Monday, October 6, 2014

Let's Get Ready to Sponsor!

I Care for the Nations serves as a center of support to approximately 150 children and their families.  Most of these children come from single mother led households.  In Ethiopia, there are few opportunities for women to provide for their families.  If a father is involved, he would typically provide for the family while the mother cared for the children and household responsibilities.  In cases where the father has either died or left the family, mothers are faced with the daunting task of providing for their children by working low paying jobs as clothing washers, cooks, maids and sometimes turning to the streets to make money to feed their children.  Being a single mom anywhere is a huge job.  But in Ethiopia where there is no infrastructure of support like daycare, food assistance, free is an overwhelming task.  Many of these mothers are also HIV + which adds to their challenges as they are outcast from their communities.

I Care is working to break this cycle of poverty which often times results in children being unable to attend school, have enough nourishment and in some cases be placed in orphanages when the mothers simply can't provide.  These children have mothers that in general want to take care of their kids, but because of the circumstances they are in, they just can't do it without help.  This is one thing that I love about what Children's HopeChest does.  It enables families to stay together by joining hands to provide basic support and bridge the gap between desperation and opportunity.

They have also specifically chosen to focus on providing nutritional counseling and nutritious food to the children who are HIV+.  This is making a big difference in the health of these children and allows for their medications to be more effective, giving them a better shot at a healthier life.

I Care not only works to help provide school supplies and support to the children, but also to educate and empower their mothers.  I love this!

The director of I Care is a women who saw the needs of her community and decided to act.  She has asked friends and others in her community to join in her efforts and has thus far supported this care point on those donations.  She is a visionary and has many ideas about ways to further assist the children served there.  For example, due to limited funding, I Care is only able to provide food assistance to the approximately 17 children who are HIV+.  They have chosen to feed those most at risk, but lets be honest, ALL of the children at I Care would benefit from improved nutrition and more food.  This is where we come in.  We have the opportunity through sponsorship to join together with her to increase the capacity of I Care to serve these children. 

When the team was in Ethiopia, they had the chance to play games with the kids, sing songs, teach bible stories and do crafts.  As they spent time with the kids, connections were made and little bits of their personalities and stories were revealed.  Today I'm going to introduce you to 8 kids that stuck out to Nick while he was there.  Tomorrow, I'll post some more cuties that stole my heart through their pictures.

Introducing the Great 8

Up first is a sweet little girl, only 3 years old.  She showed up in many of Nicks photos.  Her name is Elshadai Desse.


Next up is Surafel Belay, an 8 year old little boy who Nick said was really a sweet kid and loved musical chairs and craft time.

Nick said this next girl was so tiny and frail and so sweet too.  I just think she is adorable and has the most beautiful eyes.  Meet 5 year old Simegne Alemeshet


This is Dagim Chekol and he is a 7 year old boy who loved all of the games that the team played with the kids.  Nick said he was super competitive.  I just have to say, there's nothing like watching some of these boys plays sports and games.  They really go after it!

Nick said this next little guy, Nathnael Debebe was such a good kid and he remembers he needed a little extra help during craft time.  I just love his smile.  Such a cutie!


Nick went on and on about how smart this next little girl is.  He said that after hearing all of the team members names just once, that she was able to identify them all by name.  He said she was a natural leader, knew lots of English words, was a great helper and just pure joy!  Meet 10 year old
 Hani Arga.

pictured here with one of the team members

This next precious girl caught our eye first because of her name "Rahel."  She actually resembles our Rahel when she was that age.  We have one picture of our daughter Rahel around the age of 6 wearing a pink wind suit that resembles this Rahel.
Meet 6 year old Rahel Abera.

our Rahel age 6 years

And finally, I've saved my favorite for last.  This is 7 year old  Mikiyas Jemal.  The top picture is one of the first pictures Nick sent me while he was in Ethiopia.  Mikiyas is the little guy in the front.  He just stole my heart.  He has a lazy left eye.  Meron came home with a lazy eye and we were able to patch her eye, retrain her brain to use that eye and restore her vision.  This is something that if taken care of early, can usually be corrected.  I'm praying one of our friends will sponsor this little one so we can follow his progress.  Perhaps he will even be able to get treatment for his eye condition.  We have lots more pictures of him that I'd be happy to send to his sponsor family.  Nick said he had the sweetest personality.

with his mother

So there you have it.  Eight precious children who have through no fault of their own been born into some pretty rough circumstances.  But their stories don't end here.  These kids have hope of a different kind of future and
their hope is YOU.

I've talked to many people over the years about orphan care, adoption and sponsorship.  So many people will say, "Oh, I'd love to do that some day." Or, "I've always wanted to do that but......."  fill in the blank.  There are many reasons one could give to not sponsor one of these children. 

 But, when it comes right down to it, nearly all of you who will read this post have the means and ability to make the $38 per month commitment to change one of these children's lives.

The $38 per month sponsorship provideds food, water, basic medical care, education and discipleship.  To read more about HopeChest's model, click here.

If you have any questions about any of the kids I've listed or about HopeChest or I Care for the Nations, please email me at

And if one of these kiddos caught your eye or made you think, hmmm, maybe I'm supposed to do this sponsorship thing, please email me and I'll connect you with our sponsorship coordinator.

Once a child has a sponsor, I'll update this page.  I'm hoping to be able to mark SPONSORED by each of these kids' names by the end of the week.

Stay tuned.  I'll be posting more pictures tomorrow.

Time to take that next small step!

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