We have been blessed with an amazing team of people. Here’s your chance to meet our growing team!


Alayu Tadesse – ET Director, Co-Founder

Alayu is one of the founders of Embracing Hope Ethiopia and serves as the Ethiopian Director.   With a long history in development circles, including World Vision’s micro-enterprise operations, Alayu brings a lot of experience in work among the poor.

Alayu provides oversight to all operations in Ethiopia as well as the Management Team for the organization.   Alayu’s heart for the poor is obvious as he continually is compelled for us to be able to serve more Mothers and Children – so that they might embrace hope in all areas of life.

Alayu originally grew up in Northern Ethiopia.  He holds a BA in Theology from Evangelical Theological College, an MA in Leadership from Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology and an MA in Holistic Child Development also from Evangelical Theological College.  Alayu lives near to Kore’ with his wife Kidist and their son Amanuel who is 6 years old.

Our Team in Ethiopia has grown to over 50 employees who run the Day Care, School, Spiritual Ministries and other activities



US Based Team

Judy Taylor – Administrator

Judy joined EH in 2013 as our Administrator and handles many of the office duties for EH on the US Side. She lives in New Holland,

Pennsylvania with her husband John.

Judy holds an Associates Degree in Early Childhood, Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s degree in Music Therapy and Expressive Arts.

Judy and John have a two adult children and two grandchildren.

If you have administrative questions or would like more information, you can contact Judy at info@EmbracingHopeEthiopia.com

April Fjeld – EH Sponsorship Coordinator

April came on board as the Family Sponsorship Coordinator in 2015, though her love for Embracing Hope began in 2012 on a trip to Ethiopia. Since that trip, April has advocated and shared stories about these families every opportunity she and her husband get.

April is married to Joe, a man equally passionate about orphan advocacy and family preservation. They have 4 children (the youngest is a foster placement they are in the process of adopting).

April has a B.S. in Elementary Ed. from UNCG, a Master’s in Education from Elon University, and a Post Master’s in Gifted Ed. from Duke University. She is a National Board certified teacher in Literacy. April says, “I know education is a way out. It is a way to rise above your circumstance and rewrite your future. I am so grateful for Embracing Hope giving these families this opportunity and so much more!”

If you have any questions related to sponsorship, or you would like information on sponsoring a family, please contact April at sponsorship@EmbracingHopeEthiopia.com .

The Shannons – Co-Founders

Jerry & Christy Shannon’s first trip to Ethiopia was in 2008 when they traveled to adopt their youngest daughter, Hanna.  On that trip, God deposited something in their hearts about serving the poor and marginalized.  In 2009 they moved their family to Addis Ababa, where they lived in Kore’ until 2018.  About 1 year into their stay in Addis Ababa, they were able to help catalyze the beginnings of EHE.  Today, Jerry continues to serve on the Board of Directors. They have 7 children, Joshua (21), Micah (19), Caia (16), Hanna (13), Kidist (9), Mihiret (7) and Malachi (3).

U.S. Embracing Hope Ethiopia Board of Directors

Dr. Kirsten Ditzler           Lancaster, PA

Jerry Shannon                Syracuse, NY

Tymm Hoffman               Colorado Springs, CO

Dr. Jennifer Pascoe       Boise, ID

Rev. Mark Muthler      Pottstown, PA

Dr. Rachel Hohman       Hershey, PA