Worker Family Updates December 2016

The Shannons

Here’s what’s happening in the Shannon house:


Joshua is working on his Senior Year of High School. He will graduate in May 2018, then we’ll head back to the US for home assignment. His first task when he arrives is to take His drivers test and then we’ll hit the road together. In August he has applied for FriendShips – a gap year program in Louisiana. There he will be engaged in rigorous physical training, Christian discipleship and training in maritime and relief work. He is excited! Joshua has also been playing drums in the Bingham Academy orchestra and Sunday morning worship team.


Micah is doing great in his 9th Grade year. He has a heavy workload of school
work, but continues to do well. He is enjoying his guitar lessons and his teacher AB keeps giving him harder and harder assignments. His photography business is taking off and he stays busy either shooting photos or editing. He has had clients both in personal settings as well as business settings. In January, Micah will turn 15!


Caia is in 7th Grade and is doing well! She is super excited to have some new friends who recently moved to Addis that she is enjoying spending time with. She continues with guitar lessons and is playing really well. She recently was baptized at church and that was a highlight of the year! Her favorite activity at the moment is measuring height against her Dad and reminding him that soon she may be taller than him.



Hanna is in 3rd Grade and enjoys homeschooling. Her favorite activity is making the rest of the family laugh at her antics. She loves singing and music and is learning to play the keyboard. The most amazing thing is that in just over a week Hanna will turn 9 years old. She is a great big sister, loving to play with Kidist and Mimi. She is so excited about moving to Istanbul and dreams about the beef there.





Kidist has started to Kindergarten and is so excited to be “big enough” to do school, too. Currently she is learning to read in school. Kidist and Mihiret are inseparable much of the time and together they can find themselves in all kinds of adventures. Recently Kidist got to see her two favorite friends in the world, Mikaela and Nathanel when we visited the farm of friends of ours. She spent hours on their trampoline and loved visiting the beach and swimming during that trip.


Mihiret feels left out that she is the only one who does not get to do school, so she learns from everyone else’s learning. She is 3 going on 30 most of the time. Her vocabulary and mannerisms continually astound us. On a recent trip to our friend’s farm, Mihiret got to face her intense fear of dogs head on and made friends with a German Shepherd. All of our girls love music and singing.

Christy continues to homeschool everyone and that is more than a full time job. She also continues to help with Embracing Hope in different ways. She is starting to transition our house for our move and continues to stand amazed at how much stuff we have accumulated over our 7 plus years in Ethiopia! She is looking forward to a few trips throughtout Ethiopia we’ll be taking over the next 5 months to places that we’ve never seen or that are important for us to say “goodbye” to.

Istanbul Sunset

Jerry has stayed busy with a Pastor Search, looking for his replacement at the church. This paid off when we were able to call a new pastor to start in August 2017. Jerry and David (the new pastor) will job share through the end of the year. We are happy to have a transition plan in place.

Jerry, Joshua and Micah traveled for a week to Istanbul in November. They had a great time of getting more acquainted with the city and all 3 returned even more in love with this great city with amazing people whom God loves dearly. Micah took thousands of photos while we are there – he got some great historical and artistic shots. Check out his Facebook page to see some of them.

We hope you have a wonderful Christmas!!!

The Valientes


It’s hard to believe we have been living in Addis for four months. So much has taken place that it seems like we have been here much longer. We are really enjoying living in Ethiopia and serving at EHE. The staff here are so welcoming and dedicated. We are grateful for all that the Shannon’s have done to help us get settled into a new life-style.

Life here is new and exciting. Here are some of our favorite things we have said to each other:

Watch out for the goat! Who else got their foot stepped on by the goats and sheep?

It’s actually fun to wash dishes by hand.

Let’s put out our church clothes while the sun is out in case the power does not come back on.


I can only do it when the electricity is out (Asher said this when we asked him to clean his room.

First time using a seatbelt in weeks. 

I really like it here. Me too.

A few weeks ago we were all taking about what we liked most about being in Ethiopia:  Here are some of our favorites:

Carlos: Living in a very different culture and learning from many great friends.


Natalie: I love it when the local kids are happy to see us, walk hand in hand with us, and practice English with us. I also love shopping at our local shops in our neighborhood and that they are welcoming us into their community.

Isabella: Going to Embracing Hope Ethiopia and when kids on the street run up to me and kiss and hug me.

Abigail: Everything is different and everyday is a surprise.


Asher: Going to the local suks (small grocery store) to buy soda and watching the horse carriages go by the house, and just watching the events going on outside our house through our second story window.


Gabriella: Having a dog, my new friends, the food, and people look like me. 

Samuel: Playing with hot wheels! The lake.




Mostly, we are excited to be on a journey that God started and that we are confident He will use for His glory.