Now, more than ever…RIP King John

One of the early questions I asked God, in this process of relaunching Faces With Names was, “Do you really need me to care for orphans and widows in Uganda?” The very quick response I felt in my spirit was, No. I just need you to be obedient.

I am finding this journey I am on with God, and my role with FWNI, is truly about obedience, trust, surrender, faith, and the list goes on. 

As I have shared with you, in one of the lowest seasons of my life, God sent a king to remind me that the King of kings had not forgotten about me. 

I think the reason we had such an immediate connection was, our hearts shared the same burden for the care of orphans and widows. 

This unique relationship has lead us to laying the foundation to serve over 1500 orphans and 1200 widows in Uganda, and countless number of orphans and widows even beyond Uganda.

Now, more than ever, we are committed to carrying on the legacy King John showed throughout his life as a pastor, a bishop, and as a king.

Early Sunday morning, I received a very unwanted message from Queen Sarah, that King John, had passed away from complications from Covid-19.

Farewell, King John Chrysostom Wayabire

Although my heart is heavy, and I mourn the loss of someone who has become a good friend,I rejoice in the fact, he is with Jesus. And without question, heard the words, well done, my good and faithful servant.

Our Mission & Vision at Faces With Names International remains the same:

Our Mission: To help orphans and widows move beyond a life of survival, and thrive, to fulfill their God given purpose.

Our Vision: To allow you, the opportunity to care for orphans and widows in their distress.

Now, more than ever, it is vital we take up the banner King John has carried, to serve the orphans and widows under his care, in Uganda.

None of this comes as a surprise to God. I am thankful we are positioned to carry on this important calling we find in James 1:27, and invite you to join us.

I believe God has put in place for us to also care for King John’s wife and children, who now find themselves as orphans without a father, and a widow without a husband.

Now, more than ever, we need your help! We cannot fulfill this calling without people like you, who believe in what we are doing, and are willing to partner with us financially.

We continue our “Know My Name,” monthly donor campaign in honor and memory of King John. Will you join us, in helping to continue his legacy?

Click Here to Partner With Us

​Cheering You On In Christ,

Eric Mills

President

Faces With Names International

Know My Name…

A motorcycle ride, just before midnight, in Kathmandu, Nepal, changed the course of my life. 

As I climbed on the back of the motorcycle with one of our ministry partners, I wanted to see with my own eyes, the orphans on the streets of Kathmandu. My life would never be the same when I looked into their eyes and learned their names. 

We did not even make it a quarter of a mile before we encountered our first group of children. Each boy was sitting inside of a small box and the rest of the cardboard was being used to fuel the fire. 

One young boy answered the questions being asked of him. His name was Robin, and he was 12 years old. He told us he had been on the streets on his own, since the age of 2. I was still trying to process the fact that this 12 year old boy was out on the streets close to midnight, when I heard he had been on his own since the age of 2. 

Center, on the curb – Robin (12 years old)

This experience brought to life a quote I had heard from David Platte, which says:

“We learned orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes.” 

On this night, everything did change for me. I was confronted with the faces, the names, & the stories of orphans on the streets, and I was not alright with it all.

And this is how, Faces With Names, came into existence. 

My heart and desire has always been to make the orphan real to people, to you. Not just a statistic, not just someone else’s problem or responsibility. 

Last week, I tried to be as open, honest and vulnerable as I could with you as I shared about this renewed calling I heard from God while driving a forklift at Walmart.

As I write this email, I come with the same vulnerability and humility, asking you to join us on our journey in laying the foundation of serving orphans and widows in Uganda and beyond.

Our monthly partners will be the life blood of all we will be able to accomplish, with God’s help, through Faces With Names International.

We have put together a simple chart for you to consider where you might join us:

May I share a moment of brutal honesty? I hope you answered yes, because here it goes. There is an element of my pride and ego that hates having to rely on others to do what God has called me to do. 

But as God has chiseled away my pride and ego in preparation for what we are doing, I believe wholeheartedly, I have the privilege to invite you to join us in raising up a new generation of leaders, who once held the stigma of being called orphans and widows, to now fulfilling their God given purpose.

Our vision statement comes straight from the verse, James 1:27, which is the Biblical mandate to care for orphans and widows. 

Our vision: To give you the opportunity to care for orphans and widows in their distress.

I truly believe that everyone who partners with us in prayer and giving is truly living out the Biblical mandate to care for orphans and widows in their distress.

Will you be 1 of the 176 monthly partners who allow us to fulfill our mission and vision through Faces With Names International?

Our goal this first week is to see 25 new monthly donors, at any level, join our team and partner with us. 

 If you have considered partnering with us, or been on the fence, would you jump into the deep end with us as we rely on God to provide all we need.

I don’t take for granted what it means for you to give of your resources. I give my full fledge promise, we will be good stewards of every dollar entrusted to us!

To join our monthly partner team, click the link below:
 I want to become a monthly partner with FWNI

Cheering You On In Christ,

Eric Mills

President

Faces With Names International

The top 5 things I learned from my 98 year old grandma…

One week ago today, I had the privilige to lead the celebration of life service for my grandma. It was definitley a bittersweet experience. As we celebrated the birth of Jesus yesterday, I couldnt help but reflect on my grandma’s amazing life. 

As I wrote down some thoughts I will be implmenting into my own life, I thought I would honor my grandma and share the wisdom 98 years of life brings. 

Counting down the top 5 things I learned from my 98 year old grandma:

5. Good hair is important 

Most people don’t have pictures of the person who cuts their hair in their memorial video, but my grandma did. My grandma always looked so classy and most people couldn’t believe she was 98. There is something about self care that keeps you young, and no hair out of place that keeps you looking good. 

4. Don’t be left out, when there is fun happening 

It was common to hear my grandma say, “If you are doing anything fun, come and get me, or don’t leave me out of the fun.” What I learned from her was, fun is presence. It wasn’t that she could always do everything we were doing, although that was very rare, but she enjoyed being around her family and friends who were living life to the fullest. And the reality is, her presence made things more fun. 

3. Die young, as late as possible 

My grandma and her good friend Lowell were still dancing 2 or 3 times a week before Covid. Along with dancing, they were still going to the races on Friday nights and Wii Bowling was a regular part of their schedule. The only thing that sounded old to me was them playing cribbage, ha ha. Being young for my grandma was a state of mind, and I think she is the youngest 98 year old I have ever known. 

Not many grandsons can say, I was at the races with my 98 year old Grandma

2. Choose Joy: Tomorrow will be better than today

​Despite the amazing life my grandma lived, it was not without pain and sorrow. She buried a son who was 25, a granddaughter who was 18, the wife of her grandson in her 20’s, her daughter and son in law amongst many other siblings and family members. Despite all the loss and troubled times, she always chose joy. As my Aunt Raine shared with me, regardless of how bad any given day was, my grandma would always say, tomorrow is going to be better. If anyone could have thrown in the towel, my grandma certainly had enough to warrant it, but instead, she chose joy. ​

1. No one ever cared for me like Jesus

​​I always knew my grandma had faith in Jesus, but I didn’t know the depth of her faith until I read over her instructions and choices of songs and scriptures for her memorial service, which she had already planned. There was a clear common denominator in what kept her young, choosing joy and loving people the way she did, it was Jesus. In all the good and bad, it was clear her faith and the assurance that no one cared for her like Jesus, was the driving force. And she made it clear, she wanted everyone to know the love, grace and forgiveness found in Jesus.

This past month has gone nothing like I imagined. Having to postpone my trip to Uganda, Covid going through our family, the loss of my grandma and a beloved great uncle on the same day, and then the loss of another one of my aunt’s was certainly not what I expected or wanted. 

So I am immediatley getting to implement what I have learned from my grandma, choosing joy in the midst of loss and setback. With the attitude of joy we look forward to what God has called us to do. In loving memory of my Grandma, Kathleen Boland.

Donate to our Year End Giving

Cheering You On In Christ,

Eric Mills

President 

Faces With Names International

We’re getting the band back together…Faces With Names is Back!

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I have never actually been been in a band, but I have always wanted to say that line. And this seems like the most appropriate time as we are officially relaunching, Faces With Names. To say the last year and a half has been one of the craziest and most humbling times of my life, would be an understatement. I will share more details about my journey in the future. It all changed with an unexpected call from a king as I was out mowing my yard. Here is what I wrote about after the king came to visit our family:

During this past year, I have asked on more than one occasion, God have you forgotten about me. There have been times during this year where doors were opening in very specific ways, and then in a moment, they were slammed shut. At the beginning of last week, I received an unexpected phone call that lead to a week I will never forget. A king from Uganda, who I met earlier this year, called me and asked if he could come and visit. First lesson, when the King calls, don’t turn him away. As my family and I had the opportunity to receive the king, I was privileged to spend a week with one of the most amazing men I have ever met. He first and foremost has a pastor’s heart and serves as the Bishop of over 300 churches in Uganda and surrounding countries. But he is also a king and rules over 105 clans and 4 million people in his kingdom. His testimony could come straight out of the Bible of how God called, saved, healed, ordained and appointed a young orphan boy to become a pastor and king. In his care are 1586 orphans and 1200 widows in his kingdom. But he also shares the Gospel with kings, prime ministers and presidents. With all these enormous responsibilities, I don’t think I have ever met a more humble man. He was gracious enough to go and talk to my wife’s 1st grade class, at my son’s school, eat with our family and also with some dear friends who were visiting, hold my 1 year old nephew, amongst many other meetings. Nobody was unimportant to him. I share all of this with you not to take notice of me for spending time with a king, but to give all glory, honor and praise to God. God sent a king to a lonely, uncertain servant to remind him that the King of Kings has not forgotten about him. Second lesson and encouragement. If you are going through a season where you are asking like I have, “God have you forgotten about me?” Don’t give up! God has not forgotten you. My song of ascent, I will praise you on the mountain and in the valleys all the same.

Over six months had passed since the king’s visit, and very unexpectedly the Holy Spirit began to speak to my heart about working with the king. As I first shared this news with my wife Susan, she was open and supportive of moving forward to see what would happen. I then began to reach out to a list of people, God very specifically told me to talk with and the same support and encouragement continued. I then came across a ministry who was already supporting and working with the king, caring for the orphans and widows. My first thought was, well, somebody is already doing what I felt we were supposed to pursue, so that probably is the end of this story.

Nevertheless, I reached out to Chris Macklin with Revival Africa, who first met King John in 2006 and started Revival Africa in 2008 to help support the orphans and widows in King John’s care. When I shared the story with Chris of how God had been stirring my heart to possibly work with King John, it lead to a conversation that lasted 2 1/2 hours. You have to know, this is the first time Chris and I had ever met or spoken to each other. Two weeks later, our wives joined us to continue the conversation and get to hear each others stories. That video call lasted 4 hours. I don’t say this about many people I meet, but Chris very clearly was a kindred spirit and a great encouragement to me on so many levels. What you need to know about Chris is, he is a Residential Architect. After meeting King John in 2006, before he was a king, Chris and his wife Janice felt lead to start Revival Africa. Out of obedience, they have personally supported and given to the orphans and widows under King John’s care since 2006.

As our conversations continued, Chris and Janice were supportive of Faces With Names moving forward to help in the work of caring for these precious kids and widows. As we discussed the path forward, I began to work once again on obtaining our 501c3 for FWN. One of the hurdles we faced over a year and half ago and what in some ways lead to us having to stop our work with Faces With Names was an issue we had with the IRS, mistakenly classifying us as a 501c4. A 501c4 is designated as a political action group, and one in which donors do not receive a tax deduction. As I sought council on what to do with this situation, most told us to start over from the beginning to get our 501c3, because getting someone on the phone from the IRS is just next to impossible, and getting them to admit their mistake seemed definitely impossible. With the season of Covid, many were informing me it could be 12 – 18 months to get our 501c3.

All of these obstacles seemed a bit overwhelming, until Chris offered to allow Faces With Names to take over the 501c3 of Revival Africa, merging the heart of our ministries under the newly established name of, Faces With Names International. And as of Monday, September 14th, and in under three months, our attorney officially sent off the packet to the IRS to formalize this transition and allow us to continue to care for orphans and widows in Uganda and beyond. It all started from the obedience of Chris & Janice, and has been maintained by their faithfulness and generosity through Revival Africa, to now allow us to continue through Faces With Names International.

I look forward to sharing more details with you about how God has worked in my life and through amazing God ordained and directed relationships and circumstances to move forward. I also look forward to sharing opportunities of how you can partner with us and live out the call to care for orphans and widows in their distress.

If you would like to partner with us to build the foundation to serve over 1500 orphans and 1200 widows in Uganda, click the link below to give, or Text: Give, to 918-228-5200.

https://faceswithnames.reachapp.co

Cheering You On In Christ,
Eric Mills