Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Sheshemene… a new area of ministry

by Joy Casey

Six hours south of Addis sits a thriving market town called Sheshemene (Shesh-a-minnie). It is a typical Ethiopian town with churches and mosques, schools and hospitals, but there was no place to take care of children found abandoned, neglected or abused.
mana gammachuu
Mana Gammachuu was licensed as an orphanage to care for these children with priority given to those infected with HIV. The goal is to find Christian families in Ethiopia to adopt the children entrusted to their care.

To complement the orphan care of Mana Gammachuu, Adoption Ministry 1:27* has partnered with Gospel Light Church in Sheshemene to embrace, equip, and empower desperately poor families in this community to prevent children from becoming orphans. Presently, twenty-five families are receiving monthly support, and after the family unit is stabilized, income generating activities (IGA) will be explored so these predominately single mothers can earn money to become self-sufficient. Brooklake Church in Washington state has taken the AM 1:27 project on as a church ministry.

Just outside of Sheshemene is a village of about 30,000 men, women and children of whom 99.5% are M*slim. YWAM is working alongside a church plant in that town to bring the Gospel and humanitarian relief to these people. Just a month ago, a mission team from the University of Georgia served in this village alongside indigenous pastors and evangelists using Sheshemene as their home base. The goal is to start a Christian kindergarten available to anyone at no charge, a chicken and egg project that will support the local missionaries, and to bring water to a large garden on the church property that will augment the food needs of the widows in their congregation.

Fifty predominately M*slim families from this area have been identified for our Adoption Ministry 1:27 program, and members of Lake City Church located near Tacoma, Washington have “adopted” these needy families.

MANA GAMMACHUU … a sweet spot

In January, we officially hired a project manager and began searching for nannies, a bookkeeper, and a good nurse (English proficiency was a prerequisite for this position). Ephriam, the project manager, began ordering furnishings for the center and days after the freshly painted cribs were installed at the first of March, we received our first little abandoned girl. Over the next three months, five other children have been placed in our sweet nursery by the Ethiopian government, all but one abandoned. One sickly baby who we will call Baby “T” was placed under our care because his mother was mentally ill and kept forgetting where she put her baby and generally was incapable of caring for him.

Our primary goal is to find Christian Ethiopian families to adopt these precious little ones, and already one baby girl is spoken for! The family came to the orphanage and chose her to be their very own and they are now in the process of getting a homestudy completed.

These babies are the jewels the Lord assigned to our care, and we know many more will come. I have been extremely pleased with the level of care given by the nannies, the professional oversight of the nurse, and the attention given to every detail by the project coordinator. Paperwork, physicals, birth certificates and laboratory tests are being gathered for these little people and we are trusting God to send the perfect Ethiopian family for each of the abandoned babies. Ethiopians will only adopt abandoned babies, so if we are unsuccessful in finding extended family to care for Baby “T”, we are hoping that the government will allow us to adopt him internationally, but that remains to be seen.

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