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  • Gianna

#20 "Life Changes and I wouldn't Change it for the World"

Updated: Sep 17, 2019

All freshman students at my high school are asked to write a letter to their senior selves. In the letter, we describe everything about our fourteen-year-old selves, such as our likes/dislikes, dreams, hopes and future plans. As you can imagine, when you open this letter as a senior, everything has changed. When I was chatting with Gwen Oatswell, the founder of 147 Team, I thought about our freshman project and reflected on the letter Gwen might have written herself. I think it would have sounded something like this...


Dear Senior Gwen,

Hey! I love playing sports and hanging out with friends and family. I plan to get married and have one boy and one girl and, of course, become a PR communications director! 

Fingers crossed this all happens, 

Freshmen Gwen


That was how Gwen described her master plan and guess what? She did not follow any of it. She did get married - to her high school sweetheart actually! She became a teacher and ended up being blessed with many more children than one girl and one boy. She has had children of her own and adopted children from all around the world. Every time she was on the plane flying back after adopting a child from developing countries, Gwen would have an unsettling feeling. She had been so moved and impacted by her children that she had to do something more for the 147 million orphans that had not been adopted. So, Gwen and a couple of other moms came together and created a really cool shirt that read “147 Million Orphans” to begin to spread awareness. That really cool shirt started a movement. The 147 Team non-profit was created to provide for the critical needs of children impacted by the orphan crisis and living in poverty. The non-profit provides food, water, medicine, and education for vulnerable children in the name of Jesus Christ. The mission is to break the ongoing orphan crisis. Check out their site and buy a shirt http://147millionorphans.org/.


What can we learn from Gwen? There’s a song by my favorite singer ever Thomas Rhett called Life Changes. “You make your plans and you hear God laughin’. Life changes, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.” Everyone I have spoken to about this project has told me that one day they just had this feeling to go for it, to create their non-profit and not look back. None of them grew up planning to change the world, but they have. Gwen would not have written in her freshman letter that she plans to start a movement to help children in need across the world. One day Gwen got a feeling to change her plans for the future, and she did. When you get those feelings, follow them. Follow those feelings that are going to lead us to change the world. Stop writing those letters to yourself. Stop planning out your whole life. Just plan out today. Live a life where you put others in the center of it, instead of your own silly plans. Those silly plans will never compare to the plan that God has for you.



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