Archive for February 2010
Wow. Have had an amazing couple weeks. My people from NCC came last week and were a huge blessing. In the midst of that we got a house for the boys!!
It is amazing to be on the other side of a mission trip. After taking three, I can identify to what the trip was going through. Watching the impact the trip was making on the teams lives was so clear, it was like a great movie. They also blessed the heck out of us too. They brought so much stuff I had left in DC, plus a lot more. On top of that they brought an immense amount of sports equipment including like 10 American footballs, 15 baseballs, 15 Frisbees, pinnies, cones and a few futballs(soccer balls).
The team spent time Impact Youth and it was awesome. I never stop being impressed about what is happening there. I know the trip was extremely impacted. The boys enjoyed learning American sports along with English to compliment it. The team also visited a couple orphanages and lead a sports camp for the Entoto children and our boys in the “Change Ministry”. It was awesome. There were about 75 kids learning how to catch a pass, throw a Frisbee and play kickball.
I can’t say thank you enough to NCC and the team. I cant wait till the next trip!!
Ermias at impact Youth had continued looking at houses for us. He called me on Monday night about a house he liked and by Wednesday we had closed on a CASTLE! It is a pretty amazing house. 17 rooms, four floors and 3000 birr(13.5 exchange rate) less then the first house we looked at that had less rooms. The house makes me laugh cause its so big. It’s a great deal for 7000 birr a month. It is close to the church and where the boys hang out. So thankful!
There is a TON work to be done. Cleaning, painting and designing the structure to implement some programs to fill these boys up. We hope to have it start as a place for the boys to come 5 days out of a week and get meals, tutoring, mentoring, spirituality growth, and much more. There is a ton of assessment needed to see where these boys in terms of education and family situations. Having the house will provide a set place to start getting people involved that can help us do this.
The goal is building deeper relationships with the boys while adding structure and discipline. Our hope and prayers is that within 3-6 months we will be able to determine which boys are ready to continue growth and adhere to a structured environment. Those boys that show an ability to grow will be afforded the opportunity to live there. Wow!
As you can imagine we have a huge amount of needs. Besides the people, employees and volunteers we need a ton of furniture related items. We will be having a church wide house warming party, but also hope to get as many people involved in being a part of this amazing work as possible.
I am just overwhelmed by God’s faithfulness. It is beyond crazy to think of the turn my life has taken in less then a year. Things are moving faster then many people would expect. That is a testament to God’s power. I am so excited to think of where we are going with this and where these boys will be in a couple years. I really believe this army of potential leaders can change nations!
What an exhausting couple of weeks. I love this kind of exhaustion! Though exhausted, so filled with joy. I love these boys! Amen!
1 sheep = 480 birr
Firewood = 50 birr
Rest of food = 500 birr
Tip for our amazing helpful gaurd(Kebeda) = 100birr
Party with Ethiopian street children = Priceless
So when in Rome…. Kill a sheep! Today we are partaking in some traditional Ethiopian style meal preparation. Allie and myself are hosting the NCC team of 8 and 25 of our boys for a Ethiopian barbecue. Today will have some American influence also, consisting of a marshmallow toss(and catch in mouth) along with some carrying eggs on spoons relays. We are trusting the rain will stay away, so far so good.
The team arrived yesterday and it is just a blessing to have them here. 5 of the 8 folks were people I knew well from DC. It is good to hear about DC and just see familiar friends, minus the talk about how awesome the snow is. HA.
The team brought with them so much sports equipment and a couple bags of stuff for me. It is a real pick me up and I have so many people that contributed and I couldn’t feel more blessed. My old roommate Jen(best landlord ever) was so kind to send all the stuff I left behind and more. She collected everything and packed it perfectly. Can’t wait to be the only white dude in Addis attempting to roller blade!!
On the house front: The house we thought we were getting fell through. Though it seemed to meet our need well, I trust in the Lord that there is a better house out there when he deems us ready to move forward. We are also trying to figure out some budgetary concerns. Of course we need money, but the main issue right now is making sure the finances of the NGO meet the requirements of the government. Right now, it is a lot easier said then done. Money has to be spent in a specific way or we risk being shut down.
Praying that this week will make a huge impact on many lives. I am also praying for the return of my stolen phone. Finally, my good friend Tom is arriving tomorrow morning so praying for his safety and an amazing time for him.
The BIGGEST step since making the decision to move here is now upon me/us. I am a little hesitant to write about it so fast, but I have always had a huge mouth. SOOOO, last Friday I looked at a house. The location, style. and price were nearly perfect. Well, I can’t claim to even know what perfect is for this project, but I was relying on experts. Our next move is to meet with the landlord on Tuesday at 7:30 Habasha time. Wow. If the doors open, I could be moving into what will some day be a home for street children by next week(same week the team from NCC comes in, yeah!).
Yes, this is the sequel to my blog on August 19th, a month before I left the states. When I blogged then, I think I forgot that not only was God showing his awesome craziness sending me here, but He would faithfully continue to show that same craziness during my time here.
Hello? Is there a word that can describe this better then crazy? Can I just make a pretty awesome observation? When I blogged on August 19th, it was mostly due to meeting Ermias and Koni in DC. Well guess who the experts were that I mentioned previously. When I first got here I was so overwhelmed with adapting that I didn’t have time to meet with them much. Since then, Ermias and Koni(and PZ) have been the biggest encouragement. When Ermias heard I was looking for a house he was like “I’ll do it”. Through them I had access to probably the best experts in looking for homes designed to support at risk youth. How perfect. Not only that, Ermias was not able to JUST get the price down to what our goal was, but 1000birr less!!! WOW. That is huge!
THERE IS SO MUCH work to be done. The primary goal is to use this house as a “safe haven” for the boys. A place where we can implement some structure including education, health needs, meals, mentoring, spiritual and more. The other MAJOR goal is to have a place that people can come and be a part of something amazing. Without a set place to do this, it seemed impossible to grow this thing, get more people involved and grow the relationship with the boys. There is a ton of faith needed to move forward like this. I ain’t ready a tiny bit, but then again I/we will never be “ready”.
CALLING ALL PEOPLE! If you actually get this far down this blog, PLEASE consider anyway you might be able to help! We need everything. People willing to give time are the most important but after that we need financing, good examples of teaching materials, tons of prayer and more. Also, I humbly ask you to share this with as many people as possible, especially those who might have a vested interest.
GO, set, ready!
Things are happnin’ captain! I am going to look at the first house tomorrow for what one day will become a home for street boys. Things are really starting to move. On top of the work for our boys/The Crew/Change Ministry, Beza hosted their first Africa Arise Conference.
I am excited about the house, obviously. I really have set it at the highest priority in terms of the operational, practical needs of this project. It really is a belief in “ if you build it, they will come”. Without a specific location to host, develop structure it seems nearly impossible to grow the project for the boys. Let me just give a little shout out to Ermias of Youth Impact who when I said “we need a house” he took it on himself to use all his connections to look at a bunch and dwindle down the candidates till they were satisfactory. I mean the dude only lives with 9 young men, pastors, trains others, and who knows what else.. Why not add some laborious house hunting for some corny white dude. Thank you God.
During the good news of the NGO being approved, Beza hosted leaders and diplomats from all over the continent as a part of their first “Africa Arise Conference”. It was a huge success. The conference was strategically scheduled a week before the continents leaders met for the African Union Summit. This is where continent leaders gather to anoint leaders of different decision making committees. Ethiopia is truly strategically placed to have influence over the entire continent. I am so glad to be a part of it, though of course I COMPLETELY lack the stomach for politics. It might seem strange to American’s ears, but I truly think this continent is on the rise and my faith suggests that major things are going to happen here.
I am so fortunate to be here during an important time. I also don’t think a message of “Africa Arise” could be better stated then by reformed lives of leaders from the street. I am so glad there are people here talented and ambitious enough to seek change in the “upper echelon” leadership of nations and more. Better them then me. I spent many years confused about where I should be focused, but am SO confident now that I belong with the least, serving the neediest, especially street kids.
I pray that Fege, Mickie, Metasabia, Ermias #1,#2, and #3, Natinile, and more are not just reformed but are shaped into leaders of their towns, families, friends, nation and continent! Our boys will arise, world watch out!