Saturday, August 25, 2012

Embracing Hope Ethiopia

Our family had the opportunity to go to Embracing Hope Ethiopia to learn about their ministry and see  it in action.  The mission statement of EHE reads:

"Our mission is to partner with God, individuals and the local church in ministering with the poor, orphans and vulnerable children (and their families) of Ethiopia using compassionate, holistic practices that promote sustainability, transformation, community, and Christian discipleship which invades all areas of life for this and future generations."

You can go to:
http://www.embracinghopeethiopia.com/our-projects/ to see a list of their projects in more detail. 

Embracing Hope Ethiopia provides a day care service to 66 moms (the common theme for their lives is a husband who left them) so they can work. 

Some of the moms work for Embracing Hope making baskets or magazine bead jewelry (seen below)




Other moms are given the opportunity to start their own businesses, and still others are employed in the community because they know their children are safe and well cared for. 

The children receive 2 meals and one snack each day.  As we walked through the compound, we saw pictures of each age group on the door to their room.


We witnessed song time for one group of children. 
We were able to deliver the dresses that so many women from EPC (our church) sewed for the girls (and some shorts for the boys).  Here are some of the sweet faces of the girls who will be wearing those dresses:








Alana is modeling the dress made for her.  It is just like the ones given to the EHE girls.  (Though I bet the EHE girls won't be wearing tights, rainboots, and necklaces with theirs.)
 
 
The families coming to EHE are the poorest of the poor.  Most live in a slum (a small room the size of a tiny bathroom with mud floor and sides and a tin roof) that they rent.  They are sick and do not have enough to eat.  They are without hope before EHE takes them in.
 
One of the main things that Alan and I appreciate about Embracing Hope Ethiopia is that they are teaching the women to be empowered in their own lives.  There's a literacy center being built, a money management program, nutrition and hygiene classes, among other sustainable facets to the ministry. 
The founders, Jerry and Christy Shannon, are giving their lives to the Ethiopian women and children and spreading the gospel at the same time.  Spending time with Jerry was eye-opening.  EHE has to turn away 1300 women a year.  Did you read that?  They are maxed out.  And the women they turn away came to them through word of mouth.  That means that they are only an extremely small percentage of the need. 
 
EHE runs on sponsorships, so go to the website for more information on this ministry.

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