Tuesday, April 27, 2010

God Give Us Eyes to See

Imagine:  a child living in destitute conditions, struggling for daily bread, unable to provide for his blind parents and little brother, wondering what each day holds.  Imagine him waking up in severe pain, unable to see, afflicted with the same eye infection that robbed his parents of their sight.

This isn't some random story. This is the life of Birhanu, a handsome 12 year old boy who is enrolled in Children's Future Ethiopia.

Birhanu lives with his parents, both of whom are blind, and his 5 year old brother. He and his brother were forced into the streets of Addis Ababa to beg for food and money because their parents are unable to work because of their disability. Birhanu's parents became blind because their living conditions are not sanitary : they have no running water, no electricity, no soap, no money for doctors or medication.  Can you imagine losing your eyesight because of filth?

When Birhanu missed his weekly appointment with Robel and the other children of CFE, Robel became concerned. Robel went to the boy's home and this is what he found : "Birhanu was in terrible pain and suffering badly. His eyes were closed and crying and seeing this made me cry, too."  Birhanu was now in jeopardy of losing his eyesight also!

Robel contacted Into the Streets of Ethiopia and we immediately responded with your generous donations. Our instructions were clear, "Do whatever you have to do to save his eyesight."

Matthew 25:34-36 (New International Version)
"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

The first doctor could not even touch Birhanu's eyes. A medication was given to reduce the swelling and tears. A few days later, after walking 45 minutes (to find the clinic) and taking taxi cab rides all around Addis, Robel was finally able to secure an appointment with a specialist.

$23 US dollars to see 2 specialists

Over 2 hours of waiting

$19 US dollars for medications prescribed

Birhanu being examined by the specialist

We have learned this from Robel: "Birhanu's eye infection was avoidable. However, if his living conditions do not change, this is likely to occur again. Birhanu will need to see a doctor regularly." In addition to the medication, Robel purchased necessary cleaning items for Birhanu and his family.

Robel sends this message to you: "During the two days of going to the doctors with Birhanu, we shared lunch together and got to know one another better.  In spite of not feeling well, Birhanu is an amazing kid and he is so happy.  I was fascinated with him.  I am praying for him and the others in CFE.  Please continue to pray."

Children's Future Ethiopia will continue to monitor Birhanu's vision and Into the Streets will provide the necessary funding for treatments and medication to prevent Birhnau's eyesight from deteriating further.

I have a 12 year old son. When I look into his face, I see Birhanu.  When I remind Ben to take a shower each day, I am struck with the reality that many children (like Birhanu) don't have clean, running water.  As I prepare dinner each night, I can't forget that many children go to bed hungry, some never knowing what a full belly fills like.

What will you see when you look into the face of your own child? Will you see the face of poverty? Will your heart grieve for those in need?

I can imagine Birhanu's life with clean water, his vision restored, and his belly full.  I can imagine Birhanu's life being transformed, by the grace of God, through the kindness of others.

Deuteronomy 4:9 (New International Version)
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.

God give us eyes to see.

Maria LLanely is an adoptive parent living in Ethiopia (temporarily) and she was able to partner with Into the Streets of Ethiopia to personally minister to Birhanu,  accompany him to the doctor and provide incredible photos for this post.  

We want to send a Thank You to those who have financially given in our first month of work.  Your money is already beginning to go to work on the Streets of Addis Ababa.  It is with joy that we share with you a story of how YOU are being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ!

Friday, April 23, 2010

JunkPosse Winner Announced!!!

We have a winner!  Without further delay:

{I will email you with instructions on how to claim your prize!}

Thank you to all who left comments and helped spread the word about Into the Streets of Ethiopia!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

JunkPosse Giveaway! Just in time for Mother's Day!

Into the Streets of Ethiopia and Tracy at JunkPosse have teamed up for an awesome giveaway!  Tracy wrote and said these kind words, "Thank you so much for your heart for Ethiopia and the orphans too. You are a blessing in so many ways. I am excited for your new organization!  I would love to support what you are doing...!"  Thank you Tracy for your generosity!    

The winner of our first giveaway will receive a credit, valued up to $ 80 (plus free shipping) towards ANY item in JunkPosse's store!  Here are some of my favorites:

A beautifully detailed fine silver heart is embellished with a animal print texture and I added a small simple map of Africa. This unusual pendant is hand finished in a matte finish and paired with a nice 20 inch sterling silver cable chain..  Tracy would love to personalize it with an initial or a short name or word for you.

HOPE on sterling silver.  This sterling & fine silver pendant is a wonderful way to show or share your HOPE for the children in Africa. Each Africa HOPE pendant is hand-made & measures approximately 1" inch and is paired with a sterling silver chain & clasp in 18 inches. Tracy can hand stamp a name, date or words to the back for you at no additional cost. This pendant is also available on a 20 inch leather cord.

A con-caved circle that is handmade & stamped with the word "Hope" is the centerpiece for a beautiful teardrop rock crystal that is hand wrapped in sterling silver paired with a sterling flower dangle. It all dangles from a 20" in sterling silver rope chain.

Don't you love them?  Do you know a mom who would love to have this on Mother's Day?  

Here's How:
From April 19-22
{Winner announced April 23rd!}

1.  Post about this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter or your blog (how about all 3?) and then leave a comment telling me how many times you posted about this awesome necklace giveaway!  

2.  Grab our button, put it on your blog!  Leave a comment telling me your blog address.

3.  PRAY about financially giving to Into the Streets of Ethiopia.  Children's Future Ethiopia needs YOU!

Ready?  Set?  Go!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Do you hear the roar?

Deep in the south, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, there is one day in history that stands out as epic. People speak of it still in church parking lots and bars, front porches, and country clubs. On one October night in 1988, over 70,000 Tiger fans’ shouts & pounding feet registered as an actual seismic event. The roar of the crowd must have been deafening as their screaming moved the earth.

Right now, halfway around the globe, there is a crowd of children TEN times as large as those that night in “Death Valley,” that work and live on the streets of Ethiopia. That number is rising, too, due to drought, famine, displacement, and HIV/AIDS. In the streets of Addis Ababa alone, UNICEF estimates 180,000 street kids, most of whom have no care or support. That is why we have created Into the Streets of Ethiopia, a ministry dedicated to meeting the basic needs of these children, showing them the love of Jesus in a practical way.
We need your help as we launch Into the Streets.

A gift as small as $6 would provide a street child one healthy meal a day for one month- talk about a “Happy Meal”! Ten dollars would provide a doctor’s visit for a sick kid, or a child could go to school for 6 months with your donation of $24. His uniforms and tennis shoes could be purchased with $40. A little girl could count on filling her belly at least once daily for an entire year with your gift of $73.

Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, "Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!" and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn't it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense? James 2:15-17 (The Message Bible)

A little boy’s feet plodding along the dirt streets of Ethiopia will not move the earth.

But will it move you?