Friday, January 29, 2016

Finding Hope In Korah

As many of you know, the Ethiopian government recently shut down the city’s trash dump and relocated it outside of the city. Though it’s hard to fathom, this relocation has impacted thousands of people who relied on the dump for food or recyclable materials. Many are now begging. The amount of hardship that these people have endured, in addition to their already difficult circumstances, is devastating. 




Our ministry leader in Korah, Tesfaye, said that he has never faced anything like this in all his years of ministry. He told us that the day it shut down, he had families lined up at his gate  pleading for help.

But we believe that there is always hope. Focusing on the problem in it’s entirety makes it seem too difficult to make a difference, but when we focus on one life at a time, we begin to see light in the midst of the darkness. We begin to see real people and real lives. As a result, we start to see change.

Since hearing about the relocation two weeks ago, we have been able to meet many immediate needs through Tesfaye’s ministry through a relief fund and through sponsorship. Within one week, 48 families that were directly affected by the closing of the dump received enough wheat, macaroni, oil and soap to sustain them for the next few months. Our field director and a few of our team members were able to be there and assist with distribution.






Of those 48 families assisted, we have been able to place the 22 families pictured below with sponsors that will support their needs monthly. 

Focusing on changing the world one life at a time is not just a good strategy, it is the ONLY strategy. Among the thousands are mothers that want to feed their children, boys that want to go to school, girls that want a place to call home, and people that want a hope and a future. Through your support, hope was found in Korah for countless lives.



When families that survive from day to day because of a trash dump have that taken away from them, it’s hard for us to understand how good could come from such hardship and despair. But God sees the whole picture. He knew that in fact these very lives would now be able to see a future past the dump. We are lucky to play a part in these beautiful people’s lives. They matter to us, and they matter to God. 

We are still looking to match remaining families with sponsors. If you would like to become a sponsor for one of the remaining families needing immediate assistance in Korah, please email kblevins@ordinaryhero.org. Among the waiting families is the one pictured below, featuring 10 year old Brikayu and her family.


Brikayu Menayu is 10 years old and lives with her mother and 2 little brothers, Mabratu, 5 years old, and Melkam, 11 months old. Brikayu never started school because they were unable to afford it. With sponsorship, she will be able to begin in the fall.

She says some of her favorite things are: playing on swings with her friends, eating noodles, and the color green.

Brikayu's mother is 27 year old Adadet Shetu. She worked in the trash dump prior to its closing but is now begging at night. Medically, she reports having a history of epilepsy but the children are all healthy.

Email kblevins@ordinaryhero.org to sponsor Brikayu and her family today.


#ChangeTheWorldForOne

Thursday, January 14, 2016

A Trip to Ethiopia Through A Child's Eyes

This guest blog was written by a very special 9 year old girl that got the chance to travel to Ethiopia on an Ordinary Hero trip with her momma, our Sponsorship Coordinator. We hope this inspires you to involve your children in the different works God is doing around the world, both locally and abroad!
This summer I went to Ethiopia with my mom and dad for two reasons. We went to adopt my baby brother, Bissy, and to do missionary work with Ordinary Hero. I had a fun time while I was there for a month, but there were also parts that made me sad.
My favorite thing we did with our mission team was visiting people at their houses on Entoto Mountain and in Korah. I liked doing this because I got the chance to see how other families live. Their houses were very different than mine. First, they were made of mud and straw, or plastic instead of bricks. They also didn’t have lights or windows like mine does and it was very dark in the homes. A sad part though was that lots of people live in a very small house and most of them sleep on the ground. They didn’t even have a bed or mattress for everyone to sleep on.
 Entoto Mountain is one place we visited a lot. It was really fun and I liked playing with all of the kids. I even got to see my friend Meki who stayed at my house for 2 months last winter. She came to America with my mommy for heart surgery. She is like a sister to me and I have missed her a lot. I also got to finally meet my brother who we have sponsored for two years. He gave me a big hug and was happy to meet me. He doesn’t have parents like I do so my parents are like his.


I was really surprised at how tall Entoto Mountain is and that the kids have to walk up and down the mountain to go to school everyday. My mommy drives me and my brother to school and I am thankful.

             

When we were on Entoto, we played with the kids at the feeding program. Some of the games we played were hopscotch and I taught them how to play it the American way. We also did jump rope, gymnastics, and played soccer. The kids are really good at soccer. When it was time for the kids to eat I noticed they all went into the building and sat down. The food was passed out and they ate it really fast. We eat 3 meals every day and the kids there only get one meal every day if they don’t have a sponsor. But the kids there were all very happy and playful and having fun no matter what.
 Another place I liked was Hope for the Hopeless. The girls there wanted to play with my hair and put it in braids. It was really pretty. I liked their room a lot because it was decorated in Bible verses and crafts they had made. It was lots of fun to hang out with them. They love taking pictures and laughing just like I do!
One thing that I learned is that the people I met seemed happy even though they had so little. My mom says its because they have Jesus and that is all anyone really needs. I think so too. My one wish for everyone in Ethiopia is to get the things they need to live and be healthy.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Ordinary Hero's Christmas in Ethiopia

Ethiopia celebrates their Christmas holiday on January 7th. It is typically a day filled with family, feasts, worship, and play. This year was a special year, as we got to bless families and children within our programs with a special holiday meal as a result of your gifts during our #GivingTuesday Campaign.

One of our ministry leaders shared, "One man named Tesfaye, who is HIV positive, said he had never seen anyone doing this for people (providing chicken on Christmas). He said that it had been a long time since he had had chicken for his children. He was on the verge of tears telling us."

What could have been a Christmas marked with lack and burden, was instead a Christmas filled with blessing and joy. We want to thank everyone who gave this holiday season. Your money went further than you will ever know, feeding over 500 people on Christmas. 

Enjoy these snapshots of Christmas in Ethiopia!


 































Tuesday, November 24, 2015

#GivingTuesday - Give the Gift of Christmas


On Tuesday, December 1, 2015, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: 

to celebrate and encourage giving.

#GivingTuesday is a day to donate toward your favorite cause and make a statement that you're choosing to GIVE this holiday season. You don’t have to be a world leader or a billionaire to give back. #GivingTuesday is about ordinary people coming together to do extraordinary things.

In 2014, approx. $9.1 billion was spent on Black Friday.
A few days later, 45.6 million was given to non-profits on #GivingTuesday.
Join us in flipping those statistics and showing the world that it's better to give than to receive.

This year, Ordinary Hero is excited to join in on the #GivingTuesday movement, and we want you to experience the joy of giving with us! We are inviting our OH family to give the Gift of Christmas this #GivingTuesday. 


The donations given this #GivingTuesday will allow us to bless our ministries with a Christmas to remember. Christmas in Ethiopia is a beautiful time of celebration. As a historically Christian country, Ethiopians honor the birth of Christ and celebrate with family, feasts, music, and time spent at church. This Christmas we would love to make sure every family and child within our programs have the opportunity to enjoy a special Christmas meal. 

So what we're saying is... 

Our goal is to provide almost 1,100 people in Ethiopia with a special Christmas meal! 

On December 2nd we will announce the amount we were able to raise and, of course, post pictures and video of the Christmas feasts we were able to create. But don't forget, Ethiopia celebrates Christmas on January 7th :)

To help us promote our #GivingTuesday campaign, share our posts leading up to #Giving Tuesday on Dec. 1st, and make your own! Take a selfie, hashtag #Unselfie and #GivingTuesday, and tell the story of why you plan on giving to Ordinary Hero on December 1st. Don't forget to tag us, and we'll share your post!



Not one for posting selfies? We understand. Right click and download this cute little guy, share, and let the world know why you're supporting us next week. 



We love you all and can't wait to see all the good that this day brings! If you would like to give before December 1st, NO PROBLEM! Follow the link below to give: 
http://weblink.donorperfect.com/ohgivingtuesday


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Pennsylvania 5K Race, Saving Lives

Leave it to the next generation to change the world! Below is the story of three high schoolers and their brilliant plan to support the medical needs of our sponsored families in Ethiopia through a school project. 

Lack of resources for simple medical care prove to be life threatening for families living in third-world poverty. The money raised through this 5K will, without a doubt, save and improve countless lives as it is applied to the medical needs of our sponsored families. 

If you are in the Pennsylvania area, consider joining this amazing cause. All details are below. If you're not in the area, consider what you can do to change the world for one, right where you are... 
"Our names are Lauren Gronbeck, Madison Graner, and Jenna Snavely, and we are seniors at Eden Christian Academy. 
At Eden, every senior is required to do a "Senior Project." These projects can include everything from broomball tournaments to shoe drives. Since we all run on Eden's cross-country team, we thought a 5K would be the perfect project for us. At the onset, we had no idea of the incredible amount of work that goes into one of these races! However, we are determined to "go big or go home," and the fact that you are reading this right now means that we are halfway to accomplishing our goal! 
We decided to raise money for an organization called Ordinary Hero. Ordinary Hero is an advocacy organization that partners with impoverished communities, advocates for the vulnerable, and empowers ordinary people to change the life of a child.  Last year, Madison served on a mission trip with this organization and saw first-hand how Ordinary Hero is making a tangible difference in Ethiopia.  
The branch of Ordinary Hero that we are supporting provides medical care to Ethiopians in their sponsorship programs. This is a big undertaking, and any donations help. You don't have to be a superhero to be a hero in the life of a child!"  
HERO 5K RUN/WALK 
Saturday, November 21st, 2015

North Park Boathouse
10301 Pearce Mill Road
Allison Park, PA 15101

Race Starts at 10AM 

If you would like to register for the race, click here: https://runsignup.com/Race/Register/?raceId=25977

If you are not able to attend but would like to donate toward this cause, click here: http://ordinaryhero.donorpages.com/DonatetoOrdinaryHeroFoundation/Hero5K/