Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Well, we've been home for a little over a week, and the memories of the children of Ethiopia are still fresh. Trips like this are bittersweet. For just a few days, you're immersed in the glow of obeying Jesus' call to go. Loving children, working side-by-side with friends old and new, sharing God's love, and supporting those who are "on the ground" year round.

But what happens when you come home? Well, there are several responses. I think it changes the way we view our own culture. It highlights the need to look out for the poor and oppressed at home, not just on the other side of the world. It can lead you to consider going for longer periods, or at least going back repeatedly to make a difference.

So many responses.

One of those responses is to share what God is doing with your friends, in hopes that some of them may be led to get involved.

That's what this post is about.

During our time in Ethiopia, we worked with four different ministries and then a local feeding program for the homeless of Addis Ababa. Three of those need support for what they are doing, and I am not ashamed to ask you, my friends, to consider that. These are not orphanages, but programs that are aggressively working at orphan prevention. It's a wonderful thing to reach out to orphans, and I think it's at least as wonderful to work to keep it from happening in the first place.

Embracing Hope (EH) is all about finding single parent families in the community surrounding the city trash dump, and helping the parent (usually the mother) find a way to work while EH takes care of the children and provides nourishment and education. They could tell you story after story of families who have been changed. They need sponsorships to fund and grow the ministry. To learn more, visit their website here.

Out of the Ashes (OA) is making a difference in one of the most poverty stricken areas of Africa. So many children in this community have spent their childhood trying to find food for their families in the trash dump. OA has done interviews and found families that would benefit the most from sponsorships to get the children out of that environment, into school (often way from the city), and prepared to break the cycle. Currently, they have about 45 children in need of sponsorships for the 2014-15 school year. Learn more at their website here.

And No Ordinary Love (NOL) is another orphan prevention ministry. At any given time, there are about 20 children living at the facility temporarily. These children have been taken from their families and exploited, and NOL is about rescuing them and returning them to their families. Their budget is definitely in need of more support. They have a very extensive website, and I encourage you to explore it. The home page is here.

One week. A drop in the bucket. But it can be more than that if it leads to action. I am committed to going back and staying involved. And I also want to help other believers know how they can help. Here it is. May God bless you in serving him, whether through one of these opportunities or others he has called you too.

I just had to share.

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