Many of you have heard us share the story, or watched the video of how we are creating families in Ethiopia, it is something that Jessie and I are passionate about so you don’t have to go far into anything either of us say or have written before we start trying to convince you that this model of uniting widows and orphans has the potential to do some serious good around the world.
Today though I want to share with you some of the rest of the story, a bit about what you as a forever family sponsor can expect from us at Bring Love In.
Bring Love In is growing fast, after a year of preparation and diligent work we are just now getting to see the fruits of our labors. This is where we are today, and where it is that we are heading when it comes to forever families.
Today Bring Love In operates in Addis Ababa Ethiopia with the mission to create new families from widows and orphans, we work with local governments to take children from government orphanages, local hospitals and police stations, children who have been abandoned and have no hope of being reunited with their family for one reason or another. We have 28 local staff in Ethiopia, wonderful people who I could write volumes about, strong christians who have given their lives to this work, people who are stepping up to make a lasting impact on their home country.
In the way of kids, today we have 24 children and five forever families for them to call home, (well actually, two homes are already set up today, and three more are days away from being finished, so it will be five soon). All of these children have come to us in the past two months, and we are told that many more orphans (soon to be former orphans) coming our way to be placed in our families.
While setting this project up we were keenly aware of the need for good in-country orphan care, and clearly there is nothing better than a family when it comes to orphans, but we are just now seeing how wide open the doors are for us to place new children in our families. And so I am writing this to you from Billings Montana, yesterday we were in Bozeman, and later today we will be in Bismarck North Dakota. Why all this traveling you ask? Because we believe in forever families! And our goal is to get sponsors for twenty more homes by the end of the summer.
We are passionate about giving homes to children who need them, and the orphanage that we most often work with in Ethiopia has 375 kids sharing 150 beds. There is no arguing the need for these kids to get out of there and into a new family.
So we set out on this journey as a family to get as many people to give as much as they can towards a $625 per month family sponsorship.
So far we have all five homes that are set up sponsored, and three more that are sponsored and coming soon! But, like I said before, our goal is 20. And we are not stopping until we get there!
But, you might ask, what would I as a sponsor hear from my family?
This next part is where I get to share with you our plan, to give you a peek into what comes next on this incredible journey that God has orchestrated.
We want the sponsors in America to know their family in Ethiopia, to be able to track with the children as they grow, and to be able to send words of encouragement to the mothers who are taking the load of raising these kids onto their shoulders. And so we are working on creating a system for that to happen online, a way where updates can be seen by both the families who support and the new family in Ethiopia.
Pretty neat huh? But we don’t want to stop there.
We want sponsor families to be able to come and visit their forever family in Ethiopia, to come and meet them firsthand and get to know these wonderful children who have been given family because of the sponsors generosity.
Our goal is that this relationship will build and that the sponsor will be in a way extended family to the one they support. They will watch these children grow, and be able to pray for them as they mature into the Christian leaders that God has called them to be.
In the coming week Jessie and I will be assigning specific families to the sponsors who are giving already, then after we return to Ethiopia in October we will work to create the online system for these families to connect directly. In the mean time there won’t be quite so much connection as we are not there to manage this part of things, but we will be able to send out pictures of the kids and share with you the stories that we have been hearing about their adjustment into their new families.
As much as we would like to have the whole system in place today, these things take time, and we feel that our focus should first be on getting as many kids out of the orphanage, and then work on how the sponsors can get to know them.
The fact of the matter is, God is moving, things are coming together in ways we never would have dreamed, and every time we feel overwhelmed, or like we can’t possibly handle all that has been set before us, God moves in and places good people in the path who take up a piece of the puzzle and run with it. We are just in awe of Him and the way that He has been orchestrating all of this. Honestly, and I have said this before but it bears repeating, we are just thankful to be in the room, God is doing all the rest!
So, there you have it, the story of forever families, where we are today, and where we are going with all this.
I think the most important aspect of these, and any other family is their permanence, and stability. Our aim is to create a program for connecting sponsors to their families that encourages longevity on that end as well.
Are you up for it? Do you want to be a permanent part of a forever family made up of widows and orphans in Ethiopia?