Friday, June 29, 2012

Ethiopia 2012, TEAM 2, Day 2~ Second Day in Korah!


Day 2 for us here in Ethiopia.  What beautiful people live in this country!

If you didn't already know, this mission's team is with Ordinary Hero.  This is an amazing organization that is all about using ordinary people and allowing them to be heroes in any way the Holy Spirit leads.  Today we joined forces with Project 61.  The team spent a lot of time moving sticks and transferring monstrous rocks that will be used for the foundation of the two buildings that Project 61 is erecting.

While the team was working away on the construction project, about 75 children hung out at the entrance.  This was very difficult for our team members as we wanted to shower them with blessings (gifts, candy, etc.) because they are living in the poorest area of all Addis.  However, we needed to keep the children's safety in mind.  If we had started handing out candy or clothes, or anything for that matter, we would have quickly created a mob situation that would have eventually injured one of the little ones.  There was not a good place to deal with them one on one.  So, we creatively handed kids suckers (while no one else was looking ;-) and provided lunch for about five of the kids, and even snuck a little girl in the office area where we were storing our backpacks to give her a little Barbie Doll that was sent with Matt Swartz.  Even though we couldn't give them many material items today, we did show them a tremendous amount of love and affection, which is a HUGE reason that we embarked on this adventure.

 Moreover, as we were reminded during our devotions this AM, we may not be feeding them today, but we are helping to construct the building that will feed them for years...that was an excellent reminder to all of us.  In this day and age, we LOVE to see results immediately for the work that we do...that is what this (my) generation has grown to enjoy/expect.  However, when you attempt to focus on what the Holy Spirit is directing and think about the ripple effects that will occur because of today's efforts, everything comes into perspective.

We have appreciated the beauty of the people in Ethiopia.  We are so impressed with how happy each person is no matter what their individual situation is.  The kids and adults alike.

 So many people were helping us as we were helping their village.  One little boy made a half a dozen trips carrying large sticks from the road to a burn pile.

  Adults sat by the gates and helped direct traffic.  Many just hugged anyone that was willing to hug them and hold as many hands as they could.  We have 16 people with us, including our additional team members Lincoln and Lauren.  Each one of us can already tell 20 stories of how these people affected our lives.  I only hope and pray that each person that we come in contact with can say something similar about each of us.

After Matt Swartz and I walked a mile or two to buy some of the hired hands at Korah boots because they were shoveling dirt all day in sandals or without shoes, I decided to stop and get a quick shoe shine.  We only had time for him to do one of my boots though.  The normal charge is 2-3 Birr for the two shoes (equivalent to about 17 cents).  When I flipped out a 100 Birr bill and handed it to him, his buddy, the one in the American Eagle shirt, put both hands on top of his head and his mouth dropped to the ground.  Awesome children, awesome workers, awesome people.

Desiring to follow the Holy Spirit, Phil (for the entire Ordinary Hero team)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ethiopia 2012, TEAM 2, Day 1~ Korah

written by Phil Chapman

I can't believe that we are calling it a day, and it is only 7:45 PM in Ethiopia. The entire team is extremely tired from the trip and from some great hard work! The flight to Ethiopia was fantastic. Many enjoyed the entertainment that Ethiopian airlines has to offer, while others spent a lot of time watching the flight status monitors (you can watch how fast you're going and see where you are currently located). I personally enjoyed sleeping as much as possible. We were thankful that we all basically sat together on the huge airplane so that we could strategize our exit when we touch ground in Addis Ababa.

We then took a 15-20 minute drive from the airport to the Ethiopian Guest House. We were greeting by not only the staff members, but a large amount of kids, including Sammy, Matt, and my favorite named, Texas :-). The kids swarmed us as we attempted to make our way down the street to the Guest House because the street was under construction…not sure what they are doing to it, but there are large mounds of dirt and gravel piled every 100’. After we were somewhat acclimated, Matt Swartz wanted to give a new soccer ball to the little boy Matt. That started an entire soccer game, so many of the team members had to join in. The Ethiopian children showed us how to play soccer by “taking us to school” many times even though they were wearing sandals and we had our nice tennis shoes. The ground hard sharp rocks sticking out all over and there was a barbed wire on one sideline and a 3 ½ foot trench on the other side…perfect for a soccer game. We had a ball, got muddy, and made a lot of little ones smile. Oh, I also gave little Texas 5 Birr (Ethiopian money which this amount is valued around 28.2 cents). Texas was grinning ear to ear.

After we enjoyed some cat naps and a pasta lunch, we gathered up as a team and went to Korah.  Our goal for this specific trip was to help Project 61 with two building projects that they have started. They are building a food building and something else (it leaves me at the moment). They have created some phenomenal foundations out of mud and large rocks. Nels, our resident carpenter, said that he couldn’t believe how square they were able to make the first building’s foundation. We were prepping for their second building’s foundation, moving sand from one area to the building area, transfer long sticks from the building area to a cooking area for fire wood, move a few tons of rocks into the gate, and finally throw wet mud with the some of the worst shovels we have ever used into the building to start prepping for the floor.

However, as expected, Korah isn’t about buildings, it is about the people there. Dozens, if not hundreds, of little ones gathered around as we worked. We would move five stones and then pick up and hug 10 kids. They are beautiful children that love to be loved.

 They joined our team to help with anything they could. As I grabbed a large stone that probably weighed 40lbs, two little kids who were 7 or 8 were tag teaming lifting another. Nels was leading a group that was moving sand from the one area into the gated area where the buildings are going to be and said that one of the little kids was hiding under the bus (which was located ON TOP of the sand pile) and grabbed Nels’ leg…Nels loved it! That was one of our biggest observations with this trip. It didn’t matter that these kids had two different shoes with one of them toeless, or that they didn’t have much food to eat, or that they had flies resting in their eyes and wounds on their hands, THEY WERE HAPPY AND CONTENT. Did they want food (or anything) from us, you betcha! However, they were kids. Happy to have us around and happy to be a part of it.

It was an outstanding day that has already humbled every team member.

We get to go back tomorrow, on our Day 2. Our love for the people of Ethiopia is growing like crazy and we can’t wait to serve them another day.

PS: As I finish this blog post, I listen to the karate instruction outside our 3rd floor balcony, dogs barking, as they run wild through the streets, and very loud Ethiopian music…it is good to be back.

Matt's niece, Gracyn, gave him this barbie to give away. It made this little girls day! She lives in Korah, the poorest place in Addis. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


It is my pleasure to introduce you to Ethiopia Bound, Team 2!! 
They are officially airborne and on their way to serve in Ethiopia. 

This is going to be a great team of Ordinary Heroes!!

This OH team is being led by Phil Chapman, from Newark, Illinois. 
Phil is Superintendent of Parkview Christian School. He and his family have adopted two sons from Ethiopia whom they found on the OH waiting children list. 
We are thrilled to have him as a team leader in Ethiopia! 


 Matt, from Spencerville, IN.  Matt has adopted two children from Ethiopia and has a major heart for the Ethiopian people.

 Nels, from Lisbon, IL.  Nels has served on other short-term mission trips and is beyond excited to be heading to Ethiopia to fix building, play with the little ones, and do whatever the Holy Spirit urges him to do.

Emma, from Millington, IL.  After hearing her brother Nels talk about serving the orphans in Ethiopia one day at church, Emma was struck by God to take this leap...she has been beyond excited ever since.

Renee, from Newark, IL.  Just like Nels' sister Emma, Renee became passionate about heading to Ethiopia and serving the Lord by providing practical supplies to the children and women.

 Brett,  from Newark, IL.  The son of Renee, Brett is excited about playing some sports with the kids on the streets and in the orphanages.  This will be an outstanding experience for him and everyone.

 Aaron,  from Heartsville, AL.  Aaron and his wife have adopted two children from Ethiopia last year.

Michelle,  from Oswego, IL.  After watching a video that Phil put up on Facebook, Michelle felt that she needed to go on this mission's trip. 

Abby,  from Houston, TX.  Abby is in High School and is excited about serving the orphan.

Barrett, from Houston, TX.  (Pictured on far right) Barrett is also in High School and is friends with Abby.  Barrett is excited about serving the orphans and his parents are adopting a little boy from Ethiopia (they are currently in the process with a referral).

Jessi,  from Kendallville, IN.  Jessi's daughter Grace and Phil's daughter Molly were in Kindergarten together. Jessi has a real heart for children and quickly agreed to take this adventure!

Jeremy,  from Auburn, IN.  Jeremy's son Jacob was in the same class as Phil's son, Jacob.  Jeremy has an array of skills and will be a huge asset to the Ethiopian team.

Shelly, from Auburn, IN.  After saying no to Phil several times, she finally gave in :-)  This has been a dream for her to go somewhere like this with her daughter, Ashtin.  Shelly is a great organizer and will be invaluable on the trip.
Ashtin,  from Auburn, IN.  (Shelly's daughter) Ashtin has gotten to know Phil's Ethiopian born children, Jacob and Reggie, and has fallen in love with them.  Her goal is to serve children just like them when she goes to Ethiopia.  This is a life-long dream come true for Ashtin, who just graduated from Purdue University.


THANK YOU for your prayer covering over this group and the teams to follow from now through July. Many are being blessed and changed through these teams and it is amazing to watch! 

Press on, Team 2!! Ethiopia awaits you!
You won't return the same...but better :-) 

 Abby and Barrett

 Aaron and Michelle

 Ashtin and Shelley

 Emma and Nels

 Renee and Brett

Matt, Jessi, and Jeremy

Sunday, June 24, 2012

June Grant Contest Winners!!!!


are being awarded again this month to our TOP 3 Sellers!!!



This  month we are giving away to our top 3 Selling Affiliates $500 toward their adoption or mission trip in which they are fundraising for. We love supporting adoptions and missions!! It is where our heart is. We, at OH, love helping you all reach your fundraising goals through our Affiliate Program!!

 We had some true go-getters who got the word out and had some amazing purchases on their behalf!! You guys have some AWESOME friends and family who love and support you in your passion to CHANGE THE WORLD FOR ONE!!

So.....our top three selling June Grant Affiliates, and winners of the $500 Grant, are......

#1 Kurt and Jolynn Coleman!!

Kurt and Jolynn and pastors in Galena, Kansas. They are in the homestudy phase of their adoption of two older boys from Ethiopia. They heard about the Ordinary Hero Grant contest from a past  OH Grant winner, Kara Vassar! Thanks Kara! She contributed her win to Facebook and her friend Kara helping her market the opportunity for her to win the Grant! Congrats Kurt and Jolynn on your $500 Grant plus your 40% commission that you earned in this contest! We are happy to bless you with a 7 day fundraising total and OH Grant addition of $1092.46 into your fundraising account.

#2 Kim Adams!!

Kim is from Grand Forks, ND. Her family is in the middle of a Uganda, Africa adoption in which they are waiting for a match. Kim is a past OH grant winner! This is her THIRD time competing for the grant. She won the first time, barely missed it by coming in 4th the second time, and has now won it again. Kim jumped in last minute on this contest and took it to the win! Your total store earnings with your grant added bring your total to $785.99!! Way to go, Kim!! Let her encourage you to sign up as an affiliate today! The next winner could be YOU!  

#3 Chantel Klassen

Chantel is from Warman, Saskatchewan, Canada.
She says she heard about OH originally through the Visiting Orphans website. (Thanks, VO!)
They are adopting from the DRC and working with One World Adoption Services out of Georgia. They are currently waiting for their referral. Your total store earnings with your grant added brings your total to $753.18!  Congrats, Chantel, for jumping in this contest and being a grant winner!! 

Wow!! Congratulations to our top 3 OH Affiliates!!


I must send out a major THANK YOU to all of our Affiliates, and all of you who supported our Affiliates through your purchases!! They could not have done this without the support of family and friends who purchased on their behalf to support their cause.

Remember, Affiliates, YOU ARE ALL WINNERS because....

You all receive 40% of every purchase credited to your name.

We are thrilled to be able to offer this to you as a way to help you reach your fundraising goal!!

We want to thank ALL of our Product Partners who generoulsy donated items toward helping these fundraising families. ! We are excited about our product partners!! We are now accepting PP's for our next Grant Offering!

This month our Product Partners were:

Peter Greer with Hope International. He donated several copies of the newly released Book Mommy's Heart Went Pop! It is a must have for adoptive families for Africa! It is a sweet, sweet story that shares how the love for this child grows in Mommy's Heart! Get your copy today!!

Our next Product Partner was Grafted Together! They have donated sooo many times with soo many cool items! Thanks again girl! Her notecards can be purchased here! Check out the other cool items in her Etsy store!

Those awesome, awesome bracelets were donated from Sherry at Funinthesmallthings on Etsy.
Her items are rockin! She was on a mission trip while we were having the Grant Contest!!

And once again, Gayly donated some of her precious necklaces! Her store is My Jie Jie and Me Custom Stamped Jewelry on Etsy! Check it out! Thanks Gayly for being a partner again this month!

You can find these product partners listed on our blog sidebar for the next few weeks. 

If you are interested in partnering YOUR product with OH to benefit our fundraising families, please email for more information.

Again, CONGRATS to our June Grant Winners!!

Check out our Affiliate Program and get signed up today :-)