Strong Hearts is changing lives from the inside out in Addis Ababa Ethiopia. God has provided the funding to develop a microenterprise program in our community. Through this program, the broken people are given an opportunity to start a new life and to see new hope. They are taught a skills, taught to save money and learning how to develop their own business.
I would like you to meet Asarat. When Asarat came to us he had no place to live and was earning less than 2.00 USD per day cleaning the streets. At Strong Hearts we were able to let him live at the school after school was over each day. We were able to him in our Hair Styling School and for a year he learned a new trade, learned how to save.
Recently he graduated and with 2 friends they opened their own Beauty Salon business, which is doing very well. Now Asarat sees a future. His earning is not anymore 2.00USD Per day, He is Not only a future as a businessperson but a future as a child of God. Over time as the business grows he plans to open more shops. I asked Asarat what your donations meant to him since it was through your generosity that the program is able to continue. He said that before this he had no hope and no identity and no real direction. Now He has a plan for his life and knows God has a plan for his life too.
We are in the middle of conducting update interviews for each family this week. Checking in with each parent to see how things are at home, needs they may have and all they have accomplished. We will also ask each caregiver to assess the children in their rooms and how they are doing on a daily basis. Even our super shy children are opening up with their peers and even me! It is such a privilege to watch them grow in their confidence and person God has created them to be.
As I look into each one of their eyes, and see them running around, I can’t help but be so very in awe that we get to be a part of this journey. The power and dignity that is being instilled into these families’ hearts is just beyond words. These kids are developing physically as they should! They have room to run around and get those muscles moving versus being on their moms backs while they try to work. The parents have the opportunity now to earn a better living to support their families. It is still a VERY tough life for them here. So please do not think that they have it easy now because they are with us. Most of them still remain in a 4×6 foot house with mud walls and a tin roof. They are still drinking water that gives them giardia because it is not clean. But so much HAS improved. We still have much education to do and more love and respect to give. This journey to a better way of living and being able to be secure in the family that God has blessed them with…is more than words or pictures can explain. Much of our work here, we can see transformations happening. But there is so much that are little mustard seeds. We hope that passing along the love of Jesus to them will make a difference someday and hopefully eternally when we are all together again after our life here on earth.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts—for giving us the ability to do what we are doing here!
Keshaun Mossie, is a young man of 30 years. He was born and formed a family in the Gojam region of Ethiopia. He is married and is a father of three children.
Three years ago because of a severe broken leg injury, he was forced to come to Addis Ababa for treatment. Because of the heightened state of his injury he was compelled to be treated as in-patient at the Alert Hospital in Addis Ababa for seven months. Then he continued his treatment as out-patient for the next two years, and even now under treatment.
In all these years, since he does not have any means of income, he is living with his uncle at the kore area in Addis Ababa. Because of this he has not heard anything from his family, and has not helped them in anyways.
When some people he know told him about the training in Cloth designing being giving by Mercy House training center, he did not wait very long to come and register. He realized that the vision that was in his mind to be the owner of a profession, to gather and support his family scattered by poverty has finally arrived, and now he has started his training.
Prayer is appreciated as Kasahun persuade his training he may grow in his faith with the lord.
Hulagarish is a wife. Hulagarish is a mom. Hulagarish is a cancer patient and Hulagarish is HIV+. Hulagarish’s body is responding to HIV the same way it has for fifteen years, it’s battling for survival, except now, the battle’s end is drawing near. Her body is meager, her hair is thin, and her shoulders are slumped, as if to say, HIV is winning. Hulagarish is desperately weak, her cancer wounds are severe, and she is uncomfortable daily. Our Hospice team visits her a few times a week and they do the best they can to provide basic nursing care, encourage her, and evaluate the progression of herillness. During the past few months the Hospice nurses have heard a consistent but heartbreaking message from Huluagerish, “I want to be with Jesus. I want to go.” While this is difficult to hear, it’s not a time to be sad. It is a time to praise God. Praise God that Hulagarish knows Him, wants to be with Him, understands the limited time she has on earth and is using her restricted time to talk about her “Abba,”Father.
Today, I am thanking God for people like Hulagarish, people who have big faith in our big God!
I absolutely loved Ethiopia and am so thankful I decided to volunteer at Strong Hearts or my trip! It was so easy and organized. I honestly was not thrilled about coming home from Ethiopia so soon, but I was excited to see my family and share stories. The most heartwarming memories come from the beautiful kids. It’s not easy to describe my experience in words, but here is a blurb I wrote:
Some may view my time volunteering as monotonous days full of patty-cake, hairstyling, hand holding & teeth cleaning. However, for me it has been 15 amazing days that have fulfilled a childhood dream. I have spent 3 unforgettable weeks doing dental hygiene volunteer work. I spent most of my time at the preschool, but also visited the primary school & hospice.Who knew that tucked away behind 2 unassuming, metal doors were 100 inspiring, joyful children. The amount of interaction that can come from a simple smile, laughter, & a few Amharic words is overwhelming. The kids are absolutely beautiful & have certainly taught me more than I could ever teach them. While they may have a new toothbrush & know to brush twice a day… that seems insignificant when compared to the depth in which they have touched me. Their genuine, innocent smiles are heartwarming. I didn’t come with the motive of changing lives, but rather simply wanting to spread smiles. I am truly blessed to have had the opportunity to volunteer with such a wonderful organization. The staff are amazing & their work is selfless. I will carry the memories (and hundreds of “photos”) with me forever. Please know that you helped me fulfill a childhood dream and I could not be happier!
Nationality: UNITED STATES
Program Type: Medical