Monday, October 31, 2011

Great Day at Halloween Outreach Pumpkinfest 2011...and new Video!

"We are Ordinary People, but He takes NOTHING and He makes SOMETHING out of it." ~ Ross H. Minkler (Kelly's Great Grandfather)
I am loving the wisdom I continue to find from my Great Grandfather's messages. You will hear an excerpt in the video below. 

OH had another amazing Halloween Outreach, Saturday at Pumpkinfest. You know, we sometimes don't do things to help others because we always think we have to help on a large scale that we feel we can never meet. Because of that mindset, we forget that the smallest acts of kindness can sometimes mean the most to others in need. For instance, a warm smile, a cup of coffee, a blessing bag filled with basic necessities, a hug, a Halloween costume, or lunch, may not sound like much, but it can mean the world to someone in need. God will use you in a small moment if you would think to allow Him to.
 Our Halloween outreach has grown over the years since I first began it. This year we chose to set up a booth at the local, Franklin Pumpkinfest. Thousands of people come to this festival. We were thrilled to be able to spread the word about Ordinary Hero as well as bring the moms and their children who reside at the local mission, over for a fun-filled day out to enjoy the beauty and the hope that comes from making a new friend and having some fun. We match all the kids with a volunteer for the day, which gives the Mommas a much needed break. While at the festival, our OH booth gave children the opportunity to draw a picture for a child in Africa as well as make bead bracelets for children in Africa.

 There were several moments that warmed my heart during the day. Some of you may remember one of our very first official Ordinary Hero Christmas Projects, at the end of 2009, where we went in and helped a family fix up their home and provided Christmas for them during their time of need. It was such a blessing for so many to be able to participate in that. You never know the lives you will impact by reaching out a helping hand. You never know who is really watching and taking it all in. Well, trust me when I say, the children are. This mother had a 16 yr old daughter at the time who was very sweet and helped us clean and fix up the home while her mother was in the hospital. She was one of 10 children. Well, Look who showed up to help as a volunteer on Saturday. She also came to my banquet last spring and expressed then how she really wanted to help and give back to others. Jenene is 18 now and on her own, starting college, and wants to be a medical assistant. She now wants to give back to others because she knows what it is like to be on the other end.  I'm very proud of her and the young Ordinary Hero she has become.

Another revelation of God's goodness was when this family came walking up to me. I looked at them and said, "Well, this is where it all began." You see, 5 years ago, I organized my very first Halloween Outreach with the mission moms and kids and brought them to my church. There was no Ordinary Hero, it was just something I thought to do on my own and got my friends involved to help me. From that outreach I met a young mom that stole my heart and I decided to help her.

I got her out of the mission with help from friends and fam and we sought to get her and her children on their feet. She had two small children at the time and was very early pregnant as with #3. I helped her, but at the same time,  watched her personally go up and down over the course of three years trying to raise her children as a single mom. A bunch of us stepped in to help her with her children when she was at the bottom once again. In the end, she made the most commendable choice of unconditional love.....she chose adoption for her children. All of her children were adopted into loving homes. Little Snow White, pictured below, was the little one in her belly at the time that I met her. Now Snow White and her little sister, as well as her other two siblings,  are experiencing the miracle of adoption and are surrounded by many, many people who love them a lot.

This birth mom is a true Hero. She wanted nothing but the best for her children and did everything in her power to make sure they had that. She made this adoptive Momma doubly blessed. These children know what it is like to feel love in every direction. All I can say is THANK YOU, to all of you birth moms out there. I'm sure you don't hear that enough.  You truly are giving your all.  

Now that you see what amazing things can derive from such a simple outreach, enjoy this video of this year's Halloween Outreach and see all the many lives that were touched. Many thank you's go out to all of you who volunteered and to all of you who donated costumes and lunch for these kids. An extra special THANK YOU goes out to Kortnie Hastings for helping me coordinate this year's outreach. She is my awesome organized friend. Also, I must give a shout out to my daughter, Lauren, who was out till midnight at Walmart and then up the next morn at 5:30 to help set up. She was such a huge help! Also, Clay and Cindy, thanks for coming early to battle the cold and help set up.

 You can all see for yourself what a big blessing this outreach was to them :-) To view all of the pics from this special day CLICK HERE.

Silence my music on my right side bar or CLICK HERE to go to the direct link.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Come See Us at the Pumpkinfest Tomorrow, Sat Oct 29th

 Tomorrow, Sat, Oct 29th, is our annual Halloween Outreach being held at the Franklin Pumpkinfest this year in Franklin, TN. Please look for the OH booth located in the Kid Zone area. For directions and more info on the festival, visit our page on our website. Kids, come ready to make bead bracelets, not only for yourself, but for a child in Africa. We will also have you kiddos draw some pictures for us to put into our blessing bags for our teams to pass out to children in need in Africa. We want to show you kiddos how easy you can bring hope to a child in need across the world. Also be sure to stop at our OH hay bales for a quick snap shot with our stylish scarecrows. We will be featuring your pics on our site the following day.

We will also be hosting the Nashville Rescue Mission kiddos and moms throughout the day and providing them with lunch and a fun day out at the festival. Thank you to our volunteers who have signed up to help with this outreach and also those of you who have donated money for costumes and lunch for the kids. It always proves to be a fun day for the kids and moms of the mission.

We look forward to a fabulous day at the festival. Be sure to come see us to find out more info about OH!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Grandpa's Message For Monday.....

Ross Minkler was my Great Grandfather. He gave his life to do the Lord's work when he was 18 years old. He was a traveling evangelist for many years. He had his own radio show called "Green Pastures". He pastored Larchmont Church of God in Louiville, Ky for 20 years into his 80's just before he passed away at 82 years old. I have found many tapes of his preachings late in his life. These treasures were found in an old suitcase of mine that I recently came across. His messages are priceless and passionate. Here is a small excerpt from a message titled "If I Should Die Before I Live", in 1981 .....Priceless! Something we all need to hear. I will continue to pull words of wisdom from his messages in order to share from time to time. These are true treasures. He is still speaking to his Great Granddaughter 30 years later and this is my way to keep his message alive. So much of what he speaks is what I stand for today. It's so neat to have found these. Enjoy!! 

Click on the link below to listen, or CLICK HERE to go to direct link. 

 Ross Minkler, "Empty Dish" excerpt, Nov 17, 1981, If I Should Die before I Live by KPutty 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Halloween Outreach 2011.....Coming Soon!

Our annual Halloween Outreach is just around the corner. This is always an awesome way to reach out to the children residing at the Nashville Rescue Mission. This year OH will have a booth set up at the Franklin Pumpkinfest on Oct 29. We will be providing costumes and transportation to the moms and their children who reside at the mission. We are currently taking sign ups for volunteers as well as event sponsors and costume donations.
 Each year the kiddos LOVE this outreach. They get to dress up as their favorite super heroes and have some great festival fun for a day outside of their normal surroundings.
 This is a great way to volunteer and be an Ordinary Hero to a child in need for a day.
 We always head down to the mission about a week before and find out what the kids want to dress up as. We try to give them a costume from their top three choices.
 We then arrive on festival day with many costumes in tow. Even our volunteers have fun dressing up.
 Each child gets a costume and lunch and treat money for the day. They get so excited. It seems like Christmas to them :)

 I encourage you to check out our Halloween Outreach page on the site and look into volunteering, sponsoring this event, or providing a costume donation. This simple outreach has connected folks and we have seen many lives change as a result. We look forward to a wonderful outreach on the 29th!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Katie Davis ~ A true Ordinary Hero

I was thrilled to have gotten to see my sweet friend, Katie Davis, last night at her Amazima benefit. If there were ever a true Ordinary Hero, this is it. I want to encourage all of you to buy her new book that just came out this month. She is a true inspiration and has an amazing story of an ordinary young girl who simply took a mission trip and was never the same. She now lives in Uganda and has 13 daughters, runs a ministry, feeding program, and much more. She started out helping just one. She CHANGED THE WORLD FOR ONE, and God turned that into many, many more. 

 I also ran into my amazing friend, Gwen, who runs 147 Million Orphans. She has helped Katie for the past couple of years, sell her beads which has helped raise money for Amazima tremendously. I encourage you all to go to her site to buy Katie's book, where 50% of the proceeds will go directly back to Amazima Ministries.

I remember it wasn't that long ago that we were all meeting up at my sister's house for some girl time to talk about what God is doing in all of our lives. Now, a couple of years later, 147 Million Orphans, Amazima Ministries, and Ordinary Hero are mere dreams that God has brought to reality to help the least of these. I'm very thankful for these women in my life and the lives that they change every day. God has called Us all to be Ordinary Heroes to those in need in this world. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Our Last Day in Ethiopia

 We had several things to do before we flew out on our last day in Ethiopia. First, we needed to bless someone. Stacy's friend had sent some things with her and asked her to give it to someone in need. So this is where we ended up. We found this family in the middle of town, living in a homemade tent made out of what looked like trash and rags. It is a husband, wife and their children. They invited us in where we talked and shared the love of God with them. Then Stacy presented them with what her friend had sent and they were so grateful.
 Our guide told us that they have lived in this same location for over 5 years with their family.
 I found this little guy sitting alone outside of the tent. I'm guessing he was their son.
 He looked very sad. I tried everything in all my goofiness to get him to smile but he wouldn't.
 I wonder why I can't get him to smile but then turn around and see his reality and quickly understand.
 And there he sits.....lost in it. But thanks to an awesome friend, they now have the means to better their life after that visit.
 We then had some friends to go see down by the market. These street children have become some familiar faces to many of us.

 Our team 2 in July gave these kids clothes, shoes, basic essentials, and then took them to the zoo for a day of fun.  It was so great getting to see them be kids and have fun back in the summer. It is very humbling running into them again, and they are wearing the same clothes we gave them in July, and they are back to selling things on the streets in order to survive.
 When we asked them about going to school most of them said that they already have sponsors and could go to school if they wanted to. Many are forced to choose this life because their families won't survive if they don't. It is a sad reality that we are looking to make a difference in. We must make sure that these kids.........
 don't turn into this.
 We headed back over to the Korah area to pass out a few more sponsor gifts. These kids are so cute and excited to get their gifts.

 We ran into familiar faces that are being sponsored by others. They always ask us if we know who their sponsor is. They are so proud to have a sponsor.

 Amy made a home visit to pass out this sponsor gift.
 It is always very humbling to see the actual homes that these kids have lived in their whole lives. They are made out of mud, sticks, and tin.
 And yet they still try to make it a home the best they can.

 She was very glad to have this surprise visit and receive a gift for her child from her sponsor.

 And then look who else was surprised to see us. She was so cute!

 We went to the section of Korah where Mission Ethiopia ladies were putting together our new necklaces. After I bought some of their other beads I asked them if they could make a certain design that I thought of. We went by there and they had made beautiful necklaces exactly the way I had envisioned. It was awesome to see! Be looking for these new awesome necklaces to come out in our online store very soon.

 Now you can catch a glimpse of them being made and appreciate them all the more :)  Remember that these are ladies that used to work in the trash dump and have now had their whole lives turn around because of these necklaces.

 Before we left we passed out one more sponsor gift. This young girl also got some new shoes.

 Amy brought her little friend that was so excited to see her back to the van to get a new outfit.

 When Amy and Bev got through this little one had a new outfit and a new doll to take back home.
 Our last stop we made was to Restoration Orphanage to say goodbye to the little ones there. They are so precious!

 It is so great to see the love that Ashli pours out on these kids. It has made so much difference in their lives. She is one amazing gal! They all love her so much!

 As we packed up to head to the airport that night we really were in awe of all that we accomplished on this trip. We have a direction we are heading in for our sponsorship program and we made some great connections to get that started. We have big dreams for these kids and their futures. We are trusting that God continues to guide us to press forward down the right roads to make THEIR dreams come true. Many lives were touched, changed, blessed, transformed, and renewed on this trip.......but none more than the 6 of us. We can't wait to watch our plans come to fruition and give you all the opportunity to walk alongside us to make that happen. If you have sponsorship questions, please email We hope to kick this program off the ground soon. We are many steps closer because of this trip :)
From all 6 of us, we thank you for following us on this journey to Ethiopia. Great things to come!!