Friday, October 29, 2010

It's the Little Things

This morning while our daughter drank her bottle I noticed her latest trick. She now holds her hands up and opens and shuts them while starring at the movement of her fingers. Yes I know, no big deal for most children and of course when we are busy busy busy sometimes we just want our little ones to drink their bottle so we can get them down for a nap. Ava had changed us. We look at her with eyes wide open. We watch her every move with more excitement and perhaps more passion than we might have six years ago when our third son was born. It sounds strange but all the little things Ava does have become such a miracle to us and it is great fun to be still and quiet and just take it all in. This morning I called Bob into the room to see if he could watch her watching her own hands but instead she just began to star into the eyes of her Daddy. He was on his way out and I loved his words, "She is just soooo cool!" 

All of the little things that shape and define our day can be so refreshing if we choose to see them with clearer, less hectic open eyes. Not always so easy for me but I sure do try. Here is my attempt to capture a few to remember this week...

The smile of my first grade son when I met him outside his classroom all ready for his Halloween parade. He dressed himself as I was busy getting my
 very popular daughter into the school in time for the parade (more on that in a minute). He was thrilled that he did it all by himself. Rock on Elvis!

Last Sunday's gorgeous trip to the orchard with all FOUR
of our kiddos. I absolutely love fall and seeing Ava in all her beauty in the middle of 
all the small orange pumpkins on a bright warm day was just delightful!

Before anyone cringes about "no socks," I took them off only briefly to snap 
her little toes with the pumpkins. :)

Three happy, healthy and WILD 
brothers who are so tight.
They have a deep love for one another!

Carter rocked this week and he does so many little things in a day to help our family run smoothly.
He is sweet and grateful almost always. This week he could hardly wait for his after school art class and I am enjoying watching him learn a few drawing techniques. He loves it and left the house this morning 
with colored pencils and his little notebook in hand.

This little thing is BIG. My fifth grader, dressed as President Regan, was so excited to have his 
sister at school. I was totally prepared to run out of the building if Ava was scared but instead she 
giggled through the entire afternoon while I visited both schools, the elementary and the 5th/6th.
What was so endearing was Hayden loving on his sister with such a pride. He was so excited to tell 
others that she is from Ethiopia. He introduced her to everyone and she had a blast, costumes and all.

Walking through school with Ava with all the other parents around was truly 
a memorable experience. Pick some sort of icon or movie star and picture yourself 
walking through a public arena with he or she. Yes that is what it often feels like when traveling with 
Miss Ava. THIS IS NOT A COMPLAINT as much as it is a statement of truth...
Ava's smile is contagious and people want to know her story- our story!
I have said before that adoption is a huge responsibility on so many levels and here is one of those levels.
I feel like she is our child but she is also a child of God who can perhaps change the life of more children who may have started out life with similar circumstances. We do want to share her in a sense and we do want to hear and guide those who have had adoption on their hearts. I was overwhelmed yesterday as so many people were thrilled so finally see her and even those Moms who do not know us well had heard rumbling of Ava having come home. Even those people had to stop me to take a look at our new family member. It is wild, overwhelming, emotional and so much fun all at once to begin to introduce her to the world. I am rambling I know but I feel strongly like Ava herself and this blog platform will hopefully transform hearts and help people to just do it. Call me or email me. I will always be a listening ear or an open book with information on adoption, our process, the hardships, the joys. With 147 million orphans in the world we all need to be the change and begin with one, be it adoption, sponsorship and one time donation- anything. We can all do something :)

My favorite part of the walking the school halls was when my friend, Jenny, yelled during the costume parade, "Melanie, turn that baby around so we can see her!" Ava was in the Ergo and Jenny needed to see her. Yep then we were really on display for all the Mommas who were lining the lockers to see.
Thank you to all my many friends and our awesome community who have been so supportive and downright amazing. You have blessed us beyond words with your eagerness, messages and loving attention.
In many ways in seems that Ava came home to all of us!

One more thing. I shared this tip yesterday with a hundred others and my friend Andrea gives a bit more detail on her fabulous blog HERE
Have fun and don't forget to treasure the little things!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Beautiful Bounty

Days click by and I am so wishing there was a gadget to transfer my thoughts to paper without having to find the time to sit and type. Of course there will be soon as I can only imagine someone at Apple is working on that right now. :) 
You see when I sit in this space I have the best time to think...

The rocking chair we used for all three boys is in this room and I love to turn on the fan and 
sit in the quiet while feeding Ava. She just looks up with her dreamy eyes and I am reminded that 
my life as a Mother of four is so good. I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams.
Lately, I have also found that looking into Ava's eyes makes me want to be a better person, a more
knowledgeable soul and a better follower of Jesus.
It's as if God has turned on a switch in me and I love the light that is radiating through my veins.
My dialogue with God is in full swing when I make the time to sit quietly and listen.
Sitting still and listening is not an easy feat for a type A doer and person who loves to accomplish much, but what I am finding in my listening is so encouraging, changing and sustaining.

Last Thursday night we went as a family to see this man perform:

Yes it is... Stephen Curtis Chapman! We absolutely love his music and his 
families call to help orphans. Their ministry is amazing and the tragedy they have endured as 
a family is nothing you would wish upon anyone, however they are such a testament to 
God's great grace.  The loss has transformed their lives and I believe the loss of one little 
one's life has brought medical care, safety and adoption to thousands of children
who might not have had it without the formation of Maria's Big House of Hope after 
the death of their daughter. Visit Show Hope to see how you can do more to impact the orphan 
crisis through monthly support, mobilizing your church and/or requesting aid to assist in your own adoption.

So here is where my story begins. We took our three boys to the concert but the concert began to get very late and we knew we needed to head home as it was a school night. On the way out our six year old began to come undone and by the time we all made it to the car he was in a full blown fit and freaking out.  This can be common for him but quickly everyone began to escalate and before we knew it the other kids were crying and begging our very obstinate son to just get in his car seat. It was horrendous and all I could think was that we were just trying to attend the Stephen Curtis Chapman concert with our family. Can this be for real?
We made it home and all fell into bed feeling lost and drained. Parenting can be the most thankless job in the world and I think the last few years of trying to parent Owen has definitely increased my faith as I find myself often asking God for the proper words to make my point with my children.

We then rolled into Friday and when the boys returned home from school we knew we had to deal with the event that t had taken place the night before. Shortly after everyone was home I found myself sitting in Ava's room feeding her and begging God to show me what He needs me to say and do to be a more effective parent. God truly showed up and within a short time I called our whole family into Ava's room for a meeting.
The words just came and I felt a bit like I was lecturing even though I tried hard to ask many questions. Bob did the same. We asked the boys why we adopted a child into our family?
We asked them what kind of family we are called to be?
We talked at great length about respect and honoring your parents even when it requires doing something you may not want to do or something that may interfere with what your personal agenda is at the time. I felt the load lift and we all made our way outside to do a family night of yard work. There were other plans looming out there but we needed to simply be, hanging with one another and working together as a family. 

The weekend went on with several moments where both Bob and myself worked very hard to continue to check in, to engage more, to listen harder and to pray for the attitudes of our children.
I reread several chapters in Ted Tripp's Shepherding a Child's Heart and it was helpful once again for me to regroup, pass my learning along to Bob and then put it into action.
It is a book for people who have children of any age and it is full of ways to encourage your children to respect and honor parents. This weekend we discussed how honoring your parents, even when you may not want to, teaches you to honor God. We challenged them to do what they are asked without excuse, challenge or delay. It's a tough road as we are more and more beginning to see their individual personalities creeping into the mix. They are getting so old and they want what they want when they want it. I remember those days as a child, but I also remember feeling awful when I behaved that way.
We have a big job ahead and for whatever reason this past weekend was very trying and very 
BUT in the midst of it all so many beautiful and bountiful things 
-We all communicated and listened more. Carter sat out back with Ava by the fire while Hayden and Owen helped cut back perennials.
-Bob and I had a long discussion about our spiritual lives and the possibility that we are being lead to attend another church ( a whole can of worms I must not dig into just yet)
-We attended soccer games, hiked with other Dads and sons from school.
-Spent more time loving on Ava and cherishing her smile and her silly fake coughs and chatter.
- We slept in on Sunday (whatever that means) and still made it to the early service.
-We completed Halloween costumes and prepared for the week.
-We visited our favorite pumpkin patch and did all things fall.
-We had an impromptu dinner with friends and the kids all planned  dance party in the basement with our Halloween strob light.
-We watched an inspiring video series called: Another World is Possible, featuring Shain Claiborne who founded the faith community of the Simple Way. Shain is radical and oh so funny. Take a peak at how he is making a difference with his DVD series on poverty. It was yet another reminder that we need to open our eyes and our hearts to those beyond our own corners of the world.
His crazy hair and insightful comments will truly make you think and of course I love what he asks others to do simply by giving their shoes.

Just a reminder of all things that make our lives so rich... The good, the bad, the difficult, the simple and the ugly. On Monday a friend reminded me that we are asked to do the very best we can each day.
After all, we are never assured a tomorrow.
Today I will be grateful for the bounty and the beauty that comes alongside this wild ride called parenthood!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

BE THE CHANGE and get your t-shirt(s) HERE!

Speak Up for Those Who Cannot Speak for Themselves!
All proceeds from the sale of our tshirts will benefit 
the love and care of orphans and widows.
-Send a child to school
-Send someone to love on orphans 
Be the Change 

We have three junior sizes and small, medium, large and x-large for adults. Please note that the shirts are slightly fitted.
Please feel free to email us at should you have any questions.
Thank you for your support!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Loving with Abandon

Tonight I write to all of you reading who might be questioning adoption. I know you are wondering if it is for you or your family. Perhaps you are asking yourself if it is something you have the heart to endure or the patience to stomach. Maybe you are fearful of what lies ahead due to the many unknowns in the adoption journey. I write to you and wish I could jump through my computer screen and come over for a cup of coffee and hear your hearts and your fears. I wish I could listen to your concerns and answer your questions.  I think it would be a gift and a wonderful way to spend time, connecting with those couples who wish to adopt. But trust me when I tell you that after I gave you my full attention and my listening ear well I am fairly certain I would then do the following:
I would jump up and begin to shout at the top of my lungs the ever popular Nike phrase:
(repeatedly of course)
You would perhaps think me crazy but I would not care. I do crazy quite well thank you. :)

You see I have walked in your shoes. I have felt the ache your heart my feel, I have done all the research and talked until I am blue in the face about what country and the pros and cons of international 
versus domestic adoption.
I know the process and the soul searching you are going through feels so challenging... 
Sometimes you may even wish you could run the other way from the call to adopt. 
The calling is often frightening 
but I am hear to remind you today that 
God does not call the equipped: He equips the called!

Today was a big day in the life of our daughter.
Today Ava turned six months old! 
She is vibrant, smiley, demanding,
sitting up, communicative with her eyes and her smiles, sleeping well and rolling over like crazy.
Watching her all day today reminded me that I should help others to know that they too can take the crazy leap of faith into the world of adoption. Let our heart be softened and your prayer filled soul be your guide to the child of yur heart, wherever he or she is.
All children need us and perhaps there is one child who God intends especially for you and your family.

Today I am grateful for the joy of Ava. I am grateful for the challenge and the juggling she has created in our family. I am grateful for the bustle of our household as the boys nearly miss the bus becasue they have to say goodbye to Ava. I am grateful for the leaky bottles and the middle of the night feedings, for the fussy times when I must let go of my own needs so that I might better meet hers. 
These are all changes that God knew  I needed and our family needed.
Funny how one little can change so much.

We believed we were simply growing our family but God had so much more in store when he showed us the way to Ava.
Happy half birthday sweet daughter of ours...
We love you with wild abandon!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Ethiopian Daughter of our hearts: BE THE CHANGE and get your t-shirt(s) HERE!

The Ethiopian Daughter of our hearts: BE THE CHANGE and get your t-shirt(s) HERE!

The Ethiopian Daughter of our hearts: A post from John Ortberg

The Ethiopian Daughter of our hearts: A post from John Ortberg

A post from John Ortberg


I was at commencement at a Christian college this weekend, and it reminded me of the question millions of young people are asking this time of year.
We never grow out of that question: Who is operating out of a wisdom surplus?
But the vast majority of people start at the wrong place.
When I finished college, I desperately wanted to know what I should do next. Find a job? Go to grad school? Where? In what field?
I prayed until I was exhausted (and God was probably a little tired of it too). I was ready to do whatever. Just send me a postcard. Put it in sky writing. But I would have gotten more clarity with a Magic 8 ball.
For a good reason.
Which I did not understand for many years. And its this:
God’s main purpose for you is not what you do. Its who you become.
If I always told my kids what do to–wear these clothes, take this job, marry this person–they might do what I say. Their circumstances might even turn out OK.
But they would not grow into excellent persons.
To grow into an excellent person, you have to make choices, exercise judgment, take responsibility, and learn.
There is no short-cut for this.
So, if I want my children to become excellent people–my will for their life will often be: “You choose.”
God knew that I would grow if I had to make choices in ways I would never grow if I got a heavenly postcard.
“God’s will” is not a way of escaping the anxiety and responsbility of making decisions.
I had a friend–a really bright guy and great New Testament scholar–who was convinced it was God’s will for him to marry the girl he wanted to marry because a certain song played at a certain moment on a certain radio station.
It wasn’t God’s will. It was just a Barry Manilow marathon.
Sometimes a Barry Manilow marathon is just a Barry Manilow marathon.
How do I know God’s will for my life?
–Live this day in an open, repentant spirit.
–Understand that living in God’s will often means I must make decisions.
–Pray constantly, regularly asking for wisdom in small moments, without placing pressure on God to give any particular kind of response.
–”Let your life speak”: Parker Palmer wrote a wonderful book by this title from an old Quaker saying; if you look at the trajectory of your life with simplicity and openess certain patterns will emerge that will help you understand your shape and gifts and longings
–Have wise, godly people speak into your life with love and truth
–Be willing to make mistakes and learn from them quicker rather than slower
–Have a mind immersed with great thoughts from Scripture
–Practice making decisions and learning from them all day long
–Live in freedom and joy. Trust God that He can guide you into His will without your obsessing over it.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A glorious week

Here is southern Michigan we are on week two of amazing sushine and leaves that look like they have been painted on the trees. It is as if a child were given many shades of gold, magenta, crimson and orange and told to finger paint until their heart's content. It is truly spectacular! During our winter months many of us crave the sunshine so we have all been taking it all ina nd enjoying every moment of the warm and sunny days. I am actually sitting here thinking that my kid will roll in soon (not my pick up day in the carpool) and remind me that they could have worn shorts today. The mornings are crisp but the afternoons have really been heating up.

We spent our weekend enjoying the outdoors while three boys each had a soccer game. With four kiddos we divide and conquer on Saturdays but it is a challenge we both enjoy. We have help too from grandparents and this year two of our guys are playing with a league who has a home field right here in our neighborhood. It doesn't get any easier than that. They ride scooters to practice and frankly I love the sense of independence it provides. They do too. Here's a few pics of our full fall weekend.

Working hard on the throw in...

Little Miss A sporting her first Uof M shirt.
Grandpa gave her a few snuggles as he is a die
hard Michigan fan. 

Our little pumpkin was so cahrming on 
Sunday even without her nap as we visited 
everyone's favorite orchard, Robinettes.
They have quite the following here in GR.

Here she is with her curious eyes. She watches everything and seems to take it all in.
I have photos of all three boys sitting right here in front of ginormous pumpkins.
So much fun to be going through these baby stages again.

One kiddo is now awake in her crib and two kiddos just returned home from school.
Time to get outside and enjoy our sunshine and warmth.
Of course I will take the camera and hope I get lucky while they play.
These fall days make my heart sing!

Friday, October 8, 2010

My child of Korah

This evening I finally had a chance to quickly go through the mail. Near the top of the pile sat a letter addressed to yours truly with the return address of Project 61, which some of you may know is the ministry that is working within the forgotten community of Korah in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. They are serving the children, who for many years have worked in the trash dump to find whatever they might possibly salvage to sustain themselves and their families or anything they might sell in the center of their village to others in order to survive.

Several months before our first trip in July to meet our daughter in Ethiopia I began to hear many rumblings about Korah. Each time I read about the heartbreak of the children living in such deplorable conditions it made my heart long to see for myself what I might be able to do. I felt drawn to the village of Korah from the very minute I began to learn about it. The first thing that sprang to my mind was that we would be making two trips to Ethiopia and within our luggage perhaps we could carry shoes to bring to those in great need in Korah. The shoe idea stuck and you might say I became a bit obsessed with getting 60 plus pair of shoes on board the plane for little extra money. My son made a flyer for the neighborhood and within days shoes came from all around. I would return home to shoes in bags on my front porch. Thank you so much to those who gave so generously.  So fast forward to my planning a visit to Korah.

I had contacted Sumer of Project 61 and she agreed to come pick me up with their driver so I could find my way.  Many folks in Addis Ababa have a driver since street signs are at an all time low and getting around is very challenging. As we turned down the roads of Korah off the beaten path I was amazed at the beauty of the tin shacks all lined up and the big boulders in the road that caused such a lurching I questioned the van being able to make it. Yes I saw beauty and I will never explain it other than to say that I was placed exactly where I was intended to be to have my heart broken by the children of Korah. God allowed for me to see beauty first because what came next was tough. The van stopped and children of all ages crowded around the bus pushing to see who would be hopping out. I felt like a superstar with so many fans peering in. They flung open the doors and literally the first hing to hit me was the smell of the children. It took my breath away and made me quickly question if I was going to be able to get out of the car. I was actually feeling so overwhelmed that I nearly burst into tears thinking that my visit was a mistake. So I prayed. I asked God right then and there to carry me through this and to help me to find beauty in my visit to Korah. Remember I knew I was there with a purpose and my next thought was this... Put on a smile, breathe deep and feel the discomfort. That is exactly what I did and within a few minutes I was much better and taking in all the hugs and all the love of the bustling children who eagerly welcomed me into the shelter for tea. Yes I drank the water. It was so hot I had no fears. There were twenty plus children of all ages making tea and welcoming myself and Sumer and there was no way to resist their charm and hospitality. 

Next I would be joining Sumer and Sammy in visiting those in Korah who desperately need help. We conducted home visits to interview families and begin to get a feel for the needs of the children living in very harrowing conditions. Again, there was little I could do as we navigated the extremely rocky and muddy terrain of Korah. All I can say is that I was in prayer nearly every moment and I let all my fears go. As we waited to go into some of the homes in Korah a tall smiley boy approached and in a shy manner greeted me and asked if he could help me with my camera bag. The bag was a hindrance and it must have been written all over my face that I was firghtened I might land in the mud. This boy took my camera bag and took my arm and sometimes my hand and stayed alongside me for the longest time, guiding me where I needed to go. He was proud to show me Korah. He was proud of the Bright Hope Church and the shelter where he was living. I knew nothing of his story but I was instantly calmed by his presence and help. It was just strange how quickly we bonded and laughed and smiled without uttering many words. He spoke very little English so our communication was through gestures or the occasional translation of Sammy.

In Korah 250 kids have now been rescued from the ravages of the trash dump. They have been welcomed into the arms of missions teams and missionaries. They have been guided by the ministry team of Great Hope Church. Many children have now been baptized and fed daily by the Project 61 group and now the kids are being given the chance to become educated through the sponsorship of everyday people in everyday families who have heard the cries of the orphaned and the impoverished child. So many families came forward wishing to sponsor a child that there is currently a wait list as there is no more room at the private boarding school two hours away. With 147 million orphaned and vulnerable children in the world I know there must be many paces such like Korah.  Ethiopia has over four and a half million orphans and now that I have seen for myself the tremendous needs of children I now know by name, there is certainly no turning back. My few visits to Korah were God's way of breaking my heart for the least of these so that I might share my experience with others, advocate, sponsor and most importantly GO and LOVE on orphans.

The boy who guided me around Korah is now one of my sons. That day in Korah I gave away a piece of my heart to a child who has needs beyond our wildest imagination. I left that afternoon knowing that we needed to sponsor Tadessa so that he might remain out of the trash dump and be educated at the boarding school. He is twenty years old and has never completed his education beyond 9th grade. He does not have family who can care for him and his Uncle who lives locally refuses to help him in any way. Believe it or not that is often a common story due to the lack of resources. It sounds very harsh but if you have four mouths feed and can only feed two well then often a choice is made. It is tough to reconcile but it is the reality in many third world countries.

The letter that came from Tadessa was absolutely touching. He was asking about our family and expressing his love for me, his Mother. It truly could not get any better than to read a letter from a child who truly needed someone to take a chance on him. He needed someone to welcome him in and then love and nurture him and finally support him in his school endeavors. I am honored that God broke my heart that day I visited Korah. Tadessa is the answer to the question, "Why am I  here and how am I going to get through this?" The adoption of our daughter has had a spiral effect and my heart is being called back to the community of Korah and to Ethiopia almost daily. I am a Mom who is here for my kiddos but a few more kiddos await me in Ethiopia. I remind myself daily that my urgency to get back there is in God's hands. I need to be patient and very prayerful. I need to listen like I have never listened before as to what I am being beckoned to do. Meanwhile I smile from ear to ear thinking of the beautiful family (Tadessa included ) that I am able to love. They are all such gifts!

So here is dear Tadessa. His smile is so contagious and his gentle shyness is so sweet.
He is a child who needed a chance. I can't help but think of all of the many chances God has 
given me...

Can you spot Ava? She was a mess when our group first entered the 
fabulous- oh no the name is escaping me- 
place for dinner and cultural dance. We all went as a group on the final night of our second trip to Ethiopia. You cannot imagine just how funny a few of the little ones were who are completely used to the Ethiopian food. They simply chowed it down never mind the spice. It was a sight to see. 
Since I had spent time in Korah the Project 61 leaders were cool with me inviting Tadessa to dinner.
It was another highlight of my trip. One of the ministry leaders brought Tadessa to the restaurant and you have never seen such a polite and humble child. He took amazing care of myself, my sister and my new daughter. Ava finally zonked out thanks to Aunt Shanny and we were able to enjoy the food.
At one point Tadessa got down on his knees and presented me with a little wrapped package, a necklace and bracelet that he gave as a token of thanks. Moments later he began to feed me with his own hands.
Don't forget Ethiopians think it is a bit ridiculous to use cutlery... The jury may still be out on that one but the injera bread works quite well for scooping up food. I was not expecting Tadessa to pack food into my mouth so my laughter may have been a bit inappropriate but when it was explained to me that 
feeding another is a token of LOVE, it was all I could do to laugh and choke back my tears.

You see this child, this young man was rescued by those who had a dream and listened to the vision God provided. It seemed somewhat surreal that the very hands that had once spent nearly seven years hunting for survival through the garbage in the trash dump of Korah, his very hands were now feeding me, an American mother of four who was seeking to listen to God's call in visiting the beautiful and rich place called KORAH.
Thank you God for bringing Tadessa and I together. Our relationship has already brought me joy beyond measure.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Home One Month

Here we are home one month and loving all the many changes we see in Miss Ava.
She is a dream come true and so full of spirit, smiles and joy.
She is a curious babe who loves to watch all the action of our house hold. She does not miss much and shakes with delight when her brothers return home from school.
She has learned to shake her head no and loves to mimic my no no no.
She would rather sit up and we are very grateful for the Bumbo seat where she sits during homework sessions with the boys and during dinner.

Our family so needed Ava and we love her more than we could have ever imagined.
Kissing her smooth soft and chubby cheeks is an all day event and she is held and snuggled more than 
anyone should be. 
She still loves her bottle and really only cries when a bottle is needed.
She sleeps better than any baby we know and we lay her in bed awake quite 
often, allowing her to fall asleep on her own. I told you she was DREAMY!
About the toughest thing we go through is the car seat ordeal.
She is not a car seat fan and even when she falls asleep she does not stay asleep like the boys did when the were babies. 

Ava is thriving and growing. She is learning and changing.
She is communicating and keeping very close eye contact with us, her family.

Thank you God for bringing the perfect child from our hearts into our home.
We are in love with our sassy yet sweet brown eyed baby girl!
Tomorrow marks five weeks home and yet it seems like just yesterday we were 
carrying you off the plane and into the hearts of all who currently love you.

Into Our Arms Forever!

Remember to scroll down to mute the music.

welcome home ava! from melanie Strobel on Vimeo.

Meeting Ava during our first trip to Ethiopia

Don't foget to turn off the music below before watching video.

Meeting Ava Ethiopia Trip July 2010 from melanie Strobel on Vimeo.

Korah- Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

During our recent visit to Ethiopia I felt very called to the village of Korah in Addis Ababa Ethiopia. There have been numerous rumblings lately about the tremendous need to help the children of Korah who are growing up in and around the local trash dump. The village was established 75 years ago as a place to send people with leprosy who were said to be cursed. Now there is a 3rd generation of people living in Korah with nearly 100,000 suffering from such things as leprosy, HIV, misc disease and of course malnutrition. There are many children of Korah who have been forced to live and work at the trash dump in hopes of finding food and possible items to sell in Korah's center of town. With the start of the Great Hope Church in Korah and the building of a shelter, along with the ministry of local Sammy Liben and Sumer Yates, there is now a feeding program and a sponsorship program in place to rescue the forgotten children of Korah and send them to boarding school where they can escape the horror of the conditions of living and working in a large trash dump. For more information please visit: or where you can learn more about how you or your organization can help the people and the children of Korah. Please send me a message or email Erin Allen at to request sponsorship information. I will soon be posting the photos of my day recently spent in Korah. I must tell you it was life changing and beyond anything I have ever done to stretch, change and rearrange myself. God helped me to help the people who I met. Much of what I could offer was nothing more than the snap of my camera or a warm touch or an inviting smile. The needs in Korah are beyond our wildest imagination yet God is over Korah and there is already amazing work being done. I invite you to view the following videos to learn more about the beauty and the needs of Korah's people.


P61 grab button

Love this...

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Hannah's Hope Orphanage- Ethiopia

Remember to turn off music below before watching.