I have been giving alot of thought about what I can do to make a difference for the benefit of someone else. I am learning alot from my niece, Jessica. http://steadfastminds-ethiopia.blogspot.com (See her blog post, What can $34.00 do?????, dated June 2nd, 2010) Through her, we have learned of a program to sponsor children in Ethiopia. My husband and I have decided to sponsor a child through Children's Hope Chest . We have received the picture of our little guy, a 7 year old boy named Dege. He lives with his mother and 5 other children. His mother is unable to provide for them and they live in extreme poverty. Most of the kids that are in the Children's Hope Chest sponsorship program in Ethiopia are living with neighbors or relatives who are barely able to support their own families, let alone another child. Children's Hope Chest partners with local "care-points" or "drop in" centers in Ethiopia to provide a safe place for children to go during the day to receive food, education and spiritual guidance.
Many of the children in need of sponsors have lost both parents and been taken in by a guardian or family member that is barely able to provide for them. Many of these kids are being "sold" for $12 a year (like an indentured servant) to local livestock owners - and they work day and night herding cattle. These kids never would have had the opportunity to go to school and many of them are starving! The government has actually intervened on behalf of the kids, and is requiring the guardians to bring the kids to the care-point where they will be provided for. Because of the sponsor program - these kids will have opportunities they NEVER would have had without YOU! Not only basic necessities like food, clothing and medical care - but the director at Trees of Glory is hoping to be able to hire teachers and start a school by September. It's a lofty goal in a short time period - but together and with prayer, we can make this happen for these kids!In addition, there are no Christians living in this area of Ethiopia, so the kids are hearing the true Gospel for the very first time. The dominant religion in the area is Orthodox, which has a Christian influence but includes much superstition and "witchcraft" as well. The director is a Christian woman and is planning to use one of the buildings on the property as a church, not only for the kids, but also for the community.
The sponsorship program allows for kids that do have a place to stay to remain with family or friends and still receive the benefit of an education, better nutrition, and most importantly, a place to hear that GOD LOVES THEM and has a plan for their lives.
When you sponsor a child, you are put in contact with other families that are also sponsoring children in the same care-point as you are. You can then partner together to fund specific projects that provide for the specific needs of that care point. This might include providing clean water, new school uniforms, blankets for the winter, books, a chicken farm....whatever they need to improve their living conditions. You also have the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia annually with other sponsor families to work along side the Ethiopian staff and even meet your sponsor child. You are able to see true change happening in the lives of very desperate children and connect directly with them.
If you are interested in learning more about this program please check out this blogsite: http://family-from-afar.blogspot.com/ and if you have questions you can email Karen Wistrom at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are so blessed in the United States. What can you spend $34.00 on? A dinner out, maybe. A new shirt. How many of us need another dinner out? Our closets are full. To a child in need, it means life. Please consider making a difference in someone's life who needs it. In Ethiopia or wherever you are led.
Thank you Jessica for being a great teacher.