Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Children In need Give To Children In Need! The Joy of Serving.

Our Team is having an amazing time serving in Ethiopia! Today we visited Hope For The Hopeless Orphanage. We love this place and the way they pour into the kids they serve! We visit them each time, giving some kind of donation, but this time was different. 

You see, every time we visit them the village children in the surrounding area line the front gate and stare in at us. Back in April we gave them new clothes and I noticed on my last trip that they STILL had on those same clothes from 9 MONTHS AGO! 

They are precious and they are dirty. I called all the kids in the orphanage over and told them I needed their help! I said "Today is your day to serve instead of be served." They were all excited to help! So we sorted all the donations and lined the village kids at the gate! 

We asked each child living in the orphanage to go get a child from the village and bring them in and clean them and give them a new outfit and shoes. 

The kids loved it and they did such a great job! 

They really took time with the children, finding them their correct sizes. 

As I watched the kids serving others in need it became such a beautiful site! 
Seeing This little girl wearing her purple dress over and over for months is what made me realize they really don't have any clothes. 

After each child dressed the children they were so happy with themselves! 

There is nothing better in the world than serving those in need that are less fortunate no matter who you are. It not only takes your mind off of your own problems but it also lets you know how bad it really could be and how good you really have it! We all need to put things into perspective and count our blessings. I'm so proud of the children at H4H! It blessed me more than anything to watch them serve instead of being served for once! World changers are at the door!! 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

New team on the ground in Ethiopia right now!

It's now Monday morning in Ethiopia and our January team has already been on the ground and serving an entire day after two days of traveling. We wanted to introduce you to this team of 12, and ask for prayers as they serve the children of Ethiopia this week.

This is Katherine from Texas and Heather from Minnesota.

Amy and Peter, a married couple from Portland, Oregon.

Molly is also from Oregon, pictured here with teammate, Nick from Nashville, Tennessee.

Kisha is also from Nashville and is pictured with Kelly.

These four from Utah were already there to meet the team. It's Kelsey, Hannah and Rachelle's first time in Ethiopia, Deborah has been many times.

Thank you for your prayers, and please continue to watch the blog for more from this team!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Search For An Ethiopian Diamond In The Rough

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 

I want to tell you of a young girl that I have watched flourish over the past four years. I found a true jewel in a remote village in Ethiopia in 2010 without even knowing it. 

Let me first take you back to 2010. 

It was Ordinary Hero's first year to take a team to Ethiopia. In the middle of our team trip, we all loaded up in the big bus and went on a mad search for my son's birthmother that I had never met before. I had my husband, my daughter and one of my son's with me, along with a 22 member team in tow, and our brand new guides named Bissy and Maste. :-) 

I had one picture and that was it! Bissy, took the picture and would run off into the different villages, showing them the picture, asking if anyone knew this mother or daughter. Sure enough, we found someone who said they knew the daughter and what village she lived in. This person got in the bus with all of us and showed us where to find her. 

This was the first time I met Hiwot, my son's biological sister. 
She came walking down a dirt road and just broke down when we told her who we were. 
Before they put our son in the orphanage, she was one of the little girls in Ethiopia that you would see with a baby strapped to her back. She would care for him while their mother worked, which meant that she couldn't go to school. She sat out for two years caring for him while their mother would do the best she could to try to bring in some income. 
She had not seen her brother in close to three years. 
She missed him terribly. I think her tears were for him. 

She took us to their home. Her mother was not home. She was out working, washing clothes. 
 When we walked into their traditional, mud home, to my surprise, there were pictures of my son in this small, rural home in the middle of Africa. Seeing those pictures truly reminded me of where my son is from and what a gift he is to our family. 
 Our next stop was at the mother's workplace. Hiwot stepped out of sight into a building and the next thing I know a little woman comes sprinting out of the building and straight to me to give me the biggest hug ever! 

My son's birthmother. 

I never would have imagined the importance of meeting them that day. 

Now fast forward 4 years!!
Hiwot has been joining our teams and helping us serve over the past few years. More than that, what I realize now, is that she was taking notes. This spirit of serving others got into her soul and I am so proud to say that she, completely, on her own,  planned out an entire project for our Ordinary Hero team to work alongside her senior high school class and help children that attend a very poor school across the street from hers. 

She said that when she approached the school to tell them her idea, they didn't believe her because no student had ever wanted to help like that. She went and brought her teacher back with her to confirm and thus the project began! :-) 

Our team arrived at the school and they sent our vans over to gather the kids and bring them to us. Hiwot had arranged for an awesome injera meal to be ready when they got there. Our team really enjoyed getting to feed these beautiful kids. 

We lined up the back of the building with clothing and shoe donations. 
When the children finished eating we would bring them back and line them up to receive a new clothing item and shoes. 

 This project was such a joy! The smiles on these kids faces was priceless. They were SO excited to eat this meal and receive these gifts from our team. 

 Of course, every grand meal must be topped off with a soda! :-) 

 What a beautiful site getting to see Hiwot and her fellow classmates with their Ordinary Hero shirts on, serving alongside our team to make a difference in their own community! 

These senior students did an excellent job serving the children. After the children ate their meal and received their clothing and shoes they received new school supplies. 

What a joy it was to watch these kids in action and watch their hearts just soar for the children they were serving. 

When we were finished and all the children left one or our teammates videoed Hiwot telling why she wanted to start this project to help children in need. 

As she was explaining, she broke down and cried.....

Because she used to be one of them. 


Jeremiah 33:3
‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’


You never know who will cross your path to get you where you need to go. 

What a treasure we found!! 

Sidenote: Hiwot is graduating as the valedictorian of her class and wants to be a Doctor. 

When I met her she could speak no English and now this summer she assisted and translated for our medical teams! 

She was a rockstar!!