Tuesday, March 24, 2020

June 2019 NYC

My last family post was titled "Spring 2019," which I guess means I'm a year behind in posting.  I'm going to try to catch up a bit.  June was a big month, so it's going to have a couple of posts.

We took our first ever family trip to New York.  None of us had ever been so we excitedly embarked on the 16 hour drive.  Let's just say the drive there was a little more fun than the drive back.

We started the week with a baseball tournament for Colton.
Faithful supporters.

Then we headed in to the big city.
Our first walk to the subway.

Getting a lesson in subway etiquette from our amazing tour guide Mar Mar.

Looking like city girls.

Our first subway ride. The boys loved the "train."

We had a lovely walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.

And took this beautiful waterside walk. 

 My handsome man!

Mar Mar took care of Caleb when he was a baby. The have a special bond.

Angel the Mischievous 

A sobering time at the Trade Center Memorial

By this point, we had walked about 10 miles cramming in as much fun as possible in one day because the forecast for the next day was 100% rain.

We loved seeing the Statue of Liberty from the Ferry and the City at night from the water.

We ended the night in Time Square, totally exhausted, but loving every minute of it.

Day 2 in NYC was Meron's 13th birthday.  We started with hotel breakfast (so fancy).

A subway ride.

Souvenir umbrellas for all and a wet walk in Central Park.

Caroline had turned 13 two weeks before, so we celebrated both girls in the Big Apple with a mini shopping spree in a fancy store.

We had dinner and then headed to the Cake Boss for dessert.

It was a whirlwind trip, but well worth the memories that were made.  We loved NYC!

Monday, March 23, 2020

Not My Plans

Tonight, we would have been landing in DC right about now, excitedly anticipating our flight to Ethiopia in the morning.  A flight that has become so familiar and routine that it just seems natural to hop on a 15 hour flight across the world.  I am usually so jammed packed with to-do's preparing to leave that boarding the plane has become my opportunity to rest, read, take in a movie and cram Amharic phrases in my head before we land in the country I love so much.

By early last week, we knew we would have to postpone our trip.  One in which we hoped to form new partnerships to support over 50 children in Addis while also checking in on our current project in Gondar.

Mostly, I was looking forward to my husband joining me and meeting all of the wonderful children and staff that we have been given the opportunity to serve.  Getaways without the kids are few and far between, but this trip would have been more special because he would have been there to experience the love I have for our Haddis kids firsthand.

My most precious one, Tewadaj (right) and her sweet friend Eyerus.

As much as I am sad that we can't spend time with our friends, I am even more burdened for the well-being of those we love there.

A couple of weeks ago, I halfheartedly bought a few more non-perishable food items and paper products than I normally would on my weekly grocery trip.  It was uncertain how prepared we should be for the possibility of quarantine.  As the days went on, and things became more serious, my thoughts were flooded with the inability of our kids and families in Ethiopia to do the same for themselves.

I have been grateful for the many ways God has blessed us through this time.  Even the fact that we have 8 kids means that all of my kids have a live-in-friend to hang out with and talk to.

When I do think about the challenges we are all facing, my thoughts of how much worse things potentially could be in Ethiopia break my heart.

The population we serve is already at great risk for illness.  They are undernourished, lack clean water and hygiene items in their homes and have very little access to medical care.

Last week we received our monthly report and celebrated that the well project and shower house have been completed.  The timeliness of this news along with news of a shipment of hygiene supplies on the way because of our Christmas fundraiser is evidence of God's continued provision for this community.

Shower House

Additionally, thanks to the generosity that we experienced this past year, Haddis Ministries was able to send emergency funds to provide for a food and soap to be provided to every family who's child is sponsored and all of the kids at the orphanage along with the staff members so that they can also take care of their families. We are hoping this will give them a sense of peace and an understanding that they are not alone and that we are all in this together.

Please continue to join us in prayer for our Haddis family as we pray alongside of you for yours and for this virus to be contained around the world.  Our biggest prayer is that through this trial, many, many people will fix their eyes on the Lord and follow Him, the one in whom we place our hope.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—

    where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

The Lord will keep you from all harm

    he will watch over your life;

the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

Psalm 121:1-2, 7-8

Monday, February 17, 2020


Today we received heartbreaking news that the youngest
baby girl in our TESFA PROJECT
Tinsae passed away. 

Sweet Tinsae was admitted to the orphanage just days before our arrival in January having been found abandoned.  She was just 5 pounds at a month old.

I remember holding her at the end of the day with just Aimee and Jeanie in the room and we all sat there hearing her story with tears in our eyes.  We all marveled at her beauty and were overcome by the tough start to life she had already endured.  

We knew that she had been sick and had been treated at the hospital recently.  The last update we got was that she was improving.  When I got the news today that she had died I was overcome with sadness. 

Life is fleeting. 

Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. James 4:14

A friend of our suddenly lost her 18 year old son this past December and ever since, the idea of living with an eternal focus has constantly been on my mind.  I entered this year with a desire to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus because life is hard and in the end, all that matters is loving God and loving others. 

I can not explain why my friend had to loose her son or why this precious baby girl is no longer on this earth.  I only know that God is using these very hard things to call us to Himself and for His glory.

Tinsae was part of a new program with Haddis Ministries called "The Tesfa Project." She, along with two other baby girls, was living at the orphanage temporarily until she was hopefully adopted by local Ethiopian families. The government has asked the orphanage at BOH to care for babies while they wait, but they have not provided the resources for them to do this. 

So while we were there we decided to look for people to sponsor the nanny and the babies in this program.  The monthly cost to support the nanny and babies along with all of their formula and supplies is about $400 per month. 

Now that we have lost Tinsae we have a greater sense of urgency to take care of these babies. 

If you would like to be a part of this program, giving hope to orphans as they await their adoptions, follow this link to learn more about the 

Tinsae's name means "resurrection." She was named "resurrection" because she was abandoned and left for dead and when she was found she was raised to new life.  

Although the remainder of her life was brief, we can rejoice because she has now truly been raised to new life. 

While I had hoped to watch her grow and be adopted into an earthy family, she has been adopted by her heavenly father and is now fully loved, fully accepted, safe and free of all disease and pain.  She will never have to know the hurt and disappointment of this world.  She will never feel undervalued or lonely.

She is in the loving arms of Jesus and there truly is no better place to be.

It is hard for us to grasp this concept of dying being better than living as Philippians 1:21 says, "For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."

But when you surrender your life to Jesus, 
trusting that He died on the cross in your place,
to take away your sins so that you may live forever with Him, 
then you can live with eternity in view.  

You can live knowing that the temporary pain and loss of this world is nothing compared to the glory that awaits us in Jesus. 

And that is what I hope for every single person who reads her story.

That you would surrender your life to the only One who satisfies.  The only One who is worth putting your hope in.

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”Romans 10:13

December 2019-February 17, 2020

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18                      

May her legacy live on for years to come and her memory be kept alive through the TESFA PROJECT and may the Lord be glorified.  Amen