Forgotten Voices' Mission:

"Demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ by equipping local churches in southern Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities."

Monday, February 21, 2011

Forgotten Voices has a NEW Blog!

Forgotten Voices will no longer be using this site ( to post blog entries. Instead, please check out to keep up with Forgotten Voices travel stories, updates from our south African project partners, insights from our leadership team and board members, praise and prayers updates, and other related information.

You'll notice on the new blog there's a place to sign up to receive blog posts via email, and also buttons under each post that enable you to share the story via facebook, twitter, or email. We truly appreciate your help with getting the word out about how we're empowering orphans in Zimbabwe and Zambia!

Please let us know what you think of the new blog, and thank you so much for your continued support of our partner pastors, community leaders, and the children they serve!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ryan Addresses Tailoring Graduates

During my last trip, I had the good fortune of addressing graduates of the New Life Christian Church's Widow Tailoring School. It was impromptu, but a special time indeed.



Friday, January 21, 2011

Greetings from South Africa

Greetings from South Africa from the flight lounge, as I await boarding to begin. Just connected with Michelle Lockwood, a missionary who hosted us on night 1 almost 2 weeks ago. We met to exchange things for her to bring home and for me to bring to the USA. :) International next day delivery at its best... :)

James is off to Washington Dulles as I type this. Rob & Remmy just wrapped up a game drive to see animals in Zambia's National Park in Livingston and I'm connecting here with you before going to JFK in NYC shortly, arriving tomorrow (Saturday) morning. Pray for safety & sleep for all of us as we travel.

We had WAY less internet time or access than planned. The days were too long and full and the places we were visiting were often too remote to justify special trips into town to wait for a working computer. but I do hope you were able to enjoy the posts from our team in the USA and the tweets.

There are so many amazing stories to share, as there always are. I could tell you about the 2 hr gathering we had in rural Solwezi, where over 200 people came 3-4 hrs walking away to greet us, pray with us, and share a meal --- even though they only heard we were visiting. They didn't know who we were, but wanted us to feel welcome.

I could tell you about our conversation with a pastor, who painfully shared about someone who had prostituted herself for the equivalent of $6, but was bringing charges to the police because she had only been paid $3.

I could tell you about some of the 300 kids who the Zambian Baptist Association helps to assist in 2011, believing God has called them to do so, yet they have little resources to provide tangible change for these vulnerable children orphaned by AIDS. Most of the pastors did not know why we were there, except to greet them and see how God was using them so we could share their prayers with others.

I could tell you more about the dozens of remote and urban churches we visited with over 10 days on the ground.

I could tell you about the 15 widows and 2 other women who expressed joy that I have rarely seen as they graduated from a Forgotten Voices supported tailoring program, receiving a machine, fabric and capital to provide for their children on their own.

I could tell you about the long 17 hr days we had some days, resulting in a need to support & encourage each other when very tired.

I could tell you about the late night PHASE 10 tournaments we had almost daily, with James winning "COPPERBELT PHASE 10 CHIEF" title on our last night together in Zambia. It was awesome to kick back, debrief the day, discern together, and enjoy some cards.

There are so many stories I could share and I will. Please look forward to my reflections and some from Rob & James in the days to come. Realistically, I'll be off most of this week to rest, then returning to the office on Friday - a week from today.

If you are local to Central PA, please consider coming to WEST SHORE E FREE CHURCH in Mechanicsburg, PA this SUNDAY. I arrive back into JFK Saturday, then will be speaking in both the 9am and 10:45am services on Sunday at WSEFC. I'm excited to see how God equips me to share, despite jet lag, emotional exhaustion, and being physically sore. But God is using us to bring hope. I look forward to being there with you.

See you then or see you here very soon. Lots of love!

-Ryan Keith, President, Forgotten Voices International

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Journey updates from Solwezi, Zambia

If you aren't already aware, Ryan is currently leading a team in Zambia, Africa. While they are meeting with various pastors in the rural areas of Solwezi identifying community needs and possible partners to provide for local orphans, here are a few updates they've posted via twitter:

"Many of our friends here daily work their tails off to survive. What an honor to learn from them & serve with them."

"Amazing 12 hr day for us. 5 Baptist churches who have identified 300 kids orphaned. No one but church would find these kids."

"After typing up notes off to bed after 17 Hr day. So beat. Please pray for strength tomorrow. Leaving at 8 for Kitwe"

"Visited with a friend to Remmy, wife to chief who lost sister. Always tough to be around death. After 16 trips still new."

You can tell that this journey so far has been both productive and extremely demanding in many ways. Please keep the team in prayer as they journey from Solwezi back to Ndola, then catch a flight to Lusaka tomorrow to meet with local pastors there.

Stay tuned for more updates ..


Images of Solwezi

As you continue to pray for Ryan, James and Rob's travels through Zambia, here are a few images of the region they have been visiting. As you can see it's quite rural. Many resources, including church ministries, are stretched thin. But the strengths and needs that have inspired and moved us to action among our current projects in Zimbabwe and Zambia ring true in remote Solwezi as well.

The church is still alive and sharing the love of Christ in the community.

Mothers still have dreams for their children and long to see them grow up to succeed.

We still find many households devastated by HIV, where the oldest and youngest family members are left to care for each other.

Church leaders still meet - often under trees - to make a plan for the orphaned and vulnerable children needing their care

Resources like food, clean water, education, and skills training are still often out of reach, but vitally important, especially for orphaned and widowed community members.

Families still pray for rain so that their crops will grow and their family will have sufficient water.

God still promises to be with us always, no matter where His calling to serve may lead us.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Finding the Forgotten

Off the map, out of range, and just plain out there are a few ways to describe the location of our team currently on the ground in Zambia. In actuality we don't know EXACTLY where Ryan, James, and Rob are, but from the itinerary they've left us as well as their occasional tweets we know they are moving through the rural areas of Solwezi.

It may seem strange for our team to be so far outside the normal thoroughfares and busy cities of Zambia, but their mission is to go beyond areas that may already have aid organizations to find those desperate communities that have been forgotten. You can hear directly from Ryan about the mission of this particular trip, about how through partnering with local churches in rural villages Forgotten Voices hopes to provide sustainable care to nearly 5,500 vulnerable and orphaned children this year. Just today, the team has already visited with 12 churches, seeking to identify potential partners that can provide holistic care to orphaned children around their communities.

Many experts estimate more than 700,000 AIDS orphans are currently living in Zambia, and with your help we have plans to continue building a strong network of sustainable partnerships with local churches to provide for as many vulnerable children as we can.

Check out TenTogether, our campaign to reach 10,000 orphans by the end of 2012 to see what you can do to help. It's easier than you think to make a real difference in the lives of others, and you can expect this movement to bring change to your own life as well.

Brian - Forgotten Voices {{{Volunteer}}}

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Graduation Day

As Ryan, James and Rob continue to travel through Zambia, they'll have limited access to internet over the next few days. In the meantime, we'll provide some additional insight and photos introducing you to some of the church leaders, families and children they are meeting.

On Thursday, the three travelers spent their first day in Zambia attending a graduation ceremony at New Life Christian Centre. Since beginning partnership with Forgotten Voices International, New Life Christian Centre has seen 60 women from the community - most of them widows - graduate from its Tailoring Program. This program gives women in extremely vulnerable situations skills training to financially support themselves and restore dignity to their family. Upon graduation, each woman receives a sewing machine, start-up fabric and capital to begin their own small business.

Enjoy these photos of just two of Thursday's 15 graduates, taken in November. Pray for them and the 13 other women now stepping out in faith to use their new skills to support their families.

More updates soon!