Hi there, I hope you are doing well.
No matter how many times I sit down here to write to you I still feel blessed that you are here reading, and that we share the same passion for orphan justice. It’s never going to wear off on me that so many people come here each day to read. God is good!
There is still no word yet on the new children who are coming to us, these kinds of delays are typical in our host country, we have learned that stress is never the right response, so we are instead persisting in our prayers for them to come to us soon. In the mean time the new moms are getting a chance to further their training, and get to spend some quality time with the other families of widows and orphans that have already been formed. God always knows.
That is not my reason for writing you however, I wanted to talk some today about the long-view, to explain a bit about our hearts when it comes to sustainability. I said this before, but it bears repeating today, we did not come here to make a short term commitment to these kids, when we rescue a child and place them in one of our families it is for good, never again will they be left.
Hence the term “Forever Family”
And today I want to talk a little more about how we go about ensuring that our promise stands.
One of the things you have likely noticed around here (and on our Facebook Page) is that we are always trying to take part in things that bring other income into the ministry.
The first and largest source of income for us comes from our donors, people just like you who have signed up to give a monthly (or one time) donation towards helping with the expenses involved in providing for our 9 Forever Families and 50 Keep One Home families. Without these faithful people we would not be able to think about doing all of this good here for the more than 150 kids in our programs.
We also get a significant amount of funding is from our online store, friends have donated their time to help design shirts, and from time to time even jewelry and we sell it here to help bring support in the door. We have been blessed by the thousands of you who have bought items here and proudly wear them, helping spread the word about the work that God is doing here in Ethiopia. The store would not be possible without the amazing help of Tammy Hagstrom, she handles the inventory and lovingly packs each order and ships them to you.
Also, in the past year we helped to create a guest house where people who come and visit Ethiopia can stay with us and get a glimpse of the ministry here, while also helping to support the work. This business is owned by Thomas our director, through the success of this venture Thomas was able to stop taking a salary from the ministry and is now a full time volunteer! If you ever find yourself in need of a place to stay in Ethiopia we would love to have you stay with us at Selah Guest House, we are proud of the business that Thomas has put together here, and thankful for all of the support that comes to the ministry through this venture.
From there we wanted to do something to help give people all over the world a taste of Ethiopia, and so we helped to build a coffee company! There is no disputing the fact that Ethiopia produces the best coffee in the world, and through the efforts of our good friends Neal and Kim Kellenberger we are now blessed to be supported by a portion of the profits from the sales of that coffee. The appropriately named World’s Greatest Beans sells just what their name says, the greatest coffee beans in the world. Recently they launched a new subscription service where they will ship a bag (or if you are like me, two bags) of coffee to your door each month. We encourage all of you coffee drinkers out there to go sign up, enjoy a cup of this amazing Ethiopian coffee each morning with us and remember to pray with us to the former orphans who you are helping to support in Ethiopia. (I am sipping on mine right now as I write this post!)
The other reason why I am writing this post is because we want to ask you if you will think creatively with us, not only by helping to support the ministry by buying from these places, but if you will consider helping out with something that you do, perhaps you have a business where you could get creative with us and offering something special to your customers in return for their support of the ministry, or maybe you are really handy and would like to make something for us to sell in our online store. Once we sold little metal sculptures of Africa, and another time we had necklaces with a verse on them that our mothers in Ethiopia wear, and we were able to sell them on our store as well, both were incredible successes that came entirely from people who we have never even met! Don’t let these ideas limit you though, I am sure you are way more creative than I am! We would love to hear from you, and partner with you to create sustainable sources of income to ensure that these families are forever.
Bless you for walking these roads with us.