UPDATE: We now have 15 new families sponsored!!
I am super excited to report to you that we now have 9 of the 100 new families sponsored! Praise God for the wonderful things that are to come in these 9 families that will be receiving the help they need to stay together as a family. I know that nine does not sound like a lot but to help even one family with what they need to be able to keep their children and not place them in an orphanage brings my heart great joy, and I know beyond all doubt that God will bring along the other 91 soon. If there is anything that I have learned in the four and a half years that we have lived in Ethiopia it is that God is faithful, and all things are possible through Him!
What is Keep One Home all about? You ask? Good question!
The goal of this program is to do exactly what it says, to keep children in families where they belong and out of orphanages. I could go on and on about how damaging orphanages are on children, but I am sure you already know that, but what you may not know is about the stupid (and often preventable) reasons that children end up in orphanages in the first place.
This issue has bothered us for some time, we wondered why it was that so many children were being abandoned, and so what we did was take a close look at the cases of our (now 54) children who are in our Forever Families and tried to figure out what was the most common reason that these kids were once left by their parents as orphans, what we found was quite simple, in nearly every case these children’s families would have stayed together with just a little bit of support during a rough season in their lives.
You see most of our children had parents who died from a simple preventable disease, something like Typhoid, or an infection that was left untreated and became too much for their bodies to fight. The second most common reason that these children were left in an orphanage is because of a crime, many of our children have parents who are serving live sentences for something done in a moment of rage. Once we dug deeper into this we found that almost all of these crimes were committed out of desperation, mothers and father who were at the end of their ropes financially then made a bad choice that resulted in their children being taken away from them forever. Lastly we saw that many of these children had loving parents who at one time went through a rough season financially, their crops failed, or they were laid off and were forced to take their child to an orphanage because they knew that at least they would be fed there.
In most of the cases that we looked at it was clear to us that if we been there coming along side these families in their time of need, we would likely have kept them together where they belong, we could have given them medical care to treat an illness, could have provided food when they were hungry, or simply a counselor to meet with who could help show them find salvation in the arms of Christ, and ways out of the complicated situations that they found themselves in
To put it simply, the best solution for the orphan crisis that plagues the developing world today is to step in before a child has become and orphan.
Our cure for this need is a something we like to call Keep One Home, a sponsorship program where we come along side families who live on less than $24 per month and give them what it takes to help them get ahead, and stay together.
We do this by finding people all over the world who will give $39 per month to sponsor a family here in Ethiopia, providing for them in the following ways;
- Food support
- Medical care (we have a nurse on staff who our sponsor families can meet with, and when something arises that our nurse cannot address we will pay for medical care at a local hospital)
- We open a small savings account where we deposit a portion of their funds each month that they can access when a pressing need arises in their family.
- Christian Counseling and Biblical Support.
- Lastly we provide access to a small business grant for the families in our program who want to open a business. Many choose to start a grocery store, or a Injera house (local restaurant) and are able to support their families with this income.
Today I want to reach out to you to ask for your help as we endeavor to find support for these one hundred new families here, since the very start of Bring Love In we realized that we are not to be an organization but rather an effort, one that is supported by people all over the world who want to see the Love of God shared to those in need. We exist because we want to see children cared for, and the gospel of Jesus Christ spread to all corners of the earth.
Our family does not take any pay from Bring Love In, and our staff here in Ethiopia are given a minimal amount for their efforts, this is a ministry, an effort to share the Love of God to those in need, one that we invite you to be a part of today.
Will you help?
If you have not signed up to support a family and keep them together where they belong, please do so here.
Ask your church if they will let you speak for a few minutes about the Keep One Home families so you can let others know about these needs and the simplicity of keeping families together.
Share this with all of your friends on the internet, let them know just how simple it is to prevent children from becoming orphans.
Get creative! We could not possibly imagine all of the amazing things that you might come up with to help with this need! And so we won’t even try. But we want to ask that you help us think outside the box to get this need met, throw a party, buy a billboard, do something crazy with us to help these families with what they need!