Worker Family Update August 2016

The Valientes

We are excited to announce that Carlos and Natalie Valiente will soon be on the ground to serve alongside Embracing Hope.  They’ve been busy selling all their stuff, saying their goodbyes and now have tickets to fly to Ethiopia on August 7th. Valiente

Carlos and Natalie Valiente are from Queen Creek, Arizona, and are parents to five children – Isabella, Abigail, twins Asher and Gabriella, and Samuel.

Carlos is a Professor of Family Studies at Arizona State University, where he teaches courses on marriage and family relationships and directs research projects to better understand how to promote success in early elementary school.  

Natalie, a former elementary teacher, is now a full-time, homeschooling mom.

Carlos will be serving Embracing Hope Ethiopia as an Expatriate Trainer, specifically focused on  training of EHE’s teachers,  further development of our case management system, and the conducting of research about early childhood learning. 

Their family will be in Ethiopia for at least a year as Carlos will continue to be employed by Arizona State University.  

We are excited to have them here, serving alongside of our Ethiopian Team.  Please pray for them as they move and settle into a new life in Addis Ababa!

The Shannons

The Shannons have had a great few months in rainy and cold Addis Ababa. The rains came early this year – it actually feels like its been raining since April – and it feels unseasonably cold and wet.

However, we are having a great season personally as well as in Ministry.

The children have now finished their school year and are already started into the new school year. They had a great end to their year. As they start the new year, Joshua is in Grade 12, Micah Grade 9, Caia Grade 7, Hanna Grade 3 and Kidist is in Kindergarten Level 2! Mihiret is our only non-homeschooling child this year! 

Twin Waterfalls near Hadero, Southern Ethiopia.

We recently took some time to head out of Addis to visit Southern Ethiopia. It was a great adventure out to a village that was only accessible by 4 wheel drive. We also got some time to spend in our favorite place – Hawassa – complete with many birds and hippos.

Here’s whats happening with all of us.  


Happy 3rd Birthday Mimi!

Mihiret recently turned 3. She brings us so much joy and is growing like crazy.

Kidist is so excited to be starting Kindergarten Level 2. She is doing great and thriving now that she is on a gluten free diet.

Hanna has loved helping Christy around the Day Care. She is a hard worker and is terrific with the children.

Caia’s 12th Birthday!


Caia just turned 12 and recently got to go with Micah to a giant farm that is owned by friends of ours. She loved spending time with her friend outside the city and got to try her hand at driving a Polaris.


Micah loved getting outside of the city to visit our friend’s farm. He must have taken 1,000 photos while he was there. His photography skills are amazing. Check out his Facebook page MKPHOTOGRAPHY to see his great photos.

One of Micah’s Recent photos

Joshua recently turned 17 and is now in the process of thinking about next year. Right now it looks like he will apply for the SeaHawks program with FriendShips International in Port Charles, LA. They have a great program that will train him in maritime, Christian discipleship and Relief and Development Response.


Joshua on his 17th Birthday – enjoying Turkish food!

All of our family enjoyed helping to lead a Vacation Bible School at the Embracing Hope School that was led by the youth of International Evangelical Church – the church that Jerry serves. It was a great week of serving the 1st and 2nd Graders.

Jerry and Christy continue to keep busy in ministry between the Church and the Day Care. We’re working on seeing the Day Care add an additional 30 families, adding 2nd Grade and writing our new 3 year licensing proposal. We’re also busy planning our future move to Turkey, searching for a new pastor, starting to learn Turkish, homeschooling and entertaining tons of guests and teams this summer.

Thank you for your prayers. Your partnership in Prayer and Support are vital to what we do.