As I mentioned on previous posts, my husband Nick and I had partnered up with a new non-profit called Starved 4 Hope. They are working with Children's Hope Chest to coordinate sponsors for the Tullo Kebele School in Hawassa, Ethiopia. Over this past year, Nick and I have been on a journey to clarify our direction with serving in Ethiopia and have strived to position ourselves so that we would be ready to answer God's call when that direction was made clear. So, when the opportunity to join up with Starved 4 Hope presented itself, we felt like this was the answer we'd been praying for.
Last month, Nick was able to travel with some members of Starved 4 Hope on a Children's Hope Chest vision trip to Hawassa. He was able to spend time at the Tullo Kebele School and in the Hawassa community. He also travelled around to several other Children's Hope Chest care points in Ethiopia including Trees of Glory (the care point where our sponsor child Meseret is served).
God showed up in amazing ways before and during his trip. The first way was in His financial provisions for Nick to even make the trip. God then protected him as he travelled to and from Ethiopia without any problems, delays or lost luggage. He was well during his entire time there and has since stayed healthy. His diabetes was under control. He made some great contacts and was able to visit a few friends that we made on our trip to pick up the girls. God also showed up big when they fed the children in Hawassa. They had bought enough food to feed around 300 kids. More than 475 kids showed up and although it looked as though they wouldn't have enough to go around, they prayed over the food and not only fed everyone that came, but also had food left over (not 5000, but still just as amazing)! All of these occurrences were answers to prayer and on the home front, I had tons of help here while he was away and no major catastrophes to report when he arrived home-to God be all the glory!
eagerly awaiting their meal at Tullo Kebele School
finally-lunch is served
My biggest prayer aside from safety, was that Nick's eyes would be open further to the needs of the beautiful children and people of Ethiopia and that God would go before him and direct his path for the work He would have us to do there. The Lord answered that prayer as well, just not exactly in the way that we thought He would. I have said many times, and the more I say it and experience it, the more I believe it, "God's plans are ALWAYS better than our own." In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps (Proverbs 16:9). Isn't that reassuring? No matter what we do, it is God that has ordered our steps that lead us.
So as I said, we thought that the purpose of this trip was to meet first hand the community that we would be serving and clarify the direction of Starved 4 Hope at the Tullo Kebele School. During the trip, Nick had a good opportunity to really reflect on the priorities that God has given him in regards to our family serving orphans and vulnerable children and people in Ethiopia. After the trip, we came to the conclusion that working to establish a new non-profit is not the most efficient way for us to fulfill God's purpose for our family. Ultimately, we just want to serve others and a massive amount of our resources would have initially been going to promoting and supporting an organization, rather than the people who we've been called to care for.
While non-profits are necessary to an extent to do outreach, we feel like we can still accomplish great things for God by working with non-profits that are already established in Ethiopia. So, we've decided to end our partnership with Starved 4 Hope and earnestly seek God for His next steps on this journey.
We are excited to continue doing work with Children's Hope Chest and Trees of Glory and will continue to promote the work they are doing in Ethiopia as Nick has seen first hand the work they are doing and we believe them to be an ethical organization that has the children's best interest at heart. We want to serve others as a lifestyle and look forward to seeing God continue to work in the beautiful country of Ethiopia.
For more information on how you can get involved with serving children at the Tullo Kebele School in Ethiopia, contact Children's Hope Chest at http://www.hopechest.org/ and to specifically find out about helping kids at Trees of Glory, contact Karen Wistrom at firstname.lastname@example.org ****Karen is leaving with a Children's Hope Chest team in November to serve kids at Trees of Glory and Kind Hearts. Visit her blog to see pictures of some of the actual children they'll be working with and find out how you can directly support their efforts here****
Trees of Glory property