It’s Christmas Eve and we’re traveling to Ethiopia today. Abby and I are excited to finally begin this adventure together!
As I write this post, we’re in Frankfurt, Germany on our way to Ethiopia. I’m feeling grateful for the support and prayers of friends and family who we will miss this Christmas. To me being able to go on this trip to love and help orphans with my daughter is the best Christmas gift ever. I thank God for making it all possible.
I wanted to give an update on our trip and how this connects with our vision for the Forever Families Project.
We’re connecting with four great groups while we’re in Ethiopia who align with our vision and help vulnerable children and orphans. Even though we have these plans, I’ve wanted to keep our agenda open. We are really hoping to begin new friendships, be a blessing and go where God leads us.
The first person we’re meeting is Mekebib Desta in Addis Ababa. Mekebib leads Emmanuel Light & Life Church and they have a ministry to help children who live on the streets of Addis Ababa. They minister out of their own poverty to help orphans and vulnerable children get their basic needs met and know the love of Jesus. It’s estimated that over 100,000 children live on the streets left to fend for themselves. Abby and I will get to spend two days with Mekebib’s team. Also, I’ve been invited to preach in Mekebib’s church.
The next group we’re meeting with is Embracing Hope Ethiopia that was founded by Jerry and Christy Shannon. Their focus is the poor, children, and orphans who live in a section of Addis Ababa known as Korah. This area of the city is very poor and is known as a forsaken place. It began as a leper colony and then the site of the city trash dump. It has a higher prevalence of poverty, crime, prostitution, and disease then many other areas of the city. We love that they have a focus to serve children and mothers in holistic ways to prevent more orphans. Abby and I look forward to meeting the Shannon’s and volunteering at their daycare center serving a 100+ children.
We’ll also be connecting with Bring Love In founded by Levi and Jessie Benker. Levi and Jessie have an amazing story which I encourage you to read in Levi’s book. It’s great. Bring Love In is a community of people who are working together to bring love in to the orphans and widows of Ethiopia. They connect orphans who are given to them by local authorities, and widows from within local Christian church communities, to create new forever families here in Ethiopia. Abby and I are really looking forward to spending time with Levi & Jessie’s family. It’s going to be fun meeting them.
The last group we’re visiting with is Resurrection Orphanage & Center of Nekemte. They provide for orphaned and abandoned children in Nekemte, Ethiopia (located about 240 miles west from Addis Ababa) by meeting the basic needs of shelter, food, clothing, basic medical care and spiritual education and training. This is a new orphanage started by friends at our home church in Mn. Nekemte is a pretty large city of 103,000 people but this is the first orphanage we are aware of in the community. The need is great. Abby and get to bring new clothes for 10 children and money that was donated for the orphanage. We’re looking forward to spending time with the children and staff there.
If you are looking for a groups to provide year end donations, please prayerfully consider these worthy organizations. That’s all for now. More updates to come along with pictures by Abby who will be our photographer for this trip.