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Thursday, April 14, 2011


The noon meal is a big deal at "Kind Hearts" care-point in Ethiopia. 

Not only because it may be the first meal some of the kids have had that day ... 

And not only because it is so filling and nutritious ...

but also because the cook prepares these meals for 102 children over an outdoor fire with no running water!

But that's all about to change! 

Not only is Kind Hearts care-point in Ethiopia about to get a fresh water well bored on the property (thanks to St. Joseph Christian School in St. Joseph, MO) ... but a new kitchen is under construction RIGHT NOW!!!

When my team of sponsors was in Ethiopia in November, we purchased four goats along with fresh injera (the pancake-like rolls of spongy flatbread that are a staple in the Ethiopian diet), carrots, onions, spices, bananas and oranges.  The goats were slaughtered while we watched and the stew was started first thing in the morning, with the cook monitoring the savory spices and the boiling broth to make sure it was full of flavor.  The kids' mouths were watering, and so was mine!

Normally, our sponsor program through Children's HopeChest ( provides meals for all of the kids, but on this day, we were preparing a feast and we invited the children's care-givers.  So in addition to the 100+ children and 10-12 staff members, we fed 80-90 adult family members and care-givers so we could start building relationships with them too!

Above:  This is the cook at Kind Hearts.  Her husband passed away several years ago and she was struggling to feed, educate and provide for her two sons, who are now 8 and 11 years old.  With her job at Kind Hearts, she is able to provide for her boys, feed them nutritious meals and send them to school.  Both of her boys are now in 6th grade! 

She proudly works hard to provide nutritious and delicious meals for all of the kids at Kind Hearts - making sure to choose a variety of foods that provide a balanced diet.  Some days rice, other days injera, with fruits and vegetables and as often as possible ... meat!  Sometimes the meat is stretched as far as possible to feed the kids by slicing it small and making a savory broth ... other days the kids get a ladle-full of bite-sized chunks poured over their injera - with seconds if they want!

This is my daughter, Emme, watching in "fascination" as the goats are slaughtered for the meal. 

Injera with delicious goat stew called "Wot".

I love how the cook wrapped a bright, red scarf around her head
to "dress up" for the serving of the meal! 

Below:  Here is the new kitchen under construction right now at Kind Hearts thanks to our generous donors and sponsor families!!  Construction started on March 29 and is progressing rapidly.  I can only imagine how excited and proud the cook is as she watches her new kitchen being built.

What a luxury this must be for her ... a roof to keep the rain off, large windows and doors to capture breezes and the beautiful view, and shade from the intense sun.

A big THANK YOU to all of our sponsor families and donors who have committed to care and provide for the kids being served at Kind Hearts!  It's so exciting to see the progress at the care-point since we first started working with Kind Hearts just over 1 year ago!!  As progress is made on the well, the kitchen and the playground equipment, I will post more pictures and updates here. 

If you are interested in sponsoring a child, or supporting one of our capital projects at the care-point, please contact me via email at Right now, ALL of the kids are sponsored, but more kids will be enrolling soon and will need a sponsor family.

Sponsorship is $34 per month and provides for food, water, clothing, medical care and a Christian education for one child. Sponsors can write letters to their sponsor child, and we regularly have travel teams visiting and volunteering at the care-points. My next trip to Ethiopia will be in November 2011. There are several pending projects at the care-point, so one-time gifts are appreciated as well! Please contact me at with any questions.

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