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Monday, January 17, 2011

Idea Camp

How are we addressing the orphan crisis...?
Friends from around the country will gather at the end of February in Northwest Arkansas to answer this question.  The Idea Camp is going to be a beautiful few days of sharing ideas, sharing stories and sharing lives.


For Emily and my sons, Eyasu and Abe, the orphan crisis was solved with their adoptions.  Praise God indeed.  However, that's not the answer for all of the 147 million orphans worldwide.  Below is our story of hope, a hope that no more children will be orphaned, at least in the beautiful region of southern Ethiopia.  A story of bringing hope to Dube Bute.

Four years ago, our family began a journey that none could predicted - nor had we planned on - but God did.
Our dear friend Kristin went on a mission trip to Africa and sent us a video of highlights.  As our family watched the beautiful work she and her team did in the orphanages, our children began asking if we “could bring one home”.  Then they began to ask us if we you pray about it.  That was the winter of 2007.  15 months later, we received an email with a beautiful picture of our son Abe, wearing a Texas Tech T-shirt.  We knew God has His hand in this journey. Three months after that, our family, traveled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to bring home Abe.  That is when we first began to fall in love with the country. 
Kristin chronicled the trip through pictures and made a beautiful video of the day we first met Abe, using the song “Mighty to Save”.  Because of that, the song has become our anthem.  Abe immediately became our “ripple maker”.  I like to say that Abe is the large boulder that came crashing into our otherwise very calm pond.  Those ripples reached new heights six weeks later, when we received the devastating news that Abe had a severe brain injury from an in-utero stroke.  Those were hard days of suffering, but we have a God who is faithful, whose love and grace sustains.  Good friends and family walked through those days - our faith grew deeper, our love for Ethiopia grew deeper and our desire to give something back to this country grew.  
Just over a year ago, Emily and I went back to Ethiopia to bring home our son Eyasu. We had the privilege to meet his biological uncle who cared for him after both of his parents died from TB.  The uncle cared for Eyasu and his biological brothers until he was 23 months old, and on the verge of dying from sickness and malnourishment.  Also on this trip, we first met the staff of  A Glimmer of Hope and began this beautiful relationship.  From the very beginning, we had been looking for an organization to partner with.  Once we met these guys, we knew this was the group doing big work, effective work and sustainable work.
Emily traveled back to Ethiopia in June to see completed projects of Glimmer - and the dream of returning to Eyasu’s village was born.
Another reason, Emily traveled in June, was to lay the ground work for EthiopiaSmile.  In the spring of last year, the idea came to return to Ethiopia and use the gift of dentistry to love the people of Ethiopia,  God moved in the hearts of over 60 people to join with us.  Abe’s ripples just exponentially increased!  So this passion for Ethiopia and it’s people reached out to our community.
Last month, we visited Dube Bute, Eyasu’s village, we saw the need, we saw the extreme poverty, we saw the lack of clean water, the dilapidated schools, the lack of basic health needs.  Trusting God to do big things, we partnered with Glimmer to bring hope to Dube Bute by fundraising to provide 27 water points, a health post, 12 new classrooms, a vet clinic, necessary latrines and a bridge to make all of this possible.  By God's grace, almost all of the funds are raised and construction is set to begin!
That’s what this is all about - a beautiful story of redemption, taking a dear orphan out of a dire situation, using him to inspire a community to make a difference in the lives of people a world away.

3 comments:

Kim said...

What a beautiful post Moody. So clear why Brett refers to you as his best friend! You and Em inspire us all! And that Abe ... he has stolen my heart!
Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,
Kim

Kristin said...

How blessed I am to know you all and how MUCH I love your family!!

I still marvel that GOD gave us "Mighty to Save" that day for Abe's video.....truly HE is sovereign...knowing all that laid before you all at that point! I love how you have become such a voice for the orphan and ABE has impacted our lives in such a profound way!! How God is mighty to save us all from any and every situation!!

Candy said...

Moody,

A beautiful post of the redemptive purposes of God in all things. He IS a God "mighty to save". And, I love the preceding words of that verse in Zeph. 3: "Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save." Surely, He is strengthening hands to complete the work of building His Kingdom.

How I thank Him that because I'm Em's Mom I get to be a part of His call on your lives!

With so much love,

Candy

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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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