Sunday, October 25, 2009

5 Week Countdown to Ethiopia!


It's been an extremely busy few weeks. My trip to Ethiopia is now only 5 weeks away and I am finally able to start focusing on the upcoming trip.

I did go to the travel clinic 2 weeks ago to get shots for Yellow Fever and Typhoid, along with anti-malarial medication. Since we will be travelling outside the city of Addis Ababa, and at lower elevations, we will be in mosquito infested areas which means we are susceptible to mosquite-borne illnesses. When you read the CDC reports on the risks of the Yellow Fever vaccine, it certainly causes one to hesitate and really think through the risks associated with a trip like this. I did end up with very swollen and PAINFUL lymph nodes under my arm, which lasted a full two weeks, but that has just subsided and the tiredness and fatigue has begun to decline as well! I have one more round of Hep B vaccine next week and then the medical aspects of the trip are done.


Saturday morning, I presented an educational adoption seminar in Eden Prairie. And this morning, I spoke at both worship services at our church about my upcoming trip to Ethiopia, presenting two ways to help: #1 immediate needs for the trip, #2 to consider child sponsorhip once I get back and we have identified a specific orphanage to partner with. I generally don't mind public speaking, but these topics are so close close to my heart and I was super nervous for both events. There is just so much I want to convey and so little time to get it all in.

I could really use help for the upcoming Ethiopia trip, either with financial donations so that we can take care of immediate needs on the ground in-country, or with donations of the following items! Please email me at
kjwistrom@yahoo.com if you can help in any way. I can guarantee each gift or donation will personally affect the life of a child that yearns to know love and safety and hope.

IMMEDIATE NEEDS FOR UPCOMING ETHIOPIA TRIP

NOVEMBER 30 - DECEMBER 9


  • children's underwear (boys and girls, all sizes)

  • pencils and school supplies

  • new shoes (tennis shoes and sandals)

  • toothbrushes/toothpaste

  • suckers and hard candy (buy this after halloween!)

  • new or gently-used clothing

  • packages of peanut butter crackers or granola bars

  • financial donations to meet immediate food needs

Also - please consider and pray about sponsoring a child once we develop the sponsorship program early next year. Your monthly gift of $34 will ensure that one specific child has food, clothing, medical care, education and christian discipleship. Our group of sponsors will develop a personal relationship with a specific child, but they will also know the other children in the program and the other sponsors. We plan to send 1-2 groups of sponsors to Ethiopia each year to build on those relationships. Jay will be leading the next trip and we have already had several people step forward to express interest in the next trip and in child sponsorship!!!

Last year, when we were in Ethiopia, we visited several orphanages and spent some time interacting with the kids there. When we would first arrive at an orphanage, the kids were very animated and excited. But once the excitement passed and we could begin to interact one on one, we quickly saw those tough exteriors, frenzied activity and aloof personalities start to crumble. Within a few minutes, a child or two or three would slowly crawl right up into your lap, just wanting to feel safe and loved. To have someone wrap their arms around them and just hold them. You quickly realize that these precious kids aren't just starving for nutritious and consistent meals and clean water, they are literally starving for love and hope and security.

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