Sunday, February 17, 2013

Connected in Tangible Ways ...

Every November, our team of volunteers travels to Ethiopia to work one-on-one with the kids at Kind Hearts and Trees of Glory care-points.  With nearly 400 orphaned or destitute children now attending the care-points (and receiving nutritious food, clean water, clothing, medical care, education and Christian discipleship) it's so important to make sure that each sponsor family and each child feels connected in tangible ways (in addition to writing letters back and forth, and the individual and community updates I provide throughout the year.)

One of those ways (to connect) is a project we do with the kids each year, that we can give to each sponsor family.  This year, we created hand-print cards with each child, and included a photo we took that day.  Each child made 2 cards (one to keep for themselves, and one to give to their sponsor family).  They were excited, knowing this card was going to their sponsor.

Each year, I divide our team of volunteers into smaller groups - and each group creates a lesson plan/activity to do with the kids.  One of our groups taught about how each child was uniquely created by God - and is therefore one of a kind, special, valued and loved by God.  Handprints were used to demonstrate that unique-ness.

The kids loved the interaction with the team, having their hands painted and pressing their one-of-a-kind handprint onto a card that would travel to the other side of the world to their sponsor family.  It was a new experience for the kids - and they giggled as they tried to spread their fingers and center their hand on the card.

Once we arrived home, the busy-ness of the holidays was upon us .. and then of course the demands of work and school.  But each evening, my daughters went through each card, looking up each child's name and making sure we had labeled each card with the correct child's name based on their photo. 

My oldest daughter, Emme, making sure each card was labeled
correctly and matching each photo to their profile photo.

Maea and Emme showing the handprint cards from our sponsor children
at Trees of Glory and Kind Hearts care-points.

All of those cards are now on their way to Children's HopeChest where they will be mailed to each sponsor family.  (Sponsors:  There were a few children absent that day, so if you don't get a hand-print card from your child, I apologize in advance.)

A few photos from that day ...

 Becky working with the kids to create hand-print cards. 
Becky has been part of our volunteer team for 3 years!
The kids at Trees of Glory LOVED interacting with Caleb from our volunteer team. 

 Emme painting hands at Kind Hearts.

 Some of the Kind Hearts kids proudly show their creations.

Apryl has been part of our volunteer team for 3 years as well. 
Painting hands and helping the kids press them onto the paper
is a great opportunity to touch and give individual attention to each child.

When Wossene sees the camera, he whips out a photo of his sponsor family to share with us! 

We enrolled 96 new children in October and there are still a few kids at each care-point waiting to be matched with a sponsor family.  If you are interested in sponsoring a child, please contact me at  $34 per month provides nutritious food, clean water, clothing, medical care, education and Christian discipeship for one child.

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