Clothes, Shoes & Smiles with Hope+Sisterhood Ethiopia

“How has the Hope+Sisterhood impacted  your life?” Nancy and Debbie asked that question to each of the women who were interviewed while we were in Ethiopia. I expected to hear most women talk of the financial side of the program.  It seemed like the obvious answer.  These women had been struggling to be able to feed their children every day before they entered the program and now all of them had bank savings account books to show us. That kind of dramatic financial improvement seemed like it would have to be the first things out of these women’s mouths when asked about the program’s impact. Over and over again, their answer surprised me. All of the women talked first of the nutrition and hygiene training the program provided.  With animated faces they told us how they’ve learned that lentils and eggs are inexpensive ways to add protein to their diet and boost their CD4 counts.  Many also mentioned learning that washing vegetables with clean water before preparing a salad can also be an important part of keeping them strong and healthy. These women understood that start up capitol for a business would take their lives nowhere without the knowledge and skill to stay healthy.

To take this educational component a step farther, Debbie wanted to give the ladies a dental seminar. My dentist is a personal friend and someone with whom I have worked on past missions trips, so we decided that my sister and I would be the ones to spearhead this.  Our goal was to help the women understand that good dental hygiene could have as much impact on keeping a healthy CD4 count as the knowledge about protein they were now using daily. […]

Ethiopia Hope+ Sisterhood – New Sister Interviews

The group of hopeful women gathered outside the little office nervously watching each other and then slowly beginning conversations. The Project Hopeful staff was inside the office preparing for their interviews and gathering supplies.  One by one, the women would be able to enter and have ten minutes to tell their story, the story they hope will let them become a Hope+Sister. All of them are in desperate need.  All of them probably feel like this may be their last chance before something befalls them from which they can’t recover. But not all of them fit into the narrow focus of the Sisterhood. The emotional weight of making choosing which women to accept falls to the Project Hopeful staff with the beginning of each new program.

The Hope+Sisterhood program has a specific vision.  It’s target is HIV+ moms who are either raising their children alone or whose husband is disabled in some way. The goal is to prevent orphans by supporting healthy families in an extremely marginalized group  of Ethiopian society. This focus multiplies it’s influence into many arenas of social justice.  In just the last group of sisters the program offered assistance to women who have been trafficked, are illiterate, were forced into marriages at young ages, faced malnutrition, abuse and rape and were widowed or abandoned.  The way the program’s influence expands is like a wedge that starts with each woman and branches out into all the unfortunate circumstances that brought her to this point in her life.  Each American sister has the opportunity to be involved in wrestling through solutions for some of the world’s most significant problems through the life of one woman whose story will become one she knows and […]

By |November 9th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Women at the Top of a Mountain

Our next day visiting women was an absolute blast.  We visited three women who embody everything that the Sisterhood is about.  Two of the three are illiterate, two had been victims of human trafficking, all were given HIV by men who mistreated and abandoned them and all of them entered the program with the odds stacked against them.  Instead of despair, all three of these women welcomed us into well cared for homes and were excited to show us evidence of their health, happiness and successful businesses.

After a steep climb up the backside of Mt. Entoto we were welcomed into Nunu’s home by her 18 year old daughter.  Nunu was on her way back from the clinic where she had gone to get a copy of her most recent CD4 count so that we could see proof of her progress.  She entered the program with a CD4 count of 250 and now is at 356 even though she has been sick recently.

Before the program Nunu earned a small amount of money by gathering firewood at the top of the mountain and carrying it down on her back.  The program has let her become a business woman who now buys the firewood and resells it along with coal and Eucalyptus leaves.  She is making a good living that has given her the resources her to buy a bed and no longer have to sleep on the floor.  She was excited to show us her kitchen area with a large basket full of vegetables.  She pointed it out to show us the drastic improvement in her life. She said, “Never before in my life have I been able to buy and eat such quality food.”  She […]

November HOPE + Sisterhood Ethiopia Trip Guest Report: Day Two

Day one and two on the ground with Project Hopeful has been a whirlwind!  Nancy and Debbie are the fearless leaders of the Hope+Sisterhood program. They collect donations year-round, storing things in basements and closets until they are emptied out every six months for a trip to Ethiopia.

They also are the link between the American and Ethiopian sisters – they match us up and then facilitate the flow of everything from pictures and profiles to letters and personal gifts. My girlfriends and I banded together a few years ago to sponsor our sister Tigist through the program.

It wasn’t obvious at the beginning how very sick Tigist was. After two years of starts and stops trying to get her business going, her body couldn’t stand up against persistent TB any longer and she passed away last summer. Nancy and Debbie have continued to be a link for us to the children Tigist left behind.  We’ve wanted to make sure that they are well fed, safe and able to remain in school.  Nancy and Debbie have been our eyes and ears, allowing us to stay connected with those kids. And now, my sister Kathy and I are here in Ethiopia with them, to check on the kids with our own eyes and ears and to visit the 10 women in the current program.

The four of us met up in Addis Ababa with 27 bags full of donations.  We touched down at 7:00am with plenty of work ahead of us to help us stay awake and battle jet lag.  Although we had never met in person before, the common bond of shared mission made us kindred spirits quickly. The sorting and organizing took on mammoth proportions and […]

By |November 4th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments|
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    Dental Team Arrives at Project HOPEFUL’s Walk on Water Initiative in Guatemala

Dental Team Arrives at Project HOPEFUL’s Walk on Water Initiative in Guatemala

From Ronnie Mosley:

Our first day of work here in Guatemala took the Project Hopeful team 30 minutes outside our base of Antigua to the village of Santiago Zamora. Partnering with Casa del Redentor (Redeemers House), our dental team attended to over 30 children and adults who were in critical need of dental assistance. These are people have never had access to normal dental care and there needs would go unmet if it were not for teams such as this that Project Hopeful has put together.

As I watched God’s grace, love and mercy unfold through the lens of my camera I could not have witnessed a more beautiful manifestation of Project Hopefuls Faith Statement being carried out.

FAITH STATEMENT: We are committed to bringing everyone we encounter to the knowledge of their true identity in the ONE that calls us out upon the water. We will make Him known through the reality of the cross and the unconditional love, grace, healing and hope it brings. We will love and serve as equals, restoring dignity through humility and loving through long term relationships with the people and communities we serve. GRACE will abound in all we set our hands and hearts to.


To see more pictures from Day one, see this POST

FOR MORE ABOUT PROJECT HOPEFULS WALK ON WATER INITIATIVE – http://www.projecthopeful.org/walk-on-water-initiative

By |March 3rd, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

The Walking Wounded

The following post was written for us by Margaret Wolski, wonderful wife and Mom to 4. She started a ministry at her church that does outreach to women in her community and helps bring awareness of human trafficking to the church.
Today’s post is being featured because during the 2011 Superbowl weekend, Internet ads advertising escorts, prostitution and sex trafficking increased by more than 300%. This has been a trend that continues each year. Some of these ads even advertise trafficking victims as a Super Bowl Special.  Please take a moment to read through and pray specifically for those being trafficked today.


Every day we walk by individuals who are the walking wounded. Some carry their scars visibly
on their skin for all to see. But most, the majority, carry their scars deep within.  Their insides
mutilated by words, actions, decisions.  Their wounds so deep and ingrained that they no longer
see themselves as worthy, deserving or beautiful.  They are reminded daily of those scars: told
they are worthless, that they will forever be in debt. These are men who are working 18+ hours
in a diamond mine; women who are being held against their will and forced to endure horrors
that most of us cannot even pretend to understand; children, sweet innocent babes, who are
sold for their innocence to the highest bidder.

The nail salon you love to go to.
Your favorite chocolate treat at the gas station.
The 3 cups of coffee it takes to start your day.
That awesomely comfy t-shirt from your favorite store or the super cute onesie by
The asian foot massage and spas you pass by everyday.
The sparkly grains of sugar you use to bake cookies with your children or grandchildren.
The adult bookstores you see billboards for on your way to […]

Be HOPE this Christmas!

Consider giving to Project HOPEFUL this Christmas
Your faithful contributions are helping us make a difference in the lives of overlooked children and vulnerable mothers around the world.  Your donations to Project HOPEFUL help us continue to bring HOPE to our friends in vulnerable places.  Please consider supporting Project HOPEFUL with your tax deductible donation during this season of giving.  Our programs cannot thrive without your help and we are grateful for your partnership.

You can also help us while you shop by using Amazon Smile.  Project HOPEFUL will receive 0.5% back on what you purchase, simply click and start shopping today!

Thank you for another year of partnering with us!

Waiting Child Wednesday

Our Waiting Child Wednesday features two special boys from Africa.  Please contact charisa@projecthopeful.org  or these400@bethany.org with any questions on these boys.

Aiden is a strong child who loves to play with his toys and loves to interact with others. He helps play with the toddlers in the orphanage. H…e is quite the explorer as he spends his time running and climbing! He loves all foods including milk and macaroni with vegetables. Please contact us for more information on this sweet child. This child would benefit or thrive from a resourceful family that would be able to provide love, care, and support.

“We noticed ‘Adien’ right away when we entered the orphanage. He is full of life and loves physical touch but he also knows to be gentle with smaller ones. He loves to play and interact with others. He is an active and curious little boy who loves adult attention. He will definitely bring a lot of laughter and energy to a family!” ~Charisa

Trey is very active and loves to play soccer, volleyball, and jump rope. While Trey may appear shy, his caretakers report that he has an open mind and can learn new things in short periods of time. Trey enjoys school and his favorite subjects include Science and English. Trey is fluent in two local languages and is currently learning English in school. Trey can express himself very well and he has the proper language skills that are expected for a child of his age. Trey’s favorite meal is rice with vegetables, injera with lentil stew, and macaroni. Trey hopes to become a doctor when he gets older. This child would benefit or thrive from a resourceful family that would be able to provide love, […]

Happy Thanksgiving

The darling printable above is free at A Bird and A Bean
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!  Here at Project Hopeful we want to say we are Thankful for YOU.  Thank you for all the support and love.  We hope your enjoying time with your friends and family this year.  We are giving thanks as a staff and encourage you to list whatever your thankful for.  Have a happy day!
“I am thankful for friends who speak truth into my life. True deep friendships that have stood the test of time and through it all have come out stronger.” ~ Carol
“I am thankful for Jesus, who always thinks I’m worth it and that I have a husband who feels the same and always goes along with my schemes. I’m thankful for my crazy kids, family, friends, and roller derby- without whom I would be even more nuts!” ~ Jenni
“I am thankful for grace. I am thankful for second and third and fourth chances. I am thankful for my family and friends. I am thankful for the wisdom of those who have walked the path before me.” ~ Lyndsay
“I am so very thankful for the people in my life that live out grace, love, and sacrificial generosity and teach me by doing so. I am thankful for Jesus..the ultimate lover of my soul. I am thankful for the privilege to love and serve others, near and far. I am thankful for joy and laughter and friends and family who accept me as my messed up self.” ~ Charisa
“I am thankful for the wise, Jesus-loving women that I have the pleasure of doing life with. I am thankful for the ministry of Project HOPEFUL and all those who sacrifice and […]

Waiting Child Wednesday

Today we are featuring three children on this waiting child Wednesday.  As we sit around tomorrow being thankful for families please keep these three in mind.  If you or someone you know is interested please contact us to learn more.  In addition to finding families we would like to contribute to funding their adoptions, if you feel lead to support any of these children in finding their forever families we would be grateful.  Also pray friends.  There is power in prayer and we need your help praying for these sweet children.



Angela was born in 2005. When Angela was first brought to the orphanage, she was sitting quietly in her bed, smiling gently when someone touched her. When she was taken for a walk, the girl clapped her hands with excitement. Besides, she was in the seventh heaven when she was one of those who could first admire dandelions on an April day, still pretty chilly for a walk. Her smile is touching and makes your heart melt, so she has got bright future ahead of her. There are no doubts about that! For more information contact Mariya (mariya.syemashkina@gmail.com) or Chelsea (justicefortheworld2012@gmail.com) and go here.


Aleksey was born on the 26th of August, 2001. It was just a year ago that Aleksey was unable to walk, he could only crawl. Nowadays he can walk. However, he doesn’t use this skill extensively. The same goes for the toys and other children around him. An introvert would be a good word to describe Aleksey. He can only concentrate on a toy for a few seconds, and his own socks generate much more interest than rubber animals or blocks. For more information contact Mariya (mariya.syemashkina@gmail.com) or Chelsea (justicefortheworld2012@gmail.com) and […]

Holiday Guidelines

Hi friends.  The holidays are coming and it is the most magical time of the year right?  Maybe not for some…as a parent with children that have come via adoption I know that holidays tend to stress me out even more then everyday life.  My family is often traveling, we are in new places, routines get thrown off, there are a lot of people, stress is high and suddenly that special day has become hard.  This is true not only for my family but also for others with children who have entered their families via adoption.  This is especially true if those children have just arrived home or if they have special needs.

Orphanage/Institutionalized care often breeds unregulated or unhealthy eating habits, promotes social awkwardness and might even teach kids the wrong ways to gain attention that they crave. Once children are in their forever homes, parents are working hard to help their children create healthy boundaries with food, social situations and appropriate feelings of love.

As the holidays are approaching and we enter busy season we have asked parents of adoptees what they wish their families knew, without having to explain in detail.  The tips below are from adoptive parents that struggle with these issues at family gatherings or large social settings with friends, please keep these things in mind if your celebrating with a family in these situations.

I wish my family understood…..

1. Food Issues

Many children coming from orphanage settings have food issues.  Some children are picky and eat hardly nothing, they might have their favorite foods and that is it.  Please do not make them eat everything on their plate.  Let their parents help them pick out food and encourage them to eat if they are picky eaters.
Other children coming from orphanage settings will likely […]

Shopping with Purpose

The following post is from Charisa Knight our FIG Awassa Director.  Thank you for considering Project HOPEFUL Awassa during your gift giving!
This Christmas, give a gift that lasts past the newest fad or batteries. Give a gift that impacts lives of children and families in Awassa, Ethiopia!
Below are Project HOPEFUL Awassa’s Christmas gift options.
Click on the links to give and then email charisa@projecthopeful.org to receive a personalized jpg or pdf that you can print off to give to the recipient. You can also give gifts in honor or memory of someone.

How about buying a can of formula for $12? Formula is one of the biggest expenses at the orphanage.  Or make sure children are loved and taken care of by sponsoring a nannies’ salary for a month for $53?

You can also provide training, support, and start-up costs for a business for a widow in our Enabling Independence Program: $250  We have seen the remarkable difference this makes in women’s lives and one of our favorite programs. You can give any amount towards this.

Give the gift of a cow to a family to provide meat and milk for a family: $120   This is a huge gift to families and can be life changing.

A goat can be purchased to provide meat and offspring: $45  This is a gift that keeps on giving!

Save a life by preventing malaria with a mosquito net: $10 each

Give the gift of fresh, clean water. A donation of any amount will go toward our spring water project in the surrounding woredas of Awassa. Our next water project to be funded is in Bensa.

Give the gift of God’s word—an everlasting gift that changes lives.  $5 for […]