"Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

ET 807 - (the Compassion project that Efrata is in)

Holeta Berhane Wengel Child Development Project - ET807

From my understanding this project was only started months ago, in December. I haven't been able to connect with anyone sponsoring a child in this project until now. On the 'sponsor site' I was found by the new sponsor of a girl named Maseresha. Maseresha is 6 years old, an orphan, and a lives with her aunt. She is adorable!

I'm writing this blog today to challenge my blog readers to find a sponsor for another child in this project.

He is 8 years old. His name is Getahun and he is also an orphan... and is also adorable! (They make beautiful kids in Holeta, Ethiopia!!)
Here is a link: http://www.compassion.com/sponsor_a_child/waystosponsor/ChildBio.htm?Child=ET8070185 OR CLICK HERE

** Since this morning there is also a little girl from ET 807 in need of a sponsor. Her name is Shito and she is 6 years old and an orphan. She is living with a foster mom & dad. Here is the link: http://www.compassion.com/sponsor_a_child/waystosponsor/ChildBio.htm?Child=ET8070188 OR CLICK HERE

"Allow God to work through you and sponsor a child today!"

One Meal One Day

October 20th, 2010
The money saved when skipping lunch on this day is donated to Compassion International. http://www.onemealoneday.com/

"I'm in."
Are you?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Where Love Is

A home for street children in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
- this home is working to set up a sponsorship program.

(Turn music player off at the bottom of the page)


Sunday, April 25, 2010

It's contagious

So apparently this is rubbing off on my kids. They understand a little more about poverty and want to help. Caleb (11) is starting an editorial on poverty at school. He picked the subject himself. Hunter (6) found a large container today and said he was going to collect money for Efrata (our sponsored child in Ethiopia.) He then gave me $2 and some change. It was his entire savings (after spending it all shortly after his birthday.) He said, "give this to Efrata please."

I love my kids!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Compassion Kids

Why sponsor a child?

Because they live in places like this and you can help kids like this.

Also, Sunday (April 25th) is World Malaria Day. World Malaria Day represents a chance for all of us to make a difference.

Roll Back Malaria
World Malaria Day 2009

About Malaria from Wikipedia:
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease. It is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions, including parts of the Americas (22 countries), Asia, and Africa. Each year, there are approximately 350–500 million cases of malaria, killing between one and three million people, the majority of whom are young children in sub-Saharan Africa. Ninety percent of malaria-related deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria is commonly associated with poverty, but is also a cause of poverty and a major hindrance to economic development.

Go to this site to buy someone in need mosquito netting.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day Lessons from a kindergartner

Hunter has suggestions to "save the world."

We help the earth by digging holes.
We help the earth by picking up trash.
We help the earth by turning off the lights.
We help the earth by turning off the sink.
We help the earth by making new trees, then we cut them down.

(...Uh, mom, What does recycling mean?)

We help the earth by making apple trees because apples are good for you.
We help the earth by being good to other people.
If someone cuts down too many trees the air will get all dirty... <- "bad!"
We help the earth by helping people who get lost.
We help the earth by taking lost dogs to the pet store.
We help the earth by turning off the t.v.

I love the earth by loving people! I love my family!
I will help the earth because Jesus made us!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Package for Nanese on it's way to Haiti

The back of Hunter's picture is a letter from me.. but his picture was too cute to not share! (He originally wrote that he was 5 years old. Oops. He forgot he had a birthday a few months ago. Too cute!)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

We have a new compassion friend!

Her name is Nanese Clerveau. She lives in Haiti. She will turn 20 on September 2nd and will graduate the program on September 1st. We don't have much time to get to know her, but will do our best while we can.

Nanese is in the 8th grade and attends Sunday school and V.B.S. At home her duties are to make beds, clean, and carry water. She enjoys biking, singing, and listening to music. She lives with both of her parents.

I don't know what effect the earthquake had on her village. She lives in Plaisance. According to Compassion's website this area was "moderately affected." There were loss of homes and life, but not to the extent of other areas.

Typical homes in this area are made of a wood floor, brick/block/cement walls, and a tin roof. The people speak Creole. The typical diet is maize, beans, bread, and bananas. Those who are employed earn about $31 a month. Her father is listed as a farmer, but not always employed.

If we can find someone who speaks creole prior to her leaving the program we have a possibility of continuing to be a part of her life through letters. Without this there is little chance of being able to continue correspondence.

We sent her an email through Compassion's website yesterday and we have a package to send out today. Emails still take a long time to get through because they need to be translated, but she should receive that a good 2 weeks before she recieves the package.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Today is 8-7-2002 in Ethiopia

Ethiopia uses its own calendar of 13 months.
Twelve months have 30 days, the 13th month has 5 or 6 days.

They are 8 years behind us because of different calculations of the date of the Annunciation of Jesus (when the Angel told Mary that she would carry and give birth to Jesus.)
The first day of the year on the Ethiopian calendar is September 11th here.

Child Sponsorship

Compassion International- "One Act" video
How letters & sponsorship saves lives

One Act from Compassion International on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Lisanga Orphanage in the Congo

This is a story about an orphanage in the Congo.

Go Here to read the entire story & view photo's

The children have no food, no formula, no water, some are dying of malaria, they are living in filth... I posted the beginning of the story below but you will need to click the link & read the entire story to really appreciate the story she is telling.

Here in the United States we view poverty in terms of a line. You're either above or below the poverty line. Go below and there are institutions to sometimes help give you a leg up. Are those institutions perfect- NO! But they exist and they help to ensure that children in the US get hot meals at school whether they can afford them or not and make sure that families who can't afford it, can get baby formula and baby food.

The Congo is a very different story. 85% of people in DRC are unemployed. The average person only makes around $300 per year. I've heard people say that it is all relative. But the thing is that it is not all relative. Things in Congo cost just as much as they do in the US. A can of baby formula in Congo still costs $20. If that can of formula were 7% of your income and you knew it would only last a week, would you buy it. Absolutely not. Same goes for beans. The week that I was in DRC, a 50 pound bag of beans cost $75! Which means that per year, you could buy 4 bags of beans for you family and it would wipe out every single dime you had.

Monday, April 12, 2010

"Compassion Mail"

Usually you don't have to wait so long for this to come.. but there apparently was a "glitch" and our packet took longer that normal.

This is what our official sponsorship packet looks like. It Came 3 and 1/2 weeks after we sponsored Efrata... a very long 3 and 1/2 weeks!
(I'm sure the wait until we get her first letter will feel like an eternity if I though this was bad!)

1st Package on the way to Ethiopia!

Here is her first package! It includes a 3-D card for her birthday, a cheesy handmade bookmark with her photo, a family photo (taken last fall), a photo of the kids, photo's of HER, and lots of stickers. I hope it gets to her in time.

It may seem strange that I'm sending her a photo of herself, but she may not have a photo of herself. Photos aren't common in 3rd world countries and this may be something that she doesn't have, or doesn't have many of.

Water: Jennifer's Story

From BloodWaterMission.com

I know a girl named Jennifer who walks for most of her day. Not by choice but by absolute need. One step in front of the other brings Jennifer closer to a source of water, water that is needed to survive. She carries a bright yellow bucket in one arm and the hand of her younger sister in the other. Her calloused feet meet the dirt path with ease and levity. She passes neighbors, livestock, mud huts with thatched roofs, and the primary school down the road.

After thirty minutes of walking, Jennifer and her sister dip their buckets in the filth of a muddy river. They do their best to swirl the water before dipping their buckets deep into the water so as to push away the clumps and bugs that sit along the surface of the brown water. With remarkable grace, each girl places her 20 pound bucket on her head and walks back. Their bare feet hit against the dirt of the path, passing yet again the primary school down the road, the mud huts with thatched roofs, the livestock and the neighbors. When they arrive home, they empty their buckets into a large tub. Invisible bacteria swim in the water, causing serious stomach aches, skin infections and life-threatening diseases to the members of the family. They will use it for drinking, cleaning and cooking. It is what they have, and so it is what they use. Jennifer turns around to walk back along the dirt path with her bright yellow bucket in one arm and the hand of her younger sister in the other, to return to the river once more.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


-photo from nytimes.com (infant is 5 months old)

There is an article in the New York Times worth reading. It is about malnutrition in Ethiopia (specifically in a city north of Addis Ababa called Shimider.) You can find it here.

Some statistics outlined in the article are as follows;

Malnutrition still kills here, though Ethiopia’s infamous famines are in abeyance. In Wag Hamra alone, the northern area that includes Shimider, at least 10,000 children under age 5 died last year, thousands of them from malnutrition-related causes.

Robbed of vital nutrients as children, they grow up stunted and sickly, weaklings in a land that still runs on manual labor.

Some become intellectually stunted adults, shorn of as many as 15 I.Q. points, unable to learn or even to concentrate, inclined to drop out of school early.

Nearly 6 in 10 are stunted; 10-year-olds can fail to top an adult’s belt buckle.

They are frequently sick: diarrhea, chronic coughs and worse are standard for toddlers here.

Five million African children under age 5 died last year — 40 percent of deaths worldwide — and malnutrition was a major contributor to half of those deaths.

One in 15 pregnant women experiences night blindness, indicating vitamin A deficiency and a diet devoid of protein and red or yellow fruits and vegetables.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

One day without shoes

One for One-
"TOMS Shoes was founded on a simple premise: With every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. One for One."

TOMS Shoes is sponsoring "One Day Without Shoes" to have you experience life without shoes firsthand and to spread awareness of the impact a simple pair of shoes can bring to a child's life.

Join us and participate!

(Picture is of Hunter's cute little toes!)

One Day Without Shoes Link

Efrata (our sponsored child)

I have some updated information on Efrata!

I am allowed to send Efrata $25 for her birthday which is on May 21st (she will be 8.) I submitted that today because I'm aware that it takes a lot of time to get that processed. ($25 can buy a goat!) The children usually buy necessities with thier gift money. (Many people get a photo of what the child bought with thier birthday money, I hope I do!)

Efrata's paperwork says that lives with her mom because her dad passed away. She appears to be an only child. She is in 3rd grade and has "average" school work. Her mother's job is listed as a "house maid." (Does this mean unemployeed? I assume it does as most people are unemployeed.)

The typical home in Holeta, Ethiopia has a floor made of dirt, walls made of mud, earth, or clay, and a tin roof. A typical family income is $18 a month. I am not sure what language she speaks but the typical language of this area is both Oromigna and Guragigna. The project that she is in just started in December 2009.

Delivery of mail to & from her project can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months... (still waiting!)

...off to write her an email!

BTW- here's a blog on the 2009 Ethiopia tour. (I would love to do this someday!!) click here!