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Eileen

O’Brien

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2 Corinthians 12:9 New International Version (NIV) 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 

Although Eileen has only been with Ripe for Harvest since December 2017, it is by God’s Grace that she has accepted the challenge of missionary life. In her 57 years, Eileen can’t tell you about a time she hasn’t befriended some lonely, lost or forgotten creature and shared her love and kindness with them. As a little girl she would sit with a neighbor’s mother who had dementia * when the neighbor needed a respite. As an adult, Eileen worked with people who had development disabilities. She has always possessed the gift to make someone feel welcomed, loved, and a part of her family. 

Although Eileen did not surrender her life to Christ until she turned 50, God has been making up for her prodigal years by surrounding her with opportunities to use the gifts He entrusted to her with before she was even born. In 2010 she gave her life to the Lord after decades of trying to live life on her own terms. God, in His great love, waited patiently as He had a plan for her life. Once she rolled the stone away from her heart on Easter 2010, He began a great work in her. With the guidance and love of many wonderful, godly teachers, Eileen sought after Him through His Word. She began to see a purpose for her life as she struggled through * letting go of the old man. Once she embraced her “New Life in Christ”, God began to open the doors to His purpose and plan for her life. She began to pray for God to give her a way to use the education with which He blessed her * to advance His kingdom and help others. 

No door opening is clearer to her than what began in 2017. God made His plans for Eileen’s journey very clear, even if it took a couple of months for her to see it. As a member of Trinity Christian Chapel in Sewell, NJ, she had a pastor who had a strong heart for outreach, evangelism and mission work. Although Eileen was on a very limited income, she followed her desires “to go” and to share the Gospel wherever the Lord would take her. She trusted completely in the Lord’s Will and knew that if He wanted her to go, He would provide the way. That “way” began in February 2017 when the mission ministry at Eileen’s church took her, and several others, to evangelize and work with a school in San Tomas, Guatemala. Eileen fell in love with the children and her heart ached to do something to help the poor there. Yet, this was just the first awakening for her. She prayed for God’s Will to be manifested in her life. Before she even left for Guatemala, Eileen signed up to go to South Africa in July 2017. Many thought she was crazy since she was only working part time as a hospice companion, was in the middle of a bankruptcy and a short sale of her home. She told people when they would give her “that look,” that if God wanted her on the mission field, He would provide a way. 

Eileen was on fire for mission work when a team member in Guatemala told her about Ripe for Harvest. She tossed the idea aside because she thought she was too old, to broke, and honestly, had too many aches and pains…missionary work is for young people. Then, on May 29, 2017, God’s calling to the Ugandan mission field first made its voice heard. This is the day Eileen met Baguma Ntale Patrick, founder and director of the Omega Orphanage Care Ministry in Kampala, Uganda. This meeting was truly a divine appointment for Eileen. As the daughter of a NYC police detective and someone very familiar with internet scams, Eileen thought this man was just another guy looking for money, of which she had none. At the urging of the Holy Spirit, she vetted her new Facebook friend, a woman who had visited the orphanage the year before. This gave her the peace she needed to trust this man who needed help. He was taking care of 16 orphans and helping the guardians of another 56 children in his small community in the slums of Kampala. He was always pleading for money to care for the children’s educational, physical, and spiritual needs. 

After another mission trip with her church to an orphanage in Welkom, South Africa in July 2017, the exact answer to her pray was revealed to her. The prayer was for God to use her education, experience and skill set to further His Kingdom. God showed her how through His guidance, providence and leading she can best help Patrick build a support community for the children in Kampala, Uganda, just as He had done for the children in Welkom, South Africa. Within weeks of her return from Welkom, South Africa, Eileen bought her plane ticket to Entebbe, Uganda. Again, she got “that look” from those who read and heard what was happening in her life. Because Eileen knew all those who loved her would have many concerns over this seemingly spur of the moment adventure, she sought the Lord’s guidance through a very specific prayer request. During her nightly prayers on Friday, September 1, she prayed for the Lord to confirm for her that this was indeed His Will for her. She had a part- time job coming up caring for a couple’s dogs which would give her the money she needed to buy a plane ticket to Uganda. If this indeed was the next step in God’s plan, she pleaded with Him for a clear sign. Just as Gideon did, her first request was that if He truly wanted her in Uganda that He would provide her with a travel companion who also wanted to help the children of the Omega Orphanage Care Ministry. The second prayer request was that He would open people’s hearts and pocketbooks to once again support her on the mission trip. Before the weekend was over she had a travel companion who also knew of the orphanage and wanted to go visit. She also received her first $25 donation. Because God had made it clear, on January 26, 2018, Eileen met Patrick and the children of the Omega Orphanage Care Ministry. She knew she was where God wanted her. With a Master Degree in non-profit administration, Eileen will be working, not only in Uganda, but also throughout the United States, to bring awareness to the Omega Orphanage Care Ministry and to find partners for her work with the children of Kampala. Long before she knew God was waiting for her, she founded her own business based on her gratitude for her life. It is called Transformed BHG (Transformed By His Grace). For it is By His Grace she is here, it is By His Grace she was saved, it is By His Grace she has been charged with helping the children in Kampala and it is By His Grace that hearts will be opened to financially help her on His mission field. 

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9:35-38 

Eileen knows not everyone can go into the mission field, but everyone can be a worker in the field. She praises God for her faithful and growing team of prayer partners, encouragers, and financial supporters. She prays that you will consider walking beside her in this ministry as a prayer partner and financial partner through Ripe For Harvest World Outreach. Will you join her on the Lord next great adventure, even the smallest monthly donation will have a huge effect on God’s Kingdom. 

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