Please follow this link and watch the videos of this amazing woman...it's the power of one! After watching and reading this, pray about what your role could be in the lives of Ethiopian orphans. Contact us and we will give you options on how you can make an impact.
One Child Campaign is a ministry outreach of Faith Central Ministries. The vision of the Orphan Awareness and Vision trips is to create a united effort of ministries to give voice to the over 5.5 million orphans in Ethiopia and around the world. This will be accomplished through sponsorship, empowerment and discipleship that will meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the children. This trip will immerse you into the lives of orphans and street kids. It will create an experience that will raise awareness not only to the orphan, but also for the body of Christ to realize the impact it can have through advocacy and adoption. An important part of our ministry is to provide resources for adoptive families. This is a mission to raise up a generation with selfless faith. Together, we can breathe hope into the orphan crisis.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Benjamin Vick!!!!! Congratulations! Thank you to everyone who participated and was a part of this model search! Benjamin Vick and his mom, Grace, will receive a One Child shirt, messenger bag and a full, multiple location photo shoot from Treasured Captures Photography. Thank you all again!
Posted by The Adventures of Caleb, Becca and Sakari David... at 6:28 AM
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
A week ago I returned from a trip back to Ethiopia. I got experience so much again and have honestly been processing, reeling and praying for the entire week. I got to visit a lot of the same orphanages and care points that we did last December. Please bear with me, I am still very much undone by what I encountered and will do my best to be concise. I know this is long, but I ask for you to take the time to commit to reading the whole thing when you have a chance. This ministry experience that I am sharing will be very indicative of what will be on the schedule for our first annual One Child Campaign orphan awareness trip October 16-24, 2010. We are still accepting applications for the trip, but will be limiting the trip to around 20 people. More information at www.onechildcampaign.com or email me for an application at email@example.com
After a good night's rest at the Ethiopia Guest Home (www.ethiopiaguesthome.com), we visited Hope for the Hopeless drop in center. The ministry there is simply amazing. They have a staff that literally goes after street kids to bring them in for food, shelter and medical attention. They even provide counseling and if they are not able to reconcile these boys back to their families or relatives, after the staff feel they are ready - they are transferred to their orphanage. I saw a lot of the same boys from my last trip and the change in them is noticeable, but we also saw the hard faces of the new arrivals. These guys have been through things that are unspeakable. Yet they smile, hug and hope.
After lunch, we headed to Compassion Family International drop in center/orphanage. This is the orphanage that our ministry champions together with Children's Hopechest (www.hopechest.org) to sponsor. Peter Abera is the director and his staff is amazing. This trip to Ethiopia seemed very random but I definitely felt there was a much larger reason that I was supposed to go visit. Sure, I was excited I would get to see Aden our beautiful, spunky sponsor child and deliver gift bags for all 50 kids. But there was something more. After 10-15 minutes of these kids hugging and hanging all over me...let me tell you, these kids KNOW how to hug...I was privy to one of the main reasons that I was in Ethiopia. Through a series of events, meetings, circumstances, etc. we felt that we were to get more involved with this orphanage. I have lost hours and hours of sleep and experienced a sense of responsibility more than I ever have before. We feel called to be more involved with CFI and their staff more than before. I'm risking being a little bit cryptic because I don't want to share too much prematurely - but basically beyond our partnership with Hopechest (by the way, we still need to find about 20 sponsors for these kids - $34/month, please pray about your involvement), we feel that we are to somehow help CFI by raising funds to cover their house rent and staff salaries. It's timely, it's needed, it's our voice that will help provide a future for these kids. What we are stepping into as a brand new ministry is more than I ever imagined...God is blowing our minds and our faith is stretched and stronger than ever. We need to raise about $2300/ month to meet the needs at hand just for this orphanage, this is above and beyond the sponsorships. In all the transition that is our lives, we don't personally have the funds to do this (yet, can't wait for the day when we get to do this!)...but God is the source. And we believe as we put forth the vision, the provision will follow. We are gathering information, doing our due diligence and praying for wisdom on how to proceed. We hope to create some income generating jobs/micro-businesses for the single parents that will go back into helping the orphanage. One other way we see provision, is by One Child facilitating groups of 20-30 people at least every other month to go serve. If you or your family or church are interested in any particular dates, please contact us or if you feel led to give towards this, please let us know.
This was a heck of a first day in the capital city of Addis Ababa. Could it possibly get any greater???
Day 2, 3 and 4 - Kombolcha, northern Ethiopia
Nine and a half hours of gorgeous African countryside (with a few bumpy roads) passed by our windows as the essence of Ethiopia seeped into our soul. We saw Ethiopia as it truly is...never in all my years have I seen such geographic beauty. Once we finally arrived into the city of Kombolcha (now at a population of around 100,000 people), we took residence at the Sunnyside Hotel and tried to rest and recover from a long day's travel.
The next morning, we headed to the orphanage/drop in center at Grace Baptist Church. The pastor and his staff there are faithful, consistent and heroic. Islam is gaining a stronger hold in this region and our presence there during this season is vital. This was a return visit as well, however, my second visit to this location was sadly also, the second visit they'd had in over 8 years. Hardly anyone goes out this far. While we'd mentally prepared for 120-150 kids, we found a very eager, yet respectful group of 300. The smiles on familiar faces simply said, "thank you for coming back for us". I would like to mention that from our previous vision trip here with Tom Davis of Children's Hopechest, Jeremy Amick and Candy Tenant have taken on this location to find sponsorships. To date, there are still about 200 kids who need sponsors.
I have to admit something. I thought sponsorship was a nice thing. I mean, in an "oh, that's kinda noble and cute...pen pal" sort of way. We've personally sponsored kids before...half heartedly. And if I'm being completely real, though we have always given way above the tithe, I never really believed that I was truly impacting a community or even a nation by my obedience to sponsoring a child. I've come to learn that adoption is not the "end all" answer to the orphan crisis. After meeting several people in Ethiopia who are now leaders in their communities, the common denominator is simple. They were given a chance. They were sponsored. They got an education, a chance to live and fulfill their destiny. Now, people like Peter Abera are overseeing orphanages like CFI and that one investment that someone made in his life...is paying back in multiplied dividends! It's beyond comprehension. Go to our website (www.onechildcampaign.com) and click on the Get Involved page to see solutions that we facilitate for the orphan crisis in Ethiopia.
As I step off my soap box, I arrive back in Kombolcha. The noise, the dust, the sweat, the fun, the love. Most of these kids are wearing their only clothes. The school uniforms that the church provided them. They wear them with pride and dignity. Many of them, barefoot or with remnants of what used to be a shoe. This is something we are able to help them with...while we were there, we were able to raise some funds to bring back shoes to many of these kids when we return in October. Saying goodbye to the church/orphanage staff and elders was sweet and powerful. Sobbing (the ugly kind) ensued when the ladies of the church told us we were now part of their family. The rest of the evening was quiet and reflective.
At 5:30am the following day, we pulled out of Kombolcha for the beautiful, long ride back to Addis Ababa...that would surprisingly include a baboon pack sighting and impromptu camel rides.
I was on a personal quest to go back and visit our adoption agency's (www.awaa.org) transition home. Getting to see the staff that helped take such good care of our daughter is always a highlight. Jake Stum and I visited together and yeah...we cried some, Jake and Merica's son, Dosen, was also here in the transition home. In fact, we met each other for the first time in Ethiopia when our families were adopting for the first time. Our adoption travel group = the best people on earth and by far best travel group. The end. Jake got to visit the sons of 2 families that he knows and I got to visit Pete and Andrea Kidd's little guy...words cannot express the honor and reverence involved in getting to love on these kids for their parents who have yet to meet them. We got to talk to the staff and learn more about the new changes in Ethiopia's adoption process, which is currently of personal interest to our family as our paperwork is now there and we have officially been waiting just over a month for our referrals.
Any time I go to Ethiopia, one of my favorite things to do is to go back to Kids Care Children's Welfare Association...this is the orphanage that Sakari was brought to and Aster, the founder of this organization is inspirational beyond words. There were about 100 kids in this location, including babies. She has built schools, drop in centers and community centers in other parts of the country as well. We experienced a torrential downpour, but the conversation was intense and profound while our environment was laced with the smell of rain, roasting coffee, sweet popcorn and frankincense. When Aster was asked, why are you doing this when you could have continued in your very successful career...she simply replied, "It's our obligation." Period. We were informed while we were there, that her staff was about to return from picking up 4 babies that were found close to the Kenyan border. Words cannot even begin to describe what it was like watching her staff move into action the moment those babies were within their gates. There is nothing more noble and humbling than saving a life. These unsung heroes do it daily. Why? Because it is our duty, our obligation. Body of Christ, wake up...faith without works is dead. It takes compassion and justice. The coming move of God in the earth requires us to act like Jesus did...with compassion. What would our world look like if we gave of ourselves in this manner, every day?
I never thought I'd visit a leper colony. And by this time in the trip, I was spent...exhausted. When we got there at the lone church in the middle of this segregated colony of 129,000 people...I did not want to be there. It stunk. I'd done my part, right? However, I forced myself to suck it up and I took the first job I could...painting a fence. A bright, bold blue...at first I found it obnoxious. Then, as I looked around in the brown and gray when my eyes landed back on the fence...it stood out and I realized it represented joy and hope in the midst of the drudgery. I had a neighborhood kid (probably around 10 years old) that became my foreman and supervisor...he made sure I didn't miss any spots. He walked with me and we walked around the community with his hand in mine...he was obsessed with my tattoo. Before I left, he asked for a pen and made me write the tattoo on his arm. Humbling. The picture says what I cannot.
Now, I need to clarify something about this leper colony. Most of the people here are the kids and/or grandkids of lepers that were banished and confined to this tiny area about 75 years ago. Though the leprosy is pretty much obsolete, the stigma, shame and utter poverty is not. It's very real. The fruit that is sold on these streets were scavenged from the dump and covered in innumerable flies. There is a light, a hope through a young man named Sammy. He is 24 and he is single handedly changing this area. He used to live in the dump, that was his lot in life until he was sponsored and mentored. Now, he is running a ministry in the middle of desperation and despair and going back into the dump where he still has childhood friends that did not escape the horror that is their life. We got to go with him to visit the dump and though I've been to much larger dumps similar to this one in Brazil, I was forcing myself to see things the way God sees them. At first, it was all I could do from dry heaving as we walked into/onto the dump. I was afraid that our visit would be insulting to the people that work, eat and sleep here. But we were met with curiosity and Sammy shared with us that these people would remember us for the rest of their lives...that someone noticed them. Soon, we had a group gathered around us and I'm thankful that Jake took the first step and started shaking hands, bumping shoulders and hugging these truly lovely people. This is where Jesus would be. Shaking hands that were so dirty that they felt like dirt covered garden gloves, looking into their eyes, connecting with their souls...precious, treasured, beautiful, valued, loved. Our own righteousness is as filthy rags. Lord, show me how to love like You have loved me.
This is just a brief overview of what will be experienced in October and as the Lord opens the doors, we will schedule trips as often as possible. We will also visit an HIV camp and possibly an HIV orphanage. We will have time to experience the unique Ethiopian culture, shopping and coffee ceremonies.
Here are a few closing facts:
Every 15 seconds, another child becomes an AIDS orphan in Africa
Every DAY, 5,760 more child become orphans
Every YEAR, over 2 million more children are orphaned (in Africa alone)
Approximately 250,000 children are adopted annually
Every YEAR, over 14 million children will still grow up as orphans and age out of the system, many ending up in the sex trade
Overwhelmed? The statistics are staggering and can paralyze us. Don't let this happen...if you make a difference in the life of one child by simply hearing and obeying the voice of God, you are making an impact for eternity. You will have invested in future leaders of Ethiopia by sponsoring, future members of your family through the miracle of adoption and advocating for those who have no other voice. Did you know that if only 7% (yes, JUST 7%!!!) of professing Christians around the world responded, every single orphan (over 147 million orphans) in the world would have a home? Where is the church? Where are those who will stand up for justice? All I know is this: I want to be ONE!
Caleb and Becca David
One Child Campaign
Compassion and Justice for the Orphan
Saturday, June 12, 2010
We have received our first official Ethiopia orphan awareness trip application this week! We have about 7 other verbally committed and room for about 13 more! Check out our official website at www.onechildcampaign.com for more information or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for an application! Warning: If you join us on this trip, you will be undone and changed forever.
Posted by The Adventures of Caleb, Becca and Sakari David... at 9:36 AM