Monday, February 4, 2013

An Incredible Transformation!

by Joy Casey
A year-and-a-half ago I found myself in the far western part of Ethiopia in a town of about 50,000 people called Dembidollo. Arriving in Ethiopia from America is like walking into a time warp; less so in Addis, but the further away from the capitol you get, the scenes reflect a time that has long since vanished in the Western world. Dembidollo is about as far west as you can get without stepping into Sudan, and the rocky, red dirt paths we walked along with the African sun beating down reminded me just how “out there” I was. The Full Gospel churches in the area identified 40 families that were desperately poor, and I was trekking to one of the churches to meet these folk for our Adoption Ministry 1:27 program.
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I met a lot of people that day, but there was one family that especially broke my heart. A beautiful but very thin woman came forward with four listless children. She was married, but her husband was not with her as he was very sick. I was told they had another child, but someone in the church had taken her to raise. They were in a desperate place with little to no food, and it showed. Tefere, the father, was very ill and did not have the strength to work.  From what I could see, the mother barely had the strength to carry her little one and the hollow eyes of the children told a story of going hungry most of the time.

Tom and Jenn Cleary from Maryland stepped forward and “adopted” this family through Adoption Ministry 1:27.  Monthly support was spent on nutritious food for the family, but it almost seemed like too little too late. I got word that their 14-year-old son was dying of typhoid fever. His blood count was so low that if he did not get a full blood transfusion he would die. Wakjira, the Case Manager, found a blood donor and got a transfusion for this boy and he recovered. It was about a month after this incident and about 2-3 months after they were adopted, when I visited them in their house.
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Tefere was there and so were most of the children. The boy who had been so sick was present as well, but he was very, very weak. When I asked where the mother was, Tefere took me into their hut and I found her lying on her bed, moaning.
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She was in quite a lot of distress and was so weak she had to hold onto the wall for support when she attempted to sit up. The pastor and I prayed for her and then took her to the hospital where she was diagnosed with typhus and severe Girardia. I went away shaking my head thinking it would take a miracle for this family to survive, let alone flourish.
DD0030 Jan 2013 cleary
Just this past week, Jeff Butler, our Adoption Ministry 1:27 Director, returned from visiting Dembidollo and he described to me one of the AM 1:27 families and how significantly the program has helped them.  When I saw the picture he took, I gasped! My goodness! I recognized them immediately, but they looked so much healthier! Jeff said Tefere, the father, was working carrying heavy loads of firewood from place to place and they had found better housing that was much more sanitary than where they had been living.

Jeff reported the mother was continually praising God for the help He brought to her family.  She believes that God saw her family in need and came to their rescue in the form of Adoption Ministry 1:27 through her church, and she cannot stop praising Him. Because of the nutritious, consistent food her family has received, their lives have been radically changed for the better, and we join her heavenly praise for this amazing transformation! Thank you, Tom and Jenn, for giving this family a hand-up.

This story is just one of many where monthly support is providing help and hope.  If you would like to be a part of changing the life of an at-risk family in Ethiopia by a monthly sponsorship, be sure to go to our website to select a family to help.  You too can provide life-changing basics for a family in great need…

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