Thursday, November 12, 2015

Change Their Story

This past June, a group of friends and I jumped on a plane and headed to Ethiopia for what proved to be a life changing trip for all of us.
As we spent time with the children and staff at I Care for the Nations, we began to learn more about THEIR STORIES.
Most of the children come from single mother households and have experienced much hardship and suffering in their short lives.
The common theme we heard was that opportunities are limited for girls and women (particularly single mothers) to be educated and be able to earn an income and provide for their children.
There are very few social services available so most of the children at I Care have endured chronic food insecurity, inadequate housing, lack of medical care, increased stress and risk of relational breakdown within their families.
Thankfully there is hope and through I Care fort the Nations and Children’s HopeChest the children and women at this care point have begun to receive educational support, discipleship, supplemental food, clothing and relational counseling.
Helping to meet these basic needs is vital at this stage of development, but it is not the long term solution.  The ultimate goal is for these mothers and care givers to be able to provide for their own families and to gain independence through self-sustaining employment.
We’re inviting you this Christmas to join us in making an impact in the lives of hundreds of children. We joined HopeChest’s Change Their Story campaign this year because we believe that every child deserves a life full of joy, love, empowerment, and dignity and every mother deserves the opportunity to raise and provide for her own children. 
So, help make these dreams become a reality and CHANGE THEIR STORIES.
OUR goal is to raise $15,745 to lauch the
“Empower I Care Income Generating Project”
to train 30 women in either COTTON SPINNING or
Any amount will help us reach our goal. 
Click on the picture below to find out more and give to this life changing project.
IMG_8810 (3)
Give more this Christmas. Join us in giving joy, love, empowerment, and dignity to the kids and women served at I Care.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Something Really Cool Happened......

So many of you know that a group of friends and I took a little trip to Ethiopia this past summer.  God showed up big and did many amazing things during that trip.  One of the really cool things that happened on the trip is that there will soon be one less child waiting to be adopted in Ethiopia.

No, we're not adopting from Ethiopia again,
but our friends are!!!!!

Carl and Aimee

About two years ago, while spending time at the baseball field, we became friends with Carl and Aimee and their two boys Brayden and Blaise.  I'm at the fields so often that it's always nice to get on a team with fun parents as this is my main social outlet these days.  Their son Brayden and our son Colton were placed on the same team for several seasons and as we talked our way through the innings, of course Ethiopia came up.  It's hard for us to get too far into new conversations without that happening.  Our beautiful children are an instant source of curiosity which often leads to talks about the beautiful country of Ethiopia and it's amazing people. 

It didn't take long for me to share about our involvement with Children's HopeChest and child sponsorship.  When our church partnered with the I Care for the Nations care point in Ethiopia last year, Carl and Aimee were the first of our friends to sign up to sponsor  a child.  God used this sweet girl to plant a seed in their hearts.

This is their sponsor child Elshadai.
Earlier this year, I mentioned that I would be going to Ethiopia and casually asked Aimee if she wanted to go.  She said she did, but lots of people say that. 
A few days later, she texted me to say that she really did want to go and was totally serious. 
She threw herself into trip planning and her family even felt led to sponsor another child at I Care prior to our trip.
She was able to meet both of their sponsor girls in June.
On our trip, we were surrounded by the beauty of Ethiopian culture.  Until you go, there's just no way to fully understand what I mean by this, but these are some of the must kind, humble, compassionate and hospitable people I've ever met. 
We were also confronted with the harsh realities of life that many of the people 
there struggle with daily.
God used experiences over the past few years to gently nudge Carl and Aimee towards the idea of adoption, but this trip gave the final push for them to ask,
"What are we waiting for?"
I think these cute kiddos may have had something to do with this as well.

Shortly after we returned home, Carl and Aimee started the process to adopt a child from Ethiopia.  They quickly worked to get all of their paperwork completed and they are now waiting to be matched with a child in need of a family.
We couldn't be more excited for them!!
But, we also know that adoption is a very costly process. 
Carl and Aimee are trusting God to provide all of the funds that they need to complete this process. Having experienced God's faithfulness to provide throughout all of our adoptions and witnessing this with countless other families' adoptions as well, we know that He will do the same for them.
We also know that God often uses others to be his hands and feet and support those who have been called to bring a child into their home and family.
We all may not be called to adopt, but we are all called to do something.
Here's where you come in.
Aimee and her cousin have designed and created these awesome signs to help raise funds for their adoption.
These signs are a great way to display pictures of your sponsor kids and remind you to pray for them.
You can visit their etsy shop here to purchase one.  They are available for a minimum donation of $25 (of course you could always donate more) and can be picked up locally or shipped for a small additional fee.
What a great way to keep those sponsor kids on your mind and help bring a child home to their family at the same time.
It takes a village people, so lets all put our hands in for the Schuster family and be a part of this life changing story.

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Hebrews 13:16