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Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Packing like mad over here at Team Alexander trying to get ready to roll out of here in the morning.  Packing for a team of 8 is no simply task! :)

I wanted to give the schudule for the week so you can pray specifically and have an idea where we are and what we are doing.

EthiopiaSmile 2010
Thursday, September 30 - Friday, October 1Where: Half of our team is traveling and arriving late Friday evening.
Pray: Travel safety and for all supplies to make it through customs.

Saturday, October 2Where: Second half of team traveling and arriving late this evening.
Where: Kingdom Vision International (dentistry, project at an orphanage of 60 children).
Pray: Joyful connection with Abe's birthmother.  She has just recently learned of Abe's brain injury.  Pray she is able to see the incredible joy that he brings many and that he started this whole crazy EthiopiaSmile trip. :)

Sunday, October 3
Where: Worship at Beza International Church and afternoon at Drawn from Water Orphanage, housing 20 children (new Addis Ababa orphanage).
Pray: Open hearts to see God's Kingdom heart among the nations.

Monday, October 4
Where: Dental service at Legetafo, an extremely poor part of the city, serving in a government health post.
Pray: Appropriate treatment space, number of patients, patient flow, safety for providers, healing for patients.

Tuesday, October 5
Where: Dental service at Korah, a city of outcasts foraging in the trash dump.
Pray: Appropriate treatment space, number of patients, patient flow, safety for providers, healing for patients.

Have amazing privilege of doing a TOMS shoe drop for the kids at Korah.  Pray for all the details and that they would each feel loved as they receive a brand new pair of shoes.

Wednesday, October 6
Where: Sabbath rest, shopping, markets, museum, teaching at Addis Ababa University Dental School.
Pray: Rejuvenation, safe travels.  We deliver the formula from  Pray this would greatly bless the many infants there.

Thursday, October 7
Where: Dental service at Kechene (6 dentist) and Kolfe (7 dentists), in government-run orphanages for unlikely adoptees.
Pray: Safe travel and insight to catch larger orphan care vision.

Friday, October 8
Where: Dental service at Luke's Society Clinic and Gadamba. Some team departs for USA late evening.
Pray: Safe return travel and closure of trip connections.

Saturday, October 9
Where: Dental service at Gladney Center (special center caring for adopted children heading to families in USA). Rest of group departs for USA.
Pray: Care for caregivers, blessing to drivers and translators. Safe travel.

The team flys home and we begin our second part of this journey.  We will all drive to Awassa to visit Gorche, the village Eyasu is from.  We will see the family, the very place that Eyasu spent the first 23 months of his life and where we will partner with A Glimmer of Hope to provide clean water and education to the very people that have given us SO much.  

We will be updating the blog as much as possible.  Thank you Tymm and Gwen!  Also see our facebook page, EthiopiaSmile 2010 as prayerfully many from the team will post updates there.

Friday, September 24, 2010

more of team

Sallie- Where to start?  Sallie is our local Starbucks buddy that has the unbelievable ability to make everyone feel more loved than anyone else in the room.  People LOVE Sallie!  She faithfully prayed for us during our first adoption-- the day after we lost Wudassie and Biruk's referral, I drove through Starbucks for a little pick me up.  She asked how I was,  and I proceeded to burst into tears!  She literally was halfway out the drive-thru window and half-way in my drivers side window offering up the sweetest prayers on our behalf.  She was then standing at DFW when we walked off the plane with sweet baby Abe holding an awesome sign (she is the petite one in gray, holding the sign behind Moody) she and a few other Starbucks employess (Rene is next to Sallie) made.  She has longed to go to Africa.  She has prayed for the opportunity and wanted to go with us from the moment she heard about EthiopiaSmile.  We simpy prayed for a way for her to go!  The Lord graciously provided the way (more in next intro) and we couldn't be more excited to have her along.  She radiates joy.  She has raised so much extra money to simply bless those we meet.  She has been collecting diapers, wipes and formula at the store and the response has been amazing!  I can't wait to see her loving on the kids and making them also feel incredibly loved.

Mim- Mim is what all the grandkids call Janna, Moody's mom.  She expressed interest to go early on as well.  Moody's father already had a big international trip planned during our dates so he couldn't go.  She has done extensive traveling around the world, but knew it would be a good idea to have someone with her as a buddy on this trip to Africa.  She is in amazing shape (seriously if I can have her legs in my 70's!!) but this is a long trip and one filled with many emotions.  She will meet one of her grandson's birthmothers, she will see incredible poverty and she will see where our family's hearts reside.  She loves and feels deeply and I'm excited to see what the Lord has for her on this trip.  Ok, back to the buddy.  Janna is about to hug Moody in the pic above just as we got off the plane with Abe.  Sallie is in the background.  They didn't meet until a few months ago.  At Starbucks! :)

So Sallie is praying for a way to go to Africa.  Janna is also praying for an opportunity to go and would ideally like a buddy to go with her.  It all clicked one day as I was meeting with my dear Mary Lynn on the Starbucks patio.  We were talking about the trip, Sallie came outside and mentioned that she had recently met Moody's parents.  They started stopping at the store after their workouts!  Don't you love that they workout together in the mornings in their late 70's?? So, Sallie is standing here with tears as she longs to go, Sallie loves people better than anyone that I know, Janna wants to go..................a few tears later and conversations with all parties involved and we purchased their tickets! God is good!  Sallie will tell you that if you happen to visit the Starbucks at Bowen and Park Row.  :)

Don't you love thinking about how He orchestrates all the details and brings them together in His perfect timing?? 

Our neighbor across the street is going and she just recently graduated from high school.  Chelsea, thank you for saying yes!  Excited to share all we see with the rest of Mistletoe Ct. 
Chelsea, Mim and Amanda

Amanda is a former patient of Moody's that heard about the trip in his office one day as her little sis is in braces.  Can't wait to serve along side you!

Kendall was my dental hygenist in Dallas a few years back! She is beautiful inside and out.  She has worked tirelessly on the dental protocols and we are beyond blessed she is joining us on this journey!!

Mary H- is friend of Donna and Kendall.  Has a tender spirit and I can't wait to get to know her better as our hearts break for the very things that break His.  She has gathered much humanitarian aid and helped with all of our travel insurance. :)

Bobbie Jo is a local professional photographer and friend!  Love that she is going along.  Love that He will use her gifts in such a tangible way. Terry, thanks for sharing her with us!

Neil and Dana Gamblin- another completely Providencial, "I can't believe they are really going!!" couple.  We have been friends with Neil's parents for years, then got to know them, Dana is an Orthodontist in Colorado and we just LOVE these two.  Our hearts beat on much the same pattern!  They are actually going to Ethiopia a few days early and will help with some of the prep work for the dental sites. This is a huge blessing to us.  They love deeply and will be so much fun to have along.  Their office has collected tons of soccer balls, jump ropes, children's vitamins and onesies!  Can't wait to see you guys in Addis.

To the DD crew! Many prayers for your journey and thankful to have each of you on this team.  Can't wait to serve alongside each of you.

Mary T and sis Elizabeth- what a joy to have you both on this trip.  So thankful for all you have done to prepare. Mary, Moody will most likely continue to defer to you as "Gladney!" Just saying. :)

Kurt Neale- Kurt married Moody and I a few years back. :)  He has a huge heart for missions and is a gifted videographer. We are really thankful how the Lord has weaved this relationship together! He will be with us for the entire trip.  (first week is dental, second we head to Eyasu's village, etc)

Gloria- lastly, but certainly far from least.  Our dear Gloria.  As soon as we committed to take the whole family I began to pray that Gloria would have a desire to go.  Gloria is our angel.  She has been a part of our family since Issy was a baby.  She has always been a blessing as she loves our family well.  Gloria has three adult children of her own.  Her youngest had a traumatic birth and therefore serious brain injury.  Never did we know the impact this would have on our immediate family.

Gloria faithfully followed along as we prepared to adopt from Ethiopia.  She wept for the two children that wouldn't actual come to live here, she prayed us out the door to go get Abe.  She was there when we got home and has been here every step of the way!  She loves Abe with a passion.  And he loves her.  When we qualified for a state program paying for respite care, she transitioned into his care giver.  She is a true gift to us.

She is going to Ethiopia with us.  Said it would be a "trip of a lifetime" and we are thrilled.  Obviously I am thankful for the additional set of hands to help with sweet baby Abe, but I am also thankful that she will see another part of the world, experience with us what has been such a huge part of our every day life for the past several years.

Would you pray for our team?  Would you pray for unity?  I know the enemy would love nothing more than to be divide our team.  We so go in faith that He will provide for each of our every needs- though we need prayer support here.

Next I will share our schedule for the time in Ethiopia so you can pray specifically.  Thank you for "going" with us on this trip.  It is so clearly ordained by Him as so many details that simply shouldn't have worked out, have.............  SOLI DEO GLORIA!
Wednesday, September 22, 2010

meet some of the team

I am going to attempt to introduce you to some of the team members joining us on this journey.  There are so many amazing stories of the Lord promting each of them to say "yes" and GO!
Cunningham family- Sweet Callie is the little sister that I never had.  She is an orphan advocate, loves all things Africa and a mere Sophmore in college!  She loves our family well and we miss her terribly when she is at school. I can't wait to see what the Lord has for her as her heart is SO BIG for the very things of Him. She may have been the first person to commit to GO.  Her father, David, is a dentist.  He wasn't as sure about making this trip as she was for him. :)  Love her tenacity.  Her dear mom, Pam (now a dear friend) was also wanting to go.  They prayed and dear dad came around!  He is hilarious and will be a huge asset on the trip.  Dentally and comedic relief. Sad  that Christian (brother) isn't making the trek too.

Turner fam (4 of the 6)- Now here is where the tears may start to flow for me as I am still so humbled the Lord called them to go! I will try not to write a novella.  The Turners were some of our first friends in Arlington.  Our children are all around the same age and have been each others best buds since birth.  Our families have done life together for over 13 years and they have been so supportive our adoptions, etc.

Abbi, Eyasu and Ave

Abbi has wanted to go to Africa since we first traveled to get Abe.  She told her parents that she would want this for as many birthdays and Christmases as they wanted, she just wanted to GO. She is 11.  Do you not just love the generation that He is raising up to advocate for those needing justice? They prayed. The Lord gave them peace, they bought tickets for Mark, Lori and Abbi.
Wick, Brady (his mom is going), Blake (intro below), Jack and Hill

Jack has suffered SEVERE food and other allergies most of his life.  It just didn't seem wise for them to take him with his current weakened immune system.  My boys SO wanted him to go and we all prayed.  The Lord gave them peace again to purchase Jack a ticket and he was a last minute addition.  KJ and Ashlyn will stay home, but I trust our entire families will be together there one day. :) Maybe the Kelleys too??
Starr (mom going), Issy, Abbi, Ashlyn and Kati Jo

Our hearts are just so full to be able to experience Ethiopia together.  One of the other great joys has been to witness how the Lord is using each persons unique gifts and abilities to maximize this trip.  Mark is kinda like McGyver.  Serious.  We were having some issues with how to sterilize the dental instruments.....not a problem for Mr. Turner.  He has pulled together some contraption that utilizes a crock pot to become a professional grade sterilizer!  So amazing.  Turners, we simply count it one amazing gift that you will see first hand where our hearts have been for over 2 years.

Susan Orlie- Susan and I grew up together.  Products of HP. We reconnected over Mijos soon after she and Michael moved to Arlington.  Susan and I could talk about the good ole days and Moody and Michael talked about being from Arlington and dragging these girls away from Big D to Atown. :)  They have been dear friends and walked through all of our adoption process and dark days post Abe's diagnosis.  Susan is super creative and the Lord will use those gifts in Ethiopia for sure.  Michael, thank you for carrying the load while your wife joins us this time!  We look forward to you being on the next trip. :)  Susan is also one of Abey's "people"!  It is a short list and he has excellent taste.

Rainey with Gibson and Gabby

Rainey Webb- We first met at Kanakuk, she married one of my very first friends at Baylor, moved to Arlington and we bonded over Africa and adoption.  Rainey and Chris are just two of my favorite people.  She spent a summer in South Africa and jokes that she kinda feels like she is cheating by heading so far North East, but she is excited about this trip.  My dear friend has a heart of gold and I can't even wait to see all that He has for her on this trip!  Thank you Chris for carrying the load (and 2 dear grandmoms) and letting her go with us.  It just wouldn't have felt right for her NOT to go!  Seeing Abe's birthmom again on Saturday in Ethiopia just wouldn't be complete without her there.......
(aren't they cute???)

Arlington Family- The Arlington's are neighbors and dear friends.  They have a son Blake that is Hill's age.  Donna is one of my heros as she stepped in when our world was crumbling and said she would be one of "Abe's people" ........ and she IS!! He adores her.  She would come down daily (even if only for a few minutes) to hold Abe, knowing he was particular about who could hold him and also knowing this mama needed a break!  She held him through many baseball games and that is exactly where the Lord confirmed for their family that this was a trip they should take!  All 3 Arlington's are going and we are so thrilled.  Donna has coordinated ALL of the humanitarian aid and it has been no easy task.  She has done it with grace and we are so grateful.  The Lord is clearly using the unique gifts of this family to enhance many aspects of this trip. Mistletoe Court may never be the same. :)

Porter's- Craig and Jamey are faithful friends, prayerfully future neighbors and fellow adoptive parents from Ethiopia (they have the most beautiful baby girl waiting for them in ET).  We home school together and Jamey has allowed me to cry on her shoulder more times than I can count.  Another one of Abe's "people" as she graciously walked the road with us as life got messy and I needed support!  She also was so supportive as Eyasu's adoption took longer than we planned as the courts closed and we didn't pass.  They are stepping out in faith, joining this journey (more in the next intro) and trusting the Lord to reveal their future in Ethiopia.  Praying for BIG things in regards to their adoption. Craig has helped tremendously with the finances of this trip and we are so grateful for his gifts in that department. :) They are leaving behind 4 amazing kiddos and I know that is a huge sacrifice.

Pantego Bible Crew-  David Daniels, the head pastor of PBC, and Moody had lunch awhile back to discuss the trip.  Their hearts for Africa were growing as the Lord was already doing some pretty amazing things there!  The Lord completely confirmed in their hearts the desire to go as the dates perfectly coincided with our trip and another opportunity.  They will join us for most of the trip, then head down south a bit to see what World Orphans is doing in Ethiopia.  We are so excited to see what the Lord has for PBC and Ethiopia.  David and Tiffany, George and Laurel, Holly, Angela and Todd, Craig and Jamey- know we are blessed that we will be serving together.  PBC printed amazing prayer cards for our team and we are so thankful for them- what a great tool to gather a large prayer team as we go!!

Pacific Dental Crew- our dear friends, Pam and Steve Thorne,  own Pacific Dental Services.  We met them early on in the adoption process.  They have 7 kiddos, 2 adopted from Ethiopia.  Steve told his dentists about the trip and 9 jumped on board. They live in California, Colorado,  Pacific has been very KEY in helping coordinate the dental supplies, etc. Kyle, thank you for all of your hard work.  Steve and Pam, thank you for your hearts to serve the Kingdom.  Thank you too for entrusting us with your very precious, Savannah!  We are so excited that she is going with us and know that we will take good care of her. :)

(Savannah and Avery)

Kimmie Jo and Wendy-  Oh my word these two.  What a blast they will be!  Kimmie Jo has an adopted son from Nigeria and a HUGE heart for Africa, as does Wendy. They have graciously stepped up to coordinate all of our lunches while in the field on dental days and we are very grateful.  I fully anticipate hair nets from these two as they are FUN!!  Wendy is on staff and Kimmie Jo is the wife of an elder at our church, Connect.  Thank you Brad and Greg for keeping up with kiddos and allowing them to go.

Isn't God so good?? Just blows me away at the team He raised up to GO.

More intros next post!
Thursday, September 16, 2010

EthiopiaSmile 2010

In 14 days we will be heading back to Ethiopia. So excited I can't stand it.  So overwhelmed with all that needs to get done before that, but trusting in Him for all the details!

EthiopiaSmile 2010 is a team of over 60 that will go, love, serve and care for the dental needs of orphans and those living in extreme poverty in Ethiopia.  Yes, 65 of us.  Of course my Team Alexander is a large percentage of that number. :)  I so love the organic nature of this trip.  The Lord placed this vision on my sweets heart just after we arrived home with Eyasu.  He was able to do some dentistry while we were in country picking Eyasu up and he had done a few days last June as well.  He just knew that if he could get a few other dentists to come with him, they could do SO much.

Ethiopia is a country with 80 million people and 76 dentists.  Yes, not even 1 for every million people. Our dear Arlinton, TX has almost 200.  The dental needs of those living there are enormous.  He simply prayed that the Lord would place the desire on at least 5 other dentists to join us in October.  Then one day he came home and said, "I think we are to step out farther and pray that 10 will join us!"  At the time only one had shown much interest, so this was definitely OUT THERE!  Don't you love when He calls you to step out and He SO SHOWS UP, shows just how BIG He is, just how much He is in the details, in the very midst of those broken, hurting and just in need of someone coming to say "we care, you have value, you are LOVED!"  So we prayed.  We asked others to pray.

We will be in Addis for over a week with 18 dentists.  18 said "YES" and 40 non-dental people said they wanted to come along to help, to love on the orphans we will treat, to just be the hands and feet of Christ.  Several of my very favorite people on the planet will be there with me.  Those that got dirty with our family as we walked a very foreign road once home with Abe will be there, in the very place that captured my heart.  I cry each and every time that I think about it.  Seriously, that He would graciously allow Lori, Donna, Susan, Rainey and Jamey to be there, in Ethiopia, with just too much!  (praying a few more are there next trip as well...........)

This trip isn't a specific churches trip, a specific mission organizations trip- this is simply HIS trip.  It is all HIS and we are so humbled to be along for the journey.  We can't wait to see what He has for us each day.

There are so many amazing stories that I want to share, how HE drew various people to come along, how people have stepped SO far out of their comfort zone, how He allowed circumstances to bring them along........and I will do that in the next few days.  Another cast of characters for you to learn.

Imagine getting to witness so many people experience Africa for the first time.  We get to watch firsthand as over 40 people step foot on the continent for the first time.  What a privilege.  I just know that He has so much for each and every one that will be going on this adventure.

More to come in the days ahead.  In the meantime, I would ask for your prayers.  Prayers for unity as a team, prayers that not a single detail would go forgotten, that He would remain the very center of ALL we are doing.  Thank you.  

Friday, September 10, 2010

o.k, so where were we?

So......moving right along. **it may be a good time to grab a cup of tea, coffee or bottle of wine, whichever you fancy**

Sometime last spring Moody sat in a parking lot and talked to Eric (see Cast of Characters post here) for over an hour.  Moody shared our hearts and desire to do something, specifically an integrated community development project, in Eyasu's village.  Eric further explained the scope of Glimmer's work and how they spend a great deal of time developing their partnerships.  They didn't have a developing partnership in the Sidama zone, nor did he forsee that one would develop anytime soon.

We prayed about it and still felt a peace to move forward, plan the trip with Julie, Julie and Kristin. Still felt a peace about seeing what Glimmer was actually doing in Ethiopia and committed to joining forces with them if we liked what we saw.

I have said before that I was pretty much amazed at all that we saw on that trip down south.  The quality of the work, the relationships they forge with the zone development associations, the level of work that they insist upon and the sheer IMPACT they are making in Ethiopia was simply overwhelming to witness.  Most of the projects that I saw in June were funded in October.  That is a.m.a.z.i.n.g for Africa. They have such vision and set systems they follow, that success is guaranteed.  They stick to what they do and therefore, do it very well.

Have I mentioned their 100% Promise?? Every single dollar donated to A Glimmer of Hope goes directly to the people of Ethiopia.  All of the operating costs are paid by the endowment fund so more people in need receive help.

That confidence, knowing that every dollar sacrificed, raised, and given goes directly to help those living in extreme poverty in Ethiopia is HUGE!  I saw the committment that they have for each and every project.  Eric could easily recall who raised the money for each and every well or school we saw and that showed me that this is more than a job.

So we return from our trip and are committed to partnering with them in some capacity.  Regardless of where in Ethiopia that might be.........

We begin talking back and forth and realize that since Moody didn't travel and see firsthand the work they are doing, it would be worth it for us to go to Austin to meet with the Glimmer team in their office.  We went at the end of July.  That meeting was key.  I loved walking through the doors and immediately being transported to Ethiopia as they have large, beautiful photographs of Ethiopians everywhere. Meeting the rest of the staff was a huge blessing, it is so clear they all have a true passion for this country.

In that meeting we first discussed a very real possibility of finding a partnership in Sidama.  A few things had not gone as planned in Dawro (they are now, praise the Lord, but this was KEY in looking elsewhere in the South) and they were now open to finding another partnership to work with in the Southern Region.  We were thrilled, yet guarded as it was made clear that this was in the very beginning stages and simply may never come to fruition if the right development partnership couldn't be found.  At that point we agreed to commit to where the greatest need existed in Sidama.  Obviously our hearts were in Gorche, yet we thought if they didn't have the greatest need, we would comit to work anywhere.

My sister and her husband, Joey, met us in Austin for this meeting.  I loved having them there with us, sharing our common love and passion for those in Ethiopia.  They graciously took all 6 kiddos back to San Antonio so Moody and I could have 24 hours of free time. :) This allowed us to spend additional time with Eric to further discuss our hearts desire to work alongside them in Sidama.  I will never forget the lunch we shared at Z-Tejas.  Tears were shed, hearts opened and we walked away almost floating at the possibilites that were before us.

Unbeknownst to us, they were already actively looking into a new development partnership in Sidama.  The ball got rolling rather quickly and on Thursday, August 5th my phone rang.  It was Eric.  He asked where Moody was and if we could both get on the phone. "I really think this is something you should experience together!"  With a few phone calls, and a fastly beating heart, we found ourselves on a conference call with Eric, MC (precious friend from my trip in June, newly relocated to Addis to work full time for Glimmer), and Brian Cooper (Glimmer CEO).

They began to explain how a team from Glimmer had been in Awassa meeting with a new development association in the hopes to partner with them in Sidama.  They met one day in Awassa and the next day set out to determine the needs of those living there.  They drove their car as far as one had ever driven, got out and proceeded to walk for over an hour.  The countryside was beautiful we were told.  At the end of their hike, the arrived in Buti Yatine.  The very village of our dear son, Eyasu.  They met his uncle, his maternal grandmother and many of his extended family!  Gebre, who helps run the Addis office and has his masters in water engineering, was able to determine that there were at least 3 unprotected springs that could be capped off to provide clean water to the village!!  Oh my word, we were going to be able to provide clean water. In regards to schools, more water points, health posts, etc, we again reiterated our desire to help those in the greatest need and realized that simply may not be Eyasu's local kebele, Dube Bute. We were all crying!  So more cloud walking was taking place over here at Team Alexander.

The founder of Glimmer, Donna Berber, was out of the country when we were in Austin so we were unable to meet with her.  I was disappointed as I had heard that she is one remarkable woman.  Her story is fascinating. Her committment to those in Ethiopia is inspiring, and I was so hoping we would get the opportunity to meet.

Eric called on the day after our conference call to say that Donna wanted to come to meet us.  WOW.  Her schedule was about to get really crazy, we were leaving for Nashville in a few days, so how about Monday night, August 9th.  Moody and I were really excited and humbled.  We met at the W Hotel in downtown Dallas.  Immediate connection.  Just can't fully explain it.  Donna is just a lovely, lovely person.  So warm and our common passion for Ethiopia sealed the deal.

So we are sitting in our nice little restaurant talking non-stop and she asks Moody to come over to the side where Donna and I are sitting.  Eric pulls out this black leather photo album.
Moody is on one side of Donna and I am on the other......she opens the album and the first picture is this:
(our meeting with Muhammed and Nasser in November in the Glimmer office in Addis)

and then pictures from our birthfamily visit, followed by the pics that Gebre and his team took on that day they visited the village.  Moody and I both had tears steadily streaming down our cheeks as the world became smaller in that moment than I have ever experienced before.  My extended family was there before my eyes.  Standing outside the exact mud hut that Eyasu spent almost 2 years of his life and I simply couldn't contain the emotions that I was feeling.  I was so overwhelmed with gratitude and humility that the Lord would give us this incredible gift.

As if that wasn't enough to take in..........Eric said, "there is more." Seriously?? More?? I don't know if my heart and head could take it.  So we wiped away the tears and Moody moved back across from me.  He proceeded to explain in reference to our prior agreement to expand the rest of the project out to the neediest kebele within Gorche District.

**for those lost on village, kebele, district, zone and region.....maybe this will help.  We live on a cul-de-sac, in a town, within a large city, within a large metroplex, within the state of Texas.  So we have our sweet little neighborhood, Pantego (town), Arlington (city), DFW (area) and Texas.  So the village is similar to our neighborhood, the kebele more like our smaller local town and the district more like Arlington or even DFW.....and so on.  Hope that helps a bit**

Apparently the kebele that Eyaus's birthfamily lives in has one school. ONE. It goes through 4th, maybe 5th grade.  It is a farming community and my best guess is that many say "why bother" on a school that only will take you to the 4th grade!

So guess what?? You got it.  His kebele is the most in need of help.  OUR help.  Can you even wrap your head around it?  I'm still having a hard time and I have been smack dab in the middle of it.  

We are given the incredible privilege to help provide clean water, education and prayerfully health to this precious part of the world where our son was born.  We are doing exactly what Moody inquired of Eric last spring.  God so could have done it that way, had Eric say "awesome, sounds good. Gorche it is." but I am so thankful for the journey, for the stretching, for the stepping OUT of our comfort zone, for me leaving my family for 10 days to SEE, for committing to give to Dawro, then Gorche District, only to have Him in His infinite goodness and grace, say here my child, this has been my plan all along.  

To stand back and remember the day that the Lord placed on our hearts the desire for another son as we always assumed we would return to Ethiopia for a daughter, to remember the day our dear friends sent us his photograph as they were in Ethiopia just beginning a serious journey of their own, to think of the random texts that resulted in us going to the Glimmer office our last day in Addis when we were picking up today, is simply Only God. 

I have seen Him so clearly through this journey that we have such peace in the next step.  We can't do this alone, we will need help.

The next steps, the how you can help is coming.  Prayerfully we can go live with our fundraising efforts online in a few weeks.  Eric, MC and others from Glimmer will be there very shortly and once they know the scope of the project (how many water points, schools, health posts, etc) and a ballpark number of how much the project will cost, we can go forward. If you want more, need more info, I would be happy to share!  We are excited to see how the Lord weaves those of you He intends to partner with us to make the entire project a reality.  

Thank you for going on this adventure with us!

Soli Deo Gloria
Thursday, September 9, 2010

september water

Live Drill - No water for our birthday in Central African Republic from charity: water on Vimeo.

Live Drill Day 2 - We Hit Water! from charity: water on Vimeo.

Tears of joy!  You can partner with us to bring clean water to the people of Ethiopia.  Prayerfully we will be able to go live with the campaign in a few weeks. :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor day fun

Such a great weekend equals really tired mama!

Friday, September 3, 2010

excuses, excuses

Due to being a really poor juggler, I am here making excuses. After my bold committment to post today, it appears between packing, planning, schooling, cooking and sorting/pricing, a post will not be seen here. (though I am most of the way done) We are headed out the door to some friends lakehouse, then have a big, mulit-family garage sale for our trip to Ethiopia on Labor Day. If you are in the area, stop on by.

Happy weekend everyone!
Thursday, September 2, 2010


  [tuh-mawr-oh, -mor-oh]  Show IPA
the day following today: Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny.
a future period or time: the stars of tomorrow.

So apparently Deena knew how this might go down!  Some of you most likely read my previous mention of the word "tomorrow" to actually mean definition #1, when actually I fully intended to mean #2.  Now, I mean #1 when I say the posts will resume tomorrow.  

I did mention we started school right? And are T-minus 28 to depart for Ethiopia??  :)
Wednesday, September 1, 2010

first day

I saw a sweet friend this morning when I was dropping Eyasu off at his first day of pre-school (aka, mother's day out).  She kindly reminded me that I kinda left things hanging on the whole Gorche, water, school, Eyasu village story.......did I mention we started our homeschooling again last week??

So, I will be moving right along with the story tomorrow.......honest.

Back to the first day thing, how cute is he?? He loved it, especially the playground part! :)

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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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