Today I am excited to share a guest post by my friend Jen Bridges, founder of Embrace Compassion. Jen’s life is a constant reminder for me of stepping out in faith and being obedient, and giving God the glory. She is truly changing the world. I am honored that she would call me “friend”.
So how did this all begin? A quick trip with a dear friend and her family on their journey to adopt a little boy gave way to our family making an extended trip in December 2010 to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Our family’s goal was to see who was already serving the people well, who we could partner with, and to allow our hearts to be moved or crushed on such a deep level that we would never see life the same again.
Mission Accomplished. We absolutely were able to meet these goals, beyond our expectation. We found wonderful American people serving in the city’s trash dump and in the countryside with whom we have bonded and were blown away by their sacrificial service. We fell in love with a rural community many hours from the city that is willing to partner with us to bring clean water and education to neighboring villages. Our family allowed our hearts to be crushed, to be moved and to have compassion rather than to look away from the suffering that most often could be eliminated with small but not insignificant help.
Upon return home we felt it necessary to strategically plan how we might use our resources most efficiently and make the most of our impact. After all, can just one family and one income really make a difference toward extreme poverty which contributes to lack of education, dirty drinking water and poor health crossing over into death? We believe it is possible. One family can make an impact. To our delight, we are not in this alone.
Several families decided to pull together and create a non-profit with us called Embrace Compassion for the purpose of meeting one need at a time in Ethiopia. The focus of Embrace Compassion is three-fold: support and encourage the American people who are giving their lives, offer family preservation which brings hope and wholeness to an entire community and tackle one large project at a time, emphasizing in clean water. For more details on what has been able to accomplished in the last year, check out our website at www.embracecompassionafrica.org.
In January 2012, I will be returning to Ethiopia with a couple of friends to bring fresh hope in the form of food, clothing and encouragement. The best way for us to get those items into the country is with tax deductible cash donations ahead of time. If you would like to invest in a bag of grain (Teff), coffee or sugar, please let us do that for you and we will post pictures of what you purchased and the family that it will benefit. The average wage for an Ethiopian is around 50 cents per day. The cost of food has gone up radically in the last couple of months and people are literally starving. We are grateful for the opportunity to go. If you want to give on your behalf, let us know.
Go “like” the Embrace Compassion page on Facebook. In addition to supporting this ministry, I pray it will inspire you to change the world.