Thursday, December 27, 2012
Made my day + trip update
Made my Day.
Okay, you know me, I can't keep it that short so I'll share quick that Ryan and I have turned in our applications for the March trip and paid our deposit. I'm looking forward to the small team that will be travelling together. We're waiting to hear back from Hope Chest about Ryan doing work there. Hope Chest doesn't start projects until all their funds are raised. We have ~$30k to raise before the animal husbandry project is initiated by Hope Chest. I've been praying that Ryan's skills will be put to use - that Hope Chest will support Ryan doing some livestock care, that we can raise funds personally to pull off some small community-wide livestock related medical clinics, or that we can raise the ~$30k to fund the project. Big prayers, I know. But I also know that I serve a BIG God. Did I say I'm looking forward to our team travelling???
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Made My Day
That's my challenge for the next week. There are more than 20 people working in my building. Even if just half of them would participate, together we could sponsor one child for a year costing us $40. That would totally make my day. Maybe two kids are possible. That would be $80 in a year. Definitely a good option if you can't commit to a $34 per month sponsorship. Hmm, how can I deliver this to my co-workers in that busy little building???
In other fun news, FOVC transferred the agriculture money to Hope Chest this week. It's a big step forward in raising the funds to begin (begin with Hope Chest, but continue with FOVC-Ethio) the livestock program. Hope Chest, from what I've gathered, doesn't start the project until it's fully funded... which means we have some fundraising to do to get going!
Speaking of getting going, Ryan and I are planning to travel together in March on a small team to see the Shanto children. Of course, I'm also looking forward to seeing my widows! The trip will be for 12 days some time in the March 16-30 window. I have joined Ingrid in praying for the perfect team members to join us. If you're interested in going on the trip or supporting Ryan and I on the trip, let me know.
Check out Hope Chest Shanto care point to see the many kids who need sponsors http://www.hopechest.org/community/shanto/sponsor/. I see their sad little faces and know that many of those children are new to the program. They don't know what it's like to have their picture taken, they don't know what it's like to eat every day. They haven't been to school. And like most of us, they need a little love. You can make a difference! It would make my day!
Sunday, November 4, 2012
She is another of my little friends from Shanto. I met her on my first trip there. Konjit has a twin sister who's also receiving assistance from FOVC-Ethiopia. Each time I saw the girls they were mostly quiet and stand-off-ish. But it wasn't always that way.
Sponsoring a child through hopechest.org can be life-changing for $34/month (or $408 per year). To sponsor Konjit, click here. To view other children who are also in need of a sponsor, click here.
The other day I shared with you about sweet Hana who many of us loved as our own. My friend's little daughter, Megan, decided to sponsor Hana. I just wanted to share with you that Megan quickly started to put together a letter for Hana so that they could get to know each other better. Tonight, I was chatting with Megan's mom who shared their creative idea for being able to sponsor Hana. Megan's mom has a photography business. Together Megan and her mom have included Megan's classmates on this project - of knowing Hana and getting her sponsored. Sounds like M's momma will be taking a cute class picture with a quote or verse on it, then selling it to the class moms for $10. The proceeds will support Hana. With just 40 pictures sold, Hana's whole year will be sponsored. It doesn't have to be photography, maybe you can rake leaves, cut wood, bring in your neighbors mail each day, etc. Don't want to earn $408 raking leaves? How about getting your office together to sponsor a child, or two?
There are 90 kids in Shanto's carepoint that need sponsored. Will you help?
Friday, November 2, 2012
Hana is one of many faces I look forward to seeing when I return to Shanto. When I saw this picture on the Hope Chest Shanto site, it broke my heart.
Gone is her sweet smile, her ringlet hair, and her bright sparkle in her eye. Hana is need of someone to sponsor her. When you sponsor Hana, you commit monthly support and ongoing encouragement through prayer, letter writing, and relationship. You can even go on a sponsor trip where you can meet her and get to know this gem of a child.
Would you consider sponsoring Hana? It's $34 per month. You can sign up here through hopchest.org
Thursday, November 1, 2012
In the mean time, I should be getting a better idea of development plans for Shanto in the next few weeks. I'm looking forward to how Hope Chest will help Shanto become self-sustaining. I'm also looking forward to how you might be willing to partner with Hope Chest in one of the development areas or by sponsoring a child.
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Monday, October 8, 2012
I haven't written much about the transition from FOVC in the US to Hope Chest. For those of you who are curious, there's a couple reasons for the transfer. FOVC in Ethiopia exists. Desalegn and his staff continue to work diligently to provide for the needs of the locals. The reach, and therefore the impact, of FOVC will increase with the partnership with Hope Chest. Check out this picture:
|Taken at Shanto. June 2011.|
Partnering with Hope Chest is going to change some of that. Hope Chest has gone in and studied the needs and written a developmental plan for the WHOLE town of Shanto. I'm excited. That includes adding a bunch more children to the sponsorship program (See Ingrid's blog for more info on that). It will also include agriculture programs as part of the development program. I'm excited to see how God might continue to use Ryan and I in this journey.
Now back to that application...
Sunday, September 30, 2012
Crops Pics & Update
Regardless of them doing it different than what I had planned, I'm thankful that it was done. Crops planted and ready to harvest. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU friends who so generously donated towards the crops program in the past. Please take a few minutes and check out the link to Desalegn's blog post.
In December I'm planning to return to Ethiopia on a visioning trip with Children's Hope Chest. I'll get to meet their staff and see various sites at different places in development. I'm eager to see the development plan for Shanto and how it might include livestock and crops!
Monday, September 17, 2012
Long Overdue, I know
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
For now, I continue to save up some vacation time to utilize to best serve. The next trip may be to Ethiopia to work with the widows. But I'm also considering using some time to get better training so that I can be better help. My journey 4 hope might be seeking partners who can better serve in the actual training in Ethiopia. Just so you know, I am committed to being in Ethiopia and helping. I love my time in Ethiopia. I find great joy in serving the widows. I could even live there for an extended period of time. But, I want to help. I want for these women's lives to really be impacted. So, I want to make sure we're doing this the best way possible.
What that means? I don't know yet. What I do know is that Ryan and I will continue to pray and search. And for now, that's all I know.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Friday, May 25, 2012
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Monday, May 7, 2012
We arrived home exhausted from Ethiopia with an overwhelmed little boy and two other children who were as excited as could be. On our drive home, we purchased Judah nuggets and french fries which he wouldn't eat and still doesn't to this day.
Tonight, in an attempt to celebrate and remember how our life changed two years ago, I come to the keyboard with an exhausted and broken heart. Tonight, I'm the overwhelmed one. Tonight, the heaviness on my heart is exhausting yet keeping me awake. It's that heaviness that I want to share with you.
I've been working on a presentation of Africa for some 7th graders at my local school. I've dug through photos of my recent trips to Ethiopia. It's fun to watch the videos and see how the kids grew from one trip to another. As I get a glimpse of life at FOVC, I'm reminded of the many who stand outside the fence who never receive help from FOVC and their generous supporters like you. I'm reminded that sometimes when we do help, it might just be too late. I'm reminded of the preciousness of life. I'm reminded that I could sacrifice a little more and maybe change the life of just one more child. I'm reminded that I can never do enough.
As I sit and type, next to my laptop is Bethany's change box. Last night I rewarded her for something and as she started up the stairs to put her pennies in her bank, she came back to the kitchen and put it in her Ethiopia penny bank. Oh Lord, would you continue to mold their little hearts after yours. And God would you soften my heart and make me more like you, that I might live and give sacrificially. May I be more concerned about keeping people alive than about building a financial portfolio for retirement.
The need is great. The harvest is plentiful. The workers are few. Would you wake us up to the needs of those around us!
Sunday, May 6, 2012
Rainy Season & Drought
For now, I'd like to share a blog post with you titled The Science of Rainy Season and the Problem of Drought in Ethiopia. Living right in Soddo, Ethiopia (the town near Shanto where we stay), R and her husband manage a home for parentless children. Reading through her posts have been of great interest to me. This particular post about the weather has been open on my computer all week to read. It gives a good glimpse of how weather impacts the people of Shanto as they live off the land. If it interests you, it only takes a few minutes to read.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Wolayta FB Group
Sorry to my friends Megan and Lindsie who I didn't think to add already :) which is why I'm posting it here.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
A huge praise and shout out to The One who brings the rain because it's been raining in Southern Ethiopia. Word on the street, er blogger networks, is that it was raining there. So, I contacted our FOVC Director and he confirmed that it has been raining in the South. According to Desalegn, the widows and farmers took the opportunity to plant their seeds. All of our widows have planted the seeds which FOVC provided.
How about that!?!?!?
Besides the training that I've tried to provide, FOVC is doing a hand full of things with the widows. I'll bullet point a few things and if you want to know more specifics, please ask.
- All widows were provided seeds from FOVC. The one picture I saw a few months back was Pioneer seed corn bags being handed out. They also received teff, sorghum, beans, and pea seeds along with fertilizer.
- Drought means that crops don't grow, which means people don't have food. It also means that harvesting seeds for the next crop decreases as well. Supply and Demand tells us with decreased supply and normal demand, prices go up. These women who are in desperate situations, before they were impacted by drought, continue to face unrelenting poverty.
- While they received enough rain to get crops planted, it is important that they also get timely rains to grow and mature a crop. I'm hoping to hear back from Desalegn about the amount of rain they have received.
- I do not know the number of widows who received assistance so far through the crops program. I"m guessing it for sure includes the 8 widows we trained and quite possibly more. The number is directly related to the amount of money we have raised for the crops program. To those who've given, you are changing the lives of women who are most certainly grateful. As we continue to move forward with an ever-growing program, I am working to ask more questions and get more answers to share with each of you.
- The widows received some training from the local agriculture officials at no cost to FOVC. This is an area that I'd like to pursue more of. It's important for the widows to be trained locally in ways they can grasp and understand.
- No one has used the seeder. In my conversation with the Director, it is too time consuming to use the seeder. At first I was offended by this. It takes longer to do it with the seeder. But I know it's also more beneficial. It's that odd balance of western ways and traditional methods. I just want to pull my hair out thinking they aren't willing to change. While it might be partly that, it's also legitimate concern. They traditionally plant into rough ground that isn't leveled off. Some broadcast seed, while others cover it. Using the seeder requires smooth ground which is hard and time consuming labor. For quite some time, my creative and inspiring husband, has been telling me we need to get them something like a harrow, that will help smooth the ground out. He has it all figured out in his mind on how to make it locally and I'm excited for him to do that on his next trip.
- We wrote an agreement for the purchase of oxen to plow the fields. I have not heard if any were purchased. And by saying I have not heard, what I really mean is I have not thought to ask! My fault.
With writing down a few things, I'm realizing that I haven't asked near enough questions for clarification. I get so focused on my one question and don't think of anything else I guess. I also know that we have a long road ahead of us to make necessary improvements. These people are a joy to serve. I best start doing a better job of serving! We're thinking about a late September trip. This would be beneficial on multiple levels. It would give more time for Dr. Jo to grow stronger. By September, the missionary veterinarians should be back in Soddo and we should be able to meet with them. Plus, by September, those going on the trip would have more time to fundraise for their personal expenses.
I long to be in Ethiopia a month from now. It's funny that though we never purchased tickets (cause they were crazy high), I have this sense of wanting to be there. And needing to be there. I want to check in on my widows, including a certain special few ladies. I want to play with the kids. I want to see the school where two special little boys attend. I want to encourage my Ethiopian friends at FOVC. But it's not about me. So, I will wait, pray, and prepare.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Things are a Changin'
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Ethiopian Coffee/Tea Party
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Where There is No Comfort
Monday, April 2, 2012
Help me Help Kaight Help FOVC
Sunday, April 1, 2012
MY plans (highlight to see the print since I can't manage to fix it)
Maybe I haven't shared much about what my plans are for the June trip. I have a lot planned and am hoping to get it all done but I know it’s a lot. My three main things are:
1. Check in on my widows I’ve trained in the past, provide some additional training.
2. Set up a drip irrigation system and water collection basin by installing gutters on the metal roofs of the orphanage and school buildings.
3. Check in on a site donated for widows to grow coffee trees. It’s the best coffee growing area. This one I’m not really sure what I’m doing yet because I know NOTHING about growing coffee trees.
The other things I hope to do include:
1. Meet with the local ag specialists and get my ladies into a formal training program.
2. Identify some leaders of my existing ladies who will train others in the community.
3. Learn more from locals about their existing bee keeping practices.
And of course, I’ll love on the kids, chase them around and play soccer pretending to be much younger than I am. I’ll drink some STRONG coffee, and listen to traditional singing before they drag me into the circle to dance with them. I’ll hang out with the doc while she checks kids over and follow Ryan around while he checks on the livestock. It will be exhausting but worth every ounce of energy and every penny.
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Everyone thinks your 18 month old little boy is adorable. But when he's 18 years old and knocking on the door to date their daughter, he's not so cute anymore.
Rocked my world. I had never thought about it before. I had lots of daydreams including an 18 month old baby, and not many daydreams of that child growing into maturity. It was 7 years before we brought Judah, a two year old beautifully brown-skinned child into our family. By time that happened, I had thought many times about my son at 18 years old.
We live in a small rural town. Every one seems to know Judah. He sticks out in a crowd. He also happens to be a loveable and precious little boy. His classmates adore him (he might be a bit of a class clown) and he's not even in school yet. Adults love him because he's cute. But by time he's 14, or even 10, will he still be so cute? When he's 12 and lolly gaggy in a gas station (cause he's some times a bit ditzy and gets easily distracted), will be be looked at as lolly-gagging or will he be looked at suspiciously?
Even if in our small town, he continues to be like Norm on "Cheers" where everybody knows him, what about when he goes to the neighboring town for ice-cream? What if a girl in a neighboring town sits by him at a football game or movie theater? What happens when he leaves for college in a big city or moves for his first real job? I won't be able to protect my son forever.
Many have heard about Trayvon - a child who was killed by a man who thought the young boy looked suspicious. The hoodie (which all 3 of my kids love), skittles and iced-tea are apparently super suspicious. His death is heart breaking. Certainly for any momma with a brown-skinned beauty. Don't let his death be in vain. May we all, even us white momma's and daddy's, learn from this. maybe we not judge based on looks. And you know what, that goes beyond teenaged brown-skinned beauties, that also includes the kid at the park with saggy pants, gauges in his ears, tattoos on his body, and earbuds blasting music into his ears. That inlcudes stereotypes of all types of people.
While some families are putting on hoodies to prove that a hoodie does not equal suspicion, I think their pictures tell a story. Let us be people who don't judge unjustly.
Sunday, March 18, 2012
- $3,000-$4,000 in airline tickets.
- $3,000 for in-country expenses (guide/driver, hotels, food, visas, etc)
- $500 for Livestock Outreach/Treatment
- $500 for Crops Project supplies
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Travel Team in June
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Birth Parent Meeting
Monday, March 12, 2012
... And Back... love that!
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Monday, March 5, 2012
6 New Necklaces
Sunday, March 4, 2012
The Winner Is:
Friday, March 2, 2012
- The wells were completed recently in Shanto. So, for the first time, the people in this community have access to clean drinking water. And plenty of it.
- But when the community with limited access to electricity loses what little they have, the pumps are unable to run. which means people aren't getting that clean water. We take so much for granted, like clean drinking water and pumps to bring that water into our homes.
- It still hasn't rained in Shanto. They need rain in order to plant crops. They need crops in order to feed themselves. They need food in order to survive. Please pray for rain.
- I've been email chatting with Gregg, the bee guy. Gregg is excited about taking over the bee project and moving forward. I'm excited for his enthusiasm!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do you know that I've been specifically praying for someone to do that!?!?!?
- I've also been praying specifically for someone to do the same for the coffee project. That might be my friend Rick. But it might not. So, I'm still up for someone to take that over. Enthusiastically.
- Finding local bees is extremely critical in developing the beekeeping program. Communications with Ethiopia are sometimes slow and I'm anxiously awaiting to hear back from the local model farmer I met or the ag specialist guy. It's another thing to pray for - bees.
- We're tentatively planning to head back to Ethiopia. In June. Wanna go? If you're interested but June doesn't work for you, let me know that too. We're up for some change and the June is a very rough, tentative date.
- I sold 6 more puzzle tickets. 93 left. $7 each.
- I love sharing with friends about FOVC. Shoot, I'll even share with strangers. If you want to know more, I'd be happy to talk your ear off. Just ask Kaight.
- During March I plan to head to Minneapolis for an FOVC fundraiser on the 10th. If you're in the area, I would love for you to come. I'm also hoping to head to central Iowa on the 24th to see some friends and talk about FOVC. I love going but when I'm gone for a weekend, my home suffers cause that's when I usually clean, etc. So, my prayer is that I would stay healthy, that my funk of always being tired would ease up, and that God would be glorified in my over-tired attitude :)
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Seeing all the FB posts about Leap Year made me think of the Ethiopian calendar.
Did you know their calendar is not the same as ours? I can't remember the technical terms but one of us has a Julian calendar and one doesn't. Ethiopia has 13 months in their calendar. Of those 13 months, 12 of them have 30 days and one of them has 1 has 5 days.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Sunday, February 26, 2012
New Items and a Give-Away
- Give-Away prize is one necklace of your choice.
- Enter to win by posting to your blog about this give-away and linking to the necklace page http://journey4hope.blogspot.com/p/necklaces.html
- You can earn a second entry by sharing my necklace link on facebook.
- You can earn a third entry by purchasing an item from my necklace page.
- If you share on facebook or your blog, comment below and give me the details so I can count your entry.
- I will ship for free to anyone in the continental US.
- Give-Away ends next Sunday at 6pm.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
FOVC Feeds Kids
Monday, February 20, 2012
It's my birthday TODAY. I have one wish for my birthday today. For people to partner with us int he crops for widows program. I figured if everyone that wished me Happy Birthday on facebook would donate$5 each, we could really make a difference in the lives of women who are still getting hit HARD by drought. But it doesn't just have to be my facebook friends.
Friday, February 10, 2012
Coffee & Bees
While we were there, and I was seeing all the different things they were doing, I wondered if they had any bees. Bees are great for honey. Honey is a great sweetener and a product that can be sold. But from the perspective of growing plants, bees play a hugely important role of pollinating plants. So, I began asking about bees and this is what the model farmer took me and showed me:
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Rockin' My World
I wrote about her on my blog in a post titled Starvation is Real. She was one of my crops widows who was very near death. Tonight, I was able to chat with Desalegn, the guy who leads FOVC in Ethiopia. He shared that Boltase is doing well but has a shortage of food. That first part is music to my ears.
Sunday, February 5, 2012
New Things... Sharin' the Love
- two "worth the wait" (pictured on the left)
- two "ethio flag" (pictured in the center)
- two "family hope love" (pictured on the right)
- one "love forever" (top picture on the right)