Category Archives: Change Their Story

Empower a Woman… Change a Village

Empower a woman and change a village…

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We have BIG NEWS!

Join us as an answer to prayer begins. This week four of us travel back to Ethiopia for a 24 hour impact fundraiser for women we have grown to love throughout the years within the Chapa village. We are being joined by @Mallory Brown of Worldclothesline and Crowdrise to be on the ground in Ethiopia ready to share the plight of women. We hope you will all be following Begin With One as we share how you can encourage and empower a woman in Ethiopia. Mallory Brown is seeking to raise 30K to allow us to work directly with Children’s Hopechest staff on the ground to implement a job plan which will employ 30 women. Many of you know this is a dream come true and has been on my heart for several years. We know that generating skills and jobs for women directly impacts families remaining in tact, children attedning school and the overall effect of an entire village rising! Thanks to so many of you who have prayed, visited and contributed to the beautiful and ever welcoming people fo Chapa in southern Ethiopia.

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From Classrooms to Jobs:
Our Chapa community classrooms are fully funded and we are eager to move into the next phase of development. The women of Chapa are so deserving and have prayed for nine plus years for help with educating their children as well as opportunity to learn new skills that would allow them to have jobs that provide for their families.

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Why Ethiopia:
The second most populous country in sub-Saharan Africa at 85 million people, Ethiopia is one of the world’s poorest nations. Some 29.6 percent of the population lives on less than US$1.25/day. Life as a woman in Ethiopia is very difficult as many live in rural areas with no opportunity, medical care, education or way to earn a living to support families.
We adopted our daughter from Ethiopia in 2010 and felt an immediate connection and call to provide a voice and mercy wherever we could throughout the country. We later brought a teenager home to us on a student Visa to help him obtain his education and grow within our family. The effects of poverty and lack of education gripped our hearts, inspiring us to be the voice wherever possible.

Visit Begin With One to learn more and
go here to donate directly to jobs for women in Ethiopia.

Sponsorship {a bridge to change}

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Working through the on the ground staff of Children’s Hopechest here in Ethiopia we have been blessed to see the fruit of child sponsorship in the village of Chapa. Children are selected and profiled based on vulnerability, risk of not being able to attend school and overall lack of family stability without basic intervention. This is determined by local church leaders who know the families and the children and are highly aware of needs.  If a child is profiled he or she is available for sponsorship which includes the uniform, shoes and learning materials needed to attend school. They become part of the Chapa Carepoint in conjunction with the small village church and the children are carefully monitored and discipled in order to improve success rates in school and so that families might more easily remain together.

Being in school in most developing countries represents protection and gives children a purpose and a place to be each day. While to many this may not sound important it is a vital piece of the overall health and wellness of a child and in many village communities the sponsored child who attends school is protected from early child marriage (often as young as 14). We have been told that those children in school are far less likely to stray from family, become hard laborers at a very early age which often stunts growth or perhaps even leave the family in search of a better opportunity which leads to thousands of street children who ultimately endure years of abuse simply trying to survive. In Ethiopia once a child migrates from the countryside into the large metropolis of Addis Ababa he or she is extremely vulnerable to those who trick children into indentured servitude and prostitution.  In Addis Ababa millions of children live in absolute squalor never able to return to family unless they end up in the hands of someone willing to help.

There is hope in breaking the cycles of extreme poverty and abuse. During our visit to Ethiopia this week our team has been able to see firsthand the models of ministry that work to equip and empower those who so often only need a little hand to become empowered. It is beyond humbling to see the light among the darkness and meet those who are building bridges to allow God’s grace and mercy to shine.  At the Chapa School/Carepoint these are the children still available for sponsorship and we are dreaming big as a team that they will all be sponsored before we leave Ethiopia in just a few days. Sponsorship is just $38 a month and this week it was so evident just how life-giving your gift is to the children and the overall community of Chapa.

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This is Zenabua. She is playful and very smiley, always laughing with her friends.

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Meet Habtamu. He loved the sport portion of our fun together and of course enjoys soccer.

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Could Mesafante have a more engaging smile? He is delightful and spunky.

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This is Yordanose. He is always with his pack of friends and tried several times to speak to me in English. He is eager to learn.

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This is Tilahun. He seems very sweet and has a sparkle in his eyes.

Please visit:

http://chapa.hopechest.org/sponsor/

to sponsor a child today.

Thank you!

Making Christmas Matter… Get Involved With Us!

5650869a-6a9f-4be1-bd26-e061b3339d22One of our goals with Begin With One is to encourage all communities toward acts of giving or getting involved in simple grassroots efforts toward big change. Whether you are part of a book group or the corporate world your influence and your giving matters and we all have the power to encourage one another to action.  Here is one way we hope to help you and yours make Christmas matter.

Do you ever find yourself looking for ways to make Christmas really matter? I know we do. With all the celebrations, goodies and get together there is no other month quite a special as December yet we find ourselves always searching for ways to weave the true meaning of Christmas into the hustle and bustle.   It’s not easy. This year our family is celebrating the birth of Jesus by raising support for classrooms desperately needed for thousands of children in Chapa, Ethiopia where our Children’s Hopechest Carepoint is located.  I return there in just two months with a team of fifteen from all across the country.

This year we are reaching out to family, friends, church and work family and current Chapa sponsors to ask you to donate to our Change Your Story campaign

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We have set a lofty goal of 25,000 to bring at least three more classrooms to Chapa along with desks, blackboards, supplies and perhaps tutoring, all sustainable projects that provide a hand to a hard working and deserving community.

This year our family would like to challenge your family to GET INVOLVED. It’s easy and fun and the kids will love seeing the smiles faces in this video as you explain the project. My children walk around quoting the smiling children in this video, “You can change my story.” It will make you smile.

Don’t Let Another Story Go Unchanged || Change Their Story 2014 from Children’s HopeChest on Vimeo.

Perhaps you could honor a teacher or a special sitter with a donation made to the Chapa children in their honor. Have your children make a card with a quote or a link to photos of the Chapa community  here. What about honoring a grandparent, pastor or coworker with a donation made in their honor. So often we are purchasing gifts with far less meaning and as a family we have found that people really cherish supporting children desperate to rise out of poverty through education.

So please take a step with us. Together we can change their stories and live out the good news this Christmas. Please share this and encourage others. Change begins with one… one dream, one voice and one action. Thank you for your generous support and please share any and all ideas you might have.

Peace and Grace,

The Strobel Family