2017 Green Bean Project Report

Green Beans in Basket text

Year in Review

It’s that time of year when we step back and look at all God has done while, at the same time, looking forward to what He is about to do. Last year, was a busy year at Forbid Them Not, starting in March with the Forum on Fatherlessness. We are so grateful to all who participated. What a special day!

Over the summer months, we held the Growing Together campaign. The intent of the campaign was to spread the word about both the fatherless and FTN, to encourage others to grow in their outreach to the fatherless, and to grow our online community as we came closer to the Green Bean Project. We saw several people glean from this time. The campaign also resulted in the development of helpful new materials on reaching the fatherless. We hope to compile these materials into a booklet this year.

In the fall, a friend of the ministry suggested working together to provide backpacks and school supplies for fatherless children in our area. Thanks to her initiative, supplies donated through last year’s Green Bean Project, and supplies and gifts from individuals, we were able to provide backpacks for 10 children in Yellowstone and Carbon Counties. Each backpack contained supplies per the lists from the children’s schools as well as Bibles and Bible-based coloring books. What a blessing to meet these special needs!

As Christmas rolled around, Fellowship Baptist Church in Cheyenne, WY contacted us about providing Christmas gifts for the children. Through their gifts and the gifts of individuals from several churches in the Billings area, we were able to provide Christmas bags for 11 children. We are so grateful to all who participated in this! It was a huge blessing both to the children and their moms!

Throughout the year, the Lord has allowed us to assist individual fatherless families as well. This includes a family from my own church who took in a homeless teen. FTN was able to help with groceries while they sought a safe, permanent place for this girl.

We have seen God do amazing things in 2017 and are looking forward to what He has in store for 2018.

Green Bean Report

Now, for what we’ve all been waiting for! The Green Bean Project report! This year’s Green Bean Project came with some overwhelming needs. Needs that brought me to tears on more than one occasion. We cannot cover those needs entirely. But, this year our total income for the project was the highest EVER. We finished the project at $2700! This means we will be able to send $675 to each ministry. We are praising the Lord and thank each and every one of you who prayed and participated!

It’s hard to believe we are nearly halfway through the first month of 2018. While we have done some praying and planning for the months ahead, only God truly knows what this year will hold. We ask for your prayer as we look into new areas of ministry that have recently come to our attention. Please pray for God’s guidance, protection, and provision. Most of all, we want to magnify and glorify Him through all we do!
May the Lord richly bless you in this new year!



What Will Our Story Be?

Everyone has a story. Each story consists of challenges and successes. Sometimes situations we cannot control determine our stories. At other times, our choices clearly write every line. This is one of those times. The choice we make will determine the pages that follow.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve shared stories from single moms, pastors desiring to reach the fatherless of their communities, and missionaries. Last week, we considered the story of Esther and Mordecai, which demonstrates the great hope that caring even for one orphan can bring. Today, as we near the close of the Green Bean Project, I want to ask you a very important question. What will our story be? What will your story be?

What Will Our Story Be Text

Orphans don’t have a choice in their situation. If they did, I’m sure most of them would choose not to have lost their parents in the first place. They would choose to grow up with a mom and dad who loved them and raised them in the way they should go. But they don’t get to choose that.

They also don’t get to choose who or how others become involved in their lives. They don’t get to choose who fosters them. They don’t get to choose who their teachers are. They don’t get to choose who will invest in their life. As a single mom testified earlier this year, their greatest asset is God bringing the right people into their lives at the right time.

We, like Esther, do have a choice. Esther reminded Mordecai of the risk in going to see the king without an invitation. If the king did not raise his scepter to welcome them, they would be put to death. In response, Mordecai said,

“For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)

If we want the right people in the lives of the fatherless, then at some point, we must choose the fatherless over ourselves and the lives we’re used to living.

What if the choice you make in this area determines the pages that follow? What if, like Mordecai, the choice you make will set an orphan up to bring deliverance to an entire nation? What if the choice you make will bring the hope of salvation to hundreds of children—or maybe to just one. The choices we make as we consider the Green Bean Project are not light choices. They have eternal impact whether we determine to participate, invest ourselves, or ignore it.

What will your story be?


Click here to give to the Green Bean Project.


Contact us here to find out more about how you can personally get involved, either in your communities or ours.


How a Can of Green Beans Has Reached Around the World

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15

Just as we are to go into our Jerusalem and our Judea, we are to go to the uttermost parts of the earth. (Acts 1:8). The Green Bean Project has allowed FTN to do that through meeting specific needs of three orphan ministries around the world. In fact, that’s the very purpose behind the GBP. When that lady at Walmart had compassion on me and my pitiful can of green beans all those years ago, she had no idea what she was starting. (Watch the video here.)

Meet our First Ministry

“Anju and Preeti came to our children’s home after the big earthquake in 2015. Their mother died in the earthquake when Preeti was just 7 months old. She was 14 months when we got her. We learned about the girls from a Christian lady who had been working with the girls. Their middle sister, Manju, came to us later because she had been staying with their aunt. Now, they are together.

“English is the main medium at our school, Bethel Baptist Academy. This is also the same school that Forbid Them Not helps with books each year through the Green Bean Project. Anju has had to work hard to learn English, but she is determined to learn. Manju has also had to work hard and has been improving. Preeti is fast to learn the songs we sing in devotion time.” — Holly Tamang

International Trailer - Holly and Kids
Anju (13), Manju (10), Preeti (3), and Holly

This ministry needs space to expand. This year, they have turned away 20 children because they had no place for them. The needs among the children in surrounding villages are desperate. We would like to see the Green Bean Project have a part in helping with this expansion.

Meet our Second Ministry

Nine years ago, I found myself in the mountains of a former Soviet republic, surrounded by energetic children, stunning views, and more than just the occasional fly. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with those children, that place, and the missionaries who daily put everything on the line to care for them. I left there almost certain that some day I would be back. That hasn’t happened yet, but this ministry and these children have never left my heart.

Over the last nine years, I have watched them be faithful. Often medical needs arise or issues with guardians or the government. There are constant repairs and upkeep that must be done to the buildings in a part of the world that seems to receives everyone else’s rejected products. The needs are constant. But they have never asked for much when it came time for the Green Bean Project each year.

This year is a little different. They have some very costly repairs that need to be made, and I want very much to see us help them (and all of the ministries) to the best of our ability. Here are a few of the items on their list:

  • Shoes for ALL of the children.
  • Kitchen Repair and remodeling, in particular the sinks and counters.
  • Landscaping and repair in the back yard
  • Playground equipment repair
  • Roof repair.

None of these come cheap, but they are all great needs. Let’s pray (and work and give) together to see what God will do through us.

Meet our Third Ministry

For many of you, the ministry in Kenya may be the most familiar since I’ve traveled there twice. This ministry has grown and grown and grown since I first met the Sangs in 2010. They currently are reaching out to 502 children through three schools and are housing and caring for 28 orphans.

The Sangs have poured themselves into this ministry, and they have done it all without a car. But they have other needs in the ministry as well. Currently they are using a ten-year-old laptop to run these three schools and all the other aspects of their ministry. This is the need they have brought to this year’s Green Bean Project.


Let’s walk alongside of these ministries in prayer and giving. Click here to be a part of this years Green Bean Project.

The Simplicity of Compassion

Thanksgiving was just around the corner, and for the first time ever I was standing in line at the food bank. I wasn’t there for myself. I was just the driver. Beside me, stood a single mom and her four-year-old son. She had contacted me days earlier in a panic.

“I’m wondering if your church can help me. I need a ride to the food bank to pick up my Thanksgiving box,” she said as soon as I answered the phone. “I just keep getting the run around. No one will help me.”

Simplicity Girl with red hair

We talked for a few minutes. She explained her situation, and I realized this mom didn’t have a car because of a car accident. She just needed a ride. That’s it. How easy is that? So we made the appointment to pick up her Thanksgiving box on the day the food bank was distributing them.

There we stood, waiting in line, getting acquainted, watching the well-oiled system and the energetic volunteers at the food bank. Tina (as we’ll call her) turned in her slip that said she had completed the necessary paperwork and went about filling her boxes. Some of the boxes were prefilled, and she conscientiously removed items she would not use so that others could use them. The process took less than fifteen minutes, but it put food on the table so this little family could eat, not just on Thanksgiving but also beyond the holiday.

As we were loading the car, Tina stopped mid-action and looked at me, her eyes sincere and grateful.

“Thank you,” she said.

“You’re welcome.” I replied, “But it’s not a big deal. That’s what we’re here for.”

She shook her head emphatically. “No, you don’t understand. I called churches all over town, but your church was the only one willing to help a single mom. Thank you.”

My heart sank. How could that be true? Later that week, I started doing a little research. I already knew that 41% of American children are born into fatherless homes. I discovered that in Billings 32% of children are growing up in single-parent homes, roughly 75% of those homes being fatherless. But tears came to my eyes when I discovered that nationwide, only 1% of churches has any type of ministry specifically to single-parent families. How could there be such a vast disparity between the need and the number of those reaching out to meet it?

Often the needs of the fatherless seem overwhelming. We see pictures of droves children with big eyes, empty tummies, and outstretched hands, and we wonder how we will ever meet the need. And then we walk away. Not because we do not care, but because we’re overwhelmed. Meeting those needs, however, doesn’t have to be overwhelming. No, we may not be able to meet every single need, but perhaps we can meet one. One need met, followed by another need met, followed by yet another need met leads to the meeting of many needs—a simple fulfillment of the compassion which moved us in the first place.

Earlier this year, a friend of Forbid Them Not was moved with compassion. A homeschool mom, she considered the amount that it would have cost her if she’d had to buy school supplies for all of her children to attend public school. Then she considered the many families that would struggle to buy everything on their school list. She approached Forbid Them Not about partnering together to help meet that need.

As a result of last year’s Green Bean Project, we had forty pounds of school supplies waiting to be put to use this fall! We’d also been given some beautiful children’s Bibles as well as some coloring books on forgiveness. Between those things, and the donations of individuals and local businesses we were able not only to help ten children with backpacks and school supplies but also to help supplement a third grade class with many students who were not able to get everything on their lists!

Did it take a little effort, organization, and time on our part? Yes! Of course it did! But that simple act made a difference—a lasting difference. You see, I’ve since had reports of the children using their Bibles with excitement. One grandmother thanked me for the coloring book and said, “This is so needed. We will definitely be going through this.”

Maybe you were part of last year’s Green Bean Project and felt that you didn’t do much. Maybe you weren’t sure it would really make that much of a difference. But it did! Not only were we able to provide these school supplies as a result of the GBP, but over the course of the year the funds that went to FTN also helped us to provide a car battery in one situation and groceries in several other situations. Your simple act of compassion made a difference and will continue to.

Earlier this year, we interviewed two single moms to learn from them and gain their perspective on how a ministry like FTN can best walk alongside of them and others in similar situations. When asked, “What do you feel is your greatest asset?” one of the moms gave an answer I will never forget. She said, “God bringing the right people into our lives at the right time.” Each of us could be that person so long as our hearts are attuned to God’s leading.

The answer does not lie in a massive government program. The struggle these families face sits at our door, waiting for us to take action. Compassion isn’t complicated. It’s simple. It is love and sorrow compelling us to move. All we have to do is act.

Will you join us in making a difference? Click the link below to be a part of this year’s Green Bean Project.


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How the Great Commission Shapes the Green Bean Project

I grew up in a missionary’s home, so it’s no surprise that the verses often referred to as the Great Commission are very familiar. I grew up hearing the importance of reaching our Jerusalem, our Judea, and yes, even the uttermost parts of the earth. But that is such an enormous task! How could we ever fulfill it? When Forbid Them Not first began, our primary focus was on that uttermost parts of the earth portion of Acts 1:8. That was where I saw the biggest need, and the Green Bean Project was an awesome way to fulfill that part of the Great Commission. But over the months and years following, God began to reveal other needs much closer to home.

The thoughts and ideas of how to best reach the fatherless grew and the vision for the ministry grew with them. I began to hear people saying, “This is too broad. It’s overwhelming. People will say there is no way one ministry can do all of this, and they won’t support the work.” But as those of us working directly with the ministry prayed about a shift in focus, God’s Word kept coming back to us. We are called to reach our Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and (not or) the uttermost parts of the earth.

Like any missionary, we have one mission “field”—the fatherless—but their location is not limited to one town, country, or continent. God has called us to reach them, whether they are near or far.

So what does that look like for a ministry as small as Forbid Them Not? Here’s a little breakdown.

Our Jerusalem

Based in Billings, Montana, this is our home and our Jerusalem. Since I was a little girl, the city has boomed. While the city itself has a population of just over 110,000 the metro area includes more than 165,000, and it serves a trade area of more than 500,000. According to 2012 census information, approximately 32% of Billings’ children are growing up in single-parent homes, 75% of which are fatherless. Due to an increase in drug activity, our local and state systems for caring for neglected and abused children is in crisis. Billings is an amazing place to live, but many of our children and families are broken, hurting, and in need of the love and hope of Christ and His people.

Our Judea and Samaria

As mentioned above, the crisis our families are facing is not just a big city problem. The system as a whole across Montana is in crisis. Our legislature and Governor have been scrambling to find help. Montana is not alone. The numbers out of surrounding states are similar. God has deeply burdened our hearts, not only to reach our city but also our region and beyond. Obviously, we cannot be everywhere at once, but we can help walk alongside churches that are seeking to reach their fatherless and those caring for them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Uttermost Parts of the Earth

Through the Green Bean Project, we are able to walk alongside of ministries to the fatherless in other parts of the world. God has led us to support three missionaries in three separate countries over the past few years, and we are currently looking at adding a fourth. Each year, we have been able to provide for various needs including textbooks, school supplies, fabric for uniforms, clothing, vitamins, and small financial gifts to each of these ministries. This year their needs are much greater, but we believe that God is able to meet each of those needs. We may not be able to sit with the children one on one to share the gospel with them, but we can help those who are able to do so.

During the first two weeks of this year’s Green Bean Project, we’re going to be sharing with you more about our Jerusalem, our hometown of Billings, MT. Last year’s Green Bean Project was our only source of funding for meeting the needs of fatherless families here in Billings, so you can see the importance of this project to the local ministry. The need here is great, far greater than many would imagine. Billings has been home to me since I was 12 years old. It has woven itself deep into my heart, but it is a city with a host of hurting children and broken families and lives. My heart yearns to see the hope of Christ brought to its darkest corners.

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What IS the Green Bean Project?

Over the years, I’ve had many people ask me, “Just what is the Green Bean Project?” To be honest, I know when I share about the project everything in my heart tends to well up and a TON of information pours out. To me, it seems simple and straight forward, but sometimes I leave people in a dither. So this is my attempt to simplify all that heart gushing in one clear and concise post.


The Short Answer:

The Green Bean Project is a fundraiser. That’s the ugly truth. Ministries have needs and often those needs are met by funds. But there’s more to it than that. There’s a vision behind the fundraising.

The Vision:

The vision behind the Green Bean Project is to give God’s people an opportunity to visit the fatherless in their affliction (James 1:27) as we bless ministries working with the fatherless by meeting their specific needs through the love, giving, and action of those who participate in the project.


Why is this so important? The answer is multi-faceted. Caring for the Fatherless:

Is God’s Command – God’ mentions the fatherless more than 40 times in the Bible. He repeats the commands to visit them, defend them, and judge their cause throughout those passages. He also passes severe judgment upon His people when they neglect the fatherless and the widow. For a complete list of references dealing with the fatherless, click here.

Is a God-ordained form of Worship – In James 1:27, God defines pure religion (the carrying out of our faith, worship) as visiting the fatherless and the widow in their affliction and keeping oneself unspotted from the world. The second one often receives greater attention because it can easily be thrown into a checklist, but visiting the fatherless and the widows is equally important in God’s eyes.

Allows us to demonstrate God’s love and His plan for Redemption – In nearly every reference to adoption in the New Testament, God is speaking of redemption. Caring for the fatherless whether through projects like this one, praying, mentoring, fostering, or adoption provides amazing opportunity for God’s people to become living pictures of redemption.

The Green Bean Project gives us the opportunity to either to take the first steps in caring for the fatherless or to grow in the care we are already giving. It allows us to come alongside of those caring for the fatherless through their ministries in the U.S., Africa, and Asia.

The How

You might be wondering how the Green Bean Project Works. Here’s a quick step-by-step account of how it normally goes:

  1. Each year, the missionaries leading the ministries involved provide a list of specific needs. These needs touch the lives of 500-600 children every year.
  2. When the Green Bean Project launches, usually either October 1st or November 1st, Forbid Them Not shares those needs with you through our website, blog, emails, and social media accounts.
  3. Over the course of the project, we ask you to prayerfully consider what God would have you to do to help meet these needs.
  4. God’s people pray and give.
  5. At then end of the Green Bean Project, December 31st, the total amount received is tallied and we praise the Lord for His wonderful works!
  6. After the New Year, we divide the funds evenly between the ministries. Sometimes, the needed items can be purchased in country. In those situations, the funds are sent to their mission agency and applied to their account. At other times, the items need to be purchased in the States and shipped. In those situations, we do the shopping for the missionaries and then package and ship the purchases. Any remaining funds are then sent to their mission agency and applied to the missionaries’ account.
  7. A Final Update. Often things happened during the period of point number 6 that further display God’s provision. We always try to share those events with you, so you can see the full picture of what God has done—at least as full as we can give you this side of eternity.


So, to sum it all up, the Green Bean Project is an opportunity for us to put our faith into action. It’s an opportunity to meet the needs of children in desperate physical need, while at the same time living out for them the love Christ demonstrated to us on the cross. It’s a place to begin, a place to grow, and a place to help ministries to the fatherless thrive.

Participate Here!

2017 Green Bean Project is Here!

Today is the big day! Today launches this year’s Green Bean Project. Some of you may be very familiar with the GBP, while for others this is entirely new. For those of you who are just learning about the project, the GBP started as a result of one woman’s kindness in the midst of holiday shopping mayhem. That moment was an enormous lesson to me about the importance of stepping out of sleeve-brushing distance and right into people’s lives—specifically the lives of the orphan ministries we were working with at the time. Life situations do not always allow us to be right there on the field with a missionary, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t have a relevant part in their work. Each year, the GBP seeks to meet specific needs faced by each of four ministries.

Over the next six weeks, we’ll be sharing more about each of these ministry with you. Acts 1:8 says,

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

This year, we’re going to take a look at how the Lord is enabling Forbid Them Not to reach into our Jerusalem, our Judea and Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the Earth, and how you can have a part in that through the Green Bean Project.

For now, we want to invite you to join us for this online event. This is an amazing way for each of us to add to our account as Paul said in Philippians 4:17. To make sure you don’t miss a thing, please join us on Facebook. We’re excited to see how God will work through this year’s Green Bean Project!


In the final days before the launch of this year’s Green Bean Project, we realized that the needs of each ministry are much bigger this time than any previous year. Please check out this Facebook Live video, which shares a little about those needs and what God has already begun to do.

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