Two local residents will be heading to Africa this month with Visiting Orphans, a Christian non-profit organization that leads mission trips to orphanages around the world. Joy Fopma and her son, Collin Foose, will be leaving for Ethiopia and Uganda on June 21 and return back on July 4.
While there, Joy said that they will be working with different ministries that are involved in relief of critical needs and rehabilitation of long-term development in care of orphans and the communities they live in.
"We want to help out in any way that we can," she said. She quoted James 1:27, "True religion that God our Father accepts is this; to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world."
Collin Foose plays with a kid at The Robin’s Nest Children’s Home in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Visiting Orphans will work with various programs - feeding, proper nutrition, education, health care and community development, being a few.
During Joy's trip preparation, her son Collin began to ask if he could go.
"My initial reaction was, 'that's impossible, we can't afford that, I just don't see a way,'" she said. Collin still wanted to go.
Joy attended a "How to Wow" seminar sponsored by the Webster City Area Development and Chamber, which featured Rob Quillen. He is an internationally known public speaker and best-selling author of "Why Wait?" He shared how a random meeting with a perfect stranger - Jason Dahl, Captain of United Airlines Flight 93 - the day before 9/11 changed his life.
"Through a divine experience he now encourages others to make their dream come true," she said. "He challenged the audience to think of one person to build into helping them accomplish their dream." Joy said that Collin immediately came to mind.
So she went home and asked him if he had a dream for his life what would it be?
"His answer blew me out of the water," she said.
Collin said "I would buy the old abandoned resort in Jamaica we saw when we were at the orphanage this winter and turn it into a place where parents could come when they are going to adopt kids and where mission teams could stay when they serve there, so there is more room for kids to live."
Joy's family had gone on a trip this past winter to help out at The Robin's Nest Children's Home in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
She said that she was shocked by his answer - expecting a response of having a sports car or something similar.
"I knew this was not 'his dream,' but a dream that had been planted in him," Joy continued.
Collin has been committed to saving his money for the trip. He had been saving up for a car, that money will now go towards his mission trip.
"His heart is open to missions now (Africa) and in the future," she said.
Collin said that the reason he wants to go to Africa is because of his love working with kids. He wants to learn from the African people how to live without the love of things and other stuff.
"This is bigger than us," Joy said. "And our main goal is to glorify God."
"It's different than when you see commercials on T.V. When you find out their names, their personalities - you find out that these people are no different than we are."
The Visiting Orphans team going to Uganda and Ethiopia consists of 33 Americans from different parts of the country.
Joy and Collin will be able to check two suitcases for their trip. Both will most likely be used for donated resources to bring with them to Africa. Items that they would like to bring with them, include vitamins, over-the-counter medicines, baby formula and cloth diapers.
Donated items can be brought to Whoop-Ti-Doos & La-Ti-Daas or mailed to: 2453 220th St., Blairsburg, IA 50034.
They will also be holding a garage sale to help fund raise for the trip. If you have gently-used items to donate in the Webster City area, contact Joy at (515) 720-7766, Facebook her or e-mail her at email@example.com.
Also, if you can help financially with Collin's trip, which is $3,900, contact Joy or Whoop-Ti-Doos.