Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Going to Ethiopia.....

An orphanage in Shone, Ethiopia.  Who would go there?  A very poor and rural area.  Who would go there?  A place far beyond even the "modern conveniences" found in Addis Ababa.  Who would go there?  I know that God would not only go there, but that He is there, and He is doing His great works.  I know that Jesus would walk amongst the people and that He would show compassion to the widows and the orphans there.  I know that He would reach out to the vulnerable, to the poor, to the hungry.  And because God has shone His light in our hearts, we are going too!

Yes, Sunshine and I (Russ), are going to the southern region of Ethiopia to a town called Shone (pronounced "Show - nay") with a group called Look Development.  We are thrilled to be able to go to an orphanage there and reach out to the poor and the needy.  To be able to love and care for orphans who have nothing.  To be able to help build a playground, to run a VBS, to do basic medical care - all in the name of Jesus.  We are going because these children don't just need playground equipment or hugs from ferengis (white people), but they need the gospel, they need the hope of Christ, they need the love of God poured out before them.  And while we will be reaching out to encourage the believers there, we know that the believers there will encourage us far beyond anything we can imagine.  We know that we will receive much more than any small amount we could possibly give them.

This has been a burden in my heart after reading so many books about orphan care in Africa and reading books about the power of the gospel to heal the broken-hearted and reading books about loving the vulnerable.  I knew it was either time to go back to Africa and love and serve orphans, or it was time to stop reading those books!  There was no other alternative.  I cannot sit without acting, I cannot be silent to the need.

God is leading a group of us from our area to go.  There is currently a team of 10 that have signed up and are beginning the preparations.  We plan to go in early March and stay for about 7-10 days.  We are all excited to see what God has in store for us.  Amongst the 10 of us, 3 are RN's, 4 will help with a VBS, and 3 will help with construction activities.  All of us will pour love onto the kids and have even greater love poured on us as we are surrounded by bright faces, infectious smiles, and joyful laughter.  The group we are traveling with is called Look Development.  Their orphanage in Shone is run by an Ethiopian couple who have a huge heart for meeting the needs - both physical and spiritual - of the orphans in their care.  We are blessed to be able to go and to serve there!

Please pray for us as we begin the preparations to go.  Our hearts are ready and yet we know that there will be many hurdles and difficulties in going.  It will be a hard trip and yet a trip filled with experiencing God's goodness!  We are so thankful and so blessed!  We have the gospel.  We must go.


  1. what an incredible opportunity. i am going to read up on look development right now.

  2. So exciting! I'll be praying for you as you prepare.

  3. Wish I could go! So happy the two of you are going, as well as so many others from our church. thanks, Russ, for all the work you're putting into organizing the journey. God's richest blessings on the whole group!


  4. This will be amazing! So thankful for burdens that lead to actions.

  5. I'm so excited to go with you, Daddy!!!
    I know God wants us to go and I'm so glad that you and I are answering that call together.

  6. I'll look forward to reading about your trip when you return. It sounds like an amazing journey.