Thursday, December 24, 2009


Last night we were able to bring Solomon into our home via Skype virtual tour. We brought the laptop with camera into the kitchen and Solomon watched Jonathan baking cookies, then to the living room to see the kids playing with their new train set running around the Christmas tree and he was virtually part of our celebration. It was amazing! He even said; "I smell the cookies and they smell delicious". He is so funny! We then did our annual Christmas Adam celebration of giving gifts to each other. They got an ornament reflecting something special about this past year. Jonathan got a firetruck that symbolized his graduation from the WF Fire academy this year, Ellie got a Taekwondo girl ornament since she started taking lessons this year. Then Jeremiah opened Solomon's gift as he watched, he got a young man in cap & gown holding a diploma symbolizing his graduation from Infonet college as Valedictorian I might add! Jonathan hung it on the tree for Solomon as he watched from the Kolfe orphanage in Ethiopia! Is this amazing or what? God is so good to give us these tools that allow us to bond with Solomon from the other side of the world! What a Miracle! Then we all got a DVD movie too. Solomon got Chronicles of Narnia which will soon be delivered to him by the George family, Jan. 3, going to get their two precious babies!!

We gave Solomon a laptop w/Skype and camera when I went to his Graduation in September.Thank you so very much to my sweet sista, Carolyn Twietmeyer, at Project HOPEFUL for donating the laptop. It has been such a blessing to Solomon and all the boys at Kolfe! He has an air card now so we get internet connection right there at Kolfe. We talk to him and all the boys every Sunday and actually get to SEE THEM!! Solomon also has face book if anyone wants to wish him a Merry Christmas please leave him a message! Solomon Mestas!!

We will be calling him again to Celebrate Christmas day with us!


(P.S. Solomon has been back at Kolfe since November. Misgnaw's family was a blessing and we are grateful for the time Solomon spent with them. The Lord has revealed another plan and brought him back to Kolfe.)

Here is his message from last nights visit:

Hello my sweet mama!!!

I am sooooooooooooo excited last night. This is my first and best Christmas celebration ever. Our home looks like Heaven. It is so beautiful. I wish to talk with you the whole night if my laptop battery was not dead. Mama I know how much everybody love me and care about me. I was orphan before but not orphan anymore. I have everything. I am rich and lucky. The love I am getting from you is so different. It is truly God love. I saw God last night. He is so wonderful. Our house is full of love and joy. I love all of you very much. Mama I haven’t words to express about you all. Some time I am asked myself “is this some kinds of dream?” I am not sure still whether it is real or dream. It is so amazing mama!!!!

Mama, thank you for Christmas gifts. This is my second gift of Christmas from you. I can’t wait up to test the chocolate ummmmmmmm it is so sweet!!!

Thank to this computer I am there every week. Only my body here my heart, soul & everything is there. I thank God for brought you all into my life. Without you my life is meaningless. To talk with you made me so happy.

Mama, I love you very much. I miss you lot. Thank you for the tour. Our home is so beautiful. You all are looks so different last night. I don’t know how I express my feeling right now. I am soooooooooo happy. I thank God for gave me you all. You are my special gift. Please mama gives my love for all of my family. Thank you for everything. Have a nice Merry Christmas!!!!! I wish for you all the best!!!

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Monday, December 7, 2009

The Journey Has Begun!


I just got the info from SEBTS with the requirements for Solomon to come as an International Student. The school is waiving the tuition but the government requires that he have $7960 verified in a bank account to prove he will be able to live without a job. Students are not permitted to work the first year of being here. We also need to pay for his plane ticket and all other fees involving immigration. So, our journey of fund raising begins now.

Would you please consider contributing to the Solomon fund? Please pray and ask the Lord if HE wants you to be a part of Solomon's journey to becoming the MAN HE IS MAKING HIM TO BE and to be about HIS MINISTRY! Things can move very quickly if we have everything. We are hoping to have him here by Spring!!

Please make contributions to:

Luke 8:21 Ministries
Eileen Mestas - President
P.O Box 1862
Wake Forest, NC 27588
919-671-6482 cell

This is our new ministry birthed on my last visit to Ethiopia.

Luke 8:21 But HE answered and said to them, "MY mother and MY brothers are those who hear the Word of God and do it." Jesus is the Father to the Fatherless, we are to be the mother and brothers to them!

We are not a 501C3 so this is not tax deductible. However, your reward will be in heaven as you obey the command of James 1:27 "Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: "to visit orphans and widows in their trouble and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. "

Also, please keep us in your prayers as we continue this journey of Faith and obedience to God!

Thank you to all of you!!

Friday, December 4, 2009


The President, Dr. Danny Akin of the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Southeastern College has AWARDED A TUITION SCHOLARSHIP FOR SOLOMON BEKELE MESTAS TO ATTEND THE COLLEGE HERE IN WAKE FOREST, NC. HE WILL LIVE WITH US !!

PRAISE THE LORD FOR HE IS SO GOOD! I have to meet with the International Student department next week to start the process. I honestly have no idea what is going to happen next. I do know that everything has to be approved by the immigration, the US Embassy and the Ethiopian Embassy so there are a lot of hoops to still jump through.

Please join us in prayer as we embark on the next chapter of our journey to Solomon. We will need to do some fund raising to make all of this happen as well.

I am in absolute awe and just a river of tears tonight.

Thank you Dr. Akin, Thank you LORD for blessing our lives with Solomon!

Please spread the word to everyone you know to PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Kolfe Mama Video

My girlfriend Deanna Jones Falchook recorded this for her ministry "Mother the World".

Friday, November 27, 2009

Solomon's Thanksgiving Prayer

Hello mom,

How are you today? I am doing well here. Mom I would like to say happy Thanksgiving Day for you and for all my family. How much miraculous things God give for us in this past year. He gave for us more than other people got. Firstly He gave a chance for you to come here and celebrated my birthday with me. Secondly, I am valedictorian. Thirdly, he got for me a laptop and CDMA (air card) to communicate with you and money other things. So mom this Thanksgiving Day is very special for us. I spent my day by praising his name and singing songs to day. I got many excited things by the past year. The great thing I got is the love and a beautiful memorial time I have with you and Georgy. I am a sinful person but always God is good for me and he led me in good direction. I am not enough even to walk but God’s forgiveness and love covered my sin. He is near to me when I pray and giving for me everything that I asked him. You are the one and the special gift that gave for me. I didn’t know what is right and wrong and also don’t know what to talk but he is my voice and leading me at the right direction. I am poor but God is my richness. I am weak but God is my strength. Everything I have is him. I don’t have a right to do anything without him. My always prayer look like this please God bless and safe all Mom and all my family. I don’t ask you anything about me. I only cry out to you about my family. Give for dad a good job near to his home. Give strength to mom to take care of all the babies every day. God if you bless her I am also blessed, if you make strong her I also strong. Because I am a dead person without you and her. I want to help and to do for my family many things but I don’t have anything to do. The only thing I have to do is that to cry out and pray to you. Please God listen my prayer. I know my savior I am not enough to say anything but I beg you for the life that you sacrify for us. God thank you for giving for us this day. Thank you for keeping mom safe up to this day. Thank you for giving for me a blessed and beloved family. Please bless all of them forever. Thank you God. Thank you mom and my family. I love all of you from my bottom of my heart. It is very hard and painful for me to live here without you but I am patiently waiting what good store for me for future.

Mom and dad I love all of you very much. I wish for you this a blessing thanksgiving day. I pray to God today a lot and thank him for giving you all for me. Words are not express about you. I have no word what to say about you. You all are awesome and a gift from God to me. God bless you forever and ever. AMEN!!!!!

Love Your Son Solomon Mestas!!!!!

I am a blessed woman for the LORD to have given me this precious son!

James 1:17 says, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." Everything we possess in any capacity has been given to us by a good God who loves to give good gifts to His children. And He is an extravagant giver. All we have to do is receive.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Monday, October 19, 2009


Solomon saying goodbye to his "house"; this is what the boys all call their bunk beds.

Solomon and me with Johannes, the director of Kolfe.

As we drove out of the Kolfe gate, I held Solomon’s hand and silently prayed for him. This was a miraculous day in his life. Only a year and half ago, he had no hope for his future, no vision, no idea what God had in store for him. I felt like I just needed to be quiet, hold his hand and pray. This day had only begun to be orchestrated by the LORD just a few months ago. It was all so new, and kind of scary because none of us really knew how it was going to work out. It was another step of faith, free falling into the arms of Jesus and trusting him for the future….

A few minutes later, Misganaw says “ Eileen, there is something I need to tell you. I did not tell you before because I thought you would not want Solomon to come live with my family.” All of a sudden , I got a lump in my throat and we all looked at Misganaw. “Oh, what is it?”, I replied.

“First I want you to know that my family is really excited to have Solomon live with us, and we have been working very hard to get our room ready. You see, we have already taken in 4 other children. Solomon will be my only brother and our 8th child.. I have always wanted a brother and now God has finally given me one. Besides my two biological sisters, my parents have taken in four other girls.”

“WHAT?? WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME THIS BEFORE?” I replied with a sigh of shock. “How are they going to take Solomon in? Do you have room for him? How did they get these other girls?”

“One of the girls is a relative from the country. My mom’s sister had a daughter who has a mental handicap and they could not take care of her. So my parents took her to live with us. She goes to a special school now for people like her.”

“Then one day my dad was coming home from work and saw a young girl sitting by the street and she was crying really hard. He went to console her and asked her why she was so upset. She told him she was from the country and her family had brought her to work in a business here making injera. The people were mean to her and did not pay her. They just kicked her out and she doesn’t have any place to go. She has no contact with her family any more. She is about 13 years old. So my dad asked her if she wanted to come home with him and live with us. She is a nice girl and she helps mom a lot with the younger children now. The younger girls came from a friend of my older sister who could not take care of them anymore. They are sisters age 4 & 5 yrs. Then another friend of my sister has a 5 yr. old that she can not take care of and we just got her recently. So we have a full house now.

There was complete silence for a few seconds and we all just stared out the windows. Then Georgie suddenly said “THIS IS CRAAAAAAZY!”. Now I must interject here and give you a little information about my cousin Georgie. He speaks with a Brando-esque, gravelly, raspy sounding Godfather-like voice with a very heavy inner city New York accent. It is the kind of voice that would be typical in a Mafia movie. When he speaks people listen and usually stare!

I sat there trying to digest all of this and figure out what to say next. Then Solomon spoke for the first time. Now he has a crackling, squeaky puberty sounding voice with a heavy Amharic accent. “WOW, ALL MY LIFE I PRAYED FOR A FAMILY, AND NOW GOD GAVE ME A TRIBE!!” We all bust out laughing!!!!

You got that right, I responded, Solomon has 8 siblings in America and now there will be 8 of them in Misganaw’s house!! Between us we have 16 children!!!!!!!

I was overcome with joy and realized that God did indeed bring our two families together. It is evident that we both have a passion for GOD and HIS precious orphans. WE are like-minded for sure. So, for the rest of the journey, I was in shock.

We drove about 20 minutes until we arrived at his house. Then the thought suddenly came to me and I said; “Misganaw, you only live 20 minutes away from Kolfe and you never knew it existed. Why didn’t God just have you and Solomon meet here somehow. Why did GOD take you all the way to America, for your neighbor to invite you to visit Open Door Baptist church that Sunday, to meet me in the parking lot, so that you could meet Solomon who lives right down the road from you? He could have done all of this without me. Why do you think HE did all of this?? Why is this crazy white Mama lady sitting between you two right now?” We all looked at each other and Georgie replied, “THIS IS AMAZING!” We were all in awe of what God was doing in our lives. We SAW GOD all over this day!

The road to Misganaw’s house was literally undriveable. The road is very rocky with a big ditch that made the car scrape the entire bottom. The government started to construct a road and then stopped dead at a pile of rocks and ditch. It is bizarre how common this is Addis Ababa. The road suddenly disappears and you are on a pile of rocks. Anyway, we arrived and were greeted by a bunch of neighbor kids running toward us. Misganaw laughed as they all came running and said, “They have never seen white people here.” A special young man, about 18 yrs. old, came to greet us and was so excited as he politely asked to carry our bags into the house. Misganaw explained that he is a neighbor that everyone loves and he has a special mental problem. He reminded me of a high functioning Autistic child. He also told us that this boy’s mother had just died and she was his only relative. A neighbor just took him in to live with them. The neighbor is actually two teenage girls that are also orphaned and taking care of their younger siblings as well. He told us this street of houses are all good people who are taking care of each other.

Now, Misganaw unlocked the gate with his key and we entered into Solomon’s new home! I have to tell you I was very surprised again! I just assumed that his family was from the upper middle class status. But, it was immediately evident that they were not. The very humble house is made of dirt and straw built on a mound of rocks.

There is main house with a living and eating area and two small bedrooms. There are three little buildings behind it with one serving as a kitchen, an outhouse and the third one, built by Misganaw and his Dad, has three rooms serving as the boys bedroom, one for his older sister and a little sitting room with a TV.

This precious homestead rests on a rock pile where I could hardly walk without being held. They have a chicken coup and a killer watch dog that was ready to eat us for lunch that was kept in a locked pen. Flowers are planted sporadically where there are patches of dirt. They have a cute little front porch with a table, two chairs and maps pinned on the outer wall of the house. Tesfaye, Misganaw’s dad told me this is where they like to sit to read and study.

He also pointed out that because they are next door to the Embassy to Nigeria, it is quiet and there is security all around. It makes for a very nice and safe environment. He has been a teacher for 30 years and he loves to read and teach all of his children. His salary is $1000 per year and he now has 8 children to support! This little homestead is very humble, rustic, functional and quaint. It has the fragrant aroma of sweet smelling flowers, and it emanates joy, peace and love which made it absolutely beautiful!!! It is a home where JESUS LIVES!!!

We were now entering the rear building, painted all blue and Misganaw said they had been working on it all week. We walked into this adorable room with two beds separated by a wooden table with 5 chairs around it.

This is where they would study together he said. The dirt floors were covered with straw mats and Misganaw worked for many hours, all by himself, to cover the ceiling with a beautifully multicolored stripped fabric. Then he pointed to the posters he had just bought. Two were their favorite soccer teams, of course they would be the rivals, Misganaw loves Manchester United and Solomon loves Arsenal.

Like real brothers they have a special love for soccer and have a point of contention to wrestle each other about. Then came the real tear jerker! He intentionally purchased this poster to place right over Solomon’s bed, “I put this right over your pillow so that you will always go to sleep and wake up knowing you have a “MOTHER’S LOVE Solomon. I saw this and it reminded me of you and your mom Eileen.” I just stood there and began to cry, AGAIN!!!

Between laughing and crying, every day was a monster rollercoaster ride of emotions. It was exhausting. It was like experiencing an advanced aerobics class of the heart!

"A family created by God"

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My Return to Kolfe Slideshow #1

As a gift for my birthday, my daughter Melissa prepared this slide show for me.

These photos depict my visits to Kolfe along with Solomon's new home with the Tesfaye family. More slide shows to follow, so stay tuned.

While you are at it, check out Cousin Georgie's blog and slide show of our trip to Ethiopia.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


We got up early, went to our usual breakfast cafe and then it was time to go back to Kolfe. I could not believe I was actually driving back to KOLFE, the place I have been praying for and longing to return to for the past year and a half. It was unbelievable. I was actually crying all the way there because I was overcome with awe knowing the LORD HIMSELF had brought me to this place for HIS purpose and HE obviously has another plan for me to be back. I never dreamed I would be back so soon. My heart was racing and wondering if the boys would remember me. I was wondering what the place would be like, did they get any work done since our last visit?

This was also moving day for our son Solomon. This has been his home since he was 10 years old. He spent the last nine years of his life here and this is his family, these boys are all he had until November 2007. They have lots of memories; lots of tears and laughs were shared together and Solomon says they all know his heart and dreams.

This was a huge day in both of our lives. We literally held hands all the way there. I could only imagine how difficult this day was for him. I know both of us were wishing he was packing to come back to America with me but the LORD has other plans. We don't know them all yet, but HE has given us this day, and today we were moving him into the home of Misganaw Tesfaye and his wonderful family.

Suddenly, there it was, we turned the corner and the Kolfe Boys orphanage was before my eyes. The big gate opened and we drove in. The boys started to run toward us and greet us just like before. Only this time, Solomon got out of the car with me and they greeted him as well. He had been staying with me at the Cherokee house for several days. It took a few minutes, but then the boys started to ask me if I remembered them.

"Hey Mom, do you remember me? I was talking to you last time."

"Hey Mom,"EYE LEAN on the LORD" you told us!"

I was overjoyed and said,

"Do you remember when I was here that God told me to hug and kiss all of you?"

"YES", they responded, and many of them began to laugh.

"Well, Mama is back for more hugs and kisses, come over here and give me some".

Many of them started to surround me and get and give lots of hugs and kisses again. It was such a joy to hold them in my arms again. Several of the boys showed me photos of them I had sent back from my last trip. One of the special young men I remembered, Genanew, had entered the gate and came over to see why the crowd was gathering. When I saw him I said,

"Genanew, how are you? I have been praying for you".

He looked at me and said he wasn't sure he remembered who I was. I said,

"That's OK, I know a lot of people have been coming to visit in the last year. I remember you very well and I have prayed for you."

He smiled and just looked at me for a while. Then he ran off and suddenly came back with a photo in his hand saying,

"Is this when you came?"

He handed me the photo I had sent him of when he was holding Josiah Abel.

"YES I said, he is my son and we took that photo of you last time we were here."

His face lit up and he smiled his beautiful smile saying,

"Now I remember you!"

He stayed by my side for most of the day as we went on another tour of Kolfe.

What a joy and delight to SEE AMAZING CHANGES!!PRAISE THE LORD FOR GLADNEY. THEY HAVE BEEN FAITHFUL STEWARDS AND A BLESSING TO THE KOLFE ORPHANAGE. The boys started to show and tell me all about the new kitchen, the finished library, the new blankets, mattresses, and not one broken window anymore. Most everything had been freshly painted. There were gardens and flowers planted between the building where there had been rock piles before. The grounds were more level and safer to walk now. The boys started to say,

"Thank you Mom for all you do to help us here. We know you do much and pray for us. We know you help Ryan Brown and Gladney. Please say thank you to all the people who helped you Mom."

Tesfaye, another special young man from last time, came to greet me and I asked if he remembered me? He said yes. I looked him right in the eyes and told him,

"Tesfaye, God has used you in a mighty way to help all of these things happen at Kolfe. Do you remember our conversation last time?"

He said,

"Yes I do."

He was the young man who told me,

"Many people come to visit us lately but no one helps us. Our government has no money. They have not maintained our compound for more than 30 years. They have forgotten about us, can you please help us?"

I showed him the exact spot we were standing when he told me these things. I pointed right at it and told the boys,


Of course, I started to cry and just stood there looking at them. They all started to say;

"Don't cry Mom, it's OK! Don't worry, God is here taking care of us! Don't worry Mom, don't be sad."

Here I was in the middle of these amazing young men in tears and they were comforting me and encouraging me not to worry! Many of them kept saying thank you for everything you do Mom. I kept responding that


I asked them if they remembered what I had told them two years ago. I was so surprised to hear them shouting out,

"You told us to Love God, and you said you tell God's people about us and they come to visit, You said you give us Mama Hug and Kiss from GOD. You have husband and Ellie with you, how are they?"

It was very clear that they did indeed remember. I asked how many people had come to visit since I left. They responded;

"Too many to count!"

I then went to the office to finally meet the director Johannes. I had never met him because he was in a meeting on my last visit. I politely knocked on the door and he told me to come in. He looked very busy behind his desk full of paperwork. I said:

"Hello, I am Solomon's Mom, Eileen. I don't know if you know me but I have been praying for Kolfe and love this place and the boys so much."

He surprised me when he stood up, walked from behind his desk and reached out to hug me. He is a big man and his countenance suddenly changed as he walked toward me. He began to hug me and say,

"It is so nice to finally meet you. Thank you for all you have done for Solomon and the boys here at Kolfe. You are a woman of GOD, Bless you."

As I hugged him back and he pulled away, I saw tears rolling down his cheeks. I told him it was all God's doing, He brought me here to give these boys a Mama's Love and to be about HIS business. He has a very gentle an soft voice and he wiped his tears and started to share with me.

"You are very special. You know the people of this community hate Kolfe. They throw rocks at the compound. They yell out bad names to the boys, and throw rocks at them, even at me when I come to work. They don't want us here. They think all the boys are bad. Other people who came to work here left very quickly. I believe God has me here for a reason. He brought me here 6 years ago and I only make 2000 birr. I could get another job tomorrow making 5000 birr but I can't leave. Every time I try, God tells me HE wants me here. If I leave, who will take care of these boys? I try to teach them to be good and to Love God. They are good boys and they need an education. I write many letters to people asking for help, but no one helps us. I ask the private schools for scholarships but only one answered. This is the school where I sent Solomon. But they called one day and said they had no money and he needed to pay to stay there or else he has to leave. I know you started to pay for his school and I thank you. I thank God he started sending people like you and Ryan Brown to help us. Our government has no money and we need help. The boys, they need people to love them and help them. I believe this is my ministry to serve God here".

Mr. Johannes and I spent about an hour talking and crying together in his office. It was a very special bonding time for us. This is a very special man, a man of GOD!

What a glorious day this was, it was sunny, warm and beautiful smiling faces were surrounding me. I intentionally touched everyone of the boys, hugging and kissing all day long. We intended to stay about an hour but stayed 5 hours. I told the boys we needed to go because it was getting dark and they asked when we were coming back. We made plans to come back Monday. Habtamu was not home and I had to return especially to see him. He was at the library studying as usual.

There were also 19 new boys that had just arrived this week from Kebebetsahay orphanage. I even recognized some of them from when we visited there with Ryan last time. They range in age from 7-10 years. Many of them were sad and nervous looking because Kolfe was a new place for them. They didn't know me, but it wasn't long before most of them were being hugged and kissed. I saw many of their faces change into bright smiles. One little boy asked if I could please bring them Colgate and a toothbrush when I come back. Another little boy asked for a back pack to carry to his new school. My heart was broken again, as I met the next generation of Kolfe boys. This was the age when my Solomon came to Kolfe and I couldn't help but think he was scared and sad just like these boys. He was all alone in this new place and had no idea what was in store for him. I felt like this was God showing me the work HE has for me to do now. These new boys need a family before they turn 19 years old. Help me LORD!! Help me find them a family!!! HELP ME to NEVER FORGET THEM AND TO BE ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS FOR THEM! MY HEART JUST ACHED FOR THESE BEAUTIFUL LITTLE BOYS!

It was time for Solomon to pack up his belongings. He had a small trunk at the side of his bed with everything he owned locked up in it. He filled his back pack with the things he wanted and then told the boys they could take what was left. Within 2 minutes, they all had something in their arms running to put into their trunks. They even took his blanket and mattress. The top bunk was completely empty, like no one lived there any more. They all address their bunks as their houses. Solomon's house was vacant! He looked around the room, the boys surrounding him as we walked out of the building and we stepped out into the journey of Solomon's new life. The boys followed us out to the gate and stood waving and smiling as we drove away. Many of them yelling,

"Come back please, come back tomorrow"!

(photos will soon follow) Stay tuned more to come......

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Day Two In Ethiopia

We called Gladney to arrange for our scheduled driver, Taffi was ready and waiting for us at 9:00 a.m. It was so wonderful to see him again. He was our driver in Nov 07 and we actually cried as we said goodbye at the airport. We were both in awe that the Lord had brought us back together so soon and so unexpectedly. It was a very warm and happy reunion as you will see when I get the video uploaded!

So off to our favorite breakfast spot "La Parisienne" for waffles and cappuccino. This is also known as Taffi's office. Solomon, Georgie, Misganaw, Me and Taffi, all had a delicious breakfast and then we all shared our testimony with Taffi of how we all came to be at this table. He was in tears and awe of all the miracles God had performed that orchestrated this day. He also shared his testimony and events of the last two years that had grown his faith and relationship with Jesus Christ. In fact, he also got a miracle, his green card was approved that very week and he will now be able to come to the USA on a regular basis. He has family here but he will keep his business and life going in Ethiopia. He has worked for Gladney for four years now and he has seen many miracles. He is passionate about orphan care and wants to continue to work with this ministry.
We spent four hours bonding, sharing testimony, crying, and laughing. It was the foundation established that made the rest of our journey so amazing. We were a foursome now. He then took us shopping for some things, we made reservations for a graduation celebration at Kuriftu Resort for later in the week and then to dinner. This was the night Solomon ate ice cream for the first time in his life. He loved the strawberry flavor the best.

Taffi is the man to know. He knows many people and pretty much can get us what ever we need. He is a very valuable resource. He is a new brother in the lives of Solomon and Misganaw and has promised to look out for them for me. Nothing like building the family network!!!

Also, Belay is trying to contact our birth mother for another visit with her. I have lots of photos and hugs and kisses to share with her. Their contact info for her was no longer valid so it may not be possible to see her again. I prayed so hard that we would see each other again. The LORD is going to have to give us another miracle!! PLEASE LORD!!!

This was a day of adjusting to the time and just laying some groundwork and planning the rest of our journey. Oh, and Georgie is back on track...ready to get to work and be about HIS business. It made a big difference to have Taffi and his car!! More to come...

Ellie is out of town this weekend, Myrtle Beach sunning and resting from her duty while I was in Ethiopia, so my photos will be posted when she gets home. Also working on getting the video copied to disk so we can post. We have some great stuff.

P.S. Thank you for the emails...keep them coming...I'm building my address book again! Blessings to you all!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


I have been having major problems with my computer and email since I got home. Even my keyboard died!! I think I have lost all of my contact's in my address book too?? This is not good, there are so many of you I need to communicate with. It's like a spiritual attack...Satan does not want me to post about the miracles and ministry the Lord has and is doing. I now have a new email address so please do not send emails to my old one. PLEASE SEND ME A QUICK EMAIL SO I HAVE YOUR ADDRESS AGAIN!! Thank you for all of your support and requests for sponsoring a Kolfe boy. I am working on the logistics of everything so please do stay tuned...I will be posting more testimony and photos too. Just not enough hours in the day to do it all!!

Friday, September 11, 2009


I am feeling very overwhelmed since arriving home and I am really asking God to show me WHAT HE IS WANTING FROM ME?? I feel like another curtain has been pulled back and I can SEE things that are breaking God's heart and mine. There is so much ministry that needs to be done in Ethiopia. My heart is very heavy because I personally know of special needs for the Kolfe boys and Solomon, Misganaw and his family. I know I CANNOT DO THESE THINGS by myself. I am praying for wisdom and discernment. I cannot just get back to life as I knew it before this last trip. I know God is preparing me for something and I am at the threshold of the next chapter of this book HE IS WRITING.

I have to start school with the kids and today is our first day to co-op. I woke up feeling like I need to sit at the throne of God and ask for HIS portion to fill me today. I am on the verge of tears so I sat this morning and asked him to SPEAK TO ME! This is what HE showed me within minutes of sitting at HIS FEET! My GOD IS SOOOO GOOD TO ME!!!

"You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, And called from its farthest regions, And said to you, YOU are my SERVANT, I have chosen you and have not cast you away: "Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you , Yes I will help you, I will uphold you with MY righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:9-10

"Now it shall come to pass," if you diligently obey the VOICE of the LORD YOUR GOD to observe carefully all HIS commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your GOD will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the VOICE of the LORD YOUR GOD" Deuteronomy 28:1-2

Are you SEEKING TO HEAR THE VOICE OF THE LORD SPEAK TO YOU??? I want to encourage you to SEEK HIM AND SEARCH FOR HIM WITH ALL OF YOUR HEART. HE is faithful and desires his saints to be about HIS business.


I am now ready to start my day and WAIT for HIS instructions.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Journey Begins in Ethiopia, Monday, August 24, 2009

It was a long 18 hour flight and we spent a lot of time talking and praying about why the LORD had us both on this journey. There were approximately 10 American families on the plane going to adopt from Ethiopia. We spent some time talking with everyone and sharing stories and photos as we waited in Dulles. Cousin Georgie and I both knew that the LORD had orchestrated everything for us to be on that plane and we both felt like we were about to embark on a life-changing journey. We were both at peace but yet we knew we were entering into a journey that we had absolutely no control over.

We arrived at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 24, 2009 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It took us approximately another 3 hours to get through customs and the Visa line and then there we were standing within eyesight of Solomon and Misganaw, his dad, Brianna from Cherokee and Peter from Children's HopeChest. We were all waving and running toward each other until at last Solomon and I were embracing each other. It was so surreal and felt so amazing to be back in Ethiopia and looking into Solomon's face again. I still can't find the right words to describe what it felt like but the words standing on holy ground kept coming to mind. I know with everything in my being that the LORD GOD has so intentionally and miraculously ordained this relationship and this journey. This is so not about me but about HIS WILL, HIS PLAN and HIS PURPOSE.

We then sat at a table in the airport for about an hour talking and showing photos from home while we waited for one of the passengers who was also going to be staying at the Cherokee House with us. It turned out to be Ginia Hairston with Children's HopeChest who was delayed due to her luggage still being somewhere between Colorado and D.C. After she filed her claim, we all gathered in the van and headed to our new home away from home. As soon as we all got settled in the van I said: "Well here we all are like one big happy family!" To which Misganaw's dad responded: "Yes, one big happy family created by GOD!" I knew at that moment that we were not the only ones who SAW GOD IN THIS JOURNEY!!!

We got to Cherokee house, settled in and went to bed since it was now very late. The morning came oh-so-soon and before we knew it we were planning our day! We called for my driver through Gladney but Belay did not answer his phone. So we opted to use the Cherokee house driver for the day, a very sweet man named Habtamu who drives a very tiny old blue taxi. Georgie, Solomon and I hopped in and headed out to breakfast at Kaldi's, which is like a Starbucks cafe. After breakfast, we decided to just let him drive us around Addis Ababa and give us the tour. Georgie was very quiet and I was wondering what was going on. It was not like him to be so quiet. As we were driving around I noticed at one point he was looking like he was very sleepy. He was recording video and taking photos but he was looking out of it. I finally asked if he was doing alright when he turned to me with a pukey look on his face and said,"I feel like I am sucking on the exhaust pipe of that car in front of us! I didn't know I was coming to die here!!!"" I immediately burst out laughing and could not catch my breath for a few minutes. He really looked poochie and I said; "Are you sleepy or are you dying of carbon monoxide poisoning?" He turned to look at me again and he really did not look good. So we asked the driver to take us back to the house. When we got home, Georgie said the fumes were coming from the car we were driving in as well as outside and he really felt sick. He wanted to go lie down for a while and recoup from our scenic drive, HA HA!

I honestly thought I was losing him the first day. He said he had traveled 6 continents and never had seen anything like this. It was disturbing to see the “fourth” world conditions of this country and also so surreal to see the wide variation of time periods going on at the same time. There are Shepherd's with sheep and donkeys in the streets, people dressed like bible times and modern day clothing all walking beside each other, and then there were many beggars, sick and crippled children and adults begging at the car and lying on the sidewalks, medians and everywhere. There is absolutely no organization to the driving rules, no designated lanes and everyone drives crazy. People just run right in front of the cars and literally walk in the middle of the traffic at all times. It is a miracle that you don't see bodies flying through the air constantly. I was a nervous wreck every time I saw the little kids and mothers with babies walking among the chaos of traffic. There is nothing to compare it to and it takes some getting used to. They are all perfectly comfortable with it but we as foreigners were a bit stressed.

So Georgie went to sleep and Solomon and I spent the next four hours of the afternoon all alone in the living room sharing our testimonies with each other about everything the Lord had done in our lives for the last year and a half. It was amazing to hear the two stories from two countries and to SEE how the LORD had woven a tapestry for us to be together on that couch. We both cried, laughed and bonded through the miracles we had witnessed and experienced. We recognized if not for the miraculous invention of email, we would not be together today. It was through this technology that we established our long distance relationship and communications. We traced all of our steps back to the very first day of our meeting when Ryan Brown of Gladney insisted that we visit the Kolfe Boys orphanage. This was the day I got very frustrated and prayed the Lord would give us a flat tire or something to avoid visiting Kolfe. It is so humbling to realize that I NEVER KNOW WHAT GREAT PLANS THE LORD HAS FOR ME and I am so grateful that HE ALWAYS KNOWS WHAT IS BEST!!!!

Everyone started to arrive back home and we soon were at the table eating home-made Pizza and getting to know each other. We all shared our stories of why and how we were all at the Cherokee house. JT and Brianna are employees of Cherokee; Brittney and Scott are volunteers, Peter and Ginia are with Children's HopeChest and then there was Solomon the orphan boy, Misganaw the exchange student, Tattoo Man DJ Manager Georgie and Home-school MOM ME! What a weird tapestry has been woven huh?? Everyone was absolutely amazed at our testimony as each of us shared how we came to be at this table. There were tears as well as lots of laughs.

Ginia even mentioned that she had seen us on the plane and kept staring because we looked like such an odd couple. She thought we didn't look like husband and wife but then we were so affectionate and seemed so close. We were talking and laughing a lot and then I was sleeping on his shoulder too!! What could they be going to ET for she thought? I mentioned that I had tried to talk to her on the plane but she seemed kind of snobby. She laughed and said she was just having a hard time trying to figure us out. We quickly became very good friends however, and realized that we also were experiencing a divine appointment. She was there to visit the orphanages that are being sponsored by Children's HopeChest, one of which is the Kolfe Boys orphanage. What are the odds that she would be there for her very first visit with Kolfe's Mama as her roommate?? Only God could orchestrate things like this! We now have a bond not only as sisters in Christ but as roommates and witnesses to the miraculous works of the LORD and the Kolfe orphanage.

Ginia at Kolfe

Sunday, September 6, 2009


I arrived safely home yesterday and now I am dealing with a whole new situation in my life. I feel like my heart has been broken into two pieces and I left half of my heart in Ethiopia. I have never experienced anything like this before. I am grieving but at the same time I am so grateful that the LORD decided to bring Solomon into my life. I don't understand it all, it is so complicated and so full of miraculous events. Why do I have to live without him here in my home?? Why do I love him so much?? We had an absolutely amazing 2 weeks together. We bonded better than I could have ever imagined. We laughed a lot, talked and shared a lot, experienced a lot of first events together like a mother and son would, and then we cried a lot. It was soooo hard to leave him at the airport. He was crying so hard for the last two days that everyone was comforting him. Our driver even stopped the car at one point and went into a store to buy tissues for his tears and running nose. It was just uncontrollable. We were hugging and holding hands the entire time I was there. He loved to touch my hair and we would just stare at each other a lot in awe that it was really true that we were finally together. It was like having a new baby boy in so many ways but yet we had so much fun as we shared so many conversations and experiences. I have so much to share and lots of photos. I will be posting over the next few days. I have to process so much and I am very tired. So, please stay tuned and get ready to SEE GOD!!! Blessings to all of you who have been writing comments and praying. I can't wait for you all to hear the details!!! WE are embarking on a new journey, a new book....written by the creator of the heavens and earth and the lover of the orphans in the world!! It is such an honor and privilege to be a part of HIS STORY....AND THE LIFE OF SOLOMON BEKELE MESTAS....

Just a note: Jerry posted about Solomon winning the Valedictorian award at his graduation. An important fact that was left out was that Solomon was failing all of his classes until almost two years ago. He shared with us that he was very depressed and hopeless. He had no ambition to study...or anything. He was having one of his very worst days the day I first stepped foot at the Kolfe orphanage when he heard the boys talking about a lady that was outside visiting. He got up off of his bed to go see what was happening and that day changed his life forever! He shared that until he got HIS FAMILY...HE HAD NO HOPE...NO REASON TO PURSUE ANYTHING. HE WAS SHOCKED THAT HE WON THIS AWARD... HE received two student of the Marketing Division which was his major and then the highest GPA for the entire school of more than 400 students. He was almost kicked out of this school a few months ago because they reneged on his scholarship due to lack of funds. We sent him some money just in time to pay his tuition. Then he began to study really hard and apply himself. He also missed the last exam due to food poisoning that put him in the hospital. All the other students took that exam except him. So, with all of this said...HE STILL WON THE VALEDICTORIAN AWARD FOR HIGHEST GPA OF THE SCHOOL!! Even the director of Kolfe and the other boys who know Solomon for almost 10 years were absolutely shocked that he won!! They all asked how he did it?? He responded: "I just started to study really hard because I wanted MOM to be proud of me!!!"

Solomon Accepting His Award

Solomon Georgie and Misganaw

According to Solomon, if not for having a family, a mom and dad that were rooting for him and supporting him, his life would have taken a major turn for the worst. Through this experience the LORD is revealing to me and you just how important it is to be there for these orphans even if we can't adopt them physically in our homes. IF we had not stepped out in faith and become a part of SOLOMON's life, what would his story be today??? According to him, HE WOULD HAVE NEVER FINISHED SCHOOL NEVER MIND WITH HONORS!!! I pray this inspires you to SEEK GOD'S WILL FOR YOUR ROLE IN CARING FOR THE ORPHANS IN OUR WORLD.

I have a list of boys from Kolfe that have personally asked me to get them a family that will love them and be a part of their lives like Solomon has. I will be posting more...but please pray now to see how the LORD wants you to respond. I have been given another new mission... to be a MOM TO ALL THE BOYS AT KOLFE and to find them all a family!! I have much work to do...I will never be the same again!!! Please stay tuned...the best is yet to come!!

There are many of them who can be adopted and I will be happy to talk with you about it. Just email me:!! TO GOD BE ALL GLORY HONOR AND PRAISE!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Coming Home

I spoke to Eileen a little while ago on Skype. BTW, If you are not familiar with Skype, you have to know that this is the best way to call Ethiopia. Not only can you make free video calls from computer to computer on Skype, but if you buy Skype credit, you can call any number in the world practically for so cheap. I paid 36 cents a minute to call Eileen on the cell phone she was using. For her to make calls on that cell phone anywhere (including the USA) she had to buy a SIM card that was good for a certain amount of Birr. Local calls used up so much Birr and of course, international calls used more Birr. Needless to say, she was always running out of Birr. The good news is that even without Birr, she could receive calls and so I could call that cell phone and it did not cost her anything, and it only cost me 36 cents a minute. I wish I had known this when she first got there, but better late than never.

Today Eileen paid one last visit to Kolfe before she left for the airport. Yes, she is on her way home today and should be arriving at Dulles airport tomorrow morning. Of course she will have to go through Customs and all that stuff so her connecting flight will not get her to RDU airport until tomorrow afternoon at around 2 pm. It will sure be good to have her back home.

It was hard for her to leave Solomon and very difficult to say goodbye to the boys at Kolfe. She has a special place in her heart for them which has been there ever since she first stepped foot onto that place almost 2 years ago.


This trip was filled with some amazing and miraculous events, much of it recorded on the 13 hours of video which Georgie took. But today, during the final of about 4 visits to Kolfe on this trip, two of the Kolfe Boys accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Orphans No More! They are Sons of the King!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Update from Eileen and Solomon the Valedictorian

The following is an updated report from Eileen on a positively amazing day! Eileen's entry is followed by one from Solomon.

Today was absolutely amazing!!!

We got up early and arrived at Solomon's graduation by 8:30 am. It was scheduled to start at 9:00 but didn't start until after 10:00. After a few speeches they began to announce the 400 students names to come to the stage for diplomas. Several times there was a big cheer from the crowd and I asked Misganaw what that was about. He said they announced "HIGH GPA" with the name. After a long time they finally announced Solomon Bekele "VERY HIGH GPA" and the crowd cheered for him. Misganaw noticed that only one other girl had this announcement of "VERY HIGH GPA". So then we looked at each other and said,

"Imagine if he won that big trophy on the stand for Valedictorian???"

We all started to get nervous for him and I started to pray. Then all of a sudden, the last name was called and then they announced the new Valedictorian is SOLOMON BEKELE!!! He also won the honor award with the highest GPA in the Marketing Division then the highest GPA in the entire school!!! Needless to say, Misganaw, Georgie, and I lost it!! We started jumping up and down cheering and crying all at the same time. WE WERE A SPECTACLE FOR SURE!!! As he humbly walked up to the stage he was in shock. The school cheered as they also were very surprised!! Solomon was the first and only student from Kolfe to be given a scholarship to attend this college. He made history for the school as the first student from the Marketing Division to win and then of course being an orphan boy from Kolfe topped the cake!!!

So after graduation, all the students surrounded him to take pictures with him and congratulate him. Especially the girls!!! One of the administrators then gave him a card inviting him to a special luncheon at the school. Misganaw's family had planned a graduation party for him so we had to quickly call people to have them come later than scheduled.

We attended the school lunch where we heard great things about Solomon. One of the administrators wants to meet with him about the next step, which is either a job or getting a scholarship to another level of college!! What a miracle. We are meeting with her on Tuesday!!

Then it was off to Misganaw's house for the celebration. His dad was at the graduation but had to wait outside because they only let parents in. When we were all outside for photos and congrats by all, Tesfaye (Misganaw's Dad) told us that everyone was talking about his AMERICAN MOM being here for him! They were all so happy for him, and amazed that she would come all the way from America. He said everyone in the whole place was talking about it. WE WERE THE ONLY WHITE PEOPLE THERE IN A CROWD OF APPROX 1500 PEOPLE.

Seven boys came to the party from Kolfe and brought him flowers as is the tradition. They were also shocked that he had achieved such an award!! Solomon was walking in the clouds today in shock. They had a cake with his name on it, which was another first for his lifetime. They had decorated with grass throughout the entire house which is a custom of celebration; there were banners all around in English and Amharic saying "Congratulations Solomon Bekele Mestas!" Misganaw's mom put out a huge traditional celebration dinner as if Solomon were her only son!! We are absolutely amazed at the abundance of love and support that Solomon has received. He is so humble and said he thought that they had called the wrong name. He is also a star in their yearbook. An entire page is dedicated to him!! When they had him on stage he held up his trophy, flowers and blew a big kiss out to the audience ....he said this is for you mom!! Are you crying yet??? I am a bucket of tears!! He told everyone without God and His Mom Eileen he would not be here today! He went to every teacher, administrator and official of the school and personally thanked them and shook hands with them. HE WAS/IS AMAZING!!!!!!!

After several hours of party and fellowship with Misganaw's family and his friends, they took all the Kolfe boys to see his new room. They all hung out and talked and laughed. It was a beautiful sight!!


I am on another mission folks. The LORD has spoken to me again!! These amazing boys were so happy for SOLOMON, hugging and kissing him but in their hearts I know they were wishing for a loving Mom and Dad to come into their lives to love and support them like Solomon has found.


Solomon was the only orphan boy at this school. If we had not been in his life and sent him money for a suit, he would have been the only one in jeans. If we had not stepped out in faith to go to his graduation ceremony, he would have accepted this award in jeans and would have walked home to KOLFE ALL ALONE!!!! There would have been NO CELEBRATION, NO CAKE, NO ONE TO HOLD HIM IN THEIR ARMS WITH A MOTHER'S LOVE, HUG AND KISS AND TELL HIM HOW PROUD SHE IS OF HIM. There would have been no party at Misganaw's House, No new bedroom to show off and God would not have been so VISIBLE!! The LORD has clearly orchestrated every single event that has taken place in the life of Solomon and our family!! I SIT HERE IN ETHIOPIA WITH SOLOMON AT MY SIDE AS WE WEEP WITH JOY AND AWE AT THE AMAZING MIRACULOUS GOD WE SERVE AND LOVE WITH ALL OUR HEARTS!!


From Solomon:

Hello this is Solomon,

Firstly I would like to say thank you to everyone who made it contribution for mom and George to come here and join with me for my graduation celebration. It is very amazing day for me. Because it is my graduation celebration day. Because of your contribution I celebrate my graduation with Mom and George. I am graduated from INFONET College today. Infonet college graduate more than 400 students. I studied marketing. I am the top scorer of my class and also I am the top scorer of the whole infonet college graduated students. This is a Miracle. Every one is surprising by this including me. How amazing God work is? I cried to God and he answered my all my prayer. Thank you God!!! I didn’t do this thing only by myself but by the help of God, my family in America and all the people that helping mom and George to come here and join with me during my celebration time. With out your help this thing is impossible. This is Just a beginning. God has more plans for my life. Every time and day he speaks to me and going with me wherever I go. He gave me the entire thing I asked him before. Everyone Praise God name because he did a miracle in Ethiopia especially for Orphan boys. Now I got the answer of my prayer but I pray for other Kolfe orphanage boys God give to them all a blessed family just like me. Because of I got a beautiful family in America I know how God is love orphan boys and how he is good for all kinds of human kinds. I hadn’t hope also but after I got my precious family everything is changed. I can say they bring my life back. So, you all Christian people God call you to protect orphan specially Kolfe boys. If you did this he blessed and give for you glorious life. I pray for all of you people. Pray for me too. God bless you all.



Eileen just called me from Ethiopia to tell me that Solomon was named Valedictorian of the Graduating class of Infonet College! Over 400 students received their diplomas and Solomon had the highest overall score of 95.76% ! Isn't that awesome? He scored the highest in the class, even though he missed an exam a couple of months ago when he was sick with food poisoning. Otherwise his score would have been higher! Wow!

Eileen was in tears as she was describing what happened. She and Georgie (who videotaped it all) were so surprised as Misganaw interpreted the announcement. Solomon was shocked! He was told he was going to receive an award but he did not expect this. When he received his award, he was given an opportunity to say a few words so he said,

"I could not have done this without God and my Mom"

What a blessing to be a part of this special time! What if Eileen had not been there for this? Solomon would have had no one with whom to savor this moment. Even Misganaw's dad, who did not have a ticket and could not get into the graduation ceremony, was in tears when he heard the news.

"This is a work of God" he said.

Wait, there's more. After the ceremony, Eileen had to fight the crowd to get to Solomon. People were lining up to congratulate him. Eileen said he looked like a movie star, signing autographs. Girls were asking him for his phone number! Someone discussed with him the possibility of a sponsorship for admission into a university.

Solomon was overwhelmed. What a special time for a young man whose life was once as he described "without hope". I actually got a chance to congratulate him on the phone and tell him how proud I was of him.

Even the yearbook had had a full front page tribute to Solomon and his achievements.
On that page, he was quoted as saying,

"Thanks to God and to my Mom"

The other day Georgie bought a chain and a cross as gift to both Solomon and Misganaw. Solomon was so grateful that he cried. He said he had never experienced anything like this in his life. He also tasted Pizza for the first time in his life. He loved it! If you have been following this blog, you'll know that he had ice cream for the first time the other day.

Eileen had called me from a special reception that the school was hosting in honor of Solomon and the other award recipients. After this reception, they were all heading for Misganaw's house where they were having a graduation party for Solomon.

Do you see the value of investing in the life of an orphan? I am not talking about the giving of money. What I am describing is the giving of ourselves. Eileen has been privileged to pour her life into this young man for almost two years and God has shown us a glimpse of the fruit of that investment. God is so good!

More Updates

In case you have been wondering why there have not been any posts lately, the internet situation is pretty bad there. Eileen has limited access to the internet at the guest house where they are staying, and there is only one dial-up connection. This means she has had to take turns with the other people that are staying there, and it also means that when the phone lines are down, as they were yesterday, she cannot communicate with us. She said she tried for 3 hours yesterday, but there was no dial tone. We did manage to video chat with her and Solomon on Friday night. It was pretty cool.

She said they went to see Tigist, the birth mom to Josiah, Keziah and Keren. She was doing great, and they even got video of her. They are meeting with her again tomorrow when Tigi is going to give Eileen some baby pictures of Josiah. Have you ever heard of anyone else with an Open International Adoption? This is just so awesome.

Yesterday, the gang all went to the Gladney Foster home where they got a chance to hug and kiss all the babies. They especially hugged and kissed (and photographed and videotaped) Mike and Teresa's new babies, and Andy and Veronica Kick's new son.

I am planning to call Eileen later today and hopefully I will more to report after that.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Solomon's Testimony

Oops. The last couple of paragraphs of Eileen's 2nd Day in Ethiopia were inadvertently left out when I put up the post. Please go back and read the revised blog post which includes more of Solomon's testimony. Amazing!

Eileen's 3rd Day in Ethiopia!

Today was quite an amazing day for Eileen, Solomon, and Tafesse, (who was our driver when we were there 2 years ago , and who is Eileen and Georgie's driver this time around as well). Eileen is having to send her emails in hurried segments so this may seem somewhat disjointed, but what is clearly evident is that the Lord is at work and getting tons of glory for the great things He has done.

I got an opportunity to chat online with Eileen for a little while until the power went out. I even chatted with Solomon. He had ice cream today for the first time in his life! Can you believe that? How often do we take for granted the luxury that is ice cream? His favorite was strawberry, which was cool, because strawberry ice cream was my father's favorite and I always think of him when I have some.

We spent a great deal of time today preparing for the taping of our documentary. It is going to be so awesome. Tafe was in tears today and we all felt like we sat in the presence of the Lord for hours. Tafe got his green card this week and he is on way to to the USA. He is a changed man and following after God more than ever.

We ate at Le Parisien Cafe and spent 4 hours sharing testimony...amazing day.. we are going to Kolfe tomorrow to move Solomon out and spend time with the boys.

Misganaw's family is throwing a graduation party for Solomon at their house and inviting all of his friends.

We have been praying that we would have an opportunity to once again meet with Tigi, the birth mom to Josiah, Keziah, and Keren. Belay has been looking for her for weeks, and praise the Lord, he found her today! We have an appointment to meet with her on Friday at 2 pm (7 am Eastern). God is so good to give us another opportunity to spend time with her!

On Saturday we're going to the Gladney Foster Home to meet Andy and Veronica Kick's baby Lucas.

Sunday is Solomon's graduation and party.

We had dinner here tonight with guests from the Mother Teresa HIV Orphanage
and the pastor of the Ethiopian International Church who is from North Carolina.

On Thursday, we are going to a lake resort area about 1 hour from here to record our documentary. It is going to be the testimonies of Solomon, Misganaw, Tafesse, and me. It is going to be so amazing! God is incredibly at work here with us.

More tomorrow...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Eileen's 2nd Day in Ethiopia!

Well I had not heard from Eileen since the email I received this morning. All day long I kept checking my email for an update. I sent her an update on what was going on around here and at around 5:20 pm I received a response. They lose power quite frequently in Addis Ababa so she was sending her email messages in segments, typing short messages, sending them quickly and then doing it again. As I started the first email, I noticed she was ONLINE! "YES!" I yelled out loud, scaring one of my co-workers. I quickly initiated an online chat with her and soon realized that I was probably as giddy as some pimple-faced teenager chatting online with his girlfriend. It was just so cool! Here she was, on the other side of the world, on another continent, and we were talking back and forth online. We were hoping we were going to be able to do this and actually even video chat, but they don't have a high speed connection where she is now.

Here is a sampling of our conversation:

me: Hi Babies
Eileen: hibabies
im writng so fast dont check the spelling its dark and i can';t see eutther
me: how good it is to talk to you! even if it is only like this
Eileen: oh how i wish you were here
me: me too...almost time to go home..what time is it there?
Eileen: 12]30 a.m everyone is in bed i am in the dark here
the pastor from intnl church is coming to dinner tomorrow night. cant wait to meet him
me: yaeh mee too
Eileen: I am trying to record today so much happening
me: what do you want me to post today?
Eileen: God is writing this can fix this post and then put it up i have more to add though..i can hardly see the keeys
me: you mean the email you wrote? I have not even finished reading cuz i saw you were online
Eileen: yes..i am still writing
me: we are so excited for you and for all that is is solomon?

Is that cool or what?

Here is the email she sent:

What an AMAZING DAY!!!! I could not sleep again. I hardly slept on the plane and then I only slept about 4 hours and I suddenly woke up and was wide awake. I just prayed for the LORD to orchestrate our time here, give me wisdom and discernment and SHOW ME HIS WILL!

WE called Habtamu, Cherokee's driver, to take us out to eat and run a few errands. We ate at the same Starbucks-type cafe (Kaldi)where Ryan took us. We had omelets, pancakes, and water bottles. Georgie sat very quietly during breakfast, almost like he was out of it. He was just riding in the car with the video camera on and not saying much all morning. Habtamu then took us on a riding tour all around Addis telling the history and saying "photo forbidden here" and "OK, now you can take photo again". "Photo forbidden", "OK now again". It was funny, Georgie was so serious. Then he told him to make sure the camera is tight on his hand in case someone tries to grab it. Then we went to lunch at the Lime Tree Restaurant and Cafe. A lot of Americans in there. WE had spaghetti. The entire time we drove around and went to the same little market to buy water bottles, Solomon had his arm around me and did not let go of my hand. HE sat right next to me and just kept the biggest smile on his face all day. I kept holding him and hugging him all day. We were inseparable.

Solomon is such a gentleman. He opens the doors for me, etc. On the way back from lunch I noticed Georgie had his eyes closed and was really out of it. He was in the front seat and we were in the back.
I asked if he was OK and he said,
"I can't believe all these fumes, I can hardly breathe..."
I burst out laughing and said,
"Are you getting carbon monoxide poisoning or are you sleeping?"..
He said, "I honestly don't know, I hope I don't die here!"
It was soo funny. He later shared that he felt out of it all day and he thinks he was honestly in shock!! (Note from Jerry: When I was there 2 years ago, it took me several days to get acclimated to the high altitude and lack of oxygen. I was pretty much out of it also)

Georgie had never seen such poverty, or such a sad situation. A man came to the open window and begged him for money. He had 10 fingers on one hand!!! Georgie looked at me with his serious face and huge eyes after he gave him some money and said..DID YOU SEE THAT? I was right behind him so I did. Then all of a sudden we started getting swarmed by beggars. A lady with a tiny baby came to him next and he just teared up.

He said "I can't believe this!"

Then he said "OH-OH, Look what I started" and the driver started off again.

He said he has traveled 6 continents and has never seen anything like this. So we came back to the house and he went to take a nap.

Solomon and I sat on the couch all alone for several hours and he just shared his amazing testimony with me. I sat in tears and amazed at all that God has done. He described our visit to Kolfe to a "T". He has it memorized and etched in his mind. He took out a photo album he has made and showed me the photo we took with him kneeling at my feet with the whole group. and he said "THIS IS THE MOST SPECIAL DAY OF MY LIFE - THIS IS THE DAY I WAS BORN AGAIN!! He proceeded to give me details of how that day went down. He described that he started out very sad and depressed and was in his room studying for exams that were coming up soon. He heard a lot of boys talking about a family that was visiting outside. He decided to go out and get refreshed and take a look. He saw me with Habtamu and decided to join us. He described every thing we did. I was amazed when he said that he was noticing something different about me and that I seemed so interested in everyone. Then he said we went to the soccer field and talked a long time with all the boys and we were getting ready to go. He said he doesn't know if you remember Jerry but you said we had to leave and I told you we can't until I give all the boys a mama hug. He heard you say not we have to go and he said he prayed right there for God to please let me give him a hug!!! Please ! And that's when they all lined up and one by one I gave everyone of the boys a big hug.

I shared our testimony at dinner tonight and then Solomon shared his testimony. It was awesome and I see where God is going big time. I was a bucket of tears. He said he never understood the Bible when he read it because he didn't know what real love was. Gina from Children's Hope Chest wants a video of it to post at CHC. She said it is going to impact the world!

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. Eph 3:20-21

Eileen's in Ethiopia!

The boys sent their mom an email last night updating her on how much fun they are having with their Papa and how much they love her. When I awoke this morning I got this response:

Hello all my beautiful babies and my beloved papa!! I am in a fog, like this is all a dream. Solomon is so precious we hugged and hugged and hugged and he is so grateful and excited that I am here. Misganaw and his dad came to the airport too. THey had to wait 3 hours for us to get through the visa and customs line but they didn't mind. I SEE GOD ALREADY!! My roommate here at Cherokee is the new Children's Hopechest worker who is here to work on the Kolfe and Kebebetsehay sponsorships. She is new and says I know more about Kolfe than she does so she asked me to come with her there and help distribute all the sponsorship letters. This is such a divine appointment!!! She said she knows we were meant to be together and we are going to be working together in the USA. Ellie, they are also starting a youth drive to get them involved with this work. She is personal friends with the Harris twins, she worked 16 years in publishing and is working for ZONDERVAN right now as well!! I love Misganaw's dad, he is a very sweet man and I feel like we are already family. I said that to him and he responded " A FAMILY CREATED BY GOD!!" We are going to work on our schedule today, just going to go eat. I had to pay $60 for my carry on w/Ethiopia airlines. The power might go off so I am sending this now just in case.

She followed up with this email a little later:

The house is nice here. It's Ethiopia!! I did not sleep much on the plane or last night. Just can't sleep yet. I have to call Belay and get everything coordinated so I better run. I love all of you with all my heart. I am praying for you all, especially you Ellie w/ all the littles. just take it easy and relax...dont stress out...have fun and remember...we are serving the Lord Jesus!! I will talk to you again asap.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


So I am sound asleep at 5:45 am this morning when I get this annoying alert on my cell phone that I had just received a text message. Who could be texting me at this hour? I rushed to the phone and much to my surprise learned that it was Cousin Georgie letting me know they were in Rome for a refueling stop. Incredible! He can text me from Rome?

I was totally blown away. We then proceeded to exchange several text messages before he had to sign off.

My favorite was this one:

We are in Rome. Everything is good. Eileen has about 10 new friends, that's more than one an hour. LOL

Georgie also told me he was hoping he would be able to text me from Ethiopia.

After departing from Rome, they still had to fly 8 more hours before reaching Ethiopia. That would mean they would be landing around 2:00 pm our time. I waited until 2:45 p.m. and when I had not heard anything, I sent Georgie a text, asking if they had landed. Within seconds, I got a response from Georgie that they had landed. He tried to send me a picture but I never received it. I have not heard anything more but since it was nighttime there and since they probably did not sleep much they were probably wiped out. Hopefully we will get another update tomorrow.

Ethiopia Trip Update

Well the day finally came and amazingly the kids and I found ourselves dropping Eileen off at Raleigh-Durham Airport. She caught a flight to Washington, D.C. where she met up with Cousin Georgie and they boarded a plane headed for Addis Ababa. How surreal. It is still hard to believe this is happening. What we prayed for is actually coming to pass. Why do we do this? Why do we get surprised when God answers our prayers? Is it because we think He is not able? Or too busy to concern Himself with us? One thing we have learned throughout this journey is that God does not necessarily join us when we set out to do what we think He wants us to do, but rather He blesses us and He uses us for His glory when we join Him in accomplishing His business. As Henry Blackaby says: "If you want to experience God, find out where He is at work and join Him".
This mission and vision of caring for orphans is God's business. We are commanded in James 1:27 to care for the widows and orphans of the world. Why? Because His heart breaks for them. Throughout the Bible, God's heart is reflected in his concern for the fatherless and the widow. When we as believers in Christ all begin to accept responsibility as a mission of the Gospel for the Solomon's of the world, it will radically change how we relate to God. When we truly see the beautiful parallel between the physical adoption of an orphan and our spiritual rescue and adoption by God into His family through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, our hearts will be knitted together with God's. Our family has been radically changed. We have drunk the kool-aid. There is no turning back. Many of you can relate to our journey and many have been obedient to God's leading to partner with us. We praise God for you. The Lord has great things in store for Eileen and Georgie in Ethiopia. Like you, I am anxiously waiting to see how it all unfolds.