Monday, December 14, 2009

I'm back from Ethiopia. What's next?

I hope you've enjoyed reading my reports from Ethiopia. I made it back safely, and am finally able to put the jet lag behind me.

When I set out to do this vision trip, my thought was that I would wait until after Christmas to take the next step for sponsorship. However, as Tom Davis (founder of Children's Hopechest) so ably stated while we were in Ethiopia, "there are children starving over here." Even though this message may get lost in the hub bub of Christmas, I don't want to wait.

Each member of our team selected an orphanage to sponsor. Two of us selected Kind Heart as the orphanage where we will focus our energy. Kind Heart was the drop in center where the kids have to walk through a polluted river to get to the school. They are between four and six years old, and are provided one meal a week by the school.

Sponsorship works on two fronts. First, any of you interested in helping the orphanage sponsor a child. You agree to $35/month for that child. The money is managed by Children's Hopechest and goes directly to the orphanage for its needs. Children's Hopechest has a team in Ethiopia that provides oversight to make sure it is being spent on the kids. If you're interested in sponsoring a child, let me know and I'll send you the information to get started. As part of the sponsorship, you're also encouraged to create a personal relationship with the child, writing your child letters, sending pictures, and also getting letters in return. These kids will love receiving letters from people, as their home situations are often not ideal, so the love and attention will be treasured.

In addition, as part of creating personal relationships with these kids, we are asked to visit the orphanage at least once a year. If you've never been to a third world country, you are in for an experience. While we are there, we will spend time playing with the kids, and/or helping with any needs. For example, we might paint the classrooms, or maybe build a playground for the kids. Children's Hopechest will work with the drop in center to determine what the needs are and work with us on the logistics. If you think you might be interested in going on such a trip, let me know and as the details begin to come into focus, I'll keep you informed.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers while I was on the trip. Thank you all for the donations you sent. They were much appreciated.

Tom

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