Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Christmas wish to "Change their Story"

"And then you came" were the words spoken by the Pastor as he clutched his hand over his heart.   For 16 months we had been busy working towards building sponsorships, bringing awareness and working to make our kids, at the Warancha CarePoint famous on this side of the globe.  But on the other side, a Pastor, a field staff and a Board of Directors were ministering each day in Faith, with minimal resources, that we were indeed doing those things.  They also wondered ... would we come?   This was the story our Pastor shared.

There is often controversy over short term vs. long term mission trips.  Are we scratching our own itch and providing a poverty tour complete with pictures?  Are we bringing our "American" ideas and cultures and imparting them on a people group to make ourselves feel like we have "done something"?  Would it be more cost effective to take those very finances we used to get there and simply give them towards the needs?  I've listened to the arguments and I've weighed the financial costs of a trip .... but through the very words of our Warancha Pastor, I have learned that both of these things are critical and valued to those we are seeking to serve and love.   So we went!  Our first Warancha trip out of San Antonio was a huge success.  Our kids were loved, the vision was caught and advocates were created!

But what now?    There is much to be done!  For certain, sponsors are still needed!  Please visit our community page  and initiate your sponsorship today.  Please also, share with your friends.  

What else??  

 My prayers is that this Christmas, you will join me in reminding our children in the Warancha Community that they are the best gift of all.  This year, Americans will spend billions on Christmas gifts and cards.  Instead, what if some of us decided that we'd ask our family, friends and co-workers to pool their resources to help orphans and children living in extreme poverty?  We have seen what a dramatic difference our presence does make, but with your help, we can also see the dramatic difference our gifts can make as well.   The list of the needs in the community is great, but the reality is, those needs cannot be met because our children's basic needs still go unserved.  Our children lack nutrition and so this year, we hope to meet that need together!

I have signed up to lead our team in the "Change Their Story" campaign through HopeChest , and have committed that I would recruit TEN of YOU to join me!  WILL YOU?

It's super easy, to get started just click here.  By filling out that registration, HopeChest will provide you with a personalized donation webpage and the online tools to engage your friends, family and co-workers.  Be sure to put "Warancha" as your community you will be campaigning for when you sign up.  As well, our Field staff has asked that our funds would be used for  the "Nutritional needs" of our children.  You set your goal and together, we make a difference!!

Campaign will run November 15- December 31.

Let's make 300 precious children's wish come true this Christmas!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Reunited again!

4:00 am, that was the time I awoke this morning with one thing on my mind - today was the day that Doug was to visit with MiMi (Z's birth mother) again!  My heart beat fast and I could not go back to sleep.  So,  I gathered myself, my coffee and my bible and began to pray.

10:00 am arrived and sitting in the Dr's office I received a text from Doug "Amazing Visit.  Will share more later, can't put it into words".  My eyes filled with tears.  I knew my prayers for an amazing visit had been answered - I mean, Doug is never speechless!   I could hardly wait to hear about the day!

This afternoon's skype session was therefore, an emotional one.  I got off the phone feeling wiped out.  I can only imagine how exhausted my hubby must be.   Needless to say, the day was more than we could expect and had prayed for.  While many of the details of Doug's visit, I will not share (including photos as I would like to respect MiMi's privacy)  - I will definitely share enough to give you a little glimpse.

But first ...

The team is doing awesome and their day at Warancha went wonderfully!  They went in prepared and more mentally ready for the many kids that overwhelmed them the day before.  Doug said the "Minute to Win It" games we had planned have gone over huge and today the kids loved stacking the dice on the popsicle sticks in their mouth!  The kids love playing each of the activities, some soccer and parachute and the feel of the day was so different than yesterday.  They also acted out different bible stories.  Doug and team shared and acted out the story of Jesus's birth and then some of the kids came up and acted it out again back to them.  All in all, the morning was a huge hit!   Doug was super pleased.

The afternoon was the sweet treat of the day.  The team headed over to Shalom Children's Hope.  This is the orphanage that our sweet Z is from.  By the blessing of our America World staff (our agency that partner's with that orphanage), they were able to arrange for our team to spend the afternoon visiting Shalom.  It was also here that we knew MiMi would arrive.

Doug said that when they arrived she was already there.  The staff of Shalom had arranged chairs in a circle and they all gathered in together.  Doug said she was shy at first and held her head low as to not look directly at him.  He asked Alex if she was ashamed.  He said she was not but that in her culture, the woman didn't speak to crowds of people.  Funny, as I had texted Doug today because I was worried that if the whole team were at their visit she would be overwhelmed.  But, MiMi is a courageous woman and Alex said it was fine that they stayed.  So, they greeted with a hug that Doug said felt like 5 minutes.  Doug then began to show MiMi the photo album I made for her of Z's last 8 months with us.  He said she immediately began to weep.  He said he went through each picture and described to her his personality and his gifts and how well he is doing.  She loved it.  He said though, that as he got to the last picture (one in which I had taken a picture of the picture of her on our shelves), she became overwhelmed in emotion.  Doug said that he knew today that MiMi got it ... she is loved and is definitely not forgotten!  The staff of Shalom were overwhelmed as well and made a very big deal to her and to Doug that they had never seen a family return and reunite with their birth family after their original meeting.  They kept reiterating to MiMi and Doug over and over at how rare this occurrence was.  For MiMi, I think it was such a confirmation in what we had said we would do 8 months ago ... return!  For Doug, it was a realization that the Lord has indeed blessed us with a sweet and special connection to Z's birth family.  It was also a confirmation in what we had told her "We love her and consider her like family".  During the meeting, the team left the room a little at a time and began going into a room where some of the babies and young ones were.  After a while, the only ones left were Alex and Doug and Jaime and the social worker helping do translation for MiMi.  Doug said it was then that MiMi really began to open up and she also began to kiss each and every picture of in the album of Z.  Doug said it was a sweet sweet time.  He sent me a picture of that moment and it left me in tears!  My Momma heart just aches that she could see her boy!

Doug was able to learn during that time a bunch more about MiMi's life and where she lives.  We learned of her desire to start her own business.  Alex, the guide, after visiting with her told Doug that she had a "strong spirit" and was a strong woman.  Doug said that as the day went on, she never left his side.  He said that if he were to walk away, he would see MiMi looking for him and she'd quickly return to his side.  She stayed right near him, wrapped her arms around him and made sure that she was close by.  Doug said that it felt so good to be able to really show her how loved she was and that he KNEW when they walked away that MiMi also knew these things.  Her smile in the pictures says it all!  I wished I could show you.  She is just beautiful!

What an answer to prayer!

After their very emotional visit, the team then had the awesome chance to go do 4 home visits of 4 of the children of our CarePoint.  One of those visits was to our sponsor son, Wendgegm.  What an awesome privilege to see where our children are living and to hear the stories behind their families.
Doug said that they have learned quite a bit about Warancha and that the Pastor has really been sharing the depth of the need they have.  As I have been sharing for months, without more sponsors - Warancha's hands are tied to do little.  With only 68 of 278 children sponsored, the Pastor has little resources to do the things he really needs to do for our kids.  At this time, only the basic of education and care can be given.  We realize that we only launched this CarePoint 14 months ago - and it is a HUGE one - but today the team saw for themselves just how important you each are to their longevity and vitality of this community.   The Pastor also opened his heart and humbly shared these needs and the burden he feels.

Doug said that by far, this was the best day yet.  I could tell that he was emotionally and physically exhausted but so well pleased!  Tomorrow they will spend the morning with the kids and provide them with a large feast.  After lunch they will have the opportunity to sit down with the Pastor and hear more of the needs, his long term vision and how we can be involved.  Please be praying for that time ... and most importantly, for the community here that the Lord will raise up to serve our community there.

If you are reading this post and feel prompted to sponsor one of our kids, please contact me.  I'd love to get you connected into our community!  We will return to our kids - and next time, YOU could be joining us.  (October 2013!).

Here are a few pictures of the day.  As I mentioned, I'd love to share with you the beautiful photos Doug sent of MiMi - but I am going to refrain so that I can respect her privacy. I assure you, her smile in the pictures confirms what we now know ... she KNOWS she is loved!

YAY - It's Doug and Wendgegm, our sponsor son

Zach is a hit!  

The dice game

Nice balance!

Uh oh - I think Marie found herself a cutie!  

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Hard but Good Day - Day 1 Warancha

 By Sue Henderson - Team member extraordinaire!  

We are sitting down right now planning out what we are going to do tomorrow with the children from Warancha. Today was our first day there and it was wonderful to spend the day with the kids but it was overwhelming in many ways.  We are seven people and we encountered about 400 children. If you are any good at math, you can figure out the numbers were not in our favor! We planned last night for quite a while but we were not fully prepared for the numbers we encountered. Our minds and reality were not on the same page. Now we know what to expect and we are talking to be better prepared for tomorrow. Our hearts are definitely in the right place. The kids have touched us in many ways and we want to be there for them and bless them in this time we have together. What we have determined is that we need more structure. Every minute has to be planned out.  Having said that here is what we did today…

We got up early and met for breakfast at 7:00 leaving the hotel at 8:00, arriving at Warancha at 8:30. We were swarmed by the kids. Then the children came out with the teachers and very nicely sat in rows, quietly. Alex introduced us one at a time and had the children repeat our names. This went well until he introduced Doug and all the kids said “Hello Dougie”. Needless to say, he is now Dougie to us! We (the Firje) then sang songs and attempted with our best effort to teach them the words. Fortunately, they already new Chick A Boom, Chick A Boom, which is what we started with. These children love to sing. We sang the Banana song and then taught a Bible story about how God made the children of the world, and how he loves us all. Dougie did the narration of this story and he did a really good job! After doing this we had a game called “In it to Win It”.  We had two teams (a guys team and a girls team of about 5 kids each) and they all had an Oreo. They placed the Oreo on their forehead and the object was to get it into their mouths without using their hands. The kids loved it! They probably loved the Oreo too! It was great fun listening the cheering and watching the concentration on their faces!

After that we took the kids back into their classrooms. Warancha has classes for Pre-K through 3rd grade. Neda took the youngest kids along with Zach. Jaimie took the next level, with Marie, Dougie and Judy taking the older kids. I had no responsibility for individual kids as I am the recorder of the mission. Sounds easy, but it was a real struggle today. The classrooms were more controlled chaos though the second grade class has 60 kids in it! Imagine 60 kids in ONE classroom!

After this we went back outside and attacked the soccer field. The girls took on the boys with all the Frije playing except Judy and me.  Dougie has no mercy. Winning is everything to him, even if it means taking out little kids (at least that is how he talks!). In reality, the only people he tried to take out were his fellow frije!! I was impressed with the talent level all around. The girls did a great job and held their own, doing very well!  While the teams were playing the other kids stood behind a wooden fence and cheered on their teams. When a respective team scored the bystanders yelled and jumped in excitement. After each score the players rotated out and new players came in. One of the teachers joined in the fun (she played for the girls side) and she was quite a good player! I was proud of my fellow Frije. They managed to stay on the field and remain standing the whole time without collapsing from exhaustion!

And then we broke for lunch… The kids leave at noon to go home to eat so we went out to eat. Another amazing restaurant with another awesome meal! After lunch, and some revitalizing we returned for the afternoon. We started back in the classrooms coloring pictures.  The hope was that this would take a while but it was done in no time at all. While this was taking place I was going from classroom to classroom and taking pictures. This was becoming increasingly more difficult as my entrance was always a distraction. The kids just wanted their pictures taken and would not take no for an answer. The lack of communication did not help! The more I asked them to wait, the more they pulled and pulled on me to get my attention. There was frustration for all involved. I was frustrated because I was getting pulled in all directions (literally) and they were frustrated because I was not taking their pictures fast enough! Good news is this team is such a good group of people that I could vent my frustrations tonight and explain my reasoning and now I feel better.  Part of the equation is that these children come from a background so different from ours that it is hard to understand fully where the other is coming from. They have nothing and have had to beg and plead for all they have. They do not give up easily. I, on the other hand, am use not use to being pulled on and pushed on to get my way. At times I finally put my camera away and walked away from the fray because the constant shoving was unmanageable. Then of course I would feel guilty and try again. By the end of the day I was exhausted and had nothing left to give. I have spent the better part of the evening in silent prayer asking for forgiveness and for patience and for understanding. I love these children and I want to give to them. I want to take their pictures and give them the pleasure of seeing what they look like. I want to honor their wishes and honor my pledge to God to give to them.  I want to see joy on their faces and let them know they are loved. 

And so I leave you tonight and ask for your prayers. Prayers for patience. For peace. For strength to give unconditionally and to persevere and they did today.  Prayers for the children of Warancha to find joy in life and to learn the love of Christ. Prayers for our team for rest. I love you all.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A visual glimpse this morning ...

Got to skype with Doug this morning.  The internet connection was sporadic and a little fuzzy, but just knowing he is safe in Warancha makes this Momma happy.

After getting off, he e-mailed a few pics.  They are small files, so they might be a tad fuzzy.  I thought, however, you'd like to see a glimpse of the team for yourself.  There are pictures in Korah, one with precious Mulu (Mama KiKi and Mercy - that one is for you!) and the team's time dying scarves.  Looks like the last pic is the precious little girl Doug described that took him by his hand this morning at Warancha - and didn't let go.  Looks like we need to see if she's sponsored - we may have us a new "family member".

It's MULU!  This pictures makes my heart beat fast.  That smile of hers will light up a room.

Do I spy a Kaldi's treat?

Enjoy a peek - I sure did!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

My husband, the Pastor!!

The phone rang and looking down I see a gazillion numbers all linked together on the ID.  ETHIOPIA!
Answering, I hear the sweetest sound that this Saturday could bring ... Doug's voice!

The update that followed was also a fun and sweet one.  While our minutes were surely a small fortune, their is nothing as priceless as hearing the joy in my hubby's voice and getting the mental picture of his amazing team at work!

He said the team is doing AWESOME!  Zach is a kid magnet and doing awesome (the youngest of the group).   Everyone is having a wonderful time, is healthy and READY to get to Warancha!  Doug also said they have gelled beautiful, just like a family.  P.S  Sara - Zach apparently also has several new Mom's to look after him.  haha.

First, the team spent the morning with Jimmy and Rachel Gross's ministry, No Ordinary Love.  Doug said the team had a great time and the compound of their ministry/community center is just incredible.
For Doug, it was fun to see the work going on as we sat with Jimmy and Rachel at the park this past February as they were working out the details of their new place.  That week they were on a hunt to find the perfect house for their kids and children's home and Jimmy and Rachel shared with us on that day the vision and long term plan for the ministry.  8 months later ... God is at work in big ways!  What a joy to get to see that first hand.

From there, the team had some lunch and some yummy drinks at Kaldi's.  For my Ethiopia loving friends, are you as jealous as I am - Kaldi's - YUM!  They then went over with Ian and Brittany Bentley to see the work of the amazing woman of FashionABLE!  FashionABLE works with woman who have been exploited due to the effects of poverty.  They partner with a ministry called "Woman At Risk" which rehabilitates former sex workers.  Woman At Risk not only gets these woman off the streets, but also provides them with counseling and helps them find alternate means of income ... one of these is through the scarves they make and sell through FasionABLE!  It literally is providing sustainable business for these woman.   So today, the team got to meet the woman and see where they are working.  Doug said that they were busy dying the yarn and literally making the scarves.  As they visited, they learned that the woman actually don't make enough money to even own one of the very scarves they make.  So get this ... our awesome team, with the help of the many of you that sent donations, bought EVERY single woman their VERY OWN scarf!  Doug said that each of the scarves made is named after the woman who made it.  As the woman began to choose scarves, they actually were choosing the very scarves they made themselves ... their names.  He said the woman cheered and were so grateful of their gifts.   From the sound of Doug's voice, I could tell that that moment was a highlight in his heart.
Indeed, the King is enthralled by their beauty and today - he adorned them well!

The team was originally supposed to leave for Warancha in the afternoon tomorrow (after church in Addis).  Remember me saying that we hoped that the Lord would mess with their itinerary for his glory!  Well he has!  Get this ... the team has been asked by the Pastor over our Warancha community to come early.  Church in Warancha begins at 10:00 and he has asked that the team would arrive in time to join them.  That sounds amazing!  As Doug shared this though,  he then began to laugh ....

"Guess who is preaching"?  He laughed.

Can you believe it!  My precious husband has been asked by THE pastor of his community to preach before all of them tomorrow!  My husband is now --- a pastor!   I have no doubt that he will do awesome -- after all, I know the Lord doesn't just equip the able - he equips the called and the willing.  But, a little extra prayer for his nerves might be nice.  Warancha isn't a small community and so far, his preaching audience has been - 5!

All I know is, Sue Henderson better get great video!!  Did you hear that Sue?  My husband will be teaching OUR sweet KIDS that HE called us to.  This is a beautiful honor -- a father to the fatherless -- a spiritual leader for sure!

Well, all in all, it sounds as though the team is off to a great start.  Keep praying and pray especially for their travel mercies into Awassa.  It will be some beautiful country they will soon find - including monkey's, hippos and the famous Africa Acacia trees.
The Pastor of the Warancha Community - as seen on the right

Keep up those prayers!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Houston, we have contact ...

I received word mid day yesterday that the team had arrived safely, however, they were completely exhausted.  Arriving at 8:00 am Ethiopia time (but midnight our time) meant that the team went straight to work - no rest for the weary.

I also received word that Judy on the team was getting sick.  Prayers went up!  The text also said they had no wifi.  Bummer for those of us eagerly waiting to hear from our loved ones.

I don't know about the rest of you following, but for me, I awake in the middle of the night - count forward 8 hours and then sit and think about where they are.   This morning, I awoke at 5:00 am wide awake.  I knew they had arrived in Korah - a place that holds one of my greatest memories - the prayer time and healing of Mercy and a sweet encounter with her beautiful mother, Mulu.  You can read about that here.

I then awoke this morning to a text from Doug that the team was having a great day and would be at the HopeChest offices this afternoon and would be able to skype (around 7:00 am our time.).   We learned after their arrival that the guest house they are in, Providence Guest house, has no wifi services at all.  Bummer - for the next few days, our updates will be minimal if any!  But, Alex, the awesome HopeChest guide took the team over to the office today and that landed me - an online date with this man ...

So - here is the re-cap of the trip so far.

The team is feeling so much better today.  They are rested and Judy is feeling well.  Doug said the first day - after landing - was a rough one.  Everyone was tired, but Doug knew he had to push them to the end of the day to get them on the right time zone for their body clocks.  Judy began having some altitude sickness with a bad headache and nausea.  Sue also had some nausea.   But, those prayers worked and all are feeling much better.   Keep them up!  

The team had a great time learning and seeing the project of Bring Love In on the afternoon of the first day!  Thank you, Levi and Jessie and your amazing in country leadership with Thomas, for getting a glimpse of all the amazing work you are doing.  Make sure you go check out this ministry.  This is one of the most beautiful pictures I have seen of living out James 1:27 - caring for orphans AND widows.  This ministry is literally creating families with one widow to 6-7 orphaned children.  Families - they are creating families!  

  The team then went and purchased their 5 goats for Korah the next day and delivered them out to the Project 61/Great Hope Ministry site.  Doug said it was quite fun riding through town with goats (live) strapped to the top of the van.  Emily Cornish went to dinner with the team and that was a sweet treat.   Emily is a beautiful, American woman who married Barunah, an Ethiopian man who works with Great Hope Ministry and grew up in Korah.   She works there in a clinic they have to care for the medical needs of the people.  I think having that time with Emily helped give the team a little insight on what they would experience the next day.  

So, today the team is in Korah.  They got a mid morning start and a great one at that!  Doug said Marie, Neda and Zachary are rock stars!  Each of them slitting the throat of a goat - helping to get them ready for the feast they would serve the kids.  I think the goat feast was a hit as any injera meal that includes meat is a sweet treat!  Thank you to those who donated. Doug also said that Judy and Marie were enjoying learning to make beads and sitting with the woman in the shelter area.   I can picture this perfectly!  What a sweet time for them.  

When sending Doug off on this trip, I sent him several assignments.  HAHA.  One of those was to find Mulu, the beautiful Mom of Mercy, that with great faith asked 5 of us woman on a Visiting Orphans trip in February of 2010 to come pray over her dying daughter, Mercy.  We did!  And the Lord answered her prayers.  Before our eyes, we watched the Lord raise Mercy from her bed - and walk - and live!  Today, Mercy is in the States on a Medical Visa, living with the team leaders from that trip.    I had asked Doug to go find Mulu and let her know that that day taught me so much about being a mother and what courageous faith looks like.  It was by her faith and obedience that she called us into her small home to pray.   We didn't know what to expect on that day - but Mulu expected Him to heal Mercy and with faith sought us out!  Doug, indeed,  found Mercy making beads as she does with many of the other beautiful woman of Korah.  He shared with her that he knew Mercy and "Mama Kiki" (my awesome team leader that has brought Mercy to the states for care).  He shared with her that Mercy was doing well and that we had been following her progress through Kari's (Mama KiKi) updates.  He said that she began to weep and her smile said it all ... a mother's heart at rest in knowing that the Lord is caring for her child.  I can't imagine how much Mulu misses her daughter, but I can imagine how much it meant to hear her name spoken today and know that others carried her in their hearts too.   

Mulu - Mercy's Mother - A woman of Courageous Faith!

Mulu, her beautiful daughter Mercy and a few of us ladies who were honored to pray that day.  

I could hear the team in the background and got to see Sue a bit.  They were headed back out to Korah after we spoke to finish their day with the kids.   

So thankful for technology today and the awesome staff of Children's HopeChest  that are taking great care of our loved ones AND made sure today that they could connect back home.  I hope you find this update as encouraging as I found my "Date".  

Until next update ...  keep up your prayers for sweet divine appointments, health and HIS encounters!  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Leaving ... on a jet plane

The awesome team for Warancha 2012 is off!  While I type, they are sitting in the DC airport awaiting to board their long flight into Addis Ababa.   It is a direct flight so the team will have PLENTY of time to relax, get comfortable, take in some movies, read a book (or two) and hopefully - get some sleep.  When they land, it will be 8:00 am Ethiopia time - but midnight back home.  Jet lag - who has time for jet lag!
No time to be tired, however, the team will hit the ground right away!
I thought I'd give you a little look at what the itinerary is for this years team.  They are prepared, however, for that "plan" to be completely wrecked and re-written at the discretion of the one we serve - Jesus!

Thursday - October 11
  • Thursday - arrive - 8:00am.  Get settled into Guest House, grab a quick bite to eat.  
  • Thursday afternoon - Serving and seeing the projects of Bring Love In.  A ministry run by Levi and Jessie Benkert. ( Read their story in their book “No Greater Love”.)  This ministry is a beautiful example of James 1:27 as they partner Widows in the community with orphans, creating complete family units and homes!  
  • Purchase 5 goats and deliver them to Korah for the next day.  
Friday - October 12

  • Day in Korah with Project 61 and Great Hope Ministry.  The team will have the opportunity to provide a feast for the children who come in to the shelter/church for lunch and love on the families that the Lord puts in their path.  Meat is a treat (those 5 goats mentioned above).   Korah (pronounced Kor-A by the locals)was started as a Leper colony 80 years ago as a way to avoid possibly infecting others. It became known as a cursed and forgotten place. Eventually the city garbage dump was placed in Korah as well. It became a place affected by disease, poverty, and a whole host of social problems. It was a place of isolation and despair. Eventually the city grew around Korah, yet Korah still maintained its image of being a forgotten and cursed place where the people who grew up there found it difficult to escape and those who lived there found it difficult to not be discriminated against as they sought work in other parts of the city. Today, Korah is home to over 120,000 people – many of them the poorest of the poor of Addis Ababa. Disease is still prevalent – leprosy, TB HIV/AIDS, and respiratory problems. The vulnerable suffer – the elderly, the widows, and the children.  There is a high rate of orphans – some of which scavenge their food from the local garbage dump. Clean water an sanitary conditions are hard to find. Unemployment is very high. Single moms make their living begging or selling small piles of bananas or finding anything of minimal value in the dump – and they take their children with them for the whole day while they do it. Many children do not have opportunities to get a good education- even if they could attend school, they would not have the money to buy a uniform that they need to purchase to attend. There is little “natural” hope to have if one lives Korah. Yet, despite all of this … God is at work and He is bringing his Hope to people through several amazing ministries working within Korah, one of which is Project 61 and Great Hope Ministry.  
Saturday - October 13

  • Morning - Serving and helping with a "Community Party" alongside "No Ordinary Love" ministries.  - No Ordinary Love is a ministry created and run by some of our friends - a precious couple from San Antonio, Texas - Jimmy and Rachel Gross.  Go check out No Ordinary Love and read about the beautiful ministry of their children's Home and Community shelter.  
  • Afternoon - Visiting and shopping at "FashionABLE".   FashionABLE creates a sustainable business for women in Africa. Their commitment as a non-profit is to the development of people — fashionABLE works with women who have been exploited due to the effects of poverty. So, when you purchase a scarf you are providing jobs, and then we send the profits back to holistically rehabilitate more women. This is the beauty of non-profit….Scarves provide jobs, profits provide restoration. In Ethiopia, prostitution is often linked with deep levels of generational poverty and financial hopelessness. Lacking meaningful resources and a sense of hope, many women resort to prostitution as a means of supporting themselves and their families. These women are often desperate to leave the sex industry but remain trapped by a lack of opportunity and rehabilitative support.
    “Women At Risk” is an organization they have partnered with to rehabilitate former sex workers. This work requires not only getting these women off the streets, but also providing them counseling and helping them find alternate means of income – this is why they created fashionABLE.  Their ultimate goal is to help these women become healthy and productive members of society.
    Headquarters for scarf production are in Addis Ababa, the capital city. Scarves are made by women in the program, as well as other Ethiopian sources that include women and men, to help meet demand. While being supported by those sources, fashionABLE is continually funding the training of more women in order to employ as many women as demand will allow. All the while, they are meeting the mission that your purchase of a fashionABLE scarf continues to create sustainable business for more women in Africa.
SSunday - October 14
  • Church and travel day to Awassa, Ethiopia - Warancha CarePoint (it's a 5 or so hour drive depending on who you ask.  It's all "ish" time in Africa anyways)
Monday- October 15
  • Day 1 - Warancha CarePoint.  - This is the focus of our trip - to love our 278 children that daily come to receive care and education.  We have only 62 children of the 278 sponsored.  If you are interested in sponsoring a child, please click on the tab "Warancha" and scroll to "Sponsoring".  We'd love to get you started at becoming a part of our family!
Tuesday - October 16
  • Morning - Fun at Warancha with the kids
  • Morning - Shalom Children's Hope - This is the orphanage that our son, Zebene is from.  The team will be getting the opportunity to bring in much needed supplies of diapers and formula.  As well, they will get to love on the children that call Shalom home.  During this morning, Doug (my husband) will get to visit with our son's birth mother again as our agency is bringing her over for "a visit".  I am so excited that the Lord is allowing us to connect again with her and share with her how well our son (hers and ours) is doing.  
Wednesday - October 17
  • Morning - Providing Goat Feast for children of Warancha
  • Afternoon - Warancha
Thursday - October 18
  • Morning - Warancha - play and Goodbye's 
  • Afternoon - travel back to Addis Ababa
  • Dinner - Traditional Ethiopian dinner with dancing
Friday - October 19
  • Morning - Visit the "Fistula Hospital".  Go watch "A walk to Beautiful" to learn about Dr. Catherine Hamlin and the Fistula Hospital.  Maybe the team will be blessed enough to even meet her ...  she is a living angel!  
  • Afternoon - Shopping at the Post Office
  • 9pm - depart Addis - bound for home.
Saturday - October 20
  • Team will arrive home in the evening.  

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