Project on October 1st, but this year, with everything else that has been going on, we felt the need to push the start date back to November 1st.

Some of you reading this may be wondering, “What is the Green Bean Project?” That’s a great question. The Green Bean Project (GBP) started in 2010 with a “reality check” and a list of specific needs from three missionaries working with orphans in their respective countries. Each year since, we have been able to meet various needs, providing school supplies, textbooks, fabric for school uniforms, clothing, and small financial gifts to each of the ministries. You can watch a video telling of the project’s origin here.

In 2013, we added FTN’s “Loving Locally” program to the project. This program reaches out to fatherless children, single moms, non-parental guardians, and foster families here in Billings, MT. Our 2017 outreach was completely dependent on what came in through the 2016 GBP. Through it we were able to help provide groceries, a car battery, backpacks and school supplies for multiple fatherless families while developing a relationship and opportunities to share Christ with the women and children in need. So you can see how very important this project is to this ministry!

This year we will be taking a slightly different approach than we have in the past. We will be sharing with you in our blogs and social media a little about each of FTN’s three primary areas of ministry: OUR Jerusalem, Judea, and the Uttermost Parts of the Earth. They break down like this:

Jerusalem – Billings, MT

Judea/Samaria – Our immediate surrounding region/Other locations in the US

The Uttermost Parts of the Earth – The three international ministries.

As I said, we’ve decided to push the start date back to November 1st, but the project will have the same ultimate goal: Helping each of these ministries honor the Lord as they reach out to the fatherless with the love of Christ. Here are a few important dates to keep in mind as you consider what part the Lord might have you to take in this years GBP:

Wednesday, November 1 – GBP begins.

Sunday, November 12th – National Orphan Sunday

Monday, November 27th – Cyber Monday – Do your shopping through Amazon Smile to help boost the GBP

Tuesday, November 28th – #GivingTuesday

Saturday, December 9th – Join us for our annual Christmas Open House here in Billings.

Sunday, December 31 – GBP Ends

We’ll be using these two months to share a lot more about each area of the ministry, what it’s all about, and how we would like to see it grow—so you won’t want to miss anything. Here are the best ways to follow along:

Check out our website

Like our Facebook page

Join our Facebook group

Follow our Blog

We’re looking forward to seeing what God will do through this year’s Green Bean Project and hope you will join us!

(Rachel)

 

 

 

 

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I Stand Amazed

The Lord is good! We all know this, but it’s so important to keep it at the forefront of our minds. Often struggles or difficulties find their way into our lives. We can easily lose sight of God’s goodness in the midst of the storm. As I was finishing out 2016, the Lord repeatedly brought to my attention the importance of “declaring his doings.” Even Christ quoted the Psalms and said, “This was the Lord’s doing, and it was marvelous in our eyes.” (Mark 12:11 and Psalm 118:23) Often as we step back and see what God has done for us, we can but marvel.

This is just one of the things that we want to focus on in 2017, declaring God’s doings and marveling at his works. What better way to start than by sharing His doings in the Green Bean Project?
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This year’s project was frustrating from several different perspectives. I was traveling the entire first month of the project, which made it hard to kick start things. But one day as I was driving across Nebraska, the Lord prompted me to use those miles as a target. So we set up the “Every Mile a Gift” campaign, which had a goal of matching each of the 4000 miles that I drove in October with 1 Green Bean Donation ($1.15). The other struggle that we had was social media in general. Facebook is always changing things, and we had several important posts that were seen by almost no one! BUT GOD IS BIGGER THAN ALL THAT!!!

We didn’t meet the 4000 mile/match goal, but we did match 1905 miles! In reaching this milestone, we more than doubled our highest ever before Green Bean Project total! Because of God’s faithfulness and your investment in the GBP we were able to send just over $560 to each of the children’s homes overseas as well as being able to start out the single mom’s ministry in Billings with a Green Bean “infusion” of $500 and 40lbs of school supplies! (The school supplies were originally planned for the ministry in Kenya, but God brought in so many supplies that it was going to cost over $300 to ship! The missionaries there asked us to send the full financial gift to them and to use the supplies here to help single moms prepare for school this fall.)

God is good! His doings are marvelous in our eyes. As we were writing the checks for this project on Friday, Marta and I couldn’t help but praise the Lord! Who would ever expect that a ministry that is operating on 9% of its budgeted funding would be able to GIVE over $1600 to other ministries! We have seen Him work this way in so many things over the last several months and are excited to see Him continue to do marvelous things in 2017!

Thank you to all who participated in this year’s GBP! Only the Lord knows what the full effect of your generosity will be!

The GBP is not the only area in which God is working. As we look at this new year, we want to share more with you about Forbid Them Not (Beyond the Beans) so that you have a better understanding of what this ministry is all about and how you can be a part of helping us reach the fatherless.

Trip Update

I can’t believe I’ve been home for nearly two weeks and still haven’t had a chance to send out an update on how the October trip went. In short: It was wonderful.

I started out speaking at a Ladies’ Conference in Layton, Utah. What a blessing! We had a wonderful time fellowshipping around God’s Word and being reminded of God’s amazing love and redemption for us. These ladies also gathered a huge pile of supplies to donate to this year’s Green Bean Project.

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From there I went down to Fruitland, Utah where I was able to spend a couple of days catching up with friends and speaking at a ladies’ luncheon. It was a blessing to share about the importance of ministry to the fatherless and how that is one of the forms of worship, which God desires most from us.

 

I made a little side trip on my way from Fruitland to Cheyenne through the Medicine Bow National Forrest and over to Fort Fred Steele, WY—remind me never to do this again in a fully loaded (possibly overloaded) vehicle. I am very grateful for God’s protection as I drove. The drive was BEAUTIFUL!

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My next stop was in Cheyenne, WY. We had been trying to set this up for several years and finally it all came together. Throughout the day, the Lord’s working was evident, and I was not completely surprised when they emailed later in the month asking me to return to help start the process of beginning a ministry to the fatherless through their church! What a blessing and answer to prayer! This has been a desire for a long time: to see the work of FTN spread to other churches and communities.

 

From Cheyenne my journeys took me across Nebraska and Missouri to St. Louis. It was a joy to be back at Grace Baptist Church in St. Louis, which has been a church home-away-from-home for many years. It was good to catch up and visit with many people who have a very special place in my heart.

 

The main purpose of the trip to St. Louis was to visit with several pastors as they pray about how to help a struggling church in the area. One of the topics they were discussing was fatherlessness. Please pray for St. Louis. Nearly 57% of the children there are growing up in fatherless homes. This has an enormous impact not only on the community itself but also on the way a church reaches into the community.

 

While in the area I was also able to travel out a short distance and visit with a couple of other churches in IL and MO. Each church was an enormous blessing in their own way. It was a joy to be in such sweet-spirited churches where their love for one another was so clearly evident.

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After leaving St. Louis, I traveled back to Cheyenne for a meeting with a second church as well as a meeting with the first church to discuss starting a fatherless ministry. Both meetings were a huge blessing and encouragement. It was good to see how God is working in the city of Cheyenne. I look forward to being back in the area and watching how He continues to do great and mighty things.

 

I headed back to Billings from Cheyenne on November 1st and made it safely home about 6:30 that evening. Believe it or not, I’m still unpacking! It’s been a bit of a wild ride since returning home. But that’s a story for another letter.

 

I have so many things for which to praise the Lord as I look back on this trip: For new friendships, for God’s provision along the way, for God’s working in the hearts of those who heard His Word at the ladies’ meetings (including my own), for new ministry partners (I went out with only 7% support and we are now nearing 9%!!!), for safety on the roads, for safety in the campgrounds and motels, and for His grace and faithfulness at every turn. AND for each of you were who were praying. I very often felt those prayers, and I am so grateful.

 

Prayer Needs

Since I have been home God has continued to work (because He never actually stops!). Please continue to pray for me and for the ministry of Forbid Them Not. Pray that the Lord will continue to provide and raise up partners who would stand with us in both prayer and financial support. Pray for those we are working with. We so often encounter single moms who are in such precarious situations. Pray that in each of these the Lord would give us His wisdom to point them to Himself and to meet the needs they are facing in a wise and truly helpful manner.

 

I travelled over 4,000 miles in the month of October. We would still love to see each of those miles matched with a Green Bean Donation ($1.15). What a blessing it would be to the ministries and orphans we are helping through the project! To find out how you can be a part of that, please follow the link below. (We have currently matched about 190 of the miles!)

 

I am excited about the work the Lord has begun through this trip and even more excited to watch Him unfold His plan for the days ahead! Truly we serve an amazing God!

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Find out more here or go straight to the Green Bean Donation Page

Every Mile a Gift

The Wheels are Turning…Literally.

The wheels on my little car have been turning, turning, turning the last few days. I started off from Billings, MT on October 5th and drove to the Salt Lake City area to speak at a Ladies’ Conference at Faith Baptist Church. Then it was on to Fruitland, UT to speak at a Ladies’ Luncheon about the why of ministry to the fatherless. Then, after a rather grueling day going through the Medicine Bow National Forest (my heavily loaded car just didn’t want to climb those mountains) and a bit of a sick day, it was on to Cheyenne, WY and a wonderful weekend with Fellowship Baptist Church. Today, I hit the road running with 475 miles in front of me and a 45-65 mph crosswind keeping me company most of the way.

God has been good and has blessed all along the way. What a joy to have people ask sincere questions about what the Bible says about the fatherless and how they can apply it to their lives! What a blessing to hear a pastor say, “We want to mirror what FTN is doing in our church!”

It is humbling. Please pray that the Lord will continue to go before us as a ministry—To provide so that we CAN come alongside of others as well as continue to grow the work in Billings. This truly is our greatest need.

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As I was finishing my campground dinner by flashlight this evening, I was thinking about the Green Bean Project. I was also thinking about all the miles I drove today and those I will drive tomorrow as I make my way to the St. Louis area. Then I thought of the two together. It has been a struggle for me to keep up with posting and emailing and blogging about the GBP so far this month because I haven’t had consistent internet access. But what if we could set a simple goal with which EVERYONE could help?

What if we set the goal of reaching 1 Green Bean Donation (just $1.15) for every mile that I put in on this trip?

It wouldn’t be that hard really. Not if we all work together to share both the needs and the links to the FTN page with others. By the time I reach St. Louis, I will have driven nearly 2200 miles. The return trip appears at the moment to be about 1400 miles. So, the total miles should be somewhere between 3600 and 4000 miles. That seems like a lot when you think of trying to do one Green Bean Donation per mile, but with God’s help and the ease of hitting the share button on Facebook and Twitter, I believe it could happen!

Will you help me? Here’s how easy it is to get started:

1. Pray about whether or not the Lord would have you to give (perhaps as an individual, a prayer group, a Sunday School class, a family, a Bible study group, a church, or in any other grouping).

2. When you’re ready, Go to http://www.forbidthemnot.com/greenbeanproject.htm and scroll down to the bottom of the page where the donation buttons are and make your donation.

3. Tell others you have participated and encourage them to get involved as well. (This year’s project will not only help provide for the needs in our local ministry to single moms in Billings, MT but will also help provide school supplies for an orphan ministry in Africa, furniture for a children’s home in Asia, and textbooks for another children’s home in Asia.) Here is a link to a meme on our Facebook page that will help you spread the word.
4. Keep spreading the word. As you pray for the project over the next few days and weeks, share it again.

We have seen God do amazing things through this project over the years, just imagine what could happen if ALL of us took these simple steps to share it with others—to be relevant in the lives of these children and to take the opportunity to show them God’s love.

I hope you’ll join us! I’m looking forward to seeing what God does (it will make those miles go by a little easier)!