I realized this morning that it has been quite a while since I wrote on here about how things are going on the practical side over here. Truth is, I enjoy writing about the struggles and hope found in serving Him so much, that I often forget to talk about the normal everyday parts of life here in Ethiopia. So here goes, all that is happening right now in our lives in one big blog post.
We are still working our way through the government process to get approved as an orphan care organization here locally. So far things have been going through the steps at record speeds, officials have been giving favor to our proposal and not once has it come back for modification, which from what we hear is unprecedented.
The major stops in the process are behind us now, but a few minor approvals still remain in our path before we are able to accept children in.
In the mean time while we await the final documents we have been working on putting processes, guidelines and procedures into place for the homes and rounding up widows to become house mothers.
Please pray with us that the favor we have been receiving thus far with the government officials continues and that we are able to open the doors soon.
To be honest this season is at times frustrating, we are so very ready to get started! Yesterday we visited the government sponsored transition center that we will be working through to accept children into our homes and it is just heart breaking, in one room alone there are more than 35 babies, many of whom are malnourished as they were found abandoned on the streets. The staff do their best to care for the children, but they are simply outnumbered and overwhelmed.
Soon… Being the key word in this season… Soon.
Last week I posted about the need for funds to startup the fourth home that we now have monthly sponsors for. I found that if we sold 115 leather cuffs we would cover the costs on that house. I just went through and looked at the orders and donations towards that home’s setup expenses and we only need to sell 49 more to make it happen. Thanks to all who helped with this! Cannot wait to see these houses bustling with kids!
As you likely have seen on the needs page of our site here, we are working towards raising money to purchase a van for the project. I am thankful to report that total giving towards this goal is at $5,900 of the $20,000 that we need! If we continue to receive donations at this rate the timing will be perfect, we will be able to buy the van at the same time we are accepting children in.
It is so like the experiences that I have had with God in my life, things are never early, but always right on time!
We are doing good, we recently made some new friends and that has been very nice to have people we can hang out with. Loneliness can easily the worst part about being here. In the coming weeks one family that are good friends of ours are headed back to the states for furlough in a few days, but two weeks later another comes back. That seems to be the pattern around here, everyone is always coming and going so much that there are never many people here at once.
Jessie and I are struggling through language classes in the evenings. To be honest we are not really all that good, but we are trying. After the kids go to bed Mawael our teacher comes over and we sit in our living room and try to figure out how to make new sounds.
The Amharic phrase for the day….
Dehna why, lela geezay enegenagnallen.
It means; Have a good day we will meet another time.
Like I said….. Not an easy language.
This past week our kids bedrooms were visited by the bedbug monster, again… Thankfully Jessie’s awesome mother thought ahead and gave us some bottles of bedbug spray to bring with us this time, after a half a bottle was emptied into the rooms and some scalding hot runs in the washing machine for all the sheets, blankets and stuffed animals, we had our first bite free night last night. Now, to keep them from coming back…
Our landlord agreed to keep our rent at the same level, we were worried that he would raise it when our lease expired like all the landlords before him. This is the first home we have lived in here in Ethiopia for more than 9 months. It’s good not to have to move again.
Jessie and I have been speaking a lot lately about what it is like for the people who live on the streets in Addis Ababa, its a massive city with over four million of residents, no one really knows the number of homeless but it is estimated in the hundreds of thousands. Tonight I am going to join them and sleep on the street, Yabi our local director for the project here is going to be sleeping out there with me as well. We both felt that with the work we are doing we needed a better idea of just what life is like for these people with no home.
I will write more about this experience soon. In the mean time keep us in your prayers.
And, thank you for everything! We like sharing this outrageous-love of God together with you!