Everything about her is changing. Like the newly emerging flowers and budding trees ready to burst this spring, she is beginning to blossom into a little lady. We can see it as she searches for independence and boldly professes her ideas and opinions. It’s a miracle to watch happen right before our eyes.
Today she turns seven and marks for us all a new season, a fresh start if you will. I think it’s what I love about birthdays. It’s a day to reset, reflect, to explore and dream of what is next. Tonight we will celebrate the gift that this child is not only to our family but to all who know her. We’ll celebrate her birthplace and pray for the woman who gave her life in spite of harsh circumstances. We will embrace all the changes we see on her horizon and discuss the ways we see God working in and through her little life.
With spring sports and two of our kids in lead roles in a musical (Footloose) opening next week we have been a tad busy and frankly planning a bday bash fell off the radar. When we finally dug in she insisted all the girls she knows be invited. She is a wee bit social so you can imagine the list. We love hosting birthday parties but all those gifts? We have grown to wish birthdays could be less of a lavish affair. “Ava for your birthday what if we shared the story of the Chapa children who need sponsors in order to grow up strong and educated just like you?” I said, thinking aloud. ” We could ask friends to consider sponsoring a child from Chapa or making a donation toward new uniforms or shoes instead of gifting something to you.” Ava did not hesitate.
So this weekend when we host our two hour basement dance party birthday bash we have asked that kids (parents… thank you) do not bring a gift. Instead we are spreading the word about these 17 children of Chapa, Ethiopia who long to be part of our sponsorship program.
Click here to see their profiles:
The children of Chapa long to have someone walk alongside them. To bless them with letters, prayers and loving support. We are asking you consider giving to them in honor of Ava. Give to them in honor of your own child and the growth you see as you are watching them bloom this spring season.
Peace on the journey,
Impact within the Chapa village!
Back in February our team visiting the Chapa community spent time with the leaders of the nearby government Aroma school. This is the school that is technically free if you can afford exercise books, shoes and a uniform. The Aroma school houses hundreds of kids of various ages all trying to get their education completed. It is the school where our sponsored Chapa kids will advance in grade level. We returned home convinced we could share the need for more classroom space and the funding would come.
Take a look at this…
This is the layout of the new blocks of classrooms.
It was an honor to meet and pray with the construction crew while we were recently back in Chapa.
It is an honor to work with Children’s Hopechest. They do what they say they are going to do and they do it so well. Thank you to the many who made this audacious goal a reality. Thank you for partnering, donating, praying and believing that the children of the Chapa community are so deserving of a solid education. We look forward to accommodating more students and lessening the student to teacher ratio.
Together is the best place to be.
Peace and grace on the journey,
When the daughter you never knew you might have is born in a land rich in both beauty and history, it is difficult to not become quickly attached. I could never have predicted I would be returning as many times as we have in the last six years but what a blessing to have others join us to catch a glimpse of the allure and need we see when we spend time in one of the oldest civilizations on the planet. Did you know that Ethiopia is mentioned 45 times in the bible and home t the oldest living human remains found in the Afar region dating back 2.8 million years? Did you know that Ethiopia has thirteen months in a year and the only African nation never to be colonized, defeating the Italians twice? It’s such a gift to be raising our Ethiopian daughter to be proud of her birth country. May she always know how much we respect all that her culture brings to the world and may she always see us striving to make an impact in a land where the needs are very complex. Thank you Ryan for showcasing stunning Ethiopia in all her bountiful and ancient glory:
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