Jun 22

6 Ways to Make your Summer Mission Trip Incredibly Amazing.

So you are ready to go on a Mission Trip this summer.  Congratulations! We know that these short term trips have life changing potential when done right.   As an organization who hosts teams 2 – 3 times per week for tours in our Day Cares, I wanted to share with you what (in our opinion) separates an incredibly amazing team from those that left a less favorable impression.

Since you are making a huge investment of time, money and energy to come half way around the world, you want to be incredibly amazing, right?

 

1. Be willing to serve the true needs identified on the ground.

Now that you have fundraised and shared the great things that you will be doing in Africa with those back home, it can be easy to feel pressure to make big things happen.  Honestly, the greatest impact you can make is simply by serving the true needs that the organizations on the ground have identified.  Think of yourselves as paratroopers who are parachuting in to bring a new round of encouragement, vision, supplies and training to those who do this work day after day.  This may mean that the greatest needs are praying for a missionary family, babysitting, encouraging staff by listening, scrubbing floors or training a nurse. You are not coming to be “kept busy.”   Listen to what the organizational needs are and then humbly try to serve in those ways.   It doesn’t always make for the best newsletters, but the impact you truly are making is beyond words.

 

2.  Take time to become educated on poverty issues before leaving home.  LIsten to the complexity on the ground.

It is important to know something about poverty before you come to serve.  It will still surprise you and catch you off guard.  More importantly, recognize your own poverty before getting on the plane.  Tons of harm has been done because well meaning groups have come to try to rescue those in poverty.  A better position is to see that its a complex issue that has no easy solutions.  You get to be part of the solution, perhaps, but it only comes by understanding how big the issue is, how it is not easily addressed in 10 days and being humbly submitted to those who deal with the complexity daily in thought out and planned ways.  Read books like “When Helping Hurts” to get an introduction into why poverty is so complex and has no easy solutions that can be solved quickly.

 

3. Be sensitive to the ministries you are serving with.

Always remember that you are a guest.  If there are house / organizational rules, please follow them.  Be concerned about any choices that could have lasting negative implications and talk them through with organizations before making those choices.   As a foreigner, others are watching you – constantly.  Also, please be on time.  We know that its fun to say “We’re on Africa Time,” but I’ll be honest and say that there is nothing fun about that for organizations who have to rearrange  their staff because you came at a different time than expected.   Time is just as precious here in Africa as it is in America.  Simply be an example of what is considerate, servant-hearted and respectful.  It goes a long way.

 

4.  No Complaining. No comparing. 

On one of the first mission trips I took I was instructed that there was no room for complaining.  Fleas in a bed. Mosquitos. Lumpy Beds. Dirty Rooms. Dogs. Loud Calls to Prayer.  No water. Terrible Food. Lousy internet.  It didn’t matter – No complaining.  I know that it can be hard to not get the best night’s sleep or to live without McDonalds, ice cream and Mountain Dew for 10 days, but you can do it.   Complaining shows a lack of respect to the culture you are visiting.  Try to suck it up and live with it.  If you can’t suck it up then talk it out with your Team Leader or the Organization leader, but please don’t complain in front of the people you have come to serve.  You are their guest.  At the same time, comparing what you see here to what you are used to back home is not fair either.  Afterall, you’ll be back in Dulles Airport again soon and your first stop can be McDonalds, so try to enjoy the cultural experience and put another piece of injera down the hatch.

 

5. Bring your enthusiasm.

One of the greatest gifts you have to bring with you is your enthusiasm to see people come to know Jesus and to see poverty addressed in His Name.  Sometimes those of us in the field can become hardened and cynical.  We have good days and bad days.  We’ve watched things unravel numerous times, fought hard to keep doing what we’re doing, cleaned up messes and watched people hurt us.  We also deal with the poverty, that you find overwhelming, every single day.   We need your breath of life.  We need your passion.  We need your faith filled encouragement.  We need your enthusiasm that Jesus definitely is who He said He is and He is working among the poor.

 

6.  Let your heart and your wallet be captivated.

After you have served somewhere, consider giving to help support that organization.  You liked what you saw, right?  You were impressed and couldn’t stop talking about how much you loved it.  Now, let what captivated your heart also captivate your wallet.   The greatest need typically on the ground is funding.  Many organizations hire local staff to be the experts in care, but they remain dependent on funds to keep paying them.  God gave you the privilege to see something.  Now, as someone who has seen there comes an opportunity to be a blessing by helping to raise awareness and see that organization continue to be supported long after you are gone.

 

In your opinion, what other ways do teams leave a lasting impact?  i’d love to hear.

 

Have a wonderful short term trip.  I pray that God uses it in a very deep way in your life!

Jun 14

Joy.

While I could write a thousand words about the joy we see in Moms and their Children as their families stay together, a picture is worth a thousand words, right?   So, here are photos of a number of our Moms with their kids.  Their love is contagious.  Their commitment is amazing.  And their joy is bubbling up!  If you have not yet gotten the privilege to  sponsor a family,  go to www.embracinghopeethiopia.com/sponsorships/

 

IMG_4139
IMG_4139
IMG_4357
IMG_4357
IMG_4162
IMG_4162
IMG_4430
IMG_4430
IMG_4307
IMG_4307
IMG_4142
IMG_4142
IMG_4211
IMG_4211
Slide 1
Slide 1
IMG_4127
IMG_4127
IMG_4280
IMG_4280
IMG_4235
IMG_4235
IMG_4420
IMG_4420
IMG_4255
IMG_4255
IMG_4219
IMG_4219
IMG_4237
IMG_4237
IMG_4165
IMG_4165
Slide 3
Slide 3
IMG_4189
IMG_4189
IMG_4321
IMG_4321
IMG_4345
IMG_4345
IMG_4170
IMG_4170
IMG_4153
IMG_4153
IMG_4434
IMG_4434
IMG_4277
IMG_4277
IMG_4158
IMG_4158
IMG_4273
IMG_4273
Slide 4
Slide 4
IMG_4207
IMG_4207
IMG_4204
IMG_4204
IMG_4144
IMG_4144
IMG_4248
IMG_4248
IMG_4393
IMG_4393
IMG_4351
IMG_4351
IMG_4288
IMG_4288
Slide 2
Slide 2
IMG_4231
IMG_4231

 

Apr 23

Look What God Has Done – Celebrating 2 years!

Embracing Hope recently celebrated our 2nd Birthday.  Two years ago we welcomed the first 20 children into the first floor of our house to love on them and try to provide them and their Moms with a tangible hope.

Behimnet in 2011 when we opened.

Behimnet today.

To be honest with you, we had no idea what we were in for.  We had a tiny bit of money in the bank.  We had government approvals in hand.  Many people were skeptical and to top it all off,  we had no family sponsors and no idea if this idea was even going to work.

Would moms accept the idea?  Would we ever have the

capacity to address some underlying issues?  Could a cycle truly be broken? Could we find staff that could embrace the Moms and children where they were and demonstrate love, mercy and grace toward them? Could we impact Moms not only physically but also emotionally, intellectually, relationally and spiritually?

The original Day Care room in our home.

We started with 2 caregivers (one of them being Christy), a social worker, a part time bookkeeper and a cook, which meant that our kids were picking up the slack on those first weeks.  We tried to make the place special and worked hard at trying to create an inviting and welcoming atmosphere for these Moms and Children who typically were forgotten and cast off.  But, could it really work?

The bottom line is that this never was our idea to begin with.  It seemed as if God was opening up this venture that we were simply being invited to join in.  It would prove to be the ride of our life and one that He has used to bring Himself glory over and over.

Two years later Embracing Hope Ethiopia looks so much different. Our number of children has grown to 114 and 107 moms.  Our staff has grown to 41 staff people.  We are now in 2 Day Care centers – and no longer in our home.  We now serve just shy of 500 meals (including snack) per day.  The organization is daily run on the ground by an Ethiopian staff who care deeply for the moms and the children that we serve.

Tigist almost 2 years ago.

Tigist now. She was number 1 in her school class last semester!!

We now have Moms who have built deep community with each other, the kind that makes sure that others do not go without and who care when suffering comes.   We have Moms who have started their own micro businesses.  We have Moms who have come to know Jesus.  We have Moms who have found better jobs than working in the dump.  We have children who are starting school and are at the top of their class.  We have children who would not have been alive had it not been for someone being there to care for them.  We have moms learning to read and write for the first time in their lives.  We have Moms who for the first time in their lives are not having their dignity robbed daily through begging and prostitution.  We have Moms on HIV medication so that they will be around for their children long term.   We have Moms who are still incredibly poor, yet they now have hope and are not alone.

We even have a few moms who have become so successful that we are dreaming of ways to graduate them from the program!  We have local and sub-city government cooperation – they keep giving us glowing reports.   We have a large number of moms who have saved at least one month’s salary.  We have healthy kids who are now able to learn and thrive.

We have families that are intact – Moms with their own children.  Orphans prevented.  Families Preserved.

All that these Moms needed was someone to walk alongside of them.  They were looking for a way out, an opportunity, a bit of a break.  Many of them were praying that somehow someone could intervene.   And then God led them to us and us to them.

Sintayehu 2 years ago.

Sintayehu now.

And now in this next year we are dreaming of ways to further our education of our children, increasing tutoring and providing after school care.  We are looking for ways to stay engaged in the lives of the children as they reach Age 6.  We can’t just turn off the partnering.  Not yet.  So, we’re looking at ways that we’ll be able to walk longer term with the family by providing reduced levels of support.  And as we do that, we’ll be freeing up more slots in the Day Cares to care for more families on an intensive level.

What a ride it has been.  An incredible, awesome, beyond the imagination kind of ride.  At times it seemed we could not take one step further, yet God had other plans.  He has given us the strength and the vision.  And we are a bit giddy when we sit back and see what He has done and is doing.

However, I would be remiss if I did not point out two incredible assets that God has provided to get us to this point.

  1. God has given us an amazing on the ground staff and an incredible Board of Directors both in Ethiopia and in the US.  These are people who care about the poor and who are willing to sacrifice on behalf of the least, the last and the lost.   They demonstrate Jesus to us, and to Moms and Children daily.

 

  1. God has given us the most wonderful supporters anyone could ever dream of.  People who sacrifice themselves to give toward family sponsorships and support our missionaries and the general expenses of the organization.  People who pray hard for breakthroughs.  God has provided through you abundantly.  This has allowed us to truly focus on serving people in need who come to us.  It is refreshing and truly a gift.  Thank you!

So, here’s to year 3.  Thank you God for the amazing blessings you have poured out on us.  Thank you for the privilege of walking beside those considered outcast yet those who have become great friends and family members to us.  We thank you that you call us to share our impoverished lives together.

 

Apr 18

Cricket. Cricket. Cricket.

It has been way too quiet on this website, since it has been over a month since I posted anything.  Yes, one whole month.

Inconceivable.  Unacceptable.  Unforgivable.

I could give you a whole bunch of excuses for why nothing has gotten posted over this month, but to bottom line it – something had to give during this past month and this happened to be the one thing that did.

Here is the 30 second update:

- Families continue to be served by our staff daily.  Providing for basic needs.  Moving families toward sustainability.  Seeing families embrace hope.  Great stuff is happening daily.

- Jerry is settling into his new role at International Evangelical Church very well.   Its a great place to serve.

- Our local staff are doing an amazing job of running the day to day and looking to the future.  We have some great things to report soon.

- We are preparing to move our one day care into a different facility.  Our lease is up on the one day care and we’ve found something more affordable that will help us to potentially expand the services we offer.  Move date – on or around May 25th.

- We had another mom choose to come into relationship with Jesus recently.  God sovereignly moved in her life.  I love how He does that.

- We are starting to have conversations about a couple of moms whom we could potentially graduate out of the project in a year or so.  They have hit a stride and are well on their way to sustainability.  Sweet deal.

- We have a couple of dads who recently came back into the picture and they are showing signs of true change.  They are caring for their families and are open to being reconciled to their wives.  That is God making what seemed impossible, possible.

And all of this happens because we’ve got great folks like you who pray and serve and give.  Thank you for the part you play!

That’s the 30 second update.  I promise it won’t be another 45 days before the next update.

Mar 09

Love with abandon.

Almost every person who goes on a short term mission trip or travels for an adoption is deeply impacted during their time in-country.  They are confronted with the complexities of poverty as well as the  fact of their own poverty.  They leave after 10 days in a country not their own somewhat different and ready to see injustice confronted and the world changed.

However, for a certain percentage of those people there are gravitational forces that take place upon re-entry to their homes.   Facing the need to dive back into work, re-assume family responsibilities, discouragement by family members or friends, busyness and the pull of society to pursue the Middle Class dream leaves many drawn away from the work that God started in their hearts and the change never comes into full bloom.  The gravitational pull of what “matters” in the West suddenly pulls someone back into the vortex.

For others there is not time, energy or encouragement to wrestle through the emotions, thoughts, smells and sights that one saw while serving in impoverished settings.  Or there is sense of hopelessness that sets in, but with no one to process those emotions with.  An incredibly amazing trip to serve among the poor (and be impacted by their joy in the midst of distress) quickly fades into distant memories, long forgotten powerpoint presentations and dusty photo albums.

The zeal to change the world fades into the distance.

Now, that is not true for everyone, though.   We hear stories of people who are deeply impacted and they return to their home country ready to see a change made.  Sometimes it takes time for the opportunities to present themselves, but in the end they will work to see change made.

This is true of our friend Rachel.  A couple of years ago she and her husband adopted from Ethiopia.  Then she was here on a mission trip a year ago and left “different.”  Now she is doing something about seeing a difference made and seeing families kept together.   God continues to do a deep work in her heart and she is responding.

This past week she launched the “Love With Abandon” campaign.  Her goal is to raise $6,000 total to help support: Embracing Hope Ethiopia, Bring Love In, Compassion Family Project, orphan and widow projects in Florida,  a family who is adopting, and a friend who was recently widowed.

But, you have to read her story and how she got to this place.  You can read it here:

One year later: what I learned about adoption on my mission trip

And when you are done reading that, you can read about the Love With Abandon project here:

http://walseradoptionadventures.blogspot.com/2013/03/launch-love-with-abandon-project.html

If you’ve gone on a mission trip and left ready to change the world, but somehow got caught in a Western culture gravitational vortex when you returned home, then I think you will find her words a great encouragement to you.

You can regain that zeal and still make a difference.

Mar 06

Announcing a New Season

Four years ago this month, when we finally said yes to God and started to proceed with moving to Ethiopia, we had no idea what God had in store.  Had He said, “You’re going to move in next door to the slum and open a day care that will grow to 110 kids in a year and a half”, well…I’m not totally sure we would have gotten on that plane.  When we step back and take a look, it truly is amazing to consider all that He has done and continues to do.  There have been so many times when challenges or obstacles were impeding the way forward, yet God moved as He carried the vision forward that He had in mind long before we ever came on the scene.  We have loved being part of all that God is doing in and through Embracing Hope Ethiopia these past few years.

We now believe that God is bringing a new season into the life of EHE and also for our family.  As we sit on the edge of it, there is much excitement and anticipation, as well as some butterflies in our stomachs.  As I’ve heard Gary Best (national director of the Canadian Vineyard) say hundreds of times – “This is the joy and the sheer terror of Kingdom living.”

This new season is going to involve me (Jerry) taking on a new role here in Ethiopia.  As of March 17th, I am becoming the Senior Pastor of the International Evangelical Church – Addis Ababa. (http://www.facebook.com/IECAddis).  This is  an amazing church with over 50 different nations represented every Sunday morning in worship together.

But, the larger questions is, “What will this mean for Embracing Hope Ethiopia?”

It does mean some change.  I will no longer be as involved in the day to day activities of EHE.  This actually is part of the dream that God put in our hearts when EHE was starting – that there would come a day when the day to day operations were in the hands of nationals.  Let me say – we have amazing nationals who run the day to day  (and have been for most of the past 2 years) and care for these families in unbelievable ways.  God has provided a wonderful team – and it is time for them to run with all of it.

Christy will continue to volunteer part time with EHE on the ground.  She will continue to assist in the training of staff and moms specifically in the areas of handicrafts, care giving and education.

I will continue to serve as the Executive Director of EHE on the US side.  In this role I will continue to be a bridge to the on the ground activities for donors, our board and sponsors.  I will also continue to raise awareness and be the communication point person for the organization.

Adam and Christie Derloshon are still anticipating arriving in Ethiopia within the next few months.  They continue to move forward in their support raising efforts.  We look forward to having them join the team and helping EHE to reach towards more of the vision that God has placed within us as an organization.

If you are a family sponsor or partner with us, things won’t change much.  You will continue to receive your family updates and we’ll keep you in the loop with news from around the day care.  You also are still welcome to send photos and letters for your family.  That connection and the communication around it will continue at the same frequency as before.

Please pray for our family and for EHE in the midst of this transition.  We see God’s fingerprints all over it and are excited about all that it means to have even more of EHE in the hands of our great team led by Alayu.  Praise God for all that He is doing.

Thank you for joining us in this journey,

Jerry Shannon

Mar 02

Our Newest Additions

While we do not yet have our newest additions to the project up on the website, I did want to tell you a bit about them and share a couple of photos.

Over the past month we have added 5 new children to the project.   These children came to us in great need and because of your support we have been able to partner with them so that their families might be preserved.  Here are some of their stories.

1.  We recently added a mom into the project who until a couple of years ago was living as a street girl.  A local organization assisted her, but she became pregnant and had her baby.  After the baby came they could no longer help her and some friends stepped in to help her out.  However, their help needed to come to an end.  She was in a tight place because no one would allow her to bring her child with her to work.  Now, her child is being cared for and she is working daily.

2.  We also learned about  a 19 year old mom who was homeless and living behind a dumpster in Kore with her 7 month old child.  A stranger found her there and had compassion for her.  She agreed to give her a room in her house and asked if we could come alongside her and partner with her.  This young woman was a houseworker until she became pregnant.  Sometime during her pregnancy she was fired and started living on the streets.  Now, she no longer lives on the streets and is able to work while she and her child are becoming healthy.

3.  A 22 year old mom also came to us who was begging with her 11 month old child.  She was making just over $1 per day begging.   She was married, but her husband divorced her when she became pregnant.  She spent much of her pregnancy living on the streets.  Now, she has a room and is able to go to work.  Her very sick baby is also getting care and is becoming healthy.  A cycle is being broken and she has hope again.

4.  We also added 2 siblings recently.   We learned of a 2 year old boy and a 3 year old girl who were living with their aunt.  Their father had passed away 2 years ago from Malaria and their mother is terminally ill with cancer, living in the countryside.  No one is sure if she is still living.  This aunt took them in, but has struggled to provide for them.  This has meant that they have been living off of flour mixed with water and fried for the past few months.  They came very malnourished and in need of care.   We can now partner with this courageous aunt who chose to care for her orphaned family members.   She is able to go for work and the whole family can become healthy.

You are making a difference through your support and family partnerships.

Soon, these families will be up on the website and available for sponsorship.  Please keep spreading the word.

www.EmbracingHopeEthiopia.com/sponsorships/

Feb 27

Visiting Embracing Hope Ethiopia

We’ve been fielding some Frequently Asked Questions on the website the past couple of weeks, but today is the one that we get asked perhaps the most “How can I visit Embracing Hope Ethiopia?”.

 

To start with, if you are already headed to Ethiopia for a different reason, we’d love to have you stop by.  Please drop us an email and let us know when you’ll be in town.

 

However, maybe you are considering making a trip specifically to see what Embracing Hope is doing.   If that’s you, we’ve got a couple of awesome opportunities for you.

 

Our great friend Caleb David from One Child Campaign is putting together a couple of mission teams that will be visiting Addis Ababa and dropping in on Embracing Hope Ethiopia for a portion of that time.   Caleb is excellent at putting these teams together and he’ll make sure that you are exposed to a number of quality ministries that are addressing orphan care, orphan prevention, widow care and family preservation.    You will leave with an expanded heart and wondering how you can get involved in making a difference.

 

Best of all, if you come on one of One Child’s teams, we are able to work with Caleb to see you stay a day or two longer to get a more in-depth look at what we are doing.   That way you are exposed to a vast array of interventions as part of a team AND you get some extended time to better understand what we are doing.

 

One Child Campaign has two trips that are coming up quick.  They are:

May 23-31, 2013.  Ethiopia Vision/Mission Trip.  The cost is $1290 + airfare.

July 16-26, 2013 Ethiopia Vision/Mission Trip.  The cost is $1390 + airfare.

 

In both cases, for a bit extra, we can see that you get to add on a day or two to hang around EHE and soak it all in.

 

If you are interested in more information about the trips, you can contact Caleb at caleb@onechildcampaign.com

 

We look forward to seeing you in Addis AND seeing how God expands your heart for The Mission that He is on among the last, the least and the lost.

 

Feb 21

Another Round of Frequently Asked Questions

Last week we started a series of Frequently Asked Questions that we get from teams when they tour our Day Cares.  Here are a few more for this week.

An EHE Family’s home at intake.

How do you choose the Families you work with?

Our mandate as an organization is to serve the poorest of the poor.   Therefore, we have to turn away a lot of families who are poor and whom could use assistance, however we truly try to find those moms and children who are at the very back of the line.

Our criteria for admitting families is:

  1. A single parent family.  The child is either living with one parent or with a guardian.  Typically it is a single mom whose husband has either passed away or abandoned the family.
  2. Family income is less than 350 ETB.  The family must be making less than about $20 US per month.  Typically almost this whole amount is spent on rent for a single mud sided, mud floored room.
  3. Not currently assisted by any other organization.  To avoid a “playing of the system” and to encourage a move toward dignity, we don’t assist those who are already being assisted by someone else.
  4. Living in our local area.
  5. Mom must be willing to stop begging and go to work.

EHE Family at intake, living in the house above.

6. Special preference is given to those with young, sick or malnourished children as well as those with physical disabilities, HIV, TB or other health issues.

We start by screening moms when they first come to us.  If they seem a potential fit, our Ethiopian staff will visit their home along with a member of the local government body.   We believe in the need to work closely with the local government, and that means we make them an active part of our screening process.

Because of our relationship with the local government offices and also other organizations, we do at times also receive referrals from them.  When possible, we assist.

How many Families can you serve?

Technically our capacity is 110 children in 2 Day Care Centers.  However, we are able to  exceed this number by 10% legally.  So, our target number is 121 children.  We currently provide services to 114 children and their mothers.

 

Shouldn’t these Moms just pull themselves out of poverty?

In the United States, where we are from originally, there seems to be a mentality that people should simply be able to pull themselves up by their bootstraps.  The problem with this kind of thinking when applied to slum living situations is that for many people they don’t even have bootstraps to pull themselves up by.  (Where did that saying originate, anyway?)

Many of the women we work with have everything going against them.  Some are disabled.  Many are uneducated.  Most are young.  Most are very far away from home and family and therefore find themselves with no social interaction.  They have no one to assist them.  They have a child and no means to support the child.  They have no welfare or social programs to give them a lift out.  There is extreme unemployment, terrible inflation and no social power.  They have no way out, other than the dreams that some of them have of either getting married, begging for enough bread for today or fleeing to a foreign country to become a household servant.

The daughter, today. Almost 2 years after coming into the project.

However, what most of them do have is determination and a love for their children.  Those who were looking for a way out would have abandoned their child on a corner somewhere a long time ago.  They have a rugged determination in the face of dark circumstances.

And, that is where we come in.  We come as a partner.  We bring some relief because of the desperation that most of the families are experiencing, however our overall aim is far more than relief.  We expect that moms are going to do their part, continue to love on their children, do what they have to to find work and grow emotionally, relationally, intellectually (and spiritually if they so choose).  We expect that moms are going to grow in their skills and start saving in order to prepare for tomorrow.

One example is hygiene.  We provide soap for clothing and for the body for families on a monthly basis.  Most of these moms could not afford soap if it was not provided for them.  We then teach them about hygiene and expect that children will come to the center with clean clothing and face and hands on a daily basis.  Now, we have to use some flexibility because these moms do live in rooms with mud floors.  If a child is too dirty, we send them and their mother home for the day.  They are welcome again the next day, but they need to be clean.   This helps to empower moms and restore dignity to them.

We walk alongside moms.  We give them a hand and try to help them up, as people have done for each one of us when we had need in the past.

Feb 16

Courageous Mom.

I have shared on here before about a huge struggle we face in the lives of mothers.   For the uneducated and underemployed, the promise of work in Arab countries as a houseworker is very difficult to pass up.   It is hard to be courageous when you have nothing to bank on. There are family pressures as well as the promise of making enough money to send back to family here, that facilitates mothers leaving their children behind in order to go to Yemen or Saudi Arabia or Dubai and become a house worker.   The challenges that face these moms when they arrive there are indescribable.

However, one of our courageous moms (we’ll call her Seble) has made a decision to stay.  Seble’s love for her child is going to keep her here in Ethiopia.

Seble had made all of the preparations to make the move.   She had secured her visa.  She was working with a broker.  Seble had taken her child to the countryside where her extended family would raise her child, with the promise that she would be sending money back to provide for her care.

However, the hand off of Seble’s child to her extended family did not go as planned.  They were calling Seble daily to let her know that her child was not adjusting well and crying all of the time.

So, Seble did what a mom who loves her child so deeply would do.  She made a decision to choose the known of continuing to live in poverty over the promise of making lots of money to send back.  She made the courageous decision to see her family stay intact.  Her child will continue to have a mom.

This past week Seble came back to us to apologize and  to ask us if she and her child could re-enter the project.  She had removed her daughter to take her to the countryside.  She talked at length with our staff who were able to show her compassion and mercy while also affirming her courage in making the decision to stay.  They not only allowed this family to re-enter the project, but also reaffirmed our commitment to her to partner with her in seeing her family preserved.

The great news is that in the meantime Seble has been able to be trained to do cobblestone work.  So, now she will be making cobblestone while her child continues to come to the Day Care.  This family will be preserved because of the decision of a courageous mom.

We are so privileged to get to partner with moms like her.  Thank you for working with us to keep families like this one together.

Please continue to spread the word so that we can help more moms like Seble and their children.  More information can be found at www.EmbracingHopeEthiopia.com/sponsorships/  for how you can make a difference.

Older posts «

» Newer posts

Switch to mobile version