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!