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,
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.
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.
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.
Within the Chapa Village sits a small block of classrooms very near to the Chapa School called the Aroma school. The Aroma school is run by the government and is the only option for kids to progress in grade level, currently educating kids up through grade 10. It was an honor to spend time this year with both the students and the leadership of the Aroma school to better grasp how valuable an education is to those living in the rural community of Chapa and to understand how we can partner to help advance and improve education.With a population of approximately 26,000 people and 5200 households spread deep into the mountains, children have one nearby option to advance in their education and that is the Aroma school. Many of you are familiar with the original block of classrooms developed within the Chapa Carepoint Compoud in conjunction with the Hiwot Brehan church over the past three years. These classrooms provide education access to the most vulnerable within the community through sponsorship dollars. The Chapa classrooms are divided not necessarily by age or grade but by ability as many of the most vulnerable children have never attended any school prior to being enrolled in the Chapa Development project. This means the Chapa children will eventually be eligible to feed into the Aroma school and we want to be certain space, supplies and curriculum is not an obstacle to a stellar education deserved by all. You can see here just how populated the current classrooms are. Here is the need. The Aroma school is completely lacking classroom space to allow more students a full day and a full academic experience. This is vital to allow all children to complete his or her academic dreams. With up to 3,500 students unable to reach another school, all must attend Aroma currently in shifts which means less than four hours of education per day. Each teacher is very overloaded often managing up to 80 students at a time. This of course does not allow a proper education or the ability for most to obtain the goal of someday advancing into University. We so desire education for all Chapa children of every grade level and together I know we can meet the goal of completing the Chapa Community Classrooms.All we need is 24K and we have a donor who has generously come forward to offer a dollar for dollar match up to 12K. With over 150 sponsored Chapa children who will soon benefit from moving up in grade level to the Aroma school we want them to have classrooms, desks, blackboards and of course trained teachers. We want this opportunity for the entire village of Chapa.Help us meet this need. The staff of Children’s Hopechest on the ground in Ethiopia has full plans ready to go that have been approved by the Ethiopian Government, our Begin With One board and also the staff of One Child Campaign. Being on the ground year after year has shown us just how valuable education is to meeting the needs of children, families and ultimately raising up a community. Being in school protects children from a life of migrating into the city in search of work often ending up trafficked and a girl enrolled in school is far less likely to be pursued as a child bride. Education is everything to those in the developing world.
GIving is easy and from now until June every dollar given will be matched up to 12K. CLICK BELOW TO HELP US REACH OUR GOAL:
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