Today’s Good News Friday is the story of how one American family’s story has changed hundreds of Ethiopian children’s stories. There’s lots of bad news out there. Be encouraged by some good news today.
The journey of Embracing Hope Ethiopia began in 2006 when Jerry & Christy Shannon first started exploring international adoption. While happily living in the US, they also were challenged to remember the poor.
In 2008 they traveled to Ethiopia to adopt their daughter Hanna. It was a life changing experience for them. During this trip they met Alayu Tadesse who founded the local NGO named Embracing Hope Ethiopia alongside of the Shannons. After returning to the US, Jerry and Christy felt as if God continued to do a deepening in their hearts for the people of Ethiopia.
In 2009 their family moved to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The cultural and commercial capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa is home to over 3 million people. The population of vulnerable children in Ethiopia is greater than the population of it’s sprawling capital city, with an estimated 4 million kids living without one or both parents. About 800,000 children have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS.
A vision started to come into focus of some practical ways that families could be served to become more sustainable while also overcoming the emotional, psychological, social and spiritual causes and effects of poverty in addition to the physical needs being met. As they spent time on the ground in Addis Ababa, the Shannons and their team realized that the people who were most in their hearts were orphans or those children whom were living in such poverty that their family was vulnerable to needing to give their children up, unless there was intervention. What also started to grow deep in their hearts was Psalm 68:6 “God sets the lonely in families.” Out of this a vision developed for ways to help keep families together and to prevent orphans among the poorest of the poor.
In 2010 this vision started becoming a reality as a team of Ethiopians including Alayu Tadesse sacrificially gave of their time, energy and service to form a Board of Directors and get licensed. Alayu and his team volunteered so much during this time – freely given as an act of worship to God on behalf of the poor.
The Shannon Family
In April of 2011 EHE opened our doors to provide day care and holistic interventions to the first 20 children and their moms.
Embracing Hope has grown to now serve 250 children from 230 families, all of them young and vulnerable. EHE now employs 55 Ethiopian staff who diligently serve children and mothers in holistic ways. Embracing Hope has opened a school (licensed by the Ministry of Education), a spiritual ministry (licensed by the Ministry of Federal Affairs) and greatly expanded our scope of service in the Kore’ community.
Did you catch that? Because of one American family’s conviction and commitment, hundreds of children and adults have been positively impacted in Ethiopia. Incredible.
In a world where so many injustices prevail, it is astonishing how much passionate people can do. Take some time to support Embracing Hope Ethiopia by donating to The 25 Group. Your gift of $25/month affirms their decision to take these steps of faith while taking a small step of your own. If you can’t give regularly, a one time gift helps EHE accomplish their mission.
Together, we can make a big impact on the lives of the most vulnerable and honor Jesus’ words to care for the least of these (Matthew 25).
Thanks for giving. Have a great weekend.
Video and blog courtesy of Embracing Hope Ethiopia