Monday, March 25, 2019

Water at Hope for Korah

A few friends and I will be traveling back to Ethiopia in two weeks. When I left last November, I truly didn't know when I would be back, but I thought it would be quite a long time.  God had other plans, and we have an amazing opportunity to serve in Gondar (lots more on that coming soon). 

 We will be spending one day in Addis visiting with some of our friends.  One organization we will visit is Hope for Korah, which holds a special place in all our hearts. You may remember my posts about sweet Ato Tirasu from our November visit. Read this post about a need Ato Tirasu and his friends at the Elder's compound have.

Yesterday was World Water Day and Jake, who is living in Korah shared, " I am boiling water for my shower. We have been without water for 16 days. My tanker ran out 4 days ago, so I am using jugs of water."

Wow! Water what a precious gift! How easily we take it for granted and how often we forget that "billions of people in the world are living without safe or accessible water" (UN website quote). In Korah, it is never a 'given'. Water is often not accessible in one's home and requires carrying jugs quite a distance, or the city of Addis can unexpectedly turn it off, at any time. To combat this and promote health and hygiene, we have installed water tankers and sinks in our Berta compound. In this photo Firkerte, one of our cooks, is washing dirty cups with her children, after our morning Berta Breakfast program. 

WE DO HAVE A NEED for one more water tanker! In order to bring clean water and a shower to our Elders' Home, so that they can properly bathe, we are needing to elevate and build a tanker as well as purchase a water heater and pump. If you would like to help with this project please contact us at or give at down page) and specify in the note, Hope for Korah - "Water for Elders". Thank you!

Hearing of this need I immediately flashed back to the day we cared for Ato Tirasu and the makeshift way in which we bathed him.  Water had to be carried in, boiled to heat it up and then be poured out of a pitcher.  I felt terrible because Ato was shivering with cold.  Several of the other tasks we had to perform to care for him were complicated by the fact that there was no running water on the compound.

This tanker will make such a difference to the precious men served at the Elder's Compound and my friends and I would love it if you'd help us raise the money needed to complete this project.  The tanker is just $180 and with supplies, plumbing and labor the whole project can be completed for $500.  

Donations can be given at as described above, or to me via  "Friends and Family" to

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Scenes From St. Maarten, and Lessons Learned

Every once in a while, if you're lucky, you get to experience the beauty of another country and culture.  I was 22 years old, just married and on my honeymoon when I first traveled outside of the US. We went to Jamaica and for the most part, stuck close to the resort we were staying in.  It was beautiful.

Then life took us way out of our comfort zone as we traveled to Ethiopia for the first time in 2010.  Little did we know that this place would one day be our most frequently visited destination and feel more like a second home than a foreign land.  It was on our first trip that I really began to appreciation just how big the world is and how amazing it is to be immersed in another country, with its different languages, music, foods and traditions.

A few years ago, Nick and I had the opportunity to go sailing in the Caribbean for our 15th wedding anniversary.  We were so far removed from our typical daily routines and saw how our British captain and French crew lived so freely, traveling the world and embracing adventure.  

We had some serious vacation withdraws after that trip.  Nick was ready to sell it all and live out of a backpack!

A few weeks ago, three friends and I flew away for a couple of days, leaving our husbands and 20 kids behind for a little adventure in the beautiful Caribbean island of St. Maarten. 

 Two of us were celebrating the milestone of turning 40 and all of us were celebrating the milestone of life.  

Life has sent us quite a few curve balls and the Lord, in His kindness, has allowed us to walk through much of it together.

Sunset on our first night.
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (or sister :-). Proverbs 18:24

A friend loves at all times, and a brother (sister) is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17

They have stuck close and loved well.

We had the amazing privilege of sharing dinner at the home of my friend's sister who lives in St. Maarten.  It was a wonderful evening, enjoying a delicious meal and hearing the tale of how God sustained them through Hurricane Irma.

The next day, we took a breathtaking boat trip.

Yes, it was actually THAT beautiful.

And on our final morning, God gave us an amazing word from Isaiah 54

Though the mountains be shaken
    and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
    nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
    says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
Isaiah 54:10

My precious friend reminded us often on our trip to "LIVE LIFE WHILE YOU'RE ALIVE."

We certainly did on this trip and I've used this phrase probably 100 times since. 

Live life while you're alive!

Embrace what God has given you and where you are in this moment.  

Because tomorrow is not promised and right now is all you have!

February 2019

February kicked off with Eli's last night being 6.

He woke up feeling 7 like this:

This kid has style.

He wanted to have lunch at Panera.

Mac and cheese please!

After our lunch, I taught the boys how to break into a car..... 

I had stopped by a store before going to the park.  I accidentally locked my keys in the car, so we went into the store and bought these hockey sticks and pried the back window open just enough for Angel to reach his hand in and unlock it.  

Then we were off to our park adventure. 

There were lots of great things to explore.


February continued with what I refer to as one of our made up holidays, Valentine's Day

All of my sweethearts, minus one.

Then my mom came up to celebrate her 60th birthday!  See, time flies and now both of my parents are in their 60s.

It was freezing cold this day, but it was one of the very few sunny days we've had this year, so we embraced it. 

We then threw a little surprise 60s bash.

And my dad surprised us all by driving up for the party.

Caroline and Rahel finished off the evening with this dance they choreographed.