Tag Archives: Ethiopia

The Only Reason is Jesus

2 Jul

Blog post by 14 year-old Naomi P., Team Ethiopia 2012

So the big question of the day, “What has happened in your life that has lead you to your heart for orphans?” Well sit down my dears, I will get you some tea and tell you all about it, jk.

I was born in Edmonton, Alberta in 1997 (thrilling facts I know). My parents are Scott and Janet and they are amazing (I was not paid to say that). They have been a huge support and have always done what is best for me, not only their words but also their action always showed me and taught me love.

When I was six or seven, I used to come downstairs to watch our one channel TV (I was really lucky, I got to watch TV, crazy). There was a couple of times when the World Vision show came on. I used to watch it, then cry and cry. I decided that I wanted to help those kids and their families. I pulled my neighbor into it and for a year we saved our money, and told people about what we were doing (and got their money.) Together we raised 300 and something dollars! (We even did a mobile lemonade stand! We were committed!) We gave the money to an organization our friends started when they adopted two Ethiopian boys. The organization is called Love Africa. You can look it up, 6 year old me is still on their website!

Going to Ethiopia and working there, I was convinced that, Ethiopia is where I wanted to be and where God wanted me to be. So, that was great, but how was I going to get there? So I thought about it and prayed about it for two and a half years.  Finally I told my parents and their friends; that was WAY out of my comfort zone, but I did it! So that really triggered something in our community and in our lives. There were several other people in our community who also had dreams about going to Africa or living in Africa or just about Africa in general, but it was never the right time. They were not totally sure what they were supposed to do. When I told them about how I wanted to go to Ethiopia and how I wanted them to take me, (just a small favor) it seemed to them like conformation.

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They Are Just Like My Own

27 Jun

Blog post by Gemma C., Team Ethiopia 2012

When I was in grade 6, I had a class assignment in which I had to make a timeline of my life, concluding with what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote that I wanted to be a missionary. I’m sure I didn’t realize at that time all of what that meant, but I knew three things, God loved me, I wanted to help people, and I really wanted to travel.

I don’t really know why these things have always been in my heart, other than I suppose God put them there. I grew up in a very stable, two-parent, Christian home. My parents have always been very generous with what little they had, and I guess that makes an impact on a kid. For years I worked at bible camps in the summer, and got so much life from that, working with the kids, loving them just for the week they were there.  At university, I majored in International Relations, with the intention of going on the mission field after graduation, or working in Aid and Development. This has always been a desire of mine, and the Travel Bug is embedded deep inside me. I always say to my husband that at times it must be hard to love me, because I have a gypsy heart, always wanting to be on the move.

Things have not turned out the way I had planned. Don’t get me wrong, I love my life, it is just different from what I had envisioned! I got married, finished university, and my husband and I went to work as house parents in a group home for teens with mental illnesses. All of these kids were also wards of the state, taken away from their parents for various reasons, abused and neglected.  Maine was not really my idea of world-travelling, but we were working with those who needed help, with orphans. That was such an intense 18 months, but we felt so limited because it was not a Christian organization, so we felt there was so much we could not help with. We also longed for community for ourselves. We moved back to Cape Breton (that is another story in itself), and ended up working at a Christian-run summer camp for teens with addictions. More orphans, from our own neighborhoods. I absolutely loved it. Then Joe got a job as a youth pastor at a church, more kids who need love. It has been an awesome couple of years, God has given us such a love for our youth, and a deep desire to help them. I am loving life here, but that travel bug inside me is eating me up, haha!

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Back to Ethiopia

26 Jun
Blog post by Leah G., Team Ethiopia 2012
Last summer, I was trying to find an organization that was doing a mission trip that I could go on. I didn’t end up finding any that would work out for me so I just kind of gave up. There was a group of ladies from the church going to Ethiopia and they asked me to go with them. One of the organizations we visited was World Orphans. We went to visit some of the families that were part of the home-based care program. Their houses were in terrible condition and their floors were all muddy. One little boy we visited sang for us and it was the sweetest thing. He and his mother were both HIV positive and his father had died from AIDS. It was really sad and didn’t seem fair. We also visited a school that they had and they washed our feet. (Which were super muddy from walking through a muddy field.) It was very humbling. During the trip we visited a bunch of other organizations that worked with orphans. At the end of the trip I didn’t want to come home.
When I got home and went back to school, we started planning a school trip to go back to Ethiopia. I was so excited. That’s when I heard about Journey 117, our principal told us that was the organization we would be going with when we went. It was even cooler to find out that it was one I had visited in the summer. When I think of Ethiopia the things that come to mind are the kid’s faces and how happy they were. I can’t wait to go this year and see more smiling faces.
Leah resides in Canada and will be serving with Journey117 in July on Team Ethiopia.

Everyone is Precious to Him

20 Jun

Blog post by Hayley A., Team Ethiopia 2012

God started really stirring my heart for orphans about a year ago. I was very close to graduating college with a teaching degree when I started to intentionally think about orphans and working with them. I mean, before that, I had always said that I wanted to adopt kids one day, just because it is the right thing to do. God took that idea and transformed it.

Last summer, I went to Peru with a group from my hometown, and we went to an orphanage for a few days. While we were there, God really began to open my eyes to the struggles that orphans face on a daily basis that we tend to overlook. The kids were starved for attention and they would act out to get it. The orphans I met knew that they had been abandoned and the idea of that definitely haunted them. I heard them say things about not having anyone to love them, and several of the kids wondered what having parents would be like. In that moment, I started thinking about how these babies did not have parents to nurture them and love them like I do. I realized that sometimes I take my family for granted and that something had to be done for these kids!

I went back to school in the fall for my final semester, and I really wanted to go to Ethiopia with a group from my university to share the God’s word with the people there. I didn’t end up going because there was no way I could raise the money needed in such a short period of time. I was crushed because I felt like God put Ethiopia in my heart for a reason.

Fast forward about a month, and I discovered this opportunity to work with orphans in Ethiopia with World Orphans. I was reluctant to fill out the application at first because doubts were flooding my mind. I prayed about it a lot, and I ended up submitting my application, believing that God would prepare me in every way for the trip and provide the funds for me to go. During the application process, God reassured me in several different ways. At church, we were going through the book of Acts, and we were reading Acts 8 that week. I opened my Bible to Acts 8 to discover that part of the chapter was about Phillip and the Ethiopian. Another time, several people who had gone to Ethiopia with my college gave their testimonies about what God did in Ethiopia while they were there. All I could think was “Okay, God, I get it. I am going to Ethiopia.”

All of that to say: I know God has called me to go to Ethiopia to work with orphans this summer. I am so excited to go on this journey, and I know that it will be a life-changing experience for my team and I, but also for the people of Ethiopia. I know that God is going to do great things in and through the orphans of Ethiopia because every single one of them is precious to Him.

Hayley resides in Texas and will be serving with Journey117 in July on the Ethiopia Team. 

God’s Plan for Orphans Here and There

30 Jan

Blog post by Melissa L., Team Haiti 2012

My vision for orphans started in March 2009.  I must say, I wish it would have started sooner. My husband and I had a very small bible study at our house on Sunday nights.  Jason (my husband) and our friend Janet were talking about the reality and horror of sex trafficking.  The Holy Spirit had big plans that night.  Long story short, Jason and Janet said, “We are done just sending money or praying…lets do something else.”  God called us that night to adoption, and Janet supported us financially. We now have a daughter from Ethiopia, Mary, who is now 21 months old.  Then in December, we took in our first foster child, Dereon; he is 7 months old.  My vision right now is to be open to God’s plan for orphans everywhere.  I want my heart to be sensitive and in tune with the Holy Spirit.  I don’t want to view caring for orphans as something I can “check off my list.”  I have no idea what this will mean!

Melissa L. will be serving on the Haiti Journey 117 Team leaving in March 2012 along with others from her church in Evanston, IL.

Ethiopia Journey Inspires Teacher to Do More

9 Jan

Nathan Livesay, a teacher at Sumter High School and former basketball coach, spent nearly two weeks of his Winter Break in Ethiopia with Journey 117, a ministry of World Orphans.

BY JADE ANDERSON janderson@theitem.com  The Item

A trip out of the country can change a person.
“I wouldn’t trade those two weeks for a state championship,” said Nathan Livesay, a former Sumter High School basketball coach.
Last month, the English and credit recovery teacher traveled to Ethiopia with World Orphans, an organization that brings churches in Third World countries together with American churches to help supply basic needs of the children being cared for by the indigenous churches. He learned about the organization through the Willow Creek Global Leadership Development Summit simulcast held at Alice Drive Baptist Church in the fall.
“I was reading the statistics about HIV and AIDS, about people dying in extreme poverty, and the numbers really bothered me,” Livesay said. “I was compelled to go on this trip to put a name and face with the statistics. … Even with basketball, I’ve always had a heart for kids that don’t always have everything they need.” Continue reading