Thursday, December 27, 2007


Please click on the above flyer to enlarge it so you can get the details of the location and RSVP information. Jerry and I will be flying out to California in a little over a week to share our testimony of the "Forgotten Boys of Kolfe". Our amazing family and friends are rallying around us to care for our children here at home so we can attend this fundraiser. We are praying many will SEE, HEAR, and come to KNOW God and that the donations will be very generous. Please join us if you are in CA, and if not, please join is in prayer or donations.

Our niece Jaclyn will be performing; She is an amazing talent!!

Ryan, Gladney's in-country Ethiopia representative, has asked that the funds raised be used to repair the recent plumbing catastrophe. They have just had major pipes break and now there is sewage seeping all over the campus. They have no money so this has presented a major health hazard. Thank you to all of you who are responding with compassion and help. Please stay tuned as we will be posting more information as we get it.

"And the King will answer and say to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to me." Matt. 25-40

Gotcha Day!!

This is a montage of the actual day we got our babies.

Made by Ellie :)

by Janelle

The morning cold and raining,
dark before the dawn could come
How long in twilight waiting
longing for the rising sun
ohoh ohoh

You came like crashing thunder
breaking through these walls of stone
You came with wide eyed wonder
into all this great unknown
ohoh ohoh

Hush now don't you be afraid
I promise you I'll always stay
I'll never be that far away
I'm right here with you

You're so amazing you shine like the stars
You're so amazing the beauty you are
You came blazing right into my heart
You're so amazing you are...
You are

You came from heaven shining
Breath of God still flows from you
The beating heart inside me
Crumbled at this one so new
ohoh ohoh

No matter where how far you wander
For a thousand years or longer
I will always be there for you
Right here with you

You're so amazing you shine like the stars
You're so amazing the beauty you are
You came blazing right into my heart
You're so amazing you are...

I hope your tears are few and fast
I hope your dreams come true and last
I hope you find love that goes on and on and on and on and on
I hope you wish on every star
I hope you never fall too far
I hope this world can see how wonderful you are

You're so amazing you shine like the stars
You're so amazing the beauty you are
You came blazing right into my heart
You're so amazing...

You're so amazing you shine like the stars
You're so amazing the beauty you are
You came blazing right into my heart
You're so amazing you are...
You are

Monday, December 24, 2007


Little baby on the hay, Soon there'll be another day,
When nails shall pierce Your hands and feet,
As You provide our sin's defeat,
Risen Jesus on the throne, We lift our promise to You alone,
For You're the gift that we receive The moment that our hearts believe. - Roy Lessin

Three More Orphans Rescued -- Congratulations Falchook Family

What a blessing! My dear Sista/girlfriend just got approved for her THREE NEW CHILDREN to come home from Ethiopia. Please go to her blog and be blessed with her video. We were so blessed to visit with these children while in Ethiopia. We delivered a package from their forever family and hugged and kissed on them. They are absolutely precious!! Praise be to God!

A Request For Help From Ethiopia

I just received this note from our Gladney Ethiopia representative Ryan. Please pass the word and see if someone can help this man.

Dear friends,

I was recently approached by one of the young men (or not so young men) at Kolfe and asked if I could find someone to help him out when he moves to the US. He has won the diversity visa, and said he will be moving to the US in a month or so. He is around 30 yrs old, handicapped (he walks with crutches), and probably knows very little English. He is excited about his opportunity to move to the US, but scared at the same time. I just wanted to write you all to ask if you, someone you know, or an organization you know of would be willing to help him. He is looking for a place to stay while he figures out American life, and some help finding a work.


Please leave a comment or contact me via email if you have any information regarding this plea and I will contact Ryan. Thank you.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Solomon's Letter Today - December 21, 2007

My heart is aching again as I read the words of this precious young man that is now a part of my life forever. Please continue to pray that God will make a way for us to bring him here to live with us.....some day? This is the response to me telling him that because of his age we could not legally adopt him, but that we are checking into other options. I also asked him what we could send to him that he wants or needs. We are going to sponsor him which is a program Gladney is putting together, however we don't know all the details yet. I am falling in love with my Solomon more and more every day!!

Hi mum how are you? I am read the answer of my question. I am very sad about the governments policy but i am really happy and also lacky God take for me a good mother. I proud because of you. I love you forever mum. I know you tried to happy me i am want to live with you but it is inpossible when God want to meet each other one day it is possible don't worry mum oky. My heart also broken about that do you know mum how i can joyless about this. I am crying when read it but i believe by God done sometiing to me whether it is good or bad for the purpose of better thing.

Mum when you want send for me someting you send for me that you are belived important to me. I don't want to say this because '' mothers are knows what her son needs''.

Mum I hope one day to meet each wther after that i am continue writing for you i promese mum i never forget forever bcause after i was born no one to say me my son except you also I don't to say any one to say my mum except you. I always to pray for you mum.

Do you hear the cry of the orphan??? Do you see his faith in God in spite of his circumstances and disappointment? Why did God bring Solomon into my life? What is His purpose in all of this? What is our future? These are the questions running through my mind as I sit here and picture the beautiful smile and gentle spirit of my SON SOLOMON sitting in the KOLFE ORPHANAGE in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Another Letter from My Solomon

Hello my dear mum Eileen. mum i haven't a job. I am syuding markating in a diploma program I am scored high mark in the frist yeaar 94 oyt of 100 now i am leaning 2nd year. The campas are hiving for me 20 birr in a month for transportation pourpose but my collage is not far so i used that mony to writting for you.
Mum my future plan is after i will graduate when i will get any kinds of job i want to work and to help poor peoples but in Ethiopia is not easy to get a job when you need to open new buseness the atmosphere is not good because the taxes are very havy, the influntion rate are incrsing day-today because of this many Ethiopian are unemployeement.
Mum after i saw you my dream is to live with you because you are different to others, your smile, advise, generous, respect are attract me. I havn't mothers get mothers love so i am sure i geat that love for you also i haven't sister i get the sister and dad. You know Eileen how much happy when i am get all this but mum when it is diffecult don't worry.
Mum i wont to writting for you day to day but 20 birr is not adequate so when you send me some mony i contact with you day to day and also send me a bible. I have a bifle but i need the english one. Tank you for everythin mum. I would like to say HAPPY X-MAS for you,dad and sister. God bless you forever mum

My heart is breaking today because it was confirmed that we can not adopt Solomon because he is too old. We are looking into the sponsorship program that Gladney is getting started though and we hope to become his sponsors. At least we can communicate via email and send him things through the Gladney families that will be traveling there. There is a family leaving next Wednesday that will bring him the bible and some money to pay for the emails for us. Can you just feel the gentleness and love in this young man? This is really a hard one for me. I am praying that the LORD will do something very special here. Please join me in praying for another miracle.

Monday, December 17, 2007


James 1:5-6
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

James 1:8
If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right.

James 1:14-17
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has not deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good it it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

James 1:22
"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves, Do what it says."

James 1:27
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after the orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

SO WHAT NOW? Would you please pray and ask God how he would have you help the FORGOTTEN BOYS at Kolfe Orphanage? Please leave a comment or email us and we would be happy to give you information on how to proceed. You will be blessed beyond your wildest dreams should you choose to step out in faith and follow God's heart!!! Thank you for taking the time out of your very busy lives to read along as we follow after God. Blessings to you all!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

My New Son at KOLFE

As I mentioned earlier, I fell in love with the young men at Kolfe. I left my email and asked them to keep in touch with me. One young man, Solomon, has been corresponding with me. I would like to share this with you so you can see for yourself how sweet and loving these young men are. Also, I want to share the updated emails I have received from Ryan as another example of how these young men really care for each other.

Solomon on the far right wearing brown sweater with grey.

This is from my new son Solomon who is 17 years old:

"hi Eileen i am solomon bekele i am reading your pleasurable cmail letter. I am reallu happy about that thank you for everything.
Eileen be for you come to us i did not know any one out of the campas when someting happend to me may be it is hard or not i a am trying to solve by my self but now i am very laky because i gaet you. when you take me premission i want to call you my mum.
Eileen my mother was dead when i was one years old. i am the onoy chiled for my mum but i am not saky to saw her but God never forhat me he take me you. i would like to reading a bible bdfore i sleep because i understand how God loves me very much not only me he loves all human beings.
Eileen i told to habtamu to writting for you.he says writting soon. Mum after i will write other letter for you God blessing all of you."

I responded to this note by telling Solomon I would be honored and privileged to be his MUM. I asked him to tell me more about his childhood. I want to grow our relationship and plan to help him as we find out what the procedures are. He is too old to be adopted by US law. This is the next email I received from him:

"hello my dear mum. I was writinig for you for my mother to day i am writing for you about my life when i was chiledhood.
Mum after my mother died my father take the responsibility to protect me and he callanged mant problems because of me he treated me like a mother and father. Always he tried to happy me. He told me that study hard but i don't know why alwys he told me this in that time. Iremeber when i was 8 years old i was asked him why alwys say to me study hard. He told me that i said always this because of one thing when someting happend to me one day how you can lead your life you know that wi are poor therefore the only chance to live a better life for future is when you study hard. I understand every thing that time we are not any man to help us. After two years latter, when i was ten years old one day night at 1:00pm my father is very sick the next day he goes to clinic and geat medical care the doctors are tring to save his life but they can't. When the doctors told me that i can't controll myself i am really sad because i lose one man 9i have. After he died i was alone. After two weeks ago one man he knows my father came to me and i told him everything after that he finished all process to came to me orphan campas finally i came the campas when i was 10 years old. I have been lived in this campas for 6 years now. Shortly my history like this.
Mum i don't have computer access. Iam send you the message by using momputer center services. When i used the computer to 1 minite i pay 20 cents, 1 hour 12 birr. It is very difficult to me but i promise i write for you two or three times in a week.
Mum Mike and his son are coming today to us. I meet with them. They also visit the library give for us candy pen and candy also ball. I am really enjoied with them.
Mum i think about you i can't tolerat your love. I MISSED YOU SO MUCH. I pray to God to meet with you mum. GOD BLESS YOU FOREVER MUM"

OK, so now you have a glimpse of what a blessing I have received while visiting Kolfe. I am thinking about these boys all the time. For some reason, Solomon and Hoptamu are the most special to me because they stayed by my side the entire time we were there, which was several hours. They have a special place in my heart.

When Jerry and I saw the conditions of this orphanage, we decided we would do something to help them. In lieu of paying our hotel bill, we gave our cash to Ryan at Gladney to buy blankets for them. I was so cold every night and I was at the HILTON! They live in this place with broken windows so I thought this would be a great thing for them. Well, I just received this email from Ryan.

"Hey Eileen,
Glad to hear things are going well.
I went back to Kolfe to let them know you had left money for blankets, and the older guys all said they didn't need blankets and decided the money would be best spent on shoes for the younger boys. I thought it was pretty sweet that they wanted to spend the money on the younger guys. I hope you are okay with the money being spent that way, let me know if you are not okay with it.

Also, about the fund raiser... there is a plumbing problem that needs to be fixed. The pipes from 2 of the bathrooms are leaking, and the sewage is seeping up through the ground. I would like this to be the next project, so could we use some of the money from the fund raiser to repair this problem?

The boys at Kolfe and I are truly grateful that you did not forget what you saw or how it made you feel.


Do you see the thoughtfulness of these young men? Instead of getting new warm blankets, they want the money we left to buy shoes for the younger boys. There are currently 180 young men in this orphanage. Remember I told you how they explained to me that they are family and they love and respect each other? Well now we all see it in this situation. The fundraiser Ryan is referring to is the Benefit Concert my niece and sister-in-law are putting on in California, January 6, 2008. Please see our earlier post about this and if you live in the area would you please attend this concert? Jerry and I are hoping to also be there, Lord willing. Or, you can send a tax deductible gift to Gladney and write Kolfe Orphanage/Mestas Ministry on the memo line.



Well, we are finally getting well in our house. We have all been sick since we got home from Ethiopia and Jerry was out of town all of this past week. I was feeling really poochie and never had the energy or time to post. But before Jerry left for CA, we all got dressed, sick and all, and went downtown to take our Christmas picture. Melissa set up her tripod and we spent a lovely afternoon posing. We look pretty good considering our health status. So, this is our new family and an update.

We are all on the rise back to good health. My dad is feeling better. The doctors wanted him admitted to the hospital but he said he would rather stay home and ride this out. So, he has been sleeping a lot and tonight when I visited with him he looked and felt better.

I want to send a special "THANK YOU" to all of you who have been praying for us. Thank you for taking time out of your busy lives to follow our amazing journey and to leave us comments. It is sooooooo encouraging to get your comments and know that we are being lifted up. THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts.

According to the counter on this blog we have had almost 20,000 views which absolutely blows my mind. The reason we started this blog is because the LORD told me to "TELL HIS STORY" for the purpose of encouraging others. If you have read our story from the beginning, you will remember this all started when God spoke to me through HIS word in JOB 42. I sat at the kitchen table and asked God for direction on whether or not we were to pursue adoption, which I basically thought was out of the question, but I really expected him to give us direction on how to start an adoption ministry in our church and community. Well, as the story has unfolded you see HE did tell us to pursue adoption again. When we left for Ethiopia several weeks ago, I thought it was just to go bring our new children home. I now realize that this journey has just begun and that actually GOD did both. He gave us new children and an adoption ministry in our church and community.

Over the past several weeks we have heard from several people that have been reading our story and have said as a result, the LORD has impressed upon them to also adopt. They have been encouraged by our journey and have decided to step out in faith and also pursue adoption. We have been blessed beyond measure as they have shared some amazing testimonies with us. Jerry and I have been transformed by this amazing and miraculous journey and we will never be the same again. We are passionate about adoption, and about our LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ as we have come to KNOW HIM, to SEE HIM, to HEAR HIM and to LOVE HIM in such a new, real and greater depth.
We are so excited to share the faithfulness of God when we are about HIS BUSINESS.

When I began this journey and had my first conversation with God, I specifically said, "GOD, I am begging you to please speak to me right now and let me know if we should continue to pursue adoption or just start up an adoption ministry. We are too old to adopt now, we have absolutely no money and I don't want to keep Ellie hoping that we will adopt again. So please, I want to open your word and I am asking you to speak directly to my request. Give me your wisdom on what you want us to do. And this is how he responded to me: Job 42:1-6 " Then Job replied to the LORD: I know that you can do all things; no plan of your can be thwarted. You asked, "Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?" Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. You Said, listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.' My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes."
...10 After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice s much as he had before....12 The LORD blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first. and he had three daughters...the second Keziah and the third Keren...Now where in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job's daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.

Well, as I sit here with my three precious new children asleep upstairs and with an exciting new adoption ministry starting up in our lives, I read over this passage again and I am in absolute awe!! My LORD had these wonderful experiences planned for me and THESE THINGS THAT WERE TOO WONDERFUL FOR ME TO KNOW. MY EARS HAD HEARD OF HIM, NOW THEY HEAR HIM, MY EYES HAVE SEEN HIS MIRACLES, SEEN HIM work out all of the details, the plans, the papers, the money, the safe travel, the children and our family have been born again!! I DO REPENT IN DUST & ASHES as I think back on where I was before this journey began and I PRAISE HIM for where I am today in my faith and love for HIM. I had my God in such a small box compared to where HE IS TODAY IN MY LIFE. Nothing is impossible with HIM, HE CAN DO ALL THINGS, NO PLAN OF HIS WILL BE THWARTED! WE HAVE BEEN BLESSED IN THE LATER PART OF OUR LIFE MORE THAN THE FIRST.
We are now the proud parents of eight children (so far) and we are in absolute awe of how GOD has worked out HIS PLAN for our lives. We are praying about another adoption from Ethiopia. You see, we had three children in our younger years and so to be blessed twice as much we need to have another child, six in our latter years. But honestly, we are praying for the LORD to send us as many as HE sees fit. We are open to HIS plan and purpose for our lives. We are also praying for a bigger house just for the record.

We are currently putting together a slide show of our adoption journey to Ethiopia and of the KOLFE ORPHANAGE. So please stay tuned, we will have them posted this week.
And a note to all of our dear friends and family following this journey, please leave us a comment if you haven't as yet. We would love to hear from all of you! May you be blessed as we celebrate this CHRISTmas season. May you see JESUS like never before as you follow this journey and SEE HIM WORK OUT HIS PLAN. Blessings to you all!

Friday, December 7, 2007


Today is just an addition to yesterdays post. I am asking for all of you to pray for my dad. My parents live with us in the basement house. Today we found out that he has pneumonia. "Old Blue Eyes", my Popo, is 74 years old with multiple illnesses. On an earlier post I told you we started hospice 'Quality of Life Care Program" for him several weeks ago. Well with all of us getting this cold bug, which I started today myself, he must have caught it from us. He has emphysema, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), Diabetes, and several other serious illnesses. He has been very ill and I am concerned that this is too much for his immune system to handle. When I visited with him tonight I asked if he was ready to meet Jesus. He responded with "YES I AM". I tried to encourage him to think about his future, the real life we should all be living for is to be in heaven with no pain, no bills, no illness or sadness. To think upon these things brings hope. He told me he definitely thinks this is his last Christmas. He has been suffering for quite a while with a lot of pain and deterioration, some due to normal aging, but most of all depression. He is not going to get better according to the Dr's. So, may I please ask any one reading this tonight to pray for my Popo. I love him with all of my heart!! He has been a wonderful father, father in law, and grandpa to his 13 grandchildren and soon to be first great grandchild. He has said for years he didn't want to die until he saw his great grandchildren. He is struggling very much with breathing more than anything. I would also ask that your specific prayer would be for God to pour His peace, His presence and HIS LOVE into his heart, mind, and soul. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Psalm 29:11


I heard Anne Graham Lotz speak on the radio about this verse and I knew this is exactly what I am experiencing. With everything that is going on in my life I can honestly say that I feel so much of the Lord's presence in my heart and mind that I feel rested and peaceful in spite of it all. Here's a little recap on the last few days since we arrived home from Ethiopia:

Arrived home from a 24 hour travel journey with approx. 1 hour sleep Nov.27.

Took Keziah to ER with swollen glands and high fever. Spent 2 days in hospital.

Jerry and kids on the way to pick us up were rear ended by a truck. Thank God no one was hurt but the van has some issues.

Washing machine broke down. I have approx. 20 loads of dirty laundry. Sears repairman declared it too expensive to repair, time to replace. After performing a routine maintenance on my one year old dryer, it too is now not working. Had to order a new part and will not be in until Dec. 15. Bought a new washing machine that was not in the budget right now. Oh well!!

Everyone in the house is sick with coughs, ear infections, cold or sore throat. Spent in excess of $600 for RX's. Ins. won't kick in for about a week so it's all out of pocket for now.

Bj's truck out of commission and back in the shop today. Won't start again!!

Just found out today...Jerry was not paid from his job for the last two weeks. They told him he could take the time to go to Ethiopia no problem. They never mentioned it would be with no pay. No pay check and the bills are due????

Jerry leaves town for a week on Monday. Josiah is so attached to him and I am not looking forward to him crying for PAPA!! Josiah will not go to bed without Papa. This is going to be fun?????

As I was reflecting on all of these things I thought about how the LORD started this journey through the book of JOB 42. I am beginning to feel a bit like JOB today as the pressure of "LIFE" is happening. I literally had to laugh today. We have to keep a sense of humor in all of this. I believe Satan is trying to rob me of the JOY that is abundantly flowing through my heart. But he will not succeed. God is so good, HE is in total control and we are so blessed! As we are in the Christmas celebration season commemorating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I am overwhelmed with the Love, Joy, Peace, and Hope that are the blessings that HE brings when we know, love and trust HIM Alone!


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

SAVE THE DATE............JANUARY 6TH!! Concert Dinner for the Kolfe Orphanage

This is a letter that Jerry's sister Maria in California sent out to our extended family and friends in response to our post about the "Forgotten Boys". Her daughter Jackie is a gifted opera singer studying at the Manhattan School of Music.

I realize this is a difficult time of year for all of you to donate your time and money. However after reading Jerry & Eileen's journal of their trip to Ethiopia, I was compelled to act immediately to try to help the "Forgotten Boys" in the Kolfe Orphanage. We are planning a Concert Dinner Fundraiser for these boys on January 6th at Caffe Opera in Monrovia. Jackie will be performing and hopefully some of her local singer friends will contribute their talent as well. If we fill up the place we can provide all 185 boys new beds and blankets and more. Please help us invite your friends!!! Please read their blog at for first hand information about Jerry, Eileen's and Ellie's emotional experience when they visited this place. In addition, we are trying to get used soccer gear, uniforms, cleats, shingards, balls, for these boys. The boys range from 12 years of age to 18. I am contacting my local AYSO's to ask for their help. I encourage you to do the same. Please gather the TROOPS! WE NEED YOUR HELP !!

Monday, December 3, 2007


We got up early, ordered breakfast via room service and packed up all of our suitcases. We then met with Ryan and Abby for our final lunch and coffee date. We had a great time of fellowship again. Ryan asked if we would be interested in going to the Kechene orphanage, the older girls orphanage before we left. We tentatively set up to meet because he said the Director of this one is a very difficult man. He may not allow us to visit and he doesn't allow photos, but he would call and ask. We agreed to go and when we got there the Director said we had to first report to his office for an interview. Ryan and Abby were very nervous and leery about whether or not we were going to get in.

We walked into his office where he motioned us to sit at a conference table that extended from the front of his desk. Everyone was very nervous and sat at the far end of the table. I chose to sit in the chair directly in front of his desk, the closest one to him. He was very serious and intimidating as he spoke in a firm and professional sounding voice saying, "Please have a seat, I would like to ask you some questions". I smiled at him and said sure! I leaned forward and looked right at him. He asked, "Why are you Americans suddenly coming to my country to adopt our children? For years you have been going to China and Russia why are you now coming here?" Everyone looked at each other and I said, "Can I answer that?" Everyone gladly gave me the floor.

For a few seconds my mind raced with the following thoughts. If I tell him what I really think, he may get angry and offended and throw us out of here....If I don't tell him, I will regret it and fear that God will be angry with me....God has told me to "TELL HIS STORY" ever since this journey began...What's the worst that could happen? I'm leaving in a few hours anyway... And then it was as if the HOLY SPIRIT just poured over me.

I leaned forward, looked him right in the eyes and with great confidence I began to speak. "Do you really want to know why? I am going to tell you what I believe with all of my heart. GOD IS SENDING HIS PEOPLE HERE TO RESCUE THE ORPHAN! You see, God created every single one of these children here. He knows exactly how many hairs are on each of their heads. He created each and every one of them and regardless of the tragedies that have brought them here and the difficulties your country is experiencing, God loves each of them, God loves you, He loves your country and HE IS AT WORK HERE!!! His eyes got big, his mouth opened and he looked like he couldn't believe what I was saying. I figured I better just say my piece and deal with the consequences later. So I then told him the story of how I prayed and asked God if we should pursue adoption and told him how I opened the Bible and God spoke to me through JOB 42. I told him the whole story, about the names that revealed Ethiopia and that he had performed many miracles to get us here. He had a strange look on his face as he looked at everyone else in the room like "Is she for real?" He seemed to be very puzzled and surprised. Then he asked a second question. "I have heard that your government gives you money to adopt children. Is this why you are coming, to benefit get money?" We all looked at each other in surprise and then several people tried to answer. I spoke up again and said, "Our government gives an $11K tax credit to encourage us to adopt children so that they are not a burden to the government or society. The government does not pay us. This tax credit reduces the tax we owe. Statistically it will cost us an excess of $100,000 to raise one child so $11K is not going to get us rich if we adopt. It's not about getting rich or making money. It is a very small gesture to help encourage people and help us. You see, there are many people in America that have room in their hearts, in their homes and GOD is calling us to care for the orphan. The Bible teaches us that pure religion is to care for the orphan. This is all GOD AT WORK and we are just walking in obedience to HIM. In fact, Ryan & Abby and Travis & Joanna are here working to help your children get adopted because GOD HIMSELF has told them to. He has called them out of their lives in America to come here and help these children find loving families that will take care of them, clothe, feed, love, educate and spend all of their hard earned money to raise them. No one is getting rich here. We are obeying GOD!!! In fact, you are in that chair because God has put you there to also take care of these children. He has given you a great responsibility to care for HIS Children and you will one day answer to HIM for each one of the children he has entrusted to you. He has given you a great responsibility and he will hold you accountable for how you treat them, what happens to them and how you run this place."

He sat there with a very surprised and puzzled look on his face. He kept looking around at every one to see their reactions. I never took my eyes off of him so I really don't know what everyone else was communicating to him. He then looked at me, smiled and said, "Thank you, I understand better now about this tax credit. I need to know the truth, I guess what I heard was a rumor. You know, I do know God. I don't know him the way you do though. I have a different way to know God. You have made me think, I think I could have more questions about your GOD. I must do some research and learn more of these things you are saying. You have said some interesting things" To which I responded. "O.K. I will be happy to answer more questions. What would you like to know?" I pulled my chair closer and looked him right in the eyes. He got shy, his face turned red and he looked at everyone saying,"Wow, this lady likes to talk about this, She likes questions doesn't she?" He then said, I think you must go now it is getting late, go take pictures and do what ever you want. It is getting late. Thank you for your time." He smiled and stood up, bowing his head and dismissing us. Jerry stood up and said, "Sir, if you ask us questions, you are going to get answers. She will stay here all day with you if necessary but we have a plane to catch. Come on lets go Eileen."

I stood up and again felt the HOLY SPIRIT guiding me. I walked around his desk, I put out my hand and he too extended his. I held his hand very tightly, looked in his eyes and said, "Mr. Lucas, you are standing here looking at me, looking into my eyes and touching my hand because GOD HIMSELF SENT ME HERE. HE wants me to tell you that HE loves you and HE wants you to know him..To know the truth ...HE is the truth.... I then literally put my hand on top of his bald head and said,"I am going to continue to pray for you when I am in America, I am going to pray that God will open your eyes, your ears and your heart. That you will come to know him as your Saviour. To know the truth...The truth that sets you free!" He literally bowed down, his shoulders slouched down like a bashful little boy. His whole countenance changed. HE said, "O.K. I will like to know more about your GOD." He smiled and it was a real genuine smile, and he shook my hand and said to go now it's getting late. We all left the room that was very different from when we entered.

We proceeded to go visit with the children, tour the facility and take pictures!! It was another amazing day. The children were delightful and it again broke my heart to see how they live. Broken windows, old run down facility and conditions. But, they seemed happy and well cared for. As we were leaving and heading back up to the parking lot, I saw Mr. Lucas leaving is office. He was obviously leaving for the day. I walked back over to him and wanted to see him one last time. I walked up to him and extended my hand. He shook and said "Thank you for coming today. It was a pleasure talking to you and you helped me to understand some things." I again got close to his face, looked into his eyes and said, "Remember, you are responsible for all of these precious children that really matter to God. HE is watching you...He knows everything and HE wants you to help them." He responded. "I love these children, I am their father, they love me." I said, "You are their caretaker here, but God is their father and HE has a plan for each one of them. Please help Ryan & Abby and the rest of the people that God will send here to rescue them. HE wants you to do all things for HIM. He then told me all about his academic achievements and that he really cared for these children. He even has a dream to open another private orphanage in his own name to better have control to help them. I said that was a great goal to have and to know that I will be praying for him. We smiled, I hugged him goodbye, thanked him for this visit and said goodbye.

I plan to keep in touch with him and send him a bible. Please join me in praying for this man LUCAS as he expressed himself that he does not know the Lord Jesus, but now has verbalized an interest in getting to know more about him. Also, please pray that he will continue to be open to Ryan & Abby coming to his facility to learn about the children and find forever families for them.

Praise be to God for this anointed meeting today and may we rejoice in the hope that He will come to know His Saviour!!

After our visit we rushed back to the hotel where Tafasse and his cousin Yasu packed up all of our luggage (8 suitcases & 4 carry ons)into two cars. They got us to the airport on time and when we got to the point of no entrance for them we had to say goodbye. Taffy hugged me so tight I literally lost my breath. Ellie said he was teary eyed and choked up. We really felt like he became a brother and we are so greatful to have had this wonderful man take care of us for these two weeks. He was absolutely wonderful. He was our translator, chauffer, tour guide, personal shopper, security guard, and most of all, he became our brother and dear friend. For those of you on your way to Ethiopia, if you are blessed to have Tafesse as your driver, please give him a hug and greeting from the MESTAS family.


Remember in a previous post I told you we went to a Bazaar at the church in Ethiopia? Well, I didn't mention that while walking around, Jerry saw a man wearing a shirt that said "Santa Barbara" on it. Being Jerry, he walked up to him and asked if he was from Santa Barbara. He said yes and they talked for quite a while. He & his wife used to live there in Addis, but now they are back in California. They come to Addis regularly now to work with AIDS orphans and they absolutely love it. Jerry met his wife and they exchanged information for Jerry to visit with him when he travels to California. He was invited to meet with them on his next trip. We thought it was amazing that here we are in Africa, and we meet someone from home. Well, that's not all!

A couple of days ago, Gaby called Jerry all excited and in amazement. It turns out, she and her husband were visiting with her stepson and his daughter.(their granddaughter) The maternal grandparents to this daughter were there also, and started talking about their recent trip to Ethiopia. The stepson tells him that Gaby's brother was also just there to adopt three children. He says: "Really, I met a man at a Bazaar named Jerry Mestas who was adopting 3 children." To which he responded, You are kidding! That's Gaby's brother!" You guessed it! The man he met at the Bazaar is the grandfather to his sister Gaby's granddaughter. Can you believe this one? There we are in Africa and people are recognizing Ellie from her blog and we meet a distant a city with more than 4.5 million people?? What are the odds of this??? God is so amazing!

What was also funny was that while we were in Ethiopia, Jerry's sister Gaby had called Melissa to tell her that she knew someone who was going to be traveling to Addis the same time we were and wondered if we could meet up. For some reason, we never did get the information. Is that funny or what?

Sunday, December 2, 2007


What an adventure this has been! I'm going to share the latest update and then I have to go back and share about our last day in Ethiopia.

As noted in the last post, Keziah started to run a fever and her face swelled up on the right side, gland area. She was absolutely fine all morning, I put her down for a nap and when I woke her up for a feeding, she was warm and her face was definately swollen. I immediately called my dear Pediatrician (I love Dr. Sevilla) and he told me to get her to ER right away. He was concerned the swelling could block her airway. So off we went to the ER. As Jerry and I were driving down the road, he said "Can you believe we are doing this again, babies on the way to the hospital?" We were both amazed that while we were facing a serious situation, we both felt such peace and calmness. After traveling this journey with the LORD for the past several months, I have come to a place of really understanding that God is in total control of everything in my life. I even said, "If God is going to take her home, I know He still has a plan in all of this." We prayed He would not of course, but we were both very much at peace as we walked this latest adventure.

Well, Keziah and I are home today. She has an infection in the right side of her face, the gland, that they can not specifically diagnose. The doctor said it could be a virus, bacteria etc., that she could have gotten during our travels. She could have gotten it from Ellie,(her sore throat) the other kids that have a cold and cough, or it could be an allergic reaction to something, or who knows what. They are all at a loss. They did several blood tests and so far nothing confirmed or conclusive. After having the IV antibiotics in her system for two days now,the fever has gone and the swelling is going down. He wanted to keep her in the hospital another day, which would have brought us home today instead of yesterday afternoon. But, when I explained that my husband was home with four children under age 4 that were all sick with coughs and colds, he said, "Compassion has won me over, you may go home today". So, he wrote two RX's and said to keep Keziah on close watch. We have to give her antibiotics 6 times a day. If she has fever again or swells up to get back to hospital right away. He said the swelling could block her airway so don't delay. She is still swollen and it feels like a rock is in her neck. He said it could still swell up and we may need to have it surgically drained if it does not go away. Time will tell but, so far, so good, she is back to her smiling precious self, eating good and sleeping a lot.

So, there we were at 12:00 noon, packed up and waiting for Jerry to pick us up. He had to pack up all the kids in the van, but of course first get them all ready, feed them, run a few errands etc. At approx. 1:30 my son Jonathan called and said "Mom, we we won't be there to pick you up for a while longer. We were on our way there and we just got in a car accident. All the traffic in front of us came to a stop so I had to stop suddenly and the truck behind me didn't. He plowed into us, I saw him coming and reared to the right. He pushed us off the road and thankfully not into the cars in front of us. Don't worry though, we are all OK. Ruby(our poodle/baby)who usually goes everywhere with us, was thrown to the front of the van but she seems to be OK. Everyone else was in seat belts and are all OK. The babies were crying, the boys were very excited and worried but no one was hurt bad except for Papa having been jerked a bit and having a sore neck. The back of the van is dented pretty bad but the doors still open."

So, there I sat for the next two hours, holding Keziah and talking with the LORD. "OK, so, why is all of this happening? Thank you Lord that everyone is not hurt and they are not coming here in an ambulance! But, what do you have for us in this, what are you teaching and why are you allowing all of this to happen?" Here is what I got. "Do you still love me? Do you still trust me Eileen, even when things are not going smoothly?" "OH, YES LORD!!! I LOVE YOU MORE THAN EVER!!"I have learned that so many times we have the mountain top experiences and everything is going so well and then bam!!!! Things take another turn. There are many prosperity preachers out there that teach false doctrine saying if we do things right everything will always be great and we won't have problems or difficulties. Well, the truth is, everything is great even "WHEN" difficulties or tragedies come. They will always come, but the difference is, if we really love and trust the LORD we can walk through them with JOY and PEACE! The gifts of the spirit that only come when we have the assurance of Salvation through Jesus Christ. I sat with Keziah rejoicing in the LORD as I waited to see my family in our dented up van. When they arrived, the doors opened and there were the precious faces of the blessings the Lord has given me. They were all so excited to see Keziah and me. Josiah yelled out "MAMA, SELAM" and reached out with both arms to kiss and hug us as did everyone else. He was so excited to see us and it was obvious, he is one of us already!

I am amazed at how well they have adjusted and bonded with us. The twins are absolutely precious. They are so helpful and are really loving on them. They are sharing, showing Josiah the ropes and they keep kissing and hugging the twinettes. Josiah likes to put his arms around them and hold hands with them. They are getting along better than I ever dreamed. All of our prepping, talking and hanging his pictures everywhere really helped. We had his picture hung over each of their beds so they saw him every morning and night as we prayed for him. I would have them say good morning and goodnight to him as preparation for him someday living in their room. It really paid off. They seem to be so comfortable with him and really excited that he is finally home.

So, on top of my house being an absolute diaster with luggage everywhere because we haven't had time to unpack and organize everything, I discovered today that my washing machine has decided not to spin after the rinse cycle!!! I only have about 20 loads of laundry to do and I need a broken washing machine like hole in the head! I literally had to laugh out loud. The Lord really has a sense of humor to allow this one! I was overcome with joy as I immediately thought about how I used to react to situations like this. The "old me" would have gotten all upset, started yelling and feeling that aweful pain in my gut. But today, I picked up the phone, called Sears repair and said, "Sure, Wednesday will be fine for the serviceman to arrive". Thank God I can go downstairs to Mom's house and use her machine in the meantime. Just another day in the life of the crazy Mestas house!

I do want to take this opportunity to also thank all of my wonderful "sisters in Christ," dear dear friends, who have been bringing meals since our arrival home. I can't tell you what a blessing this has been especially with all of chaos going on here. My family is being abundantly blessed with yummy food and desserts. I've been told this is going on for at least three weeks. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!

And finally, Melissa is now sick with the cold and cough. She is five months pregnant and feeling really yucky. So please pray for her. In spite of this, she baked a special yummy cake and we celebrated Randy's 25th Birthday today. We are blessed beyond all measure to have our RANDY VADEN! HE too has been unbelieveably helpful with all of the littles and the chaos. He brought me lunch at the hospital and then later brought me a backpack with my personal supplies for staying at the hospital. He is truly a blessing and joy in our lives! I couldn't ask for a better son-in-law. Thank you LORD for your blessings in my life!