Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What Can $34 Do????

For $34 you can:

Take a trip for two to the movies
Get a hair cut

Buy a week worth of fast food lunches

Purchase a new shirt

or a couple of pizzas


(Children at Trees of Glory care-point. I believe that's our sponsor child, Meseret, is standing to the far left in the blue dress and white head scarf.)

As I posted earlier, we have felt led to sponsor a child in Ethiopia. We signed up with Children's Hope Chest and received the picture of a 9 year old girl named Meseret. She is living in a region north of Addis Ababa with her grandmother and 5 other children. They are living in extreme poverty. Most of the kids that are in the Children's Hope Chest sponsorship program in Ethiopia are living with neighbors or relatives who are barely able to support their own families, let alone another child.

Children's Hope Chest partners with local "care-points" or "drop in" centers in Ethiopia to provide a safe place for children to go during the day to receive food, education and spiritual guidance. Below is part of an email update that I received about the "Trees of Glory" care-point (the center that our sponsor child is a part of).

Ginia with Children's Hopechest was in Ethiopia last week and spent the day Thursday, with the kids and staff at "Trees of Glory" care-point. The team took bread and bananas to the kids and were able to meet many of the care-givers as well.

Ginia explained to me that the situation here is pretty desperate. Most of the kids are orphans, and have been taken in by a guardian or family member that is barely able to provide for them. Many of these kids are being "sold" for $12 a year (like an indentured servant) to local livestock owners - and they work day and night herding cattle. These kids never would have had the opportunity to go to school and she said many of them are starving!

The government has actually intervened on behalf of the kids, and is requiring the guardians to bring the kids to the care-point where they will be provided for. Because of the sponsor program - these kids will have opportunities they NEVER would have had without YOU! Not only basic necessities like food, clothing and medical care - but the director at Trees of Glory is hoping to be able to hire teachers and start a school by September. It's a lofty goal in a short time period - but together and with prayer, we can make this happen for these kids!

In addition, there are no Christians living in this area of Ethiopia, so the kids are hearing the true Gospel for the very first time. The dominant religion in the area is Orthodox, which has a Christian influence but includes much superstition and "witchcraft" as well. The director is a Christian woman and is planning to use one of the buildings on the property as a church, not only for the kids, but also for the community.

I love the work that Children's Hope Chest is doing. The sponsorship program allows for kids that do have a place to stay to remain with family or friends and still receive the benefit of an education, better nutrition, and most importantly, a place to hear that GOD LOVES THEM and has a plan for their lives.

The other thing I love is that when you sponsor a child, you are put in contact with other families that are also sponsoring children in the same care-point as you are. You can then partner together to fund specific projects that provide for the specific needs of that care point. This might include providing clean water, new school uniforms, blankets for the winter, books, a chicken farm....whatever they need to improve their living conditions. You also have the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia annually with other sponsor families to work along side the Ethiopian staff and even meet your sponsor child. I love the idea that you are able to see true change happening in the lives of very desperate children and connect directly with them.

We've told the kids about Meseret and they seem to understand that she has a family, but still needs us to help her. It was kind of confusing to explain that she wouldn't be coming home to our house, but instead just needed our support to be able to have a better life in Ethiopia (the kids are petitioning for another child: first they wanted one from my belly-not happening; Caleb really wants another boy in the house-preferable his age so he can have a built in playmate; Hermela asked me today for a baby from Ethiopia-"I like babies", she said-she'll have to work on daddy for that one:)

The profile that we have for Meseret states that she is good natured, shy and sensitive and likes sports, singing and cooking. She looks quite sad in the picture we have of her and I imagine that she has suffered many hardships. I hope that through this sponsorship program she will realize that she is precious in God's eyes and in ours and that one day that sad face will be a face of hope.

our girls waiting in the care center

The difference that hope makes

Our girls-home for four months (note the sponsored children are not available for adopiton)

If you are interested in sponsoring a child with Children's Hopechest and would like to be matched with an Ethiopian child at the "Trees of Glory" care-point, please contact Karen Wistrom at or visit her blog at I think it would be awesome for our family and friends to all sign up to sponsor a child (just $34/month brings a lifetime of hope to a needy child). I look forward to the day we get to visit Meseret and dream of bringing a whole group of friends and family with us to do the same.

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