A phrase that we have often used to describe Bring Love In is “Sustaining Love” and when you see the organization, when you read the stories of these kids, where they came form and where they are now, when you hear the mothers and staff genuine care for the well-being and futures of these children, you see that it is exactly that.
It’s a love that wraps them in a hug that doesn’t let go, it’s not a fleeting one that comes in for a moment, gives you brief affection and then goes away, it’s a love that becomes a backbone, a cornerstone and a foundation for the new lives of these kids, their new future that lies ahead.
My name is Allie Jeffers and I am the donor relation’s coordinator for Bring Love In.
I only started with the organization about 6 or 7 months ago working out of our administrative offices in Austin, Texas.
I had no idea when I started this job how much it would truly transform my heart and my own passions for this amazing organization and the people in it.
I recently got back from going to Ethiopia for the first time (exciting stuff!!!) with Jessie and one of her friends. We needed to go to get new updated family photos, check on how everything was going there etc…
When Levi and Jessie conducted my interview for the position back in August, their last and final point in the interview was “and we will need you to go to Ethiopia with us at some point, would you be comfortable with that?”
My immediate response: YES!
I love traveling, I love adventure and taking photos and the fact that I get to do it for work, for such an amazing organization that helps these kids and moms in Ethiopia… who would say no??
But I don’t think I had at all prepared for how much it would actually affect my heart.
Within the first couple of days of being in Ethiopia I felt a bit like I was being turned inside out… in a good way. I felt as if my eyes were being stretched wider than I had ever seen, that my hands were being pried open and filled with more than I had ever held and my heart being pulled and tugged and completely filled with love for this country and these people more than I could ever imagine.
I began to see things from a different side of life than I had ever seen them before, from the things I thought I knew about the world, about love and family and God.
One of the days while we were at Bring Love In, we were working with the staff, meeting all the moms and the children to take their family photos. During the craziness of getting all the kids in this small space and grouping them up for photos with the moms, I had this moment where it all just clicked for me, it was like a puzzle piece shifting into it’s perfect place of understanding that changed so much of my perspective on Bring Love In.
You see, for months I had been working on our social media, talking to all of our amazing supporters and donors, seeing photo after photo of these faces so much so that I could recognize any of them and remember (at least some of, because their names are really difficult to even pronounce) their names and stories.
And then I saw them, walking through the gates into Bring Love In’s courtyard that day.
And I laughed to myself because for starters: it felt so strange to be meeting them in person and seeing them in person and secondly: it was so funny to see how they are just kids like any kid would be in America. They are goofy, silly, shy, self-conscious like any other kid and teenager would be.
But there was also this bigger perspective that I felt throughout the whole day, watching these kids with once grim stories and pasts full of struggle and hardships, laughing with their friends, interacting with the moms and staff, I realized that this was the most self-evident depiction of redemption that I had ever seen played out. I looked around this courtyard full of Amharic, laughter and shouting, kids running to and fro. I realized what an amazing exemplification of grace and God’s plan it all is.
It’s obvious they are not the tragic tale the world had intended for them. They are the opposite. They are miracles.
Here, right in front of me I saw God’s love playing out through the Forever Families Bring Love In has formed, I see his plan in their lives, in their futures.
(a slightly blurry photo of me taken by one of the Bring Love In kiddos, Asyma, while we were walking around the streets near Bring Love In)
I am so blessed and beyond grateful to be apart of this organization, this movement. We cannot wait to continue to sharing this journey with you and getting to watch as the beautiful futures for each of these children play out.
Follow along our social media to get news and updates on our Forever Families!