Today I would like to introduce you to ten very special friends of mine. Men who are going through the fire right now, but also learning of the fierce redeeming love of the one who made each of them and cares for them.  You have been hearing about them here on the blog for the past several weeks, but today you finally get to meet them in a more personal way.

These are the men who we recently helped to get moved off the street and into their own home, the ones who will be attending work and bible training courses over the next 9 months, and hopefully in-turn helping those in their same situation get off the street and learn about the incredible love of God.   Please, as you look at the pictures below and read the information about these guys, take one of them and save their name and picture.  Pray for them every day, theirs is a struggle like none of us could ever fathom, they need our prayers more than anything.

These stories are short, and simple. As you can guess there is a lot more that each of these men have been through on their lives, but on the day that we sat with them they were not very eager to dig deep into the past, just a few details and that was it.  One day I hope to spend more time with one or two of them and get them to open up some more.  Not because their past defines them, but because only the love of God could take someone from the depths that these guys have seen to a place of redemption and beauty.

Name: Tamirat Adamu

Age: 19

Place of birth: Bale Mountains

Siblings: 3 sisters and 4 brothers

Educational level: 6th grade

After his parents passed away there was a disagreement with his sister, he was not able to share exactly what happened but it was bad enough that it made him run away and live on the street.  He has never returned to see his siblings.

Name: Yonas Fikremariam

Age: 27

Place of birth: Merabite, Amhara zone

Siblings: 1 brother and 1 sister

Educational level: 8th grade

He has spent just over 9 years on the street. While he was with his mother, she used to tell him that the evil spirit she worships will rest upon him when she dies. He was forced to run away to the street to escape the horror that gripped him. Yonas says he believes his mother & father are alive, but divorced. He does not speak with them.

Name: Samuel Bekele

Age: 22

Place of birth: Hawassa

Siblings: 3 sisters & 3 brothers

Educational level: 5th grade

He has spent 11 years on the street.

He grew up in Debrezeit. (A town about an hour outside of Addis Ababa) He never knew his father in person since he was born. Then he heard a rumor that his father was living in Addis while he was 11 years old. Samuel came to Addis searching for his father but unfortunately he never found his father and things were not as easy as he has anticipated so he found himself living on the street and was unable to find a way to get work. In the 12 years that he has lived on the street he has never had a home or a job.

Name: Endale Mulatu

Age: 27

Place of birth: Hawassa

Siblings: 2 brothers & 2 sisters

Educational level: 10th grade

Endale’s parents are alive but they are separated and due to a situation were not willing to take care of him and he was forced to grow up with his grandmother. After some time there was another, (and this time more severe) disagreement with his grandmother and he decided it was time for him to runaway to Addis, he spent time trying to find work but when he was unable to find anything he began living on the street.

 

Name: Alemayehu Gizaw

Agre :29

Place of birth: Kebridhar

Siblings: 1sister & 1 brother

Educational level: 10th grade

Alemayhu’s father is deceased but his mother lives in Harar, and is unwilling to accept him.   Alemayhu is quiet and has not shared much about his past or what led him to his life on the streets, only that he has lived here as long as he can remember and that he is willing to do whatever it takes to move on and heal from the past.

Name: Bahiru Worku

Age: 22

Place of birth: Hawassa

Siblings: 2 sisters and 2 brothers

Educational level: grade11

After a disagreement with his brother he was forced to move out of his family’s home and has lived in the street ever since.    Both of Barihu’s parents are deceased.

 

Name: Addisu Fantahun

Age: 21

Place of birth: Awash

Siblings: 2 brothers and 2 sisters

Addisu has not shared much of his past history only to say that something bad happened at his home and he left when he was a young boy and has lived on the streets ever since.  He has not had a job and has lived on money he got from begging and stealing.  Addisu says that as far as he knows both of his parents are still alive but that they are divorced.  He does not speak with them.

 

Name: Temesgen Meles

Age: 27

Place of birth: Adwa, Tigray

Siblings: 1 brother and 1sister

Educational level: 10+2, IT graduate

Temesgen was educated as a child and when he could not find work in Ethiopia he went to Kenya, but failed to find work there as well.  He came back and has lived on the streets of Addis Ababa ever since.  He is ashamed of his lifestyle and the things he has had to do to survive and has not contacted his family in many years.  He says that they think he is dead.  He would like to be reunited with his family one day after he gets his life in order.

 

Name: Gezahegn Bekele

Age: 24

Place of birth: Gibe

Siblings: 2 brothers and 2 sisters

Educational level: 6th grade

Gesahegn, has lived on the streets for 12 years, he came to Addis in hopes of finding work and was only able to find a job as a garbage collector.  He has worked at this job off and on but has never been able to make enough money to pay rent and so he has lived on the streets.   He is dedicated to getting his life in order, and happy to have found God in his life.

 

There was one guy who was not there on the day when we wrote down their stories, I will post his story another time.  But for now please pick one of these men and pray for him.  Post his picture on your fridge and remember the struggle he is facing and pray that he does not abandon this effort to get his life in order and learn about God.

Levi

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