Thursday, October 14, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
Since the newsletter went out last week, we have had several of you asking more about the scholarship program which Gladney is overseeing for the young men of Kolfe Orphanage and the young women of Kechene Orphanage. Due to the response, I thought it best to provide this information for everyone.
Gladney has been able to assist individuals from the orphanages who show the ability and desire to advance their education through either traditional and/or training instruction. 100% of donations go directly to fund this program and currently we are providing on average $5,875 per month with around 25% coming in from donors like yourselves and 75% coming out of Gladney’s operations. Just recently, we purchased Graduation dresses/suits and shoes for around 20 students totaling $2,760.
When we started the General Ethiopian Scholarship Fund, our intent and desire was to choose young men and women whom Belay (Gladney’s In-Country Representative) and Anbes (Gladney’s Humanitarian Aid Director) have gotten to know and are confident will make full use of the resources given to further their education. Some of them attend public school which does not require school fees, but does require money for school supplies, copies, clothes and transportation. Some donors have asked that their funds go directly to a specific child they met in Ethiopia, but there are many children who are very deserving and capable but may not be as outgoing and connected to adoptive families, thus the reason for a general fund. The average funding which a child is likely to need is anywhere from $400 to $1,000 USD per year. As you can imagine, we would like to see every child with the ability to further their education be given the opportunity to do so.
There have been many successful stories and good news to report. Just a short two years ago, before Gladney became involved, to our knowledge only 1 student from the orphanage made it to University. Gladney then hired high school teachers as tutors for those interested in taking the National Exams. Two years ago of the 8 who took the exam, all passed (4 boys @ Kolfe and 4 girls @ Kechene), which has NEVER happened before in the history of either of those government run orphanages. This past August, the tutors assisted 12 more students and once again ALL 12 passed the National Exam, so another 100% pass rate! Of special significance, one of those students scored within the top 10% of everyone taking the exam in all of Ethiopia, and he is excited to start attending Medical School.
The scholarship program was commenced on September 30, 2008. Since then, we have had over 200 students involved with studies such as medical science, construction technology, hairdressing/beauty profession, food preparation/hospitality, information technology, language, teaching profession and governmental institutions. With our limited staffing resources, the donations go into a pool of funding for ALL scholarships. We are not set up to provide monthly follow-up as other sponsorship organizations provide. With 100% of the donations going into this pool and more than 65 young men and women waiting for financial assistance, we do not feel it a good use of funds to spend our limited staff resources to provide monthly follow up. As more funding is provided and more young people continue to show the desire and ability to continue their education, whether through conventional schooling or trade school, they will be added to the program.
If any of you are interested, you may restrict your donation by making your check out to The Gladney Center for Adoption; c/o Ethiopian Adoption Program; 6300 John Ryan Dr., Fort Worth, TX 76132-4122. In the memo line write “Ethiopian Educational Scholarship”.
A special thank you goes out to each and every one who is making a difference in the lives of these children. Gladney is humbled to play a small role.
J. Scott Brown
EVP/Managing Director of the African Programs
The Gladney Center
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
And Me? I am so blessed and grateful to have a wonderful husband, my mom living with us, all of my amazing children and grandchildren, everyone healthy and safe, more provisions than we deserve and a Savior who puts up with and loves a sinner like me. I feel so inadequate and undeserving of all the Lord continues to pour into my life. I am trying to keep up with the house, love on everyone, write the book, teach school, fellowship with the saints and my dear sista's, ministry to Kolfe Boys Orphanage, read the WORD and fellowship with my Savior and Glorify HIM. I am very much aware of how much I fall short every day. I have a hunger and thirst to sit in the presence of Jesus more and more every day. The older I get the more I learn how desperate I am, how much I need to learn, and how much I need Jesus to fill me with HIS portion.
Reading "Radical" by David Platt, and feeling a work being done in me. There is so much going on that I have absolutely no control over and realizing I don't want to do anything unless Jesus is orchestrating.
Praying and preparing for the Mid-Atlantic Orphan Summit conference in Hershey, PA, in November. Looking forward to meeting lots of friends from the blog and Facebook network.
Just a little update since I haven't been blogging much lately.
Solomon is doing wonderful! The language is a challenge but we know as he learns more things will get less stressful for him. He loves all foods except for string beans. He is lovin’ strawberry ice cream, Oreo’s and pasta. When you walk in his room he says "Welcome to Wal-Mart". He has clothes, shoes, and everything he needs all to himself and says it looks like Wal-Mart to him. He has made some new friends and is busier than he ever imagined. No time to be bored anymore! He is a joy and blessing and we are still in awe that he is here with us.
Another exciting year in the crazy Mestas house. And it ain't over yet!
"My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Colossians 2:2-3
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the LORD CHRIST you are serving." Col. 3:23
"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful." Col. 4:2
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Monday, August 2, 2010
We have been praying for the Lord to help us with the debt we have incurred by being out of work for three years out of the last six. With Solomon added to our family, we have even more expenses now for his school books and living expenses. We would be so grateful if you could just give us 15 minutes of your time and please spread the word to everyone you know. It will not cost you anything but your time. We are praying however, that every person that calls does get the blessing of saving money as well from your existing insurance. Wouldn't that be just like the Lord to give us both the blessing!
Go Online or Call for a Free Rate Quote at geico.com/friends or 1(800)-342-9070 and enter Referral Code 144381. 15minutes can save you 15% or more and we get $15.00 for each quote.
Remember, we don't just do Auto...We insure RV's, Motorcycles, Condos, Renters,...Homeowners, Commercial and ATV's. Geico is the #3 Auto Insurer in the Country. And you have to admit they have some really great commercials...
We greatly appreciate if you could just give us your time and help with this major prayer request. Our goal is to glorify the LORD in every aspect of our lives. To pay off the accumulated dept and to financially provide for the children the Lord has blessed us with would truly help us accomplish this.
If you have any questions please email us. May the Lord Bless you and be glorified!!
Monday, July 26, 2010
Well, today she was doing a concert for HIS Radio in Raleigh. We went to visit with her and she sang this song live. She winked at Solomon when she started and mouthed "This is for you." Halfway thru the song, Solomon lost it and so did I! Then Meredith did too...listen to the interview HIS Radio did as a result. The LORD is so good and so gracious to bring Solomon together with the lady that has been singing him to sleep every night for the last two years. ONLY GOD could have orchestrated all of this...HE is in the details of our lives. To HIM be all Glory Honor and Praise!!
Jacob (her Husband) Solomon Meredith (their baby boy due in 4 weeks!!)
Friday, July 23, 2010
Extreme Kolfe Orphanage Makeover. This is a kindred spirit of mine Becky and her wonderful team of volunteers. This is another project at Kolfe that has totally transformed it since we were there three years ago. Thank you to all of you who have blessed our boys so much. They are all such special boys and we love them so very much.
Children's Hope Chest is also planning on building a new dorm. They have a matching grant fund raiser going on right now to complete this project. They need to raise $12,000. If you are interested in investing in the Kolfe Orphanage, please contact them and let them know we referred you. We are all working together for the blessings to be poured on the precious boys that still call Kolfe home.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
I am also making a priority of writing the book. My prayer and goal is to have a draft complete by January. So much going on here. The Lord gave me this verse yesterday that has comforted me so much...
"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. HE will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no on can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
He is giving me the strength to accomplish HIS will in my life. I honestly can't believe this is my life!! Blessing to all!!
Monday, June 28, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Click here to watch!
Update: The friends with whom Solomon was traveling went to his gate and discovered he had successfully made his way there. Praise God!
Good News...ABC 11 News is going to be at the airport to interview and put this on the NEWS! The Wake Weekly Newspaper is also going to cover this amazing story!!!!
TO GOD BE ALL GLORY HONOR AND PRAISE!!!! STAY TUNED...........
Monday, June 21, 2010
7726 AT 1:40 P.M AT RDU AIRPORT. PLEASE COME AND WELCOME HIM IF YOU CAN! YOU CAN PARK IN THE HOURLY PARKING FOR TERMINAL 2 AND WALK ACROSS THE STREET INTO THE BLDG. UPPER LEVEL. WE WILL BE GATHERING AS A GROUP RIGHT INSIDE THE DOORS WHEN YOU WALK IN. PLEASE BRING BALLOONS AND BANNERS!!! AND TISSUES!!!! WE WILL BE THERE BY 1:15 SEE YOU THERE!!
Monday, June 14, 2010
I am also so happy to hear your voice today. I got a call from you just in time of thinking about you. I am surprisingly amazed by that. I was thinking about you this morning and you call me in afternoon. I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooo lucky my precious mama. I am always thinking about what my life would look like if God didn't bring you into my life. It looks like this, first I didn't graduate, second I didn't know God and How much he loves me, third I was a man walking with out hope and a future. but thanks to you I am not a man like that now. I have a dream and hope now. and I know how much God love me and take care of me.
Mama these words can not express exactly how much I love you but I can't get better words than this.... I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH!!!!!
love Hugs and kisses always and forever for you and all of my family.
I thank my God everyday for this precious young man that HE brought into our lives. What a joy to know that he now KNOWS THE SAVIOR and has a new HOPE IN HIM!
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Monday, May 31, 2010
My appointment with the embassy is this Wednesday. Please mama pray for me. I am so excited that we finished all the paper work and finally got an appointment to the embassy. I pray deeply to God to get the visa.
I love you so much. I can't tell you how eager I am to give hugs and see you all.
God bless you mama I love you!!
PLEASE TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW TO PRAY!!!!
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Today was our first full day in Uganda and it was amazing! The people are so lovely and welcoming, the food is delicious (particularly the fruit) and you can see God working here in SO many ways.
Today we rode an hour and a half through the Ugandan bush to get to Namasujju Village; a place once ravaged by war, but full of hope for their future.
We got to see the temporary church shelter that has just recently been purchased for the village. They were so excited that they would finally have a place to meet. We saw the new well and got to pump fresh, CLEAN water with beautiful Ugandan children. After lunch and fellowship with Pastor Timothy and a few others in Namasujju, they took us to show us the bad water sources that they were drinking from before the new well. It was heartbreaking and unbelievable and you can’t help but praise God for bringing Safewater Nexus when He did.
We went to distribute some mosquito nets and were able to give them to several families. The people praised God and were so thankful. There actually weren’t many people around though and we were kinda beginning to wonder where everyone was. We asked around and found out…they were at a Ugandan Wedding.
Our team can officially say that we crashed a Ugandan wedding reception. They invited us to speak and we were able to invite them all to the well dedication tomorrow where they would receive free mosquito nets. They were so excited and so quick to praise God. They followed us back to our bus and the kids chased the bus for quite a while..haha. It was quite the experience!
Our team is bonding and unifying so well. We are all being so impacted by the people and what we are seeing and I am confident that the Lord is doing even bigger things here than we can see on the surface…and the things on the surface are pretty huge.
I am beyond thankful that the Lord has chosen to allow me to be a part of what He is doing here through Safewater Nexus. Pastor Timothy told us how they had been praying to God for help since the Bush War in the 80’s and now the help has come. God is so faithful to His children in America and He is just as faithful to His children in the bush of Uganda.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
We have been involved in Precept Ministries International, which produces inductive bible study courses, for several years now.(www.precept.org) Our Ellie has been going to their Bible Study boot camps in Chattanooga, TN and has loved it. It was a result of last years camp that she started her ministry Etaala International
Well we requested a scholarship for Solomon to attend this years boot camp and it was granted. So, now we need him to get here in time. We are praying he will be able to bring this bible study program back to Ethiopia. The Lord keeps providing scholarships for Solomon to be studying his word!
Please join us in prayer that he will get an appointment next week and it will be approved. Thank you to all who are following our journey to Solomon!!
P.S. I have started writing the book so I am not posting so much on the blog now. Just not enough hours in the day to get it all done!! I will keep updates coming however.
Also, our Ellie and Jonathan are arriving in Uganda in the morning. They are there to care for orphans and Gods precious people. Please pray for their safety and for them to truly be the hands and feet of Jesus. You can read updates on Etaala's blog too.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Praying the Lord's will is that Solomon be here by June 18th!. This is such an exciting and miraculous journey.
"My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you!" Job 42:5
Friday, May 21, 2010
Please pray that the Lord will prepare the hearts of the Embassy personnel who will be reviewing Solomon's paperwork! Solomon could actually be in the USA in a matter of weeks!
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
I called Solomon via skype to tell him the great news. It was 1:00 a.m. his time. He had to go outside so as not to wake up the boys. When I told him he got approved for the I-20 Visa he was overjoyed. He said; "Now I can't sleep the rest of the night!" He is also in a surreal state of awe as he watches the LORD perform one miracle after another. He said this exam was sooooo difficult!
Now we need to rally the troops to pray the US Embassy will approve the Visa. This is the last step in the process. If they approve it, we book his ticket and he is on his way to the USA!!
Please keep us in your prayers as we seek wisdom, guidance and provision from the LORD! Thank you to all of you who are following this journey and praying.
Remember, I am praying for at least 100 people to be at the airport to welcome him so stay tuned and please join us!!
"Now this is the confidence that we have in HIM, that if we ask anything according to HIS will, HE hears us. And if we know that HE hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of HIM." 1 John 5:14-15
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Friday, April 9, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Solomon takes his TOEFL English exam next Friday, March 5, 2010. Please pray he passes and they get the results to SEBTS very quickly.
Our dear friend Peter, who is an Ethiopian man working for Children's Hopechest is arriving this Thursday night to speak at various churches to promote more participation in orphan care. Our dear friends Jeremy& Angela Amick are bringing him here to NC. He went for his embassy appointment and out of the 122 people there that day only 5 got approved. Praise the Lord Peter was one of them to recieve this miracle. He will be here for two weeks traveling to CA and CO as well. Please pray that Solomon is also blessed to get approval from the Embassy to come to the US.
Solomon's computer is still not working properly so we have not been able to skpye or email much. Waiting for Children's Hopechest to get the internet connected at Kolfe. Please pray this is done quickly also.
Well that's all for today. So much going on and so little time. Blessings to all!!
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Children’s HopeChest, a non-profit organization that connects communities in the US with orphanages in Ethiopia to provide present and consistent help, training, and discipleship, has a sponsorship program with Kolfe in partnership with Olivet Lutheran Church in Fargo, ND. With a donation of $34 per month, sponsors are helping the boys at Kolfe receive a holistic, long-term, and redemptive care. With your financial contribution, the benefits the orphans receive include 5 areas of ministry: physical, medical, educational, emotional, and spiritual.
Specific benefits to orphans include ministry in five areas:
Environmental - A portion of the sponsor’s support, combined with that of other sponsors, improves and maintains a healthy environment. This includes the purchase of clothing, shoes, furniture, books, etc. if needed.
Medical - Each sponsored orphan will receive regular health checkups, and medical intervention as needed. Improved nutrition is also provided.
Emotional - Each sponsored orphan's network of emotional support is greatly expanded. Staff at the orphanage will receive special training that equips them to better deal with the unique emotional needs of the orphans they serve. Also, the sponsor’s involvement in each orphan’s life through cards and letters is an avenue of emotional support the child would normally be denied. Regular visits from disciplers will also add to emotional well-being.
Educational - Because of their social status, orphans are often among the first to be marginalized in the classroom. Many of them give up hope of being an excellent student simply because the traditional expectations for orphans are that they will barely succeed at school. Sponsorship helps provide resources to the children in the area of education to equip them to be better students.
Spiritual - Orphans will see the love of God demonstrated tangibly through age-appropriate Bible teaching. A discipler (HopeChest part-time national staff) will visit the orphanage regularly to conduct classes. Sponsor’s prayers and letters will also be of encouragement for a child to grow spiritually.
Relationship is the key to success in the orphan sponsorship program. Through this ministry, many types of relationships take place. From sponsors’ relationships with their sponsored children to disciplers’ relationships to each orphan in their class, this program is the building block for these relationships. It is our hope that through helping facilitate such relationships, the true hope of Christ will be recognized by each orphan.
A Children’s HopeChest sponsor is a caring person who wishes to commit monthly support and ongoing encouragement to one child for the duration of his or her time in an orphanage. (In some cases, sponsorship can extend through a child's time in vocational school or college.) Sponsors not only offer monthly support, but they offer encouragement through prayer, letter writing, and relationship.
We ask sponsors to specifically commit in three areas:
1. Prayer – We ask that each sponsor pray on an ongoing basis for their sponsored child.
2. Letter Writing – We ask that each sponsor write to their sponsored child at least once every three months.
3. Financial support – We ask that each sponsor remain current in their giving towards the sponsorship program.
Because orphan sponsorship is a ministry, we ask that each sponsor take their commitment to this sponsorship relationship seriously.
A HopeChest discipler, is a National believer, who visits the orphanage regularly during the school year. They are responsible for the spiritual, emotional and physical aspect of sponsorship. Upon their visits to the orphanage, disciplers conduct classes. In these classes, they teach a Bible story, help orphans write letters, listen to hopes, fears and dreams of the children. The disciplers extend the relationship to the orphans in a way that few people can. They are the hands and the feet of the ministry. Orphans look forward to their visits knowing that they will find a friend that loves and cares for them.
Disciplers are a trusted spiritual resource for orphans. Some of their duties in this area would include:
§ Giving group and individual Bible classes in forms of discussions, Bible studies, quiz programs, contests, etc. to encourage the spiritual growth of the orphans and strengthen their walk in Christ. Classes are conducted no less than twice a week in the fall and spring school semesters.
§ Developing ties between orphanage children and their sponsors in order to build a trusting relationship.
§ Organizing correspondence between children in orphanages and their sponsors in the HopeChest Orphan Sponsorship program, translating and keeping track of letters to and from sponsors.
§ Developing individual age appropriate curriculum's of Bible classes.
§ Providing individual counseling and support.
I am asking everyone who has contacted me about the Kolfe pen pal ministry join us in sponsoring through Children's HopeChest. United we can get a lot more accomplished for the good of all of the boys at Kolfe.
Friday, January 22, 2010
What happened yesterday made me really appreciate my life and encouraged me not to give up. We all have so much to live for and so much for which to be thankful. Sometimes in the midst of our troubles we often forget that what we do as fathers has an impact that can last not only for a lifetime but for generations to come. Once you read this you can view the video and this will all make sense.
First of all, let me explain that although I live in North Carolina, my job requires that I spend a great deal of time on the West Coast and so I spend a lot of time on airplanes. Anyway, I was not having a good day at work. My sales have been down and I have been struggling to keep focused and really having a difficult time not feeling sorry for myself.
Eileen called me and put Kezzie on the phone. She was crying hysterically. She was yelling that "Papa died!" She was so convinced of this that Keren began screaming bloody murder that her Papa had died on the plane.
"Tell Kezzie you're alive please" Eileen told me..She was doing her best to calm the two girls but they were inconsolable. Ellie, hearing the commotion from her bedroom, came running in with a phone to prove I was still alive and with camera in hand, managed to capture most of it on video.
"Hi Kezzie, Papa is fine.....I did not die, did you have a bad dream? "
She was doing so much screaming that I had a hard time getting through to her. I was laughing and I kept assuring her that I was very much alive. I thought she may have awakened from her nap after dreaming that I had died, but that was not the case at all. What had happened was Eileen was reading a story to the girls in their bedroom as they were getting ready to go down for a nap. As they were wrapping up story time, the boys came in and she told them that Dr. Sevilla's Papa died and he was on an airplane on his way to the Phillipines. Well, that was all Kezzie needed to hear. She heard Papa died on an airplane and she LOST IT. She began yelling and screaming it to Keren who instantaneously joined in the hysteria. It was so funny that the boys were rolling on the floor.
"Papa, you died? on a airplane?" she asked.
"No, Kezzie, I did not go on an airplane. I am in my office, and I didn't die."
Wasn't it amazing that Kezzie and Rennie showed so much emotion? Eileen could not figure out how these little girls concluded in their little heads that their Papa had died, or what dying was for that matter. Jimmy reminded her that they had already experienced death when Grampa died a year ago this month. They miss him and realize he is never coming back. Never underestimate the comprehension of a two-year old.
I never thought that my passing would elicit that kind of reaction. I just never give my death much thought. I think about loved ones dying and how sad it is, but I just don't think about my own death too much. I guess because I know that since I gave my life to Jesus Christ I know where I am going to spend eternity.
But this caused me to remember that everything I do has an impact. I have people counting on me. Little children are looking to me for answers to life's questions. I can't die yet. I have too much left to do. It caused me to look away from myself and to throw those thoughts of self-pity in the trash can. It's not about you, this life. You are here to serve others. You are here to serve God. You are here to point these little children to Jesus and to pass that baton of faith to them so that when they have their own children they can do the same.
When I got home I gave my girls a big hug and kiss. They were really happy to see me. The fact that I did not die was now something to laugh about. And I remembered what precious gifts they are to me.
No, I did not die yesterday. God has that time appointed for me already and He has not shared that with me yet. But I got a glimpse of what my little girls will do when that day comes. And it makes me smile.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
So excited about this! ..I received this note from Biruk yesterday:
"Mom Thursday is our Christmas. Some one that comes from USA to adopt his child bought for us two cows so; we will get meal for Christmas. We have also banana, orange and soft drinks that Gladney bought for all the boys. It seems we will get a lot of fun than the previous Christmas."
What better way to celebrate Christmas than by ministering to His sweet children! ...I can see my sweet son's smile from here!
"Eileen, you and Solomon have been an answered prayer to me! I love this ministry and being connected to Biruk has been one of the greatest joys in my life! I can't thank you enough for following His leading on this. I feel so very blessed to be a Kolfe Mama!"
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Saturday, January 2, 2010
We are also asking for more "Kolfe MAMA's", real families to get involved with a Kolfe boy. We have been emailing and skyping with the boys and they are all asking me to find them a family like Solomon has.
Through our journey this past two years, the Lord has shown us what an impact we can have by just stepping into their lives via email and starting a personal relationship with an orphan. The boys have told me they have hope for a future now. There is someone who know's them, prays for them and helps them to SEE GOD!!
So far, we have 5 families that have now "unofficially adopted" a boy via an email relationship. These boys and families are being blessed beyond their imagination. To know there is someone in the world who knows your name, who prays for you and cares about you is life transforming.
January 7th is their Christmas. Would you consider giving a boy a family for Christmas?
I am hoping to make a trip back to Kolfe sometime in April or May. This would be an awesome opportunity for the new Kolfe Mama's, and/or families to join me and visit in person with them. I am hoping to spend a week with the boys and have a going away party for Solomon with them. They are all very precious to us and the LORD JESUS.
Please feel free to contact us for more information if you are interested. The boys are all praying for a family.... of course I would ask that you consider officially adopting a Kolfe boy or sibling group. But for those who are not able to, why not "unofficially" adopt a son via a personal email relationship?
Please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org for more info!!
Happy New Year to All!