Who are you?
My name is Emily Osley and I am 14 years old. I have a heart for missions and a desire to be the hands and feet of Jesus. My favorite quote is from the book, Hole in Our Gospel, by Richard Stearns that say, “Living out our faith privately was never meant to be an option.”
What is Birds of Hope and why did you start it?
Birds of Hope is an official non-profit organization that supports clean water projects around the world. I started the fundraiser about two years ago after participating in a mission camp with my youth group. During that week of service, I learned how to be a kingdom worker (a person whose actions glorify God when they use their talents to help people in need) and about the devastating water crisis in Zambia, Africa. I was so inspired and encouraged that when I came home I asked my best friend, Allyson, to help me think of ways that we would be kingdom workers to the people of Zambia. We came us with the idea that with my talent of sewing we could make little fabric bird ornaments and sell them for $5 each. All the proceeds would go to Active Water, the organization that supplies Zambian communities with wells and water filters.
When you first started Birds of Hope, were you ever overwhelmed or worried that people would not support you?
No, I was never really worried or overwhelmed that people would not support Birds of Hope. God had called me to start this fundraiser, so I knew that He would supply me with support, donations, and guidance.
What motivated you to keep going?
I was motivated by the people of Zambia who are in desperate need of clean water and by all the many people who supported Birds of Hope, especially my family.
What kind of impact has Birds of Hope had among your friends and youth group?
Birds of Hope has had a great impact on many people by encouraging them to be involved in missions and generating ideas of how they could also be kingdom workers.
What kind of future do you see for Birds of Hope and for yourself?
Birds of Hope’s future is totally in God’s hands! However, I definitely imagine that Birds of Hope will continue. My future looks very exciting! Birds of Hope has certainly impacted my life greatly, and God is using this opportunity to steer my future towards a life of devoted mission work probably in Zambia!
We want to say thank-you to Emily for allowing us to share this interview with all of our blog readers. We are so impressed and inspired by all that she has accomplished at such a young age, and wish her all the best as she continues making birds and spreading awareness. You can visit the Emily’s Birds of Hope website by clicking here.