Monday, August 27, 2012

Water is flowing in the desert of Ethiopia!

Jessica Irvin just returned from Ethiopia where she was able to visit Trees of Glory CarePoint. Jessica has been a long-time advocate for the kids and the CarePoint and during her recent visit she was able to provide more books for the small library, and bring much-needed school supplies for the kids.

Now that the well is fully functioning and providing abundant, clean water for the kids, the CarePoint is poised to enroll more kids!  There are hundreds of children in the rural area surrounding the CarePoint who are orphaned or from very destitute families.  With fresh, clean and abundant water available at the CarePoint, we will be enrolling more children for the new school year!

Jessica commented that there has been SO MUCH progress and so many things have changed since she last visited a little over a year ago!  Below is a video Jessica took at TOG a few weeks ago of Simret, the CarePoint director, demonstrating the new sinks and running water in the kitchen and laundry area!!  What a change this has made for the lives of the 150 kids now attending Trees of Glory!

It was almost exactly one year ago when we completed fund-raising for this well project and today it is fully functioning and impacting the lives of the kids and the villages surrounding the CarePoint!!







Please click to Jessica's blog for her full report and more photos from her visit to Trees of Glory in Ethiopia at  http://steadfastminds-ethiopia.blogspot.com/2012/08/trees-of-glory-update-part-2.html

Jessica Irvin (left) with Simret at the well-head at Trees of Glory CarePoint.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Kids will have to scooch a little closer ...

Exciting news today! ... Kind Hearts CarePoint is enrolling FIFTY more children despite the fact that our 4 tiny classrooms are already overflowing with kids!  Every day, there are hundreds of kids standing on the outside looking in, watching, waiting and wishing they too could attend Kind Hearts.



Presently, the CarePoint serves 150 orphaned and destitute children providing nutritious food, clean water, medical care, clothing, Christian discipleship and education for children who would otherwise go without.

In faith, the CarePoint is going ahead with more enrollment - even though they lack the physical building, classrooms and space to help more kids.  There are just too many desperately poor and malnourished children. 

Somehow ... space will be made, kids will scooch a little closer in the too-crowded classrooms, and food will be shared.

Our school building fund is 45% funded, but rather than wait, Kind Hearts is stepping out in faith that the new school building will soon be fully funded.

Those 50 kids will need a sponsor family too!  If you are interested in sponsoring a child at Kind Hearts, please email me and I will add you to our waiting list.  As soon as the kids are enrolled, I will contact you to match you with a child.

Our team of volunteers will be in Ethiopia to work with the kids in November.  If you are interested in sponsorship, please email me at kjwistrom@yahoo.com.  Sponsorship is $34 per month and provides nutritious meals, clean water, clothing, medical care, Christian discipleship and education for one child.

If you can help fund our school building (which will accomodate another 150 kids!!), you can make a secure, tax-deductible donation here  http://donate.hopechest.org/goto/karen

Below - these are just a few photos of kids around the CarePoint who are standing on the outside looking in when school starts each day and meals are served ...












Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Now they are able to focus on education!

Jessica Irvin just returned from Ethiopia where she was able to visit Trees of Glory CarePoint.  Jessica has been a long-time advocate for the kids and the CarePoint and during her recent visit she was able to provide more books for the very small library, and bring much-needed school supplies for the kids.

Now that the well is fully functioning and providing abundant, clean water for the kids, the CarePoint is poised to enroll more kids and focus on excellence in education!


Simret, the CarePoint director, looking through the books provided for the library!

Please click to Jessica's blog for her full report from her visit to Trees of Glory in Ethiopia at  http://steadfastminds-ethiopia.blogspot.com/2012/08/trees-of-glory-update-part-1.html

Monday, August 20, 2012

Wesley is NOT impressed!

By now, most everyone has seen the viral meme of US olympic gymnast, McKayla Maroney's facial expression when she stood on the medal podium to be awarded a silver medal instead of the gold medal she was favored to win for the vault.  Obviously, McKayla Maroney was NOT IMPRESSED with silver.



Since then, her "Not Impressed" facial expression has been superimposed on other photos and a tumblr site called "mckaylaisnotimpressed" has gone viral with viewers uploading their own funny versions.  A few examples below ...


Moon landing?  Not impressed.



Tom Cruise declaring his undying love for Katie?  Not impressed.



Rare double rainbow?  McKayla is not impressed.


We had a similar situation going on today with Wesley, our 6 year old.

Last year, Jayden (11 years old) worked hard to get up on a slalom ski with no luck. 

After a full summer of wake-skating, kneeboarding and skiing on 2 skis, we decided to give 1 ski another shot. 


He is much more coordinated and stronger this year and with lots of instruction and about 10 tries ... he finally rose out of the water on ONE SKI!!!





We were cheering and yelling for him and motioning for him to stay inside the wake.


Wesley was not impressed.

On his next try, Jayden jumped the wake and slalomed form one side to the other churning up an impessive spray!





Wesley was not impessed.


On his last attempt, Jayden pulled himself quickly out of the water, and smoothly swerved from one side to the other, gaining confidence and really starting to lay back into his ski.




And then he had a glorious wipe out, skimming across the water like a greased seal.



Wesley was impressed!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Back to School??

It's back to school time for kids across America and backpacks are being prepared with sharp new pencils, shiny binders, perfect pointy crayons and lots of notebooks to be filled with everything they will learn this year!

Our CarePoints in Ethiopia are preparing for the new schoolyear as well.  At Kind Hearts CarePoint, we are raising funds to build a new school building so that we can double the number of kids we can serve.

Right now, our 4 small classrooms are overflowing with 150 kids - and yet there are hundreds more children (hungry children) who are standing on the edge of the school yard waiting, watching and wishing. 

Attending Kind Hearts means that each child is provided with nutritious food, clean water, medical care, clothing, education and loving Christian discipleship.  With a new school building, Kind Hearts can serve up to 300 children!!!

Would you consider making a donation to the school building fund so we can serve the orphaned and destitute children who are waiting, watching and wishing for a chance to go to school!?!  We are a little over 40% of the way there!

You can make a secure donation and see our building fund progress by clicking on this link  http://donate.hopechest.org/goto/karen

My friend Robyn Davidson (who sponsors a child and has visited the CarePoint) created this beautiful video for the kids at Kind Hearts - for the kids who currently attend and for those who hope to!


Back to School from Dave and Robyn Davidson on Vimeo.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Making room ... for teeth

Six weeks ago, we were at the orthodontist getting braces fitted. 

Emme (left) went in with a smile, and came out without.



Because she was fitted with one of these in the roof of her mouth.

I was handed a little "key" with which to ratchet the device every night in order to widen the arch of her teeth to make room to straighten them.


The "before" photo below.


Only 6 weeks later, and she looks like this!




Oops - wrong photo.

She looks like this ... and the ratcheting is done.  Now the alignment begins.


Travelling soccer is now done for the summer ... but school soccer practice and tryouts have started, with only about a 2 day breather in between.

Jayden's last game had an incredible play that I captured on film. 

Look at that form and how he lines up his body with the ball.


He's going to kick it at least a 1/4 mile.  Probably burn a hole right through the net. 

The crowd went quiet as we waited with anticipation.


Whiff!


What?!?!?!?!?!?


Jay yelled from the sidelines .... "Nice fake Jayden!!" and we could see Jayden laughing at himself. 

He's got a great sense of humor!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Beads Can Build a School!


Every time I go to Ethiopia, I search the local markets for these beautiful beaded necklaces and bracelets that are made by hand - each bead rolled individually from brightly colored magazine paper and dipped in lacquer. 

Every single bead is unique because it is cut and rolled from a magazine page.  Oftentimes, I can make out writing (usually in Amheric) on each individual bead from the print of the magazine. 

These beads are made by widows or women who are living in extreme poverty and they are able to provide for themselves and their children with their creativity!


Apryl Harbaugh will be travelling to Ethiopia with me in November and this will be her third trip to work with the kids at Kind Hearts and Trees of Glory CarePoints. 

She has purchased these beautiful and colorful beads (created by women in Africa) and together with a group of Senior High girls (who strung the beads by hand) she has created these beautiful bracelets and earrings with all proceeds going to help build a new school at Kind Hearts CarePoint! 

With a new school, Kind Hearts will be able to enroll 150 more orphaned and destitute children and provide nutritious food, clean water, clothing, medical care and Christian Discipleship.

Please click on the link below for Apryl's blog to make an online purchase (bracelets are only $10 and earrings are only $5) and help build a new school in Ethiopia!!!