Tag Archives: Team Ethiopia 2011

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

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I’m Back…But…

21 Dec

This trip was seriously an eye opener. I learned so many stories from kids that are heartbreaking but seeing their joy through the experience was something that hit me. One boy, he was wearing a tye dye shirt, came to the Hope for the Hopeless orphanage after his father left the family and his mother was too poor to care for him. He came to know Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He had come from a muslim family. A couple years later his mother came to take him home but this boy decided to stay at the orphanage because he would rather have Jesus. It was such a cool testimony that he was willing to give up his family to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. This trip was filled with many tears both from happiness and from heartbreak. It was sad to leave the kids behind ūüė¶

by Bethany A., written the day after she returned from Ethiopia

Update #3 from Team Ethiopia

18 Dec
I wanted to send a quick update letting you know what we have been up to the past couple of days.  Yesterday, we traveled to Kore, the largest slum area in Addis.  Approx 150,000 live there, daily searching for scraps of food and ways to pay their rent.  We did a couple home visits, including meeting an elderly couple that is struggling to pay their $2/month rent!  After that, we visited A Hope, an orphanage that houses 36 HIV/AIDS children.  From there, we traveled to an inner city drop-in center and ministered to 17 children rescued from the streets.  Just wait till you hear their stories!
Today, we traveled into Kore again and served at Embracing Hope Ethiopia.¬† EHE is a daycare for impoverished mothers, providing free daycare service to mothers trying to find jobs.¬† We were able to play with the 32 children… doing crafts and participating in their music time.¬† During their nap time, the girls on our team gave the staff manicures.
Tonight we went to Yod Abyssinia Cultural Restaurant, a traditional Ethiopian dinner with live traditional music and dancing.  It was a great experience that everyone enjoyed.
Tomorrow we leave Addis for Woliso, a small town 2 hours outside the city.  While there, we will be visiting one of our World Orphans church partnerships who operates an orphanage on church property.
Thanks again for your prayers.  Everyone is still feeling great and God has bonded our team in ways that few teams have experienced.  We are starting to get tired (both physically and emotionally) so please pray that God empowers us for the next few days to continue our fight to defend the orphan.  We miss you all!
by Kevin S., Team Leader

Update #2 from Team Ethiopia

15 Dec
Thanks again for your prayers.  The past couple of days have been extremely emotional as our team has had the blessing of serving at 2 orphanages with different purposes.
Tuesday, we visited Kingdom Vision International, an international adoption orphanage that places children through several different agencies around the world.  We worked in the infant rooms, the toddler rooms, and taught early ed.  We also were able to pass out clothes, bed sheets, and sports equipment to the 57 children that currently are awaiting their adoption.  It was a fantastic day that opened our eyes to the adoption process and at times, flooded our eyes with stories of some of these children.
Today, we¬†traveled an hour and a¬†half to the countryside of Suluta.¬† While there, we visited a traditional Ethiopian institutional orphanage where 54 children lived.¬†¬†We spent 5 and a half hours¬†painting the girls dormitory in the African sun.¬† Amazingly, no one got too sun burnt!¬† At the end of the day, the bus full of¬†orphans drove up and the children were able to see their new dorms.¬† They poured out of the bus with HUGE smiles and laughter, instantly humbled by the work we were able to do while they were in school.¬† In the¬†hour that we played with them at the end of the day, we built relationships with some of the most precious children we had ever met.¬† So many details could be written here, but I’ll let your loved¬†ones tell you when they get home.¬† Get the tissues ready!
Please pray for us over the next 2 days, as we spend them in the slums of Kore ministering to street children, children with HIV/AIDS, and possibly going to a leper colony.  God has blessed us in miraculous ways and He will continue to do so in the coming days.
And thanks again for your patience.¬† Internet¬†is still difficult to rely on.¬† Our guesthouse is divided into two houses and there is only one computer to go around for everyone.¬†¬†Unfortunately, with our busy schedule throughout the days, by the time we get home, the computer¬†typically has been reserved by others at the guesthouse.¬† We’ll continue to keep you updated as we get the chance.
Thanks for loving us and thanks for your prayers.  Everyone is feeling great and your prayers have strengthened us from the beginning.  Keep them coming!

Training Camp for Ethiopia

12 Dec

Team Arrival and 1st Day of Training Camp

By Kevin S.

After months of conferences calls and Facebook stalking, we finally meet.  It was pretty easy to spot one another as we modeled our yellow shirts (except the guys who couldn’t squeeze their physiques into the girly-sized tees) and lugged our over-sized totes around the airport.  But, there we were…a team of 9 (not including our fearless training camp leaders Jesse and Emily).

Our team? Diverse, yet chosen.¬† Chosen to do great things.¬† Perfect? Hardly such.¬† Flawed actually.¬† We‚Äôre not particularly qualified‚Ķno one is a prodigy of the mission field‚Ķwe‚Äôre just willing.¬† Willing to be exposed by God.¬† Willing to be used.¬† Willing to learn.¬† Willing to ‚Äúdrop our nets‚ÄĚ and follow.¬† Willing to chuck entitlement‚Ķcomfort‚Ķthe American Dream out the window in search of a JOURNEY.¬† A Journey where we stop doing wrong‚Ķwhere we learn to do right‚Ķ.where we encourage the oppressed‚Ķwhere we defend the orphan‚Ķand where we plead for the widow.¬† Some say it‚Äôs a journey for the strong, but I wonder if the strong can survive such a journey.¬† Rather, I say this journey is for those who are weak yet discover their strength in Christ‚ĶMay we rediscover in our weakness ‚ÄúWho We Are‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúWhat We Are Doing Here‚ÄĚ.

So, we set sail on this JOURNEY.  Around the corner nobody knows.  Are there plans?  Sure, our plans.  But as we discover who we are and what we are doing here, plans change.  We change.  In some ways our eyes are opened to things we never imagined…we see ourselves under a different microscope…good things…bad things.  In other ways our eyes are closed as we take part in this journey…closed to the life of self-centeredness…comfort…entitlement.  May we never open those eyes again.

So, I LOVE my team.  Strikingly similar to the disciples in the Bible.  Imperfect people following a perfect God.  Do we have a lot to learn?  Absolutely.  So, we’ll learn together.  Tania, Danielle, Nathan, Lindsay, Bre, Bethany, Carly, and Amalia…joining me on this journey of grace.  A journey not to earn God’s love, but a journey because of God’s love.  May His love permeate from us…may His glory sweep through us…may He be glorified…and may His Kingdom expand to the ends of the earth.

The Impact of Illiteracy

4 Dec

Blog post by Breanna A., Team Ethiopia 2011

As a college student in the United States, I have been in school for 17 years. Though I love school most of the time, there are days I find it dull and boring and I’m tempted to skip class and procrastinate homework. Some of my teachers seem passionless about the subject they are teaching and I question the class’s importance, but I have been fortunate enough to have some excellent teachers that have taught excellent courses. Through the good and the bad classes, I have tried to keep a thankful attitude that I have been blessed with an education, because I know it is a privilege denied to many.

Children who are not educated are highly susceptible to conditions such as becoming child soldiers, being forced into labor or sexual exploitation, or may turn to criminal activity to make money for food. There are many causal issues that lead to a child’s lack of education.

A major cause of illiteracy in children is becoming orphaned. Children are naturally reliant on parents, but a child without parents must find a means of survival, and that usually results in having to leave school to earn money.  This child then becomes enveloped in a downward spiral of poverty, with no real means of escape. Continue reading

Homelessness…

28 Nov

Blog post by Amalia K., Team Ethiopia 2011

As a child my family and I would always go to NYC to visit friends. Every single time I was there I always noticed the streets fill with people who had nowhere to live, the homeless. My family would always stay at a homeless shelter when we went visited because my mother was very good friends with the people who ran the place. While staying there I would have breakfast, lunch and dinner with the homeless.  Even though I was young, when I would see children homeless on the streets my heart would break for them. During my many visits to NYC I wouldn’t only watch the homeless but I would watch the business men, the beautiful people carrying designer bags, wearing $1,000 shoes and the fabulous train of Limo driving through the city. As I watched the upper-class, I noticed that they didn’t notice the homeless, the ones who has nothing, the ones who smelled bad, and the ones wearing dirty clothing. I was so disturbed by this. I would get so frustrated with them because it was like they saw right through these fellow humans. It was as if you lived on the streets you become invisible to the world around you.  I didn’t understand how they didn’t even notice the poor. I even noticed that the visitors who came to New York City would go across the street to avoid walking past a homeless person, they would hold their children close and look at the less fortune humans as aliens. It was as if just because they were homeless they weren’t as human as the rest of us. Continue reading