While we are here in the US touring around and sharing about the work that Embracing Hope Ethiopia is doing, the hard work of screening new families was being done on the ground in Ethiopia. Alayu and Binyam have been working tirelessly to get our final approvals for expansion as well as the screening work of potential families for the project.
In the end they interviewed over 200 Moms and out of them they selected 74 whom we get the privilege of partnering with. These Moms and their children are characterized as being the poorest of the poor – the Moms and Children that we feel mandated to serve. Now, its not that the other Moms and children were not poor. Rather our mandate is, and will continue to be, those who are on the edge and who could not make it without intervention and partnership.
You may have heard me say in the past that we have to turn away over 1,300 Moms per year. It is heartbreaking to see so many that we are not able to help because of funding and capacity limitations. However, today we are celebrating because there are 74 others that we do get to help.
While these Moms and their childrens’ stories range in the complexities surrounding them, let me share with you three of their stories.
1. Emawayesh and Kidist. Emawayesh is 20 years old and never attended a day of school, leaving her illiterate and without
Kidist and Emawayesh
marketable skills. Her daughter Kidist is 2 years old. Emawayesh was married, but after Kidist came into the picture, her husband abandoned the family to care for themselves. Now, they live in the slum and Emawayesh earns $10 per month selling items by the roadside. Her rent is $18 per month. They are not making it.
2. Bizuyel, 2 year old Genet and 1 year old Tigist. Bizuyel is 22 years old and has never had a formal education. After her two daughters came along, her husband abandoned the family, leaving Bizuyel to somehow try to care for a 2 year old and a 1 year old with no skills, no job and no family. Courageously, Bizuyel has tried to make it work. Upon entering the project, she was
Fiyerie and Frewoyni
begging along the roadside with her 2 children. Day after day, dignity was being robbed from her as she made $10 per month from begging. At the same time she was trying to pay $8 per month in rent. They deserve to know that they are made in God’s image. We long to see Jesus make everything new for them.
3. Frewoyni and Fiyerie. Frewoyni has 3 children total, the youngest of them being 8 month old Fiyerie. Fiyerie’s dad recently divorced Frewoyni, leaving her to provide for the 3 children by herself, with no one else around. Originally from Eritrea, she has no one available to her to help. She cannot work because there is no one to care for the baby. Upon coming into the project, Frewoyni and her 3 children were sleeping under an awning in the slum to try to keep out of the cold and rain that the rainy season brings. We want to see the restoration that only Jesus can bring, brought to Frewoyni and her children, especially 8 month old Fiyerie.
However, please do not read their stories and simply feel pity for them. Life is incredibly difficult for them, but there is a new season ahead. Now, there is food and education and interventions that can help empower them to break out of poverty. Rather than pitying them, please pray for them. And as you pray, please also ask God if He might have you engage in sponsoring and/or advocating for them.
As a ministry, we first welcome families into the project and then we start looking for family sponsors after the fact. We ask that you might become one of those family sponsors for these families. And, while you are at it, please spread the word. Acts of family preservation and orphan prevention are powerful!
Help us to partner with these Moms and their children that they might embrace hope in all of life…and that they might know Jesus’ restoration and redemption personally.