Saturday, March 16, 2013

"I was garbage ... but I am not garbage anymore!"

Have you been thinking about sponsoring a child?

Has your heart been moved by the story of a friend or neighbor or co-worker who has connected with an orphaned or destitute child and made a difference for that child?

Has it crossed your mind that "I could do that" but you're not sure where to connect or how to get started?

In October, we enrolled nearly 100 new children at our Trees of Glory and Kind Hearts CarePoints in Ethiopia.  These are children who had been standing on the outside, looking in - hoping and wishing for the opportunity to go to school and rely on a meal every day...

Beginning with just 68 kids back in 2009, we now have almost 400 children enrolled!!  Many of these kids are orphans, they live with an older sibling, an aunt or a grandparent, who cannot provide for them.  Without provision, these kids could not rely on a meal every day, they drank water that made them sick and filled their bellies with parasites that made them sicker.  No medical care.  No school.  Tattered clothing.  Little hope.

Some of the kids still have a living parent, but with staggering unemployment and equally staggering inflation.  They are destitute.  Hungry.  No medical care.  No school. Tattered clothing. Little hope.

That has changed dramatically over the last 3 years.  More and more children are being welcomed into the program and lives have been transformed!

Through sponsorship (where one child is connected with one family here in the USA - $34 per month provides that child with a nutritious meal every day, clean water, clothing, medical care, education and Christian discipleship) our CarePoint provide basic needs for these kids along with love, encouragement and hope for the future.

I lead a team of volunteers to Ethiopia each November and we work with these kids one-on-one, playing with them, laughing, hugging, touching and teaching.  We have personally seen the transformation in these kids when their basic needs are provided for and they have hope for their future.

I will never forget being told by one of the kids at Kind Hearts, who scavenged in garbage for things to eat and things to sell.  "I ate garbage, I walked in garbage. I was garbage.... but I'm not garbage any more."  And I could look into his eyes, with tears welling up in my own and say ... "Oh you are most definitely NOT garbage."

And it wasn't just empty words.  Through the provision of his sponsor family who loved him enough to provide for him ... and through the daily encouragement and love of the staff and teachers at the CarePoint and Children's HopeChest ... he already knew.  Knew it in his heart ... he was not garbage.

There are still a few kids at Kind Hearts and Trees of Glory, who are waiting to be matched with a sponsor family.  Will you make a difference for one of these kids? 

Please email me at kjwistrom@yahoo.com to be matched with a child. 

We have a team of volunteers leaving for Ethiopia next week to work with the kids.  We have another team leaving in June, and I will be leading a team in November.  That's several opportunities yet this year when volunteers will be working with each child and can deliver a care-package to your child from you.

Belyu, 10 years old
BELYU NOW HAS A SPONSOR FAMILY!!

Ayenalem, 9 years old
AYENALEM NOW HAS A SPONSOR FAMILY!!

Getahun, 15 years old
GETAHUN NOW HAS A SPONSOR FAMILY!!

Bertukan, 12 years old
BERTUKAN NOW HAS A SPONSOR FAMILY!!

Shibre, 7 years old
SHIBRE NOW HAS A SPONSOR FAMILY!!

Gelane, 12 years old
GELANE NOW HAS A SPONSOR FAMILY!!
 
Ashene, 14 years old
ASHENE NOW HAS A SPONSOR FAMILY!!

Fantaye, 8 years old
FANTAYE NOW HAS A SPONSOR FAMILY!!

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