Greetings to all of you.
First let us share a little information about Addis Ababa. It had not rained here for months but thankfully the rainy season has begun. It can really rain when it does rain so we try and carry our umbrellas during this season, because if you get caught out in the rain you will be “wet.”
Addis Ababa is the Capital city of Ethiopia in East Africa. Over 3 million people live in Addis Ababa. Addis (as it’s commonly referred to) was founded by Emperor Menelik 11 in 1887. It is the third highest capital in the world at 2440 m. Because of the altitude, temperatures can be much cooler than other parts of Ethiopia with daily high average rarely exceeding 68 Fahrenheit (20 C). Sometimes it is in the 70’s and 80’s Fahrenheit but norm is in the high 60’s.
The last two weeks of May, Bro. Burt, Sis. Nancy and Bro. Tomas were with us here in Addis helping at the NGO. Bro. Tomas with his knowledge of computers helped us in so many ways. He checked all our computers, cleaned them up and made all necessary updates. To bless us even more, he conducted a three day seminar for all the staff on the ins and outs of using a computer properly. The third day he also taught us some accounting skills as well as giving our accountant, Fekadu, three other days of training. We are so thankful for this training as it helps us do the work in the office so much more efficiently.
While Bro. Burt, Sis. Nancy and Bro. Tomas were with us, we took the opportunity to have meetings where the gospel could be ministered. One of those times was with our 75 children beneficiaries, their mothers and widows. It was a marvelous time sharing the word with the children (adults too). The question was asked, “Who likes a good story?” All nodded their heads that they did. The story of Daniel was shared as well as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. The emphasis was on that these stories in the Bible are very real and as we believe God all things are possible.
We used flannel-graph pictures and a little skit to demonstrate the truth of the Bible. It was pretty funny when Bro. Tomas playing a lion roared behind a table (no one could see him) as the story of Daniel and the Lion’s Den was shared, to see many little eyes get very big. When Daniel (played by Bro. Fikre) came out of the den, there was a cheer. All the children then had pictures given to them of the story so they could color them and take them home. God’s presence was in that place.
Every day while the Asbill’s and Bro. Tomas were with us, we kept quite busy. They spent time helping and encouraging the staff as well as working on fine tuning the running of an organized NGO. One of the emphasis was to work out a training program for the widows as our desire is to see these ladies come out of poverty into very productive lives. The Bible says, “First the natural, then the spiritual.” So our goal for those in the program is both for the natural as well as establishing a viable relationship with Jesus.
Sister Nancy met with the widows and instructed them on how to make bracelets and necklaces. The result was that every widow made some very nice necklaces with matching bracelets. The sets will now be sold so after paying the expenses, each widow will receive money to put in her savings account.
Another craft idea is learning how to knit. The office social worker and the office cashier are teaching it to the widows 3 days a week in two hour sessions. Presently the ladies are learning how to make scarfs which would be something they can also sell.
Another praise report is that a new sewing machine has been purchased to also further the widow’s training.
We now have also hired a qualified woman to train our widows. She will start by July 1, 2015 with a three month contract agreement that can be renewed once it expires. She will train our ladies in sewing as well as other crafts.
Another Ethiopian based non-profit organization called Redeem the Generation has given us free medical check ups for all our 75 children including their families. This organization will also cover any expenses the children and their families might need for medicine.
The NGO called Hospice Ethiopia has agreed to help us with our special needs child and the ladies in the program that have tested positive for HIV. This is a very BIG PRAISE THE LORD!
God is truly helping us every day with the growing expenses that we incur for the children. Once again we would like to express to you all how much we appreciate your support, whether in prayer, sponsoring a child or a widow. May God bless you for your thoughtfulness and diligence!
Bro. Jemal and the Ethiopian RBW staff