A Message From Josie-Tatum's Mama

In November, I led our church in adoption/orphan awareness activities. Josie-Tatum watched intently as I previewed videos and brochures. She was moved to find out how she could help with questions like, "Mama, what can we do to help orphans?" and "Mama, where can we go to help orphans?"

As I sought to encourage her compassion, a door was opened for us to join Servant's House Ministries on a trip to South Africa in July. This is Josie-Tatum's story, her opportunity to share with you what the LORD speaks to her.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Returning to His Call In South Africa

Once again, Josie-Tatum and her mother are feeling called to return to South Africa. If you've never heard the story of how we became involved with The Lighthouse in Shayandima, South Africa, may you be blessed with the details!

It began with a question.

"Mama, what can we do?"

Josie-Tatum was just a few weeks from her sixth birthday when she asked that, and I was preparing materials for Adoption and Orphan Awareness. It would be the first time our church participated in November's National Adoption Awareness month. It would be the first time many in our church heard of the orphan crisis. It was the first time Josie-Tatum began to understand the enormity of the problem and God's call to the church.

This is one of videos I previewed before sharing with the church. Josie-Tatum sat with me and watched every one, intrigued by what she was learning.

Part II:

So, she asked the question, "Mama, where can we do? What can we do?"

And, the questions continued every day and each night. Following every new video, she asked more questions. "You mean there are big kids who need mamas, too?" She even said, "Well, I can tell you one thing. If you didn't have to work, and I didn't have to go to school, we would travel all around the world and bring home every orphan daddy would let us."

She took her new burden to Jesus. Nightly she would pray, "God, show me and Mama what we can do to help orphans. Show us where we can go." I began to realize God had entrusted me with a priceless treasure of another kind. I could bury that treasure, or I could make it shine!

I started investigating different options for mission trips where orphan ministry was the focus. Time and again the doors were closed. After several weeks I decided God was going to allow Josie-Tatum and me to go on a mission trip, just the timing was not right.

With my mind at ease, I settled back into my comfortable life. Josie-Tatum continued to pray. Her prayer was sometimes, "LORD, it's okay if we don't go now, but just show Mama and me what we can do." Then, God showed me just how much He was involved in the details of the burdens we feel from Him.

after many closed doors, I had stopped researching possible mission work for a mama and a child Josie-Tatum's age. When someone later suggested to me that I call Brenda Sutton a call. I didn't. I had made up my mind it was not God's timing. Since, I did not look for Brenda. God sent her to me. One Wednesday night, I walked into church, and Brenda was there. I had never met her and didn't know she had been invited to speak during our Bible study that night.

Brenda shared her work with the Servant's House Ministries. She shared much about a recent mission trip, where the team stayed in a hostel, and showered out doors where a hose was stretched over a tree branch. That was certainly not the mission trip I would take Josie-Tatum on.

But, after the service, I went to talk with her. I told her a little of Josie-Tatum's story. I asked her to contact me if she ever knew of a mission trip that would be appropriate for a young child, and she, without any hesitation said, "Come with us to South Africa."

There are so many details, so many God moments. I'll post links to many of those stories, later, but you should know that we committed to go, needing over $6,000 and having no idea where that money would come from. When we left for South Africa, just a few months later, we had raised over $8,000. We were able to use the remainder of the money for multiple projects for orphans, including tuition for school.

Josie-Tatum's heart and passion for orphans, though, touched more than just her family. The missionaries in Shayandima had begun to feel God calling them to more involvement with orphans. The love of a 6-year-old girl on the other side of the world sent affirmation that they were following His leading. Imagine my joy and the honor. God had allowed me to see His work in a way I could never have imagined.

With the extra money we had raised, we were able to sponsor tution for this precious child of God!

We had the money to sponsor one more child for school the next year. While visiting a nearby home for orphans, we met one of the cutest four-year olds in Africa.
We talked with the missionaries, and they made the arragements for him to be the second child we would sponsor.

While spending much time with the LORD prior to our mission trip, He had spoken to me through Isaiah. He brought this verses to my mind--Isaiah 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth ; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

God did indeed begin a new thing while we were in South Africa. Brad and Hazel committed to opening a home for orphans. We committed to helping them build the home. And, we broke ground on the site where the home would be built.
Two years later, we returned to Shayandima.  Five children, including the two we had previously sponsored were already living on base. The construction of their new home, The Lighthouse, was underway.

And, this year, we have felt His call to return, to return to the new thing God has begun, to see how it is springing forth, to see the way He is making in the wilderness.

Like a Memorial Box story, revisting His call has blessed my soul! It has encouraged me as I have remembered that this work is a work He has begun. And, His word says He will complete the work He has begun.
I am looking forward to seeing The Lighthouse completed, filled with the laughter of children, loved by a house mother, when before they were without a mother.
I am looking forward to seeing the work of the LORD, the work He will continue to do in my heart, and especially the work He will continue to do in the heart of Josie-Tatum.
Please join us in prayer for this great work.
Once again, we face the obstacle of funding. We will need aourn $7,000 for the two of us to go. I know, though, that God will provide where He leads. He has proven Himself faithful so many times. If, in your prayer time, you feel God calling you to contribute to our work, you can use the PayPal donation button below.

You may also make a tax deductible donation by sending a check to The Servant's House, P.O. Box 365, Blackshear, GA, 31516. Include a note with your donation, signifying that it should be applied to the account of Josie-Tatum and Robbie

Looking forward to many Miracle of More moments from our Ephesians 3:20 God!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Gifts for Africa

Guess what....we got some extra money for our mission trip. I was sooo glad. We spent 4 hours on shopping for the 5 orphans on the base, the kids that live there, and the women. We are still looking for gifts for the men. The 5 orphans got a personal toy and an outfit. The kids that live on the base got a toy. The women got little reed diffusers. It was soooo much fun!

We have 2 suitcases full of stuff for the orphans and school supplies. If you live close by you could send some school supplies to support the mission trip.

Just 8 more days until we live. HURRAY!!!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

If You Live Near

And...would like a home made pecan pie for only $10, please give me a call or send me an email. rbmattox@bellsouth.net We were going to have a bake sale this evening and tomorrow. The short story is...now we can't. And, there were some special people who had already done some baking for us. So, I have two DELICIOUS because I've eaten her pies many times pecan pies that have recently come out of the oven ready to sell. I'd even use the "Handsome Navy Son" Delivery Service and send them to you if you you live near by. I also have TWO dozen home made chocolate chip cookies, and TWO dozen oatmeal butterscotch cookies. I'll see those for $5 a dozen. And, to my friend Julie, I'm making some children happy with those beautiful sugar cookies you made. I'm so sorry you worked hard...and now we're not able to use them the way we had planned. Let me know if you're interested today, Friday....since we'll be leaving for Athens later tonight. Smiles...... Robbie

Monday, March 21, 2011

In Honor of Our Gymnast

Josie-Tatum is off to sweet dreams!


And, her mama has taken over her blog.

In honor of her gold, silver, and bronze medals of the weekend, when she also made the state gymnastics team, would you consider a small donation to help her fulfill her dream of returning to South Africa to work with orphans?

Click the donate button and tell her how proud you are!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pancake Breakfast

Would you like to come to the pancake breakfast? It will raise money for us to go to South Africa this summer. We would like your help.

It will be held at Applebee's in Waycross.
March 19.
8:00 to 10:00 am.
Tickets are $8 each.

If you want to purchase a ticket email Robbie or mama at rbmattox@bellsouth.net So if you want to help out with South Africa come to Applebee's.

Take Care! Josie-Tatum

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Our 2011 Mission

Did you know they're 147 million orphans in the world? Did you know about every 18 sec. a child becomes an orphan? That is just sad. Don't you think? They're are some ways you can help, #1: adopt, #2: sponsor, and #3: pray. Do you think you could do that? I do.

Now about South Africa. Did you know they are building a home? They call it the ''Lighthouse.'' 5 children are going to live there. Their names are Faith, Solomon, Shandukani, Adi, and Zhuavudi. They live now in caravans.

Guess what....I'm going to South Africa this summer because I felt like God called me and Mom. Three other people are coming, Moose(my cousin). He's ssssooo funny! He's going to work so well with teh children. I can't wait! Don't worry. We'll send pictures. I won't be the only kid. My friend and her mom are coming with us. We're going to have a blast. We're going to work in the mission school. We'll feed the children. We may give them clothes. I want to play with the orphans on the base, Faith, Solomon, Shandukani, Adi, and Zhuavudi.

Would you like to help? What can you do?

Saturday, September 5, 2009


We where on a safari we saw elephants, zebras a lot of impalas, inyalas and giraffes. I got to pet a lion too. It was as big as me!!! The zebra got the scar from a lion or a leopard. 'Lions are BIG!!!' God bless you!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Feeding Orphans

This is a picture of a church where they don't get much food. We fed them this afternoon. They just got food.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Today we went on a safari and saw giraffes, zebras, water buffalo, impalas, nyalas, water buck, wildabeast, ELEPHANTS, loads of birds, and other animals. When I get home, I will post picutres.

The day we met Adi, he was playful. We gave him the ball he has in the picture on Mama's blog. He will be going to school next year. He will be our second kid to sponsor.

I can't wait to tell you more when we get home.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Almost Ready to Go

This is me. We were getting ready to go to a meeting where we packed more glitter, trucks, mostly Happy Meal toys, model clay, some beads, math books, and life jackets. We are all packed now and ready to leave on Saturday!!!!! So, please be praying for us to have a safe trip and a safe trip back to Blackshear. Please pray for the orphans. God is God!

At the beginning we needed $6,000 and God has gave us $2,130 more than we needed. So, we will be sponsoring two orphans to go to school. The rest of the money will be for buying clothes and shoes for the orphans. God is good!

This is a little girl named Faith and she is in the pink. Her mom and dad has died. So this is Faith's grandma and her brother and sister she has more brothers and sisters to. Our group will be helping her go to school.

Like my new hairdo?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Shopping For Orphans!!!

All the pitchers you will see I will be shopping for orphans. On Friday we went to the dollar tree and we got school supplies and more things.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My Group

Our group had a mission team meeting. We packed toys, books, crayons, gloue, scissors and colering books. On Friday we will be shopping for math workbooks, science books, English books and more school supplies. We'll be sending money to the missionairies to buy clothes and shoes for the orphans.

This is the leader of the mission to South Africa. And we will be best friends after this trip is over. When I grow up I what to do just like she dos.

This is all of the people who will going to South Africa. When we took this picture last night when we were at our mission team meeting.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


In the beginning me and my mommy needed 6000 dollars to go to South Africa. We have all of that now. And we have enough money for ONE orphan to go to school for a year. Any more donations will be for another orphan to go to school. We are blessed don't you think? GOD IS GOOD!!!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Closer And Closer!!!

My friend Zoe gave me one day 21 dollars. She got the money by doing chors aroud the hous. Now that people gave me money we now just need 24 more dallers. It is a MEARICL!!!!!!!!! GOD IS GOOD!!!!!!!! Don't you think???

We still need donations for orphans to go to school. We need $585 for one orphan to go to school for one year. And we are going to get school supplies, cloths and shoes.