Thursday, July 21, 2011

THEY ARE WATCHING THE CLOUDS & PRAYING FOR RAIN (ETHIOPIA)

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UPDATE July 21:  So far today, another $1,350 has been donated to the fresh-water well project at Trees of Glory care-point in Ethiopia!!!  THANK YOU!!! 

Today is my birthday, and this is my birthday wish ... to fund this well.  Your $5, $20, $50, or even $500 donation will provide water for over 100 orphaned and destitute children at Trees of Glory.

CNN continues to report on this unfolding tragedy here "Three Stories From Africa's Drought, Famine".  Click to read the report.  An excerpt from that article says, "... this isn't just another annual drought -- this is the worst crisis the region has seen in 60 years.  ...To put that in historical perspective, the situation is looking more grim than the massive drought in Ethiopia in the mid-1980s that prompted the Live Aid concert, and the drought in Somalia in early 1990s that led to the well-known United Nations peacekeeping mission.

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Last night, I emailed an urgent letter to our sponsor team to update them on the drought conditions in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa.  A severe drought that is making headlines across the globe right now.



Here is a portion of that letter ...
I am writing to you tonight to ask for your help with the fresh-water well project at Trees of Glory (TOG) care-point. If you have been watching and reading news reports about Ethiopia, you are aware of the urgent need for food aid throughout the Horn of Africa as that area is now experiencing what some experts are calling the most severe drought in 60 years. 

This article, "U.S. Musters Response to Staggering Hunger in Horn of Africa" appeared on CNN just yesterday.  Please click on the headline to read the article. Similar articles in various newspapers around the globe are reporting the same.

I recently posted a video of Simret and Girma (the director and manager at TOG) as they discussed the dire need for a well. Jessica Irvin filmed that short video when she was in Ethiopia in May and the effects of the drought were already being felt then. If you have not viewed the video, please click HERE.

I want to call your attention to 2 things Simret says in that video: #1, she refers to how they are watching the clouds and praying for rain. And #2, she says "We know you are serving wtih full strength and we ask you to pray for us here and the water situation".

Trees of Glory is caring for 100 children today, and 40 new children will be enrolling next month. Presently, the staff carries water to the care-point on the backs of donkeys, to use for drinking water and cooking - there is not enough water for bathing or irrigation. As the drought continues, the crops and vegetable gardens are failing at Trees of Glory as well as the surrounding community - and food prices are skyrocketing. Hunger and malnutrition are prevalent in the surrounding villages.

This fresh-water well project is more urgent than ever for Trees of Glory. The well will be drilled deep enough to reach aquifers that are not readily affected by cyclical droughts or rainfall - and part of the plans for the well include drip irrigation systems for the large vegetable gardens at TOG.

I am leading a group of volunteers to Ethiopia in November and it is my prayer that funds will be raised and drilling will begin before we arrive in Ethiopia. Normally I would rely on fund-raising projects and involvement from various organizations and churches to fund a project of this magnitude, but because of the urgency of this need, I am emailing our sponsor family because you have a child or children at the care-point that you know and love and pray for - therefore this situation is personal.

Please consider making a donation to fund this project - and please spread the word. This is something we can do right now to make a tangible difference for the kids and staff at TOG - AND in the surrounding villages!  And please pray for Ethiopia and the entire Horn of Africa as they once again weather drought and famine.

To make a donation:

Go to www.hopechest.org, click on GIVE
Click on DESIGNATED GIFT and specify a $ amount
In the Reference Number, specify ET2119000
In the Notes area, specify TOG WELL

Please email me at kjwistrom@yahoo.com with the amount when you make a donation so I can keep track of our progress in real time and provide ongoing updates on my blog. 

Please know that I do understand if you are not able to make a donation right now - but I do ask that you pray for this project and pray for TOG and the Hopechest Ethiopia staff! And please pray for the team of 20 people (so far) that will be travelling to Ethiopia with me in November to work with the care-points and the kids!

I want to be able to tell Simret that we are indeed serving IN FULL STRENGTH. We recognize the urgency of this need and we are truly partnered with them on behalf of the kids in their care!


That email went to our two sponsor teams last night (who sponsor 100 kids at Trees of Glory and 102 kids at Kind Hearts) - and I am thankful to be able to report that as of tonight, we have received $5,766 against the $25,000 we need to raise for this project that includes a deep fresh-water well with a 6" wide bore-hole, generators and pumps, a cistern, drip irrigation and major repairs on the plumbing pipes and fixtures that previoulsy existed at the care-point.


Fundraiser Thermometer


 
Would YOU consider making a donation to this project so that we can begin drilling the well?  The need is extremely urgent and we will have a team in Ethiopia in November to see and report on the progress first-hand.

With Sincere Thanks - Karen Wistrom

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