Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What Now?

I'm home from Ethiopia and am finding a repetitive thought crossing my mind, What Now? Where do I go from here? How do I process all that I saw, felt, did, etc now that I'm back home? What's the next step? What Now?

The reality is, right now I do not have answers to those questions. I don't know in full, what now?

I know that I don't really want to go back to "normal", whatever that was anyway. I cannot ignore what I know now, what I've seen, and how God obviously calls us as Christians to care for the least of these (Matt 25:31-46). God began to stir me towards the path of Ethiopia more than a year ago (read blogs from Nov 2009 through lots of 2010 and that's quickly apparent)... and my husband is still there in Ethiopia currently doing what God has called us to during this season.

But from this point on, I'm not sure what that path looks like except for this...

I know, I've seen, and therefore I can advocate. I can spread the word, tell the stories, and invite others to join the team to assist the "least of these" in Ethiopia - STREET CHILDREN.

The Forsaken Children/Onesimus is doing amazing, life changing things in Ethiopia. Through the strength and power of Christ, they are changing lives - one child at a time, helping the community, sharing the love of Christ, and offering lasting hope to people! I look forward to writing more blogs about some of the awesome ministry opportunities and programs I've seen with my own eyes while in Ethiopia. God is moving there and we must continue to support the efforts of such ministry.

What now? All I know so far (God will make the other paths known in His timing), I will advocate, spread the word, and invite others to join the team - check out below a way YOU can join...

Hanna's Challenge
written by Joe Bridges (founder of The Forsaken Children)

I took a deep breath and faked a reassuring smile for my guests, Tom and Kim, before we made our way up the steep, cluttered path to Hanna’s plastic house.

There, in the middle of busy Addis Ababa sat a heap of plastic that was supposed to be a home for a family of six. Hanna, her mother, and her younger sister, Sarah, looked up at us. Their expressions made it clear that we were the only foreigners who had ever visited their home. I struggled to think of things to ask because of my racing thoughts – how can anyone live like this, what are Tom and Kim thinking, what am I even doing here, etc… I know at one point I glanced at Kim long enough to see what appeared to be a tear forming. I looked away quickly so I wouldn’t cry myself.

Over the next few weeks I watched as the Onesimus team agonized over what to do for Hanna and several other girls with similar stories. Their concern – how can we take these children from their families when we are called to champion Ethiopian families as tools to bring their children off of the streets? The answer came as the painful awareness that these particular children’s parents were not filling their roles at all, nor did they ever intend to. Therefore, Hanna and 4 other girls were placed in Onesimus’s newly established girls’ halfway home in late 2009.

"Hanna" by Nathan Golden
Today, everything about Hanna’s life radiates unquestionable hope.

The Onesimus team considers the halfway homes to be a reparenting phases to prepare Hanna and others like her for long-term Ethiopian foster families. It’s amazing to see how it is working in Hanna’s life alone. In less than a year, she has moved from a late-night street partier to a well-behaved child who is thriving in school. Even more thrilling is Hanna’s recent decision to follow Jesus.

Entering 2011 The Forsaken Children wants to ensure the life impacting and essential halfway home and foster family phase of Onesimus will prosper. Let me tell you how you can help us…

Hanna’s Challenge
Recently a donor committed to give $6,000 for an end of year gift. Discovering that his gift covers ½ a year of a home like Hanna’s (up to 10 children) expenses, he asked to make his gift a MATCHING CHALLENGE. His challenge to you is to help match his $6,000 donation dollar for dollar, making 2011’s halfway home expenses covered.

This is such an incredible opportunity for us to ensure Onesimus’s halfway homes flourish for Hanna and others like her. I ask you to take his challenge and commit to give whatever you can to help match his $6,000.

If you give $30 anytime today through Dec. 31, $60 will be sent to Onesimus, which covers a child’s schooling for an entire year. In the same way, $5 sends $10, $10 sends $20, and so on. How cool is that?
We have until December 31, 2010 to pull this off. I know we can do it! Click on any “Give Today” link to give right now. Simply choose “Hanna’s Challenge” in the designation box on step 2 of your checkout process.

What kind of difference can YOU make today with the many blessing you have been given?

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