As I search for words to describe what I am feeling today, I can’t help but think of what it is like to stand up in front of a crowd at the funeral of someone you loved dearly who is gone, the right words simply do not exist, nor is there enough time left in your life for me to ever describe how you feel.
Only this feeling is not of loss, or sadness, but of joy, and God-breathed transformation. Describing the 57 kids who are in our widow led forever families at Bring Love In, and trying to put words to the feelings that I feel when watching them grow and change and become something new, is the closest thing to impossible that I know of.
Helplessness has changed to joy
Shame has been transformed into confidence
Distrust is gone and in its place family, hope, and strong solid ground.
Yet for Jessie and I, in the eyes of each child we see something else as well, we see confirmation, we see the joyous truth that this plan works, and that these kids are worth every bit of what together all of us have put into their lives. They are the reason we are here, and their transformation is what pushes us on. No, we aren’t special, or trying to pull attention to ourselves, we would much rather disappear into the sidelines while God does his thing in this ministry, what I mean is that there is always this part of you that wonders if this is really the right plan, and if the change you are trying so hard to affect is real, lasting change. In this part of the world where so many efforts fail, and so many questions remain despite years of struggle that costs you everything you have, one must evaluate often, and the wondering never ends. But here, and now, and in each child, we see something that we are infinitely proud of, this is real change, real good, and God gets all of the glory for all of it. Because we all know that none of what has happened is our efforts, its His Grace, and His love, and it is beautiful.
And so we stand tall and say “Charge on!” We are here for good, and will do whatever it takes to give these kids they life and love they deserve.
Today the charge has us coming to you with a request. We need more people who will commit to come along side us and take on this load of providing financially for the 57 kids in our 9 forever families. In the last two years we have seen the costs of taking care of these kids is going up, and despite our trying everything we can to make it work with our current budget, we are finding that it is impossible to take a 35% rise in food prices, a 50% increase in school fees, and a 25% rise in housing costs and still make our income match our expenses. Math does not work that way unfortunately (Oh my how we tried… But it just won’t bend to our will for some reason!)
They way our sponsorships work for the Forever Families is that we find sponsors to take on a portion of a home, then we group the sponsors by family and together they take care of the needs for that one house. Currently we have sponsors who are giving a total of $850 per month for each of our 9 houses. In our new budget with all the increases we have seen in costs we need to be raising $1200 per month for each home. This will give us an opportunity to take care of all the day to day expenses, and have a little left over each month for some of the unexpected things that come along. As you can imagine, with 57 kids there is always one emergency or another happening. (The emergency room attendants at the hospital down the street know our in house nurse quite well)
When you break it down this new budget means that each home with 7 kids will be raising a total of $170 per child per month. I don’t know about you, but when you consider all of the things that this covers, like housing, a spending allowance for the moms, private school, and so on, that actually sounds like a pretty stinking good deal! Even though costs have gone up, we are still thankful that we can provide so much good to these kids for so little money.
So, here it is, the question that we are charging forward and asking today. Will you sponsor a Forever Family with us? We make it super easy for you to set up a monthly donation, and you will hear from Nick with details and photos of your family, and then a few times each year you will get an email with some pictures, and an update letting you know how everyone is doing. You will literally be helping to pay for a family that is raising the future leaders of Ethiopia. We are in this for the long run, in it to make change for good in this country!
Are you up for it?
We need new sponsors to give something that will add up to a total $350 per month for each of the 9 houses, which means we are all going to need to pitch in to make this happen. Will you help by posting about this of Facebook and Twitter? Will you talk about it at your small group, or to your friends? And give, make a difference, do some serious good!
Click here to start your monthly sponsorship of a forever family. Be sure to select “Monthly Donation” so that your sponsorship will continue each month.