Category Archives: Media

Empower a Woman… Change a Village

Empower a woman and change a village…


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.


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.

Woven Dignity 2016 {making an impact in the Chapa Village}

There is no talk of menstrual cycles or the glorious wonder of a women’s body as the giver of life. There is no understanding of what to do when a young lady begins menstruating and many girls suffer in silence and despair missing up to a week of life’s opportunities every month. That is three months of life a year.


No wonder the room of young girls sat wide-eyed as we unpacked supplies and began educating them with simple drawings on the blackboard.


They are young yet old enough to be curious about the changes happening to their maturing bodies, and for many they are statistically speaking already experiencing exploitation or gestures of sex in exchange for hygiene materials or permission to remain in school while menstruating. According to the World Health Organization as many as 74% of African girls are exploited by the age of 12 and many are “taken” to become child brides before their 14th birthday. Educationin remote areas in non-existent and so are the solutions to the problem of girls missing out on education and opportunities and eventually work days when they become young ladies.  The Chapa Village is no exception. Until we were granted permission to begin educating women and girls, there was no hygiene or health training, no safe menstrual supplies and no unity among the women of dignity and strength surrounding menstruation.  At the Begin With One Chapa Community Carepoint we are working to change silence and provide women with deserved dignity and hope. Through our Woven Dignity education and the delivery of hand-made menstrual kits we are seeing tremendous change and we know from the feedback of the girls that they are less likely to avoid school or drop out of school altogether due to infection and or lack of proper menstrual supplies.


This year we were able to bring 75 reusable/washable menstrual kits to the women and girls of Chapa and each person who received a kit was trained on her body, what a menstrual cycle is and how to properly use the kits.


A heartfelt thank you to Board Member, Kristi Herstein and her daughter Hannah for serving the women of Chapa so well through excellent hands on education.  What an honor it was to see the women and girls leaving the Chapa Carepoint clinging to the small token of love, education and restored dignity wrapped in a brightly colored cloth bag. Thank you to the many hands who generously donated materials, sewed pads and bags and to those who prayed for our journey to empower the women we have grown to love in Chapa. We look forward to next steps and we are dreaming big about teaching the women to teach other women not only about their health but also about how kits can be made.

To learn more about ways to get involved in empowering women visit: and take a look at this startling video:


Beauty beyond skin color… {a message to my daughter}

I can only hope that women such as Miss Lupita Nyong’o and others will positively influence my daughter as she matures. Miss A is nearly four and she is already aware of her brown skin. She mentions it often and asks to look like me. She strokes my hair and some days I catch her pulling at her own locks and asking when they will be longer like mine. My responsibility to her runs deep. She is my daughter and we are uniquely close. Her shared thoughts are similar to when my boys were young yet with MIss A I am forced to examine the notion of color and difference not because I want to but because she was born on another continent where God created her perfectly and wonderfully.  We want her to know her heritage and we want her to embrace her inner beauty and how what is on the inside is often what is shown to others on the outside. I want her to love and admire her uniqueness without believing that a fair complexion or long straight hair makes life more fulfilling or easy. I want nothing more than to know the very best way to honor every person for the gifts and character he or she possess. It is my passion that Miss A be reminded often that her value and self-worth comes from something so much more than the pigment of her skin. I thought I would perhaps have many more years before Miss A began to see herself through the lens of color but she has surprised us with a self awareness far beyond her years. So here is an eloquent speech that might be over her little head for now but someday very soon she might need to listen and I look forward to our discussion.  Like it or not we all stare, we all wonder, we all compare and we certainly judge. It seems to be a built-in part of being human yet I am most interested in what happens immediately after the look or the awareness. Can we embrace the person who might look different from ourselves? Can we see beauty without judgemental eyes.? Can we tolerate differences and be grateful that the world does not all look the same? This is the hope for my children and all children around our ever-changing world.  I will fight to show my daughter various examples of character, compassion and intelligence in both men and women of all ethnicities and every day I will remind her that beauty is always fleeting. It is only heart and soul that remain…