In 2008 Pastor Ron Woolsey from a little town in Central Michigan came home from a mission trip he took to Sierra Leone, Africa. He felt compared to share with the congregation about his trip.
Dr. Jeff Smith was sitting in the sanctuary, and felt the Lord speak directly to him that he needed to go. At the end of the message that day, Jeff walked to the front of the church and told Ron that he would love more information. And this was the beginning of Footprints.
Upon arriving for his first trip, Jeff saw the immense need for medical care for the Sierra Leone people. Sierra Leone is ranked 180 of 187 on the world poverty index, with only 7 countries in the world worse off than Sierra Leone. A friendship was quickly formed between Dr. ABD (pictured left) and Dr. Smith.
In 2009 Footprints Missions was created as a 501C3 Nonprofit and many trips started continuously happening.
Then in 2014 it all came to a screeching halt. Ebola ravaged Sierra Leone and the mission trips had to stop. In one phone conversation Dr. ABD and Dr. Smith were speaking and the Footprints team felt helpless. People were dying and we felt, "why, Lord?" We have made all of this progress and now we can't go." When asking Dr. ABD how we can help from afar, his response was quick: "Start an orphanage. There are so many children left without parents and nobody to care for them."
With Dr. ABD's help on the grounds and Footprints working behind the scenes, a 100% Footprints funded orphanage was started in June of 2018.
We currently teach the love of Jesus, house, feed, and pay for schooling for twenty children. We focus on creating environments at the orphanage where the children can learn vocational skills like farming, sewing, and woodworking.
Our dreams and hopes are to take in more children, build more housing buildings, and grow and develop our orphanage on our 10 acre parcel of land where our orphanage currently resides.
God isn't done yet, and we can't wait to shout His name and give all glory to God as he continues to care for the children of Sierra Leone.