Monday, October 29, 2012

Day 3 On Our Mission For Beth In Ethiopia


We were privileged to be able to stop by No Ordinary Love Ministry on Saturday. 
This is an awesome organization founded by Jimmy and Rachel Gross. They just adopted their youngest baby domestically from Texas and now live in Ethiopia, ha!  
 This outreach is changing lives for children and women at risk. 
Be sure to check them out! 

I met Brittany and Ian Bentley who are a huge help to No Ordinary Love. They are also living in Ethiopia for a period of time with their children, one of which is adopted from Ethiopia. They seem to be a huge blessing to this organization. 

AND I met this super woman, Debbie Forman! She has 12 children and 9 of them are adopted and several with special needs. She was in country to finalize her latest adoption. What an amazing woman! 

They have a special program for the children every Saturday. The kids have a blast. 


They have some awesome mothers in their program. Many of them have children of their own and are learning basic skills which are teaching them to be a good mother and how to care for their children. 

Michael surprisingly ran into his driver from when they came to adopt their son last December. He was showing him how big he has gotten. 

After we left No Ordinary Love, we rode over to check out an awesome scarf making business. These women are former prostitutes and come from the Women At Risk Ministry. They totally restore these women and teach them their worth. They then send them over for employment making scarves for a company called FashionABLE. These scarves are beautiful and each one has a not from one of these women who made it. 
I got to meet Feleku. Everyone else was gone and she was still in there at her loom weaving with all her might. She is such a strong woman who has come so far from her past. 


 Please check out FashionABLE and you can read more about Feleku. 


More to come. Internet is very slow so it puts me behind on my blogging. Hope to catch up in the next couple of days. :-) So many great things happening over here that I can't even list them all. 


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Our Mission For Beth ~ Day 2, Ethiopia!


We all four woke to a beautiful day in Ethiopia.
Although our driver, Getcho, is in America, we took the opportunity to go visit his daughter and her family. They had a coffee ceremony set up and ready for us. 
This was the first coffee ceremony for Ryan and Michael. It is a true Ethiopian experience.

It was great to meet her and her cute kids! 

Speaking of cute kids...there were plenty that we got to know that lived just outside in the community. 







These kids were adorable! They loved playing with us. 


We then traveled over to Hope 4 the Hopeless to see some of our friends we met on our last trip. 
                                   
This is such a wonderful ministry the pulls street children off the streets and pours the love of Jesus in them. These kids are truly transformed! We had the opportunity to help pull two children off the streets during two of our teams over the summer. It was so great to see these kids again and see how good they are doing. 


Ryan passed out brand new shirts that were donated by Nike to all the kids. They loved them! Thanks, Nike! 



I got to see my friend, Meron! She has a smile that will warm your heart. Her story is unbelievable. She is truly a walking miracle. 



The kids were so excited to see all of us. Below we have Meron braiding my hair so pretty! She is coming right along with her English. She kept saying "Fashion" while she braided :-) 

We have had several " God moments" today. This was a federal holiday so most places were closed. We had a particular place we wanted to visit to see about getting their help but they were closed. Bissy asked the guard if anyone was in the building and he said no. We were about to leave and then last minute he told us to wait. He took us up to one man who was working on his day off. He was great and listened to us the whole time. This meeting turned into another and it looks very promising that they will partner with us. 

I also had the opportunity to go visit and photograph a new waiting child. This little girl looks around 7 or 8. She is ABSOLUTELY precious! When you give her something she gives it to everyone else around her first before she keeps something for herself. I will have the pics and info available soon on our Waiting Children page. If you are considering adopting an older child, please take a minute and look at this sweet little girl. She will surely bless a family. Pics coming soon. If you would like more info on her please email us at Holli@ordinaryhero.org. 

Once again, God is guiding our steps. It really is mind blowing to watch. More exciting stuff to share next blog on our Day 3! Remember to check out the Ordinary Hero facebook page to see more pics of our trip. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

On a Mission For Beth In Ethiopia ~ Day 1

 If you have been following some of the news in Ordinary Hero over the past two months you know that we are on somewhat of a bittersweet journey in Ethiopia and Cape Town over the next 10 days. 
Pictured above is our friend, Michael Venable. It was not even a year ago, last December, that he and his wife, Beth were standing in this very country of Ethiopia, as they arrived to pick up their new adopted son, Scarborough. Scar is their first adopted son and fourth child in the family. 
You now see Michael pictured above, on the ground in Ethiopia, without his sweet wife, Beth. On August 24, 2012, Beth went to be with the Lord after battling a hard recovery from a sudden brain surgery. After a simple suggestion for friends and loved ones to donate to Ordinary Hero in lieu of flowers because of Beth's love for orphans, Michael saw God's great work at hand. Beth's memorial and life legacy miraculously brought in over $50,000 thanks to friends, loved ones, and even strangers who were moved by Beth's story. To this day it continues to grow. Beth's life will live on in the many lives that will be saved thanks to all who have given in honor of Beth. 

So here we are on our first day on the ground in Ethiopia. We thought what better way to decide what to do with the money than to bring Michael, myself, my husband Shane, our videographer Ryan, and hit the ground to see what God has in store. So here we are on our journey to CHANGE THE WORLD FOR ONE (+ many) in Ethiopia first and then on to Cape Town, South Africa over the next 10 days. 
We know that God has big plans for the money and we are here to see what that is. 
Each day opens our eyes to more of the needy and we are relying on that small whisper to tell us which direction to go. So where is a good place to start?

THE TRASH DUMP!

We have often brought teams into the Korah trash dump area to serve the destitute and needy. There are a few amazing organizations that offer support in this area that we have partnered alongside to find sponsors for children, etc. 
 What if I told you there is ANOTHER side of Korah that has not been touched by any outside help? No outside help, but yet strong men of God from the community struggling to make a difference on their own the best they can. 
These strong men were raised up and taught about God by our one and only Bissy! 
Bisrat is our Ordinary Hero Ethiopian Representative and we couldn't do half of what we do without him guiding us. Take a stroll with us as Michael is led into the OTHER side of Korah for the first time by Bissy, to show us a whole new world of need. 

We believe that God is wanting to raise up this next generation, give them a hope, and a future and a destiny. 

We were also led through the community by one of the Pastors on this side of Korah as he showed us the many plastic houses that his people live in and struggle to survive. He has an AMAZING story of his own. He had a horrible mouth infection that was overtaking his face when an American stumbled upon him and sent him for surgery. That same person sponsored him for school and then on to the University. He has now come back to serve as a Pastor and tell others what God has done for him. His life was miraculously changed because someone cared enough to sponsor him as a young boy with nothing, living in the dump, with sores and infection all over him. 
You truly can CHANGE THE WORLD FOR ONE!

Here, Ryan is capturing some of Bissy's personal testimony on camera. The thing that makes us helping this community so powerful is to see someone like Bissy, who lived in the dump for 11 years, guide us in with such determination to help those that are left behind to suffer. God has risen him from his life in the dump to now serve those left behind and teach them that through God they can have a future too. 

Bissy was explaining how he would bury his body in all this plastic to stay warm at night only 5 short years ago.  

Bissy ran into this family living in a plastic house by the dump. He said he knew this young boy when he was a child. He is now 19 and never made it past grade 4 because his mother can't afford school. We have seen the power of sponsorship and will find one for this boy with the beautiful smile and a bright future once given the chance. 

Everywhere you look there are homes made of plastic, mud, and sticks....that's it!

BUT amazingly we have seen time and time again, the poor in Ethiopia have something that many rich Americans don't have...and that is faith in God. Not small faith, but faith that gives them hope to get through each day. Posted to the mud wall, on top of cardboard covering a hole, there reads a simple sign on the wall...
"The Fear Of God Is The Beginning Of Wisdom" 

We stepped into a home that housed this young girl that had just given birth to a baby she can barely feed. What does a young mom do who has produced not enough milk to feed her baby, without a cent to her name, in a third world country? 
She prays for a miracle and we listen to that small whisper to tell us where to go. 

We stepped through her door. God heard her prayer and we can help.

These little faces are what brings us back year after year. 

These mother's prayers are what guide our steps to reach them. 

Leprosy is rampant in this community. This sweet, woman has been bedridden for many, many years.
Her hands are eaten away with leprosy yet she greeted us with a warm smile and invited us in her home.  

Why are we here? Only God knows. We have two men who have been pulled from the mud and mire of the dump leading the way and those of us ready to help and stand with them to CHANGE THE WORLD for those left behind.

Less than a year ago, Michael was arriving in Ethiopia to pick up his son with his beautiful wife, Beth. He never could have imagined he would be back, not even a year later, saying goodbye to one chapter of his life, to quickly turn the page to a brand new one. As God takes him by the hand and leads him from house to house and person to person, He is showing him, that even after such tragedy, he still does have a future and hope. Not only will he see his own future and hope through this trip, but he will see the blessing of so many more that will now have a future and a hope because of Beth's life legacy that will live on in the children her life will bless for generations to come.  

To read more about Beth and her family, visit the Beth Venable Memorial Page. Your donations are why we are here. Beth's life has touched many and now we are here to carry out her heart's desire for the orphan. Thank you for your continued support of Beth's Life Legacy and your continued prayers for Michael and his mission to spread Beth's love to the needy.
To see more pictures of our journey, visit the OH facebook page. 
Thank you for following us on this journey. We can't wait to see where we end up. 

Day 2 coming up next!
Matthew 7:7-8
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.