A Chapa Update {Join Us} Chapa needs you!

We are home and honestly as much as I love family time and vacation, being home feels good. I’ll share more about our time away soon but for now I have so much to share about Chapa. My One Child Campaign Partner and dear friend, Caleb David, visited Chapa with a team in July and I am grateful for the time he was able to spend listening and learning.

My One Child Campaign Partners, Zelalem and Caleb, hard at work in Ethiopia July 2013 *photo credit Alyssa Sieb*

If this is your first time reading my blog I want to tell you a bit about a beautiful village outside of Awassa in Sidamo region of Ethiopia. It’s a place I wish all of you could see and hear. I wish you could witness the hope we see in the children we have come to know at the Chapa Carepoint and also the tenacity and smiles we see in  the women, church elders and village leaders.

Although we do not share the same language I had great fun communicating with this man.

The lush grounds of the Chapa Compound

 

The women of Chapa work all through the night to prepare a giant feast for all the children.

those smiles!

Children’s Hopechest partnered with what was orginally a small village church and they have been working over the past three years to develop a school where the most vulnerable children in the community can become educated.  Chapa was born. This November will mark two years since our family signed on to become Carepoint Coordinators for the Children’s Hopechest Carepoint of Chapa. We truly had no idea exactly what we were getting into but we knew after our first adoption visit to meet our daughter that we were being called to advicate for the protection and education of children in Ethiopia.  So many in Ethiopia hunger not only for food but also for purpose, hope, security and an education. Partnering with Children’s Hopechest has been a wonderful fit and we are thrilled to see the progress that continues thanks to many who sponsor children on a monthly basis and also to those of you who have given BIG toward new water pipelines and access points, a water sanitation system and new latrines and showers for the children. We must also thank the outstanding on the ground CHC staff who work tirelessly to develop the community into what will be best for the children. Their intentions are so authentic and their leadership true. They join us when we make our way to the Carepoint each trip and their relationships and input are always so vital to furthering our connection.

I’ll not soon forget my first trip to Chapa, joining the children in song in their classroom on stilts.

The original Chapa classroom 18 months ago

 

showing us how they learn through song

You can read about my first trip here but the second trip to Chapa was like nothing else I have experienced. Our team was welcomed with open arms. The children were eager and receptive and what were told on our last day of our visit was how thankful they were for our return visit and our committment to the spirtutal and and physical health and wellbeing of their children. Can you even imagine? It was not the celebration, the learning or the feast but instead the connection through visiting and worshipping together  that made our time in Chapa so darn sweet. The CHC model of sponsorship is based on a Connect Community (that’s us ) partnering with a community in need in Ethiopia (that’s Chapa). By consistently returning to Ethiopia we are building sustainable relationships and a solid trust.  During the trip last February our team was blessed to wash the feet of the Chapa kids.

Washing the feet of the precious Chapa children

Precious moments

It was a very spiritual and humbling experience and by the end of day one we felt a deeper connection to the children as they relaxed, allowing us to pamper and clean their soiled feet. We heard giggles and saw smiles. During Caleb’s recent July visit the elders and  leaders expressed profound gratitude for  the footcare we provided the children. They even asked us to invite the extended families and church members during our upcoming February trip to join in our days of ministry. There words were. “We want you to teach us how to better love and care for our children and we also want you to be one of us. ”  These words brought me to tears.  I cannot think of a more pleasing and beautiful goal than for all of us to be connecting and respecting one another with our eyes and actions fixed on God.

During the July meeting their was high praise for CLEAN WATER not only for the children but also for the community.

I love the little girl splashing her face with WATER!

One of two new water access points at Chapa

Now the Water Access points at Chapa are clean and the villagers wanted to learn all about the sanitation system

One villager even donated the land next to Chapa for the community water access point. Chapa is a community willing to help themsleves and we continue to see this over and over again both in their dialogue and through their actions. The latest project, the latrine buildout, is 60% complete and it is critical that I share that the men of Chapa pitched in and did most of the labor for the project themselves saving funds for other dire needs within the Chapa compound. They told Caleb that they are willing and able to work and while they do not have much they do have their strength to work. This is what we continue to see as a positive partnership.

The Latrine project nearly complete.

  The Carepoint is surviving and so are the young children in the Chapa community thanks to CHC and to you. Survival in a place like Ethiopia is of course challenging but our hope and prayer is to begin to see the Chapa Carepoint truly thriving. Currently, the most critical need is to get the classrooms completed. The governement is very strict with schools and this classroom must have cement floors complete with desks, chairs and blackboards in order  for the community to keep the land.

This classroom is half way complete

Proper ventilation and a less hostile environment of sun, dirt and inclimate weather along with access to clean water now will help the children to thrive. Please join me in the fight for the protection and education of the children in Chapa. We only need $5000 to complete the classrooms. Would you consider helping us meet our goal? We would love for you to be a part of the growth and promise we see at Chapa. Click here to donate. 

There are many to thank and from the bottom of my heart thank you. It has been such a blessing to advocate for children in Ethiopia and I hope that you will consider joining our community of believers. We believe all children are worth the love of Christ and we beleive that all children are made in His image just waiting for the opportunity to grow, learn and shine. Come see for yourself this beautiful village and the children of Chapa next February 2014 and message me should you have the desire to get connected to a Chapa child or Capital project. Together we can do so much and believe me when I tell you that God continues to deliver BIG ideas and the right people…

40 more children are waiting to be sponsored and we have a classroom to complete soon.

Join me.

Pray for Chapa and please dream big alongside me.

Peace and Grace,

Melanie