Monday, July 23, 2012
Let me back up... Shortly after our kick-off event in March, the "K Family" from Virginia traveled to Ethiopia with Children's HopeChest on a Vision Trip. They visited several different CHC care points on the trip and saw many needy and hurting children. However, their hearts were most moved by what they witnessed at Merkato. The poverty and desperation was more extreme than anywhere else they visited in Ethiopia.
When the "K Family" returned home, they sensed that God was leading them to help the children from Merkato. They agreed to take on the same role that we have and are helping to coordinate more sponsorships for the kids there. In June they hosted a kick-off event and have gathered about 45 more sponsors!
Joy, relief, and thankfulness are just a few of the emotions that we have right now. We still hope and pray that every single child will soon have a sponsors (46 more to go!), but we are overjoyed to be 2/3 of the way there.
By the way, congratulations to Cameron - the winner of our giveaway last month. Thank you for sponsoring one of the kids at Merkato!
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
- A $40 gift certificate to FashionAble (www.livefashionable.com)
- A $30 gift certificate to Red Earth Trading Company (www.redearthtradingco.com)
- A bag of Ethiopian Harrar coffee from Just Love Coffee Roasters (www.justlovecoffee.com)
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
This is Pastor Getahun Shume and his family. The sponsorship program at Merkato is the product of his passion, prayer, and hard work over the last several years. He and his wife are rock stars in my book. Here is a little bit more about his story:
17 years ago he began attending a small Ethiopian Orthodox church (the predominant religion in Ethiopia). Gradually Getahun began taking on increasing leadership roles, eventually coming to lead the church. Over the next couple of years the church grew. However, as they prayed and studied together they became increasingly devoted to Jesus and less devoted to the traditional theology of the Orthodox church. Because of this, the church came under sharp criticism and persecution from other Orthodox churches. Eventually, they were completely cut off from the Orthodox church.
Undeterred and driven by passion for the Word and for orphans and widows, Getahun and his wife planted an Evangelical church in the middle of the roughest part of Addis Ababa - the Merkato area. The church there is comprised of some of the most vulnerable people in Ethiopia. The economic hardships that they face are indescribable, and the church, compelled by Jesus' love, has a burden to care for the many orphans in that area.
We first met Pastor Getahun two years ago. He told us how his church members, though in poverty themselves, were giving to fund the care of 25 orphans. They were providing food, clothing, and education to these kids. They were also personally involved in their lives, mentoring them and teaching them about Jesus. Getahun saw the difference that they were able to make in the lives of these 25 children, and he desperately wanted to expand the program to include more children.
Would you consider making a difference in the life of a child today? Click here to view the profiles of children who are waiting to be sponsored.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
"It was so exciting to meet Kidist and Liya and to be able to see these precious children who desperately need our help. It is indescribable to see the conditions they live in but exciting to see the hope in their eyes. We also got to meet Liya's mom. She was so sweet and very appreciative....The Children's HopeChest liaison was very kind and helpful too."
How exciting for all of us! Clay and Neely, thanks for sharing your experience and helping to give Kidist and Liya a hope and a future.
You can visit the Rein family's blog at: http://thereinnews.blogspot.com/http://thereinnews.blogspot.com/
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Monday, March 26, 2012
Monday, March 12, 2012
- Madeline amazes me by how quickly she picks things up and how eager she is to learn new things. She can write her name (and the whole alphabet!), she is starting to sound out words, and she understands simple math and can do problems using her fingers. Her memory and ability to learn impresses me.
- She loves to draw, and she and her daddy bond through his frequent drawing lessons.
- She is ALL GIRL - she loves all things pink and fluffy, loves to dress up, loves playing with her doll house, princesses, and ballet stuff.
- She has an adventurous spirit that nicely balances out her girliness. She loves climbing, running, and being outside.
- She is independent, self motivated, and a little on the shy side. I see myself in her in so many ways every day.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Don’t forget about our reception on March 4th at Grace Community Church from 4 pm-5pm. You will have the opportunity to learn about how you can make a huge difference in an Ethiopian child’s life. We will be talking about mission trips planned to visit our sponsored children too!
- A Tom’s Shoes gift card
- Ethiopian coffee
- Books written by Tom Davis (CEO of Children’s HopeChest)
- Africa related T-shirts
Also, everyone who signs up to sponsor a child at the reception will receive a Go. Seek. Love. T-shirt!
Where: Grace Community Church (5711 Granny White Pike, Brentwood, TN 37027)
When: Sunday March 4th, 4pm-5pm
Friday, February 17, 2012
"Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy which has overflowed in rich generosity. For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more in their own free will. They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift to the poor believers in Jerusalem. They even gave more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord..... Since you excel in so many ways...I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving. I am not commanding you to do this. But I am testing how genuine your love is by comparing it with the eagerness of the other churches."
Friday, February 10, 2012
Monday, February 6, 2012
We realized when we adopted Benjamin that it was only a first step of a new journey that we were going to be on - a journey of serving and advocating for orphans. Throughout the adoption process all of our passion and energy was consumed by the adoption itself. God had moved us and convicted us and we sought to be obedient by adopting one of his children. However, after seeing and experiencing all that we did during our trip to Ethiopia, it was clear that our adoption was just the beginning. The adoption was a compass that directed us toward a path of loving and helping orphans.
The last year and a half since the adoption has been about getting our feet under us. It has been a hard transition for everybody. Benjamin has had a lot of healing to do. I have had a more difficult time than I anticipated managing the chaos of a larger household. Madeline struggled being knocked off the Only Child Throne by an extremely needy little brother. But we are all doing better now. More than better -- Better Than Ever. The Lord has grown us, healed us, sanctified us. Now it is time to take the next step on our journey.
I’m beyond excited to announce that we are Sponsorship Coordinators for Children’s Hopechest, and we are seeking to find sponsors for 150 children.
We are working with a care point in Addis Ababa that we have a personal history with. While we were in Ethiopia to get Benjamin, our driver took us to visit his mission-focused protestant church in a desperately poor slum area of Addis. We met his pastor, and he was eager to tell us about the small but ambitious sponsorship program that the church had begun. The members were ministering to the orphaned and needy children who lived nearby by paying for their school tuition, uniforms, and supplies. They wanted to expand the program to pay for one meal per day for these kids, but the additional pennies that this would cost was beyond what these church members were able to do. He humbly asked if we could help. After seeing the area and hearing his stories, we were deeply moved and eager to do all that we could.
Us with our driver, Dawit, who took us to his church
We have been sponsoring six children ever since then, and we have stayed in contact with Pastor Getahun (we call him Pastor G). His love for the kids and his courage to dream big constantly encourages and challenges us. Ever since our trip, we have really wanted to help get more kids sponsored by asking our American friends and family to help out, but we needed accountability and the help of an established organization to pull this off.
The street right outside the church
For many months now, we have been working with Children’s HopeChest toward making this happen. It is a dream come true to be able to share that the sponsorship program details have been finalized and all of the child packets are ready to go. What remains is to connect the sponsors that God has called with the children he has called them to invest in.
Inside the church
So here’s the scoop:
- 150 children have been profiled and are waiting for sponsors. (Yikes! Yes, Pastor G dreams big!) We are personally responsible for 75 of them.
- Sponsorship costs $34/month.
- Sponsorship pays for the children’s education fees, school supplies, books, and uniforms, meals, and regular checkups
- The kids will be receiving regular mentoring and spiritual training through the local Protestant church
- They will also receive the help and intervention of a trained social worker.
Children’s HopeChest invests in and seeks to transform entire communities, not just individual children. The goal is to break the cycle. If these kids receive an education only to graduate into a reality where there is no employment, opportunity, or even healthcare, the long-term prospects for their lives are just not good.
Over the next several years plans are already being made to:
- Dig a well and build proper latrines for this community.
- Develop new job opportunities for adult residents to help break the cycle of poverty.
- Provide education about HIV/AIDS prevention and santitation.
Within a couple more weeks, there will be a CHC website ready for our care point where sponsorship signups will begin. For now, can I ask ever person reading this to please pray?
- Pray God’s blessing and protection for Pastor G.
- Pray for the 150 kids in this program.
- Pray that God will lead us to the families that he is calling to sponsor these kids.
- Pray for an event we will be holding at our church on March 4th to spread the word. (More about that later.)
Monday, January 30, 2012
I am amazed that you are reading this! The three or four of you who actually still check my blog are incredibly loyal. Thank you! I will be writing a family update soon, but for tonight I just wanted to throw a teaser out.
We are going to have some exciting news soon!
We have a new season of ministry for our family that is about to begin. It has been in process ever since we came back from Ethiopia (Can you believe it has been over a year and a half now?!), and after a lot of planning, corresponding, praying, and waiting everything is almost ready. We aren’t quite ready to make the Big Announcement yet, but we will be within a week or so.
Check back for details soon!