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Friday, June 4, 2010

Ethiopia trip

I leave in less than a week for a 8 day trip to Ethiopia! I am excited to again be in the country that has captured my heart. I am also sad to leave my crew, but this trip has been His from the beginning, so I rest in that. I am going with my dear friend Kristin, (check out the video of us picking up Abe at the bottom of this page to see her work! She is SO talented and the Lord continues to use her gift for His glory), another sweet friend, Julie Neal (mom of 5, 2 from ET, friends since we began the process) and her friend Julie. I'm pretty sure that I will be calling this Julie a friend as well after spending so much time together! :)

We will be in Addis for only 2 days and the rest of the time will be spent down in the southern region of Ethiopia. The 2 days in Addis will be busy, busy. I will be coordinating much of the logistics for our 2 week trip in October. (We are taking the whole family and Moody will be leading a 1 week dental mission trip and the second week will be family time!) I will also get to spend time with some of my favorite people, the Gladney staff, and love on a few kiddos while there this short stay.

I'm excited about heading south as both Eyasu and Abe are from the Sidamo region. We will be in Awassa for 1 day as Julie gets to meet her extended family!! She will be seeing both of the villages that her boys came from and spending time with family. Oh what a gift to experience this with her and see the beauty in how He creates family. She will be sharing updated pictures of the boys with them, and getting to express her greatest delight in the world is being their mom. I will not be leaving without a few kleenex in hand.

We will then be headed to the Dawro region with an organization called A Glimmer of Hope. They are located out of Austin and do AMAZING things in Ethiopia. Here is their story taken from their

A Glimmer of Hope exists today because International Aid can and must be delivered efficiently and effectively.

It is different from traditional charities because it believes it can help bring about an end to extreme poverty in rural Ethiopia during our lifetimes. Everything it does is geared towards that goal.

Our approach has drawn significant support from other results-oriented philanthropists like Scott Harrison of charity:water, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Whole Planet Foundation and Matt Damon’s H2O Africa among others.

Harrison’s charity:water has funded 1,247 water projects in 14 developing nations around the world – including 10 in Africa – in just two years. He provides an unprecedented level of transparency to his supporters about how he uses their donations and it’s no accident that he chose A Glimmer of Hope as his implementing partner for his biggest fundraising campaign of 2008 – the September Campaign – which raised over $1 million for water projects in Ethiopia.

A Glimmer of Hope’s model has also received a ringing endorsement from an expert in the traditional model of international aid. Ambassador Tibor Nagy spent over 23 years in the US Foreign Service in Africa serving twice as Ambassador and three times as Deputy Ambassador.

In an article in the May 2004 edition of the Foreign Service Journal, Ambassador Nagy said A Glimmer of Hope’s approach was resulting in “dramatic positive outcomes.” In the article, he suggested: “we [the US government] should partner more with innovative emerging NGOs, such as A Glimmer of Hope.”

In the five years since Ambassador Nagy wrote the piece, we at A Glimmer of Hope have witnessed the astonishing rate at which true development can happen when it is done well. In Dembi Dollo, the isolated village where we began our work in 2001, funding requests for clean water, basic health care and primary education are giving way to ones for a teachers’ training college, a university, a job training center and loans for small and medium-sized businesses.

Less than a decade ago, Dembi Dollo was paralyzed by grinding poverty. Today, the community’s leading concern is what their children are going to do for a living after they graduate from high school.

Aid is not dead if it is done right. The traditional approaches need to be examined with a critical, creative and constructive mind as well as a compassionate heart. The setbacks, disappointments and shortcomings of aid and development need to be understood and then challenged and solved.

Recognizing that poverty comes in many forms, A Glimmer of Hope Austin was established in 2003 to fund programs designed to make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged youth and seniors in the foundation’s hometown.

We are so excited to see their work firsthand, meet the people, see how their lives are already being transformed and visit a potential site for a new project. The video above is the project that we will visit one of the days. It isn't finished yet, but we will get an idea of the scope of this type of project. I'm so struck by the children crammed into that school room, so eager to learn, not elbowing the person next to them for more room, writing as much as possible on each page as they know that paper is precious and not to be bought at a convienience store down the road. We have much to learn from these remarkable people!

I will post specific prayer requests in another post, this one got long. Just know that I will indeed covet your prayers as they will be crucial for this trip.


Holli said...

AMAZING!!! We will be praying for your trip!!! (and being a LOT jealous too!!- you know the Godly kind;))!!!

Cheryl said...

I am so excited for you! What an awesome opportunity!!! Will be praying for His perfect plan to be accomplished through you as you faithfully serve Him!

Cindi Koceich said...

What an awesome opportunity!! I can't wait to hear how God is working there!!! Have a safe trip and we will be covering you guys in prayer!

Julie said...

I can't wait to share this journey with you!!
Ethiopia Here We Come!!!!! Wahooooo!

The Busters said...

Hi Emily!! It sounds like it will be an amazing trip!! Do you think you will go to the Gladney Care Centers? If so, could I send you a pic of my boy so you can kiss him from me? :)

Julie said...

I am so excited for you....and we'll be in Addis about the same time you are and also in the Southern part of Ethiopia during some of that time. Enjoy your trip - God's blessings on you and your family!!

Roeh Family Update said...

Praying for your journey and thanking Him in advance for the blessings it will be sure to bring!


Neil, Amy and The Girls said...

Awesome! Your trip sounds amazing...I would LOVE to take a trip like that! My daughter is from the same region as your sons. I hope you take lots of pictures :o)

I was inspired by your family's work to build a well and started a group earlier this Thank you for making me aware of this organization!!

Coneymama said...

May I send something for Tesfaye with you? I have a direct phone number for him and you could just leave his things at the center for him to pick up. Let me know... I am beyond excited for you and must admit so jealous!! I am praying that I can go to ET or SL next year. God Bless~~~

Kate and Jeff said...

Amazing...can't wait to hear about the trip to the southern region. Our son is from the Kembata-Tembaro zone and we are so hopeful to go back and visit some day. As you said in your post, Ethiopia has stolen our hearts (and those of many others) too!

Diane Larson said...

Have a wonderful trip. If you are at KVI in Addis give T a hug for us. We hope to get an embassy date in July. You won't believe how much he has grown up since last time you met him.

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"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from becoming polluted by the world." James 1:27
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