FIG

Bringing Hope to Awassa

On May 2 a team of 8 headed out to Awassa, Ethiopia. It was the first “mission” trip for three of the members and everyone was excited to go and “bring hope” to the children and families of Awassa, Ethiopia.

There are many stories to share and this blog post can’t contain them all (it would be really long!!) but I wanted to give you the highlight reel.

To continue reading more details of our trip, head over to www.forsuchasthese.com

 

Project HOPEFUL Awassa May 2014 trip from Charisa Knight on Vimeo.

 

Highlights of of the trip:

Visited FIG families:

Several team members were blessed to visit with their sponsored child in the Family In the Gap program. This is always a very special time for both families.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Painted the walls and loved on the children at Ajuuja: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visited the Enabling Independence women in Awassa and LOVED seeing their bank books with lots of DEPOSITS in them and eating their food!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saw the CLEAN WATER in Aleta Wondo that you funded!:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visited the future clean water site in Bona that you just funded:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Educated on hygiene, malaria, and HIV:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Handed out God’s word:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember Sitota? You built his house last year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visited the next set of Enabling Independence women that were just funded in Boricha:

 

Delivered wheelchairs you purchased for a family!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each place we went to, and every family we visited– we prayed with, hugged, kissed, and loved……bringing HOPE into people’s lives. We repeatedly heard the words hope and change because of the love and support that you are funding with your donations!

Thank you for your generous continued support for these families!

Charisa

FIG Awassa Director

The Orphan Crisis Without Adoption

We could spend hours or days (or longer) debating the question of whether everyone is “called” to adopt or whether it is even a call or a command or whether the Church is necessarily failing because everyone hasn’t adopted.  Today, we set those questions aside and talk about non-adoption options for supporting orphans, or maybe even preventing them.  Let’s discuss “caring for widows and orphans in their distress.”  James 1:27.

Project HOPEFUL operates a number of programs specifically designed to address the needs of widows and orphans in the countries where we operate.  For example, our Hope + Sisterhood program in Uganda, Ethiopia, and soon, Guatemala, partners women and families from the United States with women who are HIV positive from these countries.  The goal of the program is to give the women a “hand up” out of poverty and to help them become self-sustaining as a family.  Many of the women in our program are widows or have been abandoned by husbands upon learning of their positive HIV status.  Most have children, some of whom are positive.  Rather than continue the cycle of poverty and relinquishment for adoption, the Sisterhood seeks to empower these women to start businesses and use the financial support they receive for six months to plan for the future and family sustainability.  For more information about our Hope + Sisterhood, check out our website:  http://projecthopeful.org/hope-sisterhood/

Village of Hope cares for special needs orphans in San Lucas, Guatemala and teaching them about the love of Jesus Christ.  VoH welcomes families and children into its “Village” where these individuals are loved on by house parents, provided food, shelter and education.  The goal is to create a loving home where the people we serve […]

FIG Awassa, Ethiopia: Day 3

From our FIG Awassa Director, Greg Knight – Day 3 of his visit:
Today we began at Ajuuja meeting with Eyasu and three of the four active board members of Ajuuja Children’s Home. They expressed great gratitude for all the support that Project HOPEFUL Awassa has sent so far and prayed blessings upon our family and all the donors involved and Project HOPEFUL. All four men are well spoken and confident men of God that not only serve on the board but are active in the hands on portion of the ministry. They asked that we tell the donors, Charisa and Project HOPEFUL that “without you we can not do this.” We talked for a while and board member Pastor Aklilu closed the meeting with prayer.

While we were meeting Rebekah spent time playing with the children and getting some more great photos! A few of the girls gave her a special hairdo and she enjoyed the time laughing and playing with them. She also had a chance to try her hand at making injera! The ladies said she did a great job so…..I’m expecting some fresh injera when we get home.

Afterwards we took a few minutes to head to Haile Resort which is owned by Ethiopian Olympic runner Haile Gebresellasie. Joel, Rebekah and I took a small boat into Lake Awassa hoping to catch a glimpse of the lake’s resident hippos. It was a pleasant ride and our guide drove us straight to a group of hippos in the water cooling off from the midday sun. Rebekah said it was the fourth scariest event of her life! The ride back was nice and we enjoyed the magnificent scenery that God created around Lake Awassa complete with […]

F.I.G. Awassa Ethiopia Visit: October 10th

We’re so glad to bring another update from Greg Knight, Director of FIG Awassa:
We began the day at 7:30 by visiting the local fish market. They were using cast nets that reminded me of the way that Peter was probably fishing when Jesus called him.The boats were small and made by hand and the men were hard at work cleaning their nets from the days catch. Large birds were waiting for anything the fishermen left while monkeys played in the trees behind us. There were many people around, some cleaning fish, some buying fish, young boys trying to do anything that might get them a tip and we “ferenjis” just watching. We went to an area where people were eating the small cut pieces raw. A young man approached Joel and began speaking to him just to let him know that he thought Rebekah was pretty. I would agree!

After that we headed to Ajuuja and had the privilege of meeting all but one of the sponsored children and their families! We were able to sit for a few minutes with each family and ask questions, talk to them and just experience who they are. I took a lot of notes and I hope to be able to share details with their FIG families very soon. There were so many people, all of which were so grateful not just for care packages but that people they didn’t even know that live so far away cared enough about them to find a way to help by sponsoring their children.

One lady in particular really got to me. I did not see her until her child’s name was called. I looked up and she approached in a wheel […]

F.I.G. Awassa Ethiopia Visit – Greg Knight

Director of the F.I.G. Awassa Ethiopia Program, Greg Knight is in Ethiopia with his daughter visiting our contacts there and building relationships. We wanted to share with you what he is doing by posting his updates and some pictures as he is able to send them to us and this is the first of them. We trust you will enjoy this ‘fly on the wall’ perspective.
“Today we began at 6:30 a.m. with breakfast that was interestingly different. Bekah passed and I ate lightly, both of which proved to be good decisions!

Askale (Eyasu’s wife and partner at Ajuuja) and a driver picked us up in a 4 wheel drive shortly after 7:00 and we picked up Ajuuja Social Worker Tashoma on the way out of Awassa. Afer about 20 minutes of paved roads we began the dirt road/off road part of the three hour drive. About an hour in we had to stop for Fekadu who was carsick and regretting breakfast! He was in the back on the vehicle and the road was very rough and filled with turns, ruts, people, livestock and all manner of transportation both with 4 legs and motorized. The driver didn’t slow much for these instead he cut in and weaved around everything in our path.

After passing through village after village and seeing some the most beautiful landscape and people on Earth we reached our destination, the town of Yaye.

We were escorted into a small government building where 5 families that had been identified as the poorest of the poor who could benefit the most from the donation of a sheep were waiting for us along with local social workers. They all expressed deep gratitude for the work of Ajuuja […]

Update: Project HOPEFUL’s FIG Awassa, Ethiopia Program

By Charisa Knight

Hello Project HOPEFUL friends!! We are over here in Virginia being amazed at what God can do through people with generous and compassionate hearts. This program was started about 6 weeks ago after talking and praying with some of the Project HOPEFUL team. We thought we’d start small and see how it goes….Well, God had different things in store!

(to read the beginning of this journey go here: http://forsuchasthese.blogspot.com/2012/07/shaky-first-step.html)

We currently have FIGs (family in the gap) for all of the 18 children that are eligible for sponsorship at the orphanage in Awassa. This is fantastic!

These FIGs will have the great reward of making sure these children have the things that the need, invest in them spiritually through prayer, sending them care packages and letters, and going on mission trips to meet them! We are so thankful for these families that have jumped in with us by faith from the beginning!

We also are taking part of the orphanage’s community sponsorship program. This is something that is already in place and we are stepping in to help them make sure they have the funds for this program and provide support for micro-enterprise programs and other needs. This program helps families stay together and have their daily needs met. Currently we have 10 of these children with FIGs and have 8 more children that need someone to stand in the gap for them!

We have already provided boxes of desperately need cloth diapers and a month of needed supplies. As I type more formula and diapers are on their way as well as 6 needed walkers.

Greg is taking a trip over October 6 to meet with our representatives in country and the orphanage director. Together they will […]

  • Jack (23)
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    “Do you know anyone who would like to take a boy like me…”

“Do you know anyone who would like to take a boy like me…”

In Eastern European countries, at around age 16, orphans are forced to leave the orphanage system to enter the world with limited education, minimal support, and sometimes the just learned knowledge that they have HIV.  Within the first five years, almost 90% of these orphans end up in crime, prostitution, drug and alcohol addiction, or commit suicide.

In Russia 10% -15% of children who “age out”   commit suicide before age 18.  70% of the boys become hardened criminals.

We have four amazing boys on our list that could easily become statistics: Tim, Jack, Jonah, and Joshua. All of whom, have glowing reports. All are young men that want to make a difference in the world. All know the chances of them being adopted are slim. We have the chance to intervene and change the stories of these boys.

“Do you know anyone who would like to take a boy like me. I would really like for a visitor at least, because I am all alone and I have no one.” -Jack

When an adoptive parent came to the orphanage, Joshua asked why they were adopting such a small boy and if they would want a boy as big as him.  When a reporter asked him if he has a dream, he said “I have to find me a dad, mom, and a dog!”

According to a volunteer: “Jonah is a wonderful, just a wonderful boy!  He said that when he was younger he had a brother who was taken into an adoptive family but they left Jonah at the orphanage; then he added sadly, ‘but it’s good he has a family now.’   With great interest, he asked about family life. ‘Do you have a porch?’  ‘Do you go out […]

  • Shannon Wheeler, State Associate: Maine
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    Meet-Up Monday: Meet our Maine State Associate, Shannon Wheeler

Meet-Up Monday: Meet our Maine State Associate, Shannon Wheeler

Today we’d like to begin introducing you to our State Associates. State Associations exist to promote the Project HOPEFUL vision: EDUCATING, ENCOURAGING and ENABLING families adopting children with HIV/AIDS within the individual states. Project HOPEFUL is looking for people to partner with to help us bring our educational workshops to your state. Associates will help plan events, develop relationships with local HIV/AIDS medical specialists, create social networks for local advocates and adoptive families, and more! If you would like to contact your State Associate or would like to find out how to begin a State Association in your state, please contact Deanna Jones Falchook, National Associate Director at Deanna@projecthopeful.org.

Today’s featured State: Maine
State Associate: Shannon Wheeler

PH: Hi Shannon! Thank you for taking part in our interview today. Let’s start by having you tell us how you first hear about Project HOPEFUL.

SW: The first time I heard about Project HOPEFUL was when a Facebook friend posted a news clip with Carolyn Twietmeyer’s family being featured. I was floored. I had literally no idea of the hope that exists for children living with HIV. I was among the many Americans who still thought HIV/AIDS was a certain death sentence. I sat and cried at my kitchen counter, hearing of this hope and watching this family grow and seeing the transformation of her daughter from a sick and suffering orphan to a joyful, thriving, playful daughter. It was unbelievable. I had to see this again. I had to show my husband. I had to re-post it on Facebook. And I had to get involved!

PH: How did you develop an interest in HIV adoption/advocacy?

SW: […]

FIG Program Director Visits Eastern Europe

Traci Heim, the Project HOPEFUL FIG Program Director, went to Ukraine earlier this month. She was accompanied by her daughters, Sveta and Hanna. The goal of the trip was to assess orphans’ needs and orphan care opportunities, as well as establish relationships with adoption facilitators and orphanages. Additionally, donations of clothing and sports equipment were distributed to organizations like Mercy Projects/Eastern European Outreach and to each of the orphanages visited.

In the following post, Traci discusses the trip.

Prior to the trip I prayed for guidance and direction; that God would reveal to me exactly what He would have Project HOPEFUL do with the information I would glean on this trip. I had firmly established contacts in Ukraine who were to make connections for me and a supportive husband willing to do without me for the next 15 days. Generous donations from The Tinley Park Bobcats sports organization and other individuals made gifts for the orphanages possible.

We left Chicago late in the afternoon on June 1st and arrived in Kiev on June 2. British Airways’ very generous baggage allowance made it possible for us to bring eight 50 lb. oversized duffel bags full of donations at no additional charge to us. Yuri, from Eastern European Outreach (EEO), met us at the airport. EEO very generously allowed us to stay in their offices for 4 days at the beginning of the trip. They also arranged for my train tickets to Donetsk. As an aside, I need to mention that through EEO, we are able to sponsor foster families in Ukraine. These Christian families take in many children who have been orphaned. Many times when local […]

Time-out Tuesday

Tuesday is the day that we try to feature one of our waiting children.
I want to bring 2 children to your attention today.  One of our FIG members has done an outstanding job advocating for these 2 special boys.  She knows them and loves them.  They recently both lost families who were coming for them.  While neither of the boys are HIV+, they have special needs that need to be met.
Meet Sasha.  He has $3137.82 in his grant fund.  He is a precious boy who deserves to be in a family.  His good friend is Nikolai.  He has $3117.74 in his grant fund.  These boys know each other and can be adopted together.  You can read their profiles here.

Please be in prayerful consideration about what roll the Lord has for you concerning orphan care.  While it is a tremendous blessing to adopt, perhaps this is not something you can do right now.  Please consider the roll of FIG advocate and be like Alisha, standing in the gap for these two boys until their family is found.  Any of the children on our list would be blessed to have you praying and shouting from the rooftops for them.  If this is something you are interested in participating in, contact me, Traci, at figs@projecthopeful.org .

Time-out Tuesday

Today I wanted to share an example of what FIG sponsors are doing to advocate for FIG children.  Two of the children on our list, Sasha and Nickolai, are advocated for by a wonderful woman named Alisha.  Read the blog she created to shout for these children  here. 

This is what we hope to see all of our FIG sponsors do.  Pour their hearts into changing the lives of all of these deserving children. 

Could one of these boys be yours?

Timeout Tuesday

This is 12 year old Mirat.  He is in need of a family.  Could it be you?

This is what has most recently been said about him:

“Marat is very special. He is a very talented boy not just skilled, I really mean talented! He is creative and talented in drawing. He has mastered a lot of computer programs by himself. His favorite subject at school is Math and he is very fond of foreign languages. He reads a lot. He is a person of his own mind. He is not a simple child, but at the same time he is very communicative with adults. He is very advanced and he will be easy going with those whom he respects. It is very interesting to discuss with him any subject, he has his own point of view and a very wide view.”

Please consider Mirat.  He is so special to so many people.

By |February 22nd, 2011|FIG|0 Comments|