In 2014 I attended a benefit for Orphan Aid, Liberia that was located at Cartersville First Baptist Church. I knew the Founder, Daryl Roberts, from the gym and had supported his cause in a small way several times before.
At this particular event, Daryl played a video from Eric Ludy (see below). The video was very powerful. You know one of those videos that give you chill bumps? The video was amazing, but my emotion was not comparable to Daryl’s or a few other people I noticed in the building. I started to second-guess my compassion and feeling towards those in need. I have always tried to give when possible, but I didn’t seem called to make any sacrifice at that moment.
It wasn’t until almost a year later, my wife and I had our first children (twin boys). I started looking at life through a different lens. I received some sort of extra strength, emotion, and sacrifice. It was almost embedded in me the day of my children’s birth.
I also started seeing Daryl more often and lending a hand to OAL whenever possible. I would help him game plan social media for OAL, in hopes that it would help the children, but still, I didn’t feel like I was contributing enough.
Finally, an opportunity presented itself, and I was asked to go to Liberia, Africa to see first hand what Daryl and his #OALfamily back home was doing, as well as travel around different counties inspecting the needs of orphanages that have very little. (literally almost nothing). My role was to use my photography to collect content throughout the trip.
The week before we left for Africa Daryl sent the team and I a video as well as some encouraging words to get us prepped for the big trip. It was that same Eric Ludy video that I watched years before. This time, I poured out with emotion. Tears welled, my body shook, and I found my fist clenched when Eric said, “If my son is in that situation stick a concrete wall in front of me and I’ll claw through it with my bare hands. If I couldn’t get there, I would call up every friend I have and I would say I have a son over and Liberia, I need you to get on a plane and get over there to him and be a father to him.”
That was it. That was the missing piece. For me being a father is the greatest gift of all and to imagine my boys sitting on the side of the road in Liberia just sent a lightning bolt through my body. I knew then I had to continue to strive to help the fatherless. God is indeed a Father to all, especially to the fatherless, but he works through us to accomplish this. When God tells me, “That’s my Brady. That’s my Isaac abandoned on the side of the road in Liberia.” I understand now that he’s calling me and all of us to help the orphan, the needy, and the abandoned.
I’m now preparing for my 2nd trip to Liberia in September to visit many orphanages that are suffering from lack of food. I will be visiting hundreds of helpless children that will run up to me with open arms. Together we can ease their hunger and bring them hope and love.
OAL has contributed to repairing thousands of lives thanks to all of you and our future goals have hopes of restoring hundreds of thousands. Please consider joining us if you haven’t already. There is nothing too small that will not impact the lives of these orphans.