Monday, March 10, 2014

New Mission to Zambia then back to Ethiopia

After being away from the mission field for all of 2013, we are praying that God will connect us with a long-term ministry to work with in Zambia. We will be departing March 2014 then back to Ethiopia.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Return to India

After being in Ongole in March 2012, I returned back to India 6 months later. I was working in a small village in Prathipadu, India. Please review our October 2012 Newsletter.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Ethiopia to India

As we continue our work in Ethiopia, God also opened a door to Ongole, India. We thank Him for giving us an opportunity to work with Indian Christian Ministries. Please review our April 2012 Newsletter.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Returning back to Ethiopia May 2011

We are preparing for our return trip to Ethiopia in May 2011. During this trip, we will continue to help people to help themselves, as opposed to just giving handouts. From previous missions trips, we learned that maintaining a person's dignity when helping someone is very important and that the best way to accomplish this is by allowing them to make their own decisions concerning their life rather than telling them what to do. We will also be following up with Beletu, the female bajaj driver, to see how her taxi business is developing.

Additionally, we hope to travel to another region in Ethiopia to reach out to people who do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Please keep us in your prayers.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Business Opportunities

After returning from the refugee camp, we continued to work with ministries in Debre Zeyit to determine what business opportunites were possible. There were many suggestions that were made and we will research possible financing for the ideas.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sudanese Refugee Camp



Ethiopia hosts a large population of refugees from many African countries including Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea, Rwanda, Burundi, Angola, Liberia, Djibouti, Uganda, South Africa, and Yemen. However, refugees from Somalia, Sudan, and Eritrea make up the majority. Currently there are a total of nine refugee camps located in the east, west, and northern parts of the country. The refugee camp that we visited housed refugees primarily from Sudan. Most of the Sudanese refugees arrived in Ethiopia in the early 1980s. Many of the people in these camps have lived in them for so long that the camp is all they know. New arrivals continue to flow into Ethiopia because of conflicts in Sudan. The conflicts in Sudan are a result of religious, ethnic, economical, and tribal differences. The refugee population in Ethiopia reached its peak of more than 300,000 in 1991. The number has now reduced substantially, and currently stands at 90,806 (World Food Program Monthly Food Requirements March 2004).



The camp that we visited was called Fugnido refugee camp, which is 2 hours from Gambella, Ethiopia. Fugnido is the largest camp, hosting about 35 per cent of current Sudanese refugees. In 2002, ethnic clashes within the camps resulted in the death and displacement of many refugees. Clashes between two major tribes: the Anuak and Nuer tribes as well as other clashes between the northern and southern Sudanese have become common in the Fugnido, Bonga, and Sherkole camps. During our visit, we learned that today there are over 20,000 people living in the Anuak and Nuer refugee camps. Many people were displaced and sent to other locations due to clashes between tribes. Although due to the ongoing conflicts in Sudan, the number of refugees is expected to rise. In general, people become refugees for a number of reasons but the most common are:Conflict-induced, Economic, or Political. Refugee influxes in Ethiopia are primarily a result of ongoing political and civil unrest as well as recurring natural disasters in neighboring countries.


While we were at the refugee camp, we brought 525 pair of underwear to give out to the children in the camp. There were many more children than what we had to give but those who did receive the underwear were grateful. Many of the refugees that live in the camps learned to speak English and requested that the next time that we come back to bring English Bibles. There are many people who live in these camps who are not blessed with the material things that we have in the United States, but despite all of our wealth, the people in these camps don’t complain about not having the material things that we take for granted.




Sunday, October 17, 2010

Helping People to Help Themselves

One of our missions in our ministry is to help people to help themselves, so they in turn can help other people. While in Ethiopia, we worked with several church pastors to accomplish this mission. Although we couldn't help everyone that we talked to, after interviewing many people who have a desire to help themselves so they can eventually help other people, we finally connected with a young lady who wanted to own her own taxi. We learned from experience that the best way to help someone is not from "handouts" but by giving them the opportunity that was not available to them previously. The opportunity that she didn't have was access to money. It can be very difficult to get a loan in many developing countries and Ethiopia is no different. We found that the best way that we could help is by lending the funds to start a business and as funds are paid back to continue the process for someone else by re-lending the same funds. In this particular case, we funded the opportunity for this young entrepreneur to start a taxi business. We will keep everyone up to date as this business venture continues to grow.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Back to Ethiopia October 2010

It's October/November 2010 and we were back in Ethiopia. October is the end of the rainy season and a time when the weather begins to get cooler.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Our Return to the U.S. was Like Night and Day

This morning we woke up, after a nice and well needed sleep, knowing that we could afford to take a day without doing any work and still have food to eat later. We unpacked our clothes while Linda put the dirty clothes in the washing machine. I walked out to start one of my three cars, while the majority of people in Ethiopia do not even own one car. As we drove to the grocery store, we felt safe on the road knowing that most people obey the signal lights and are defensive drivers. We have fresh, clean drinking water at the turn of a handle and electricity at the flip of a switch. My computers are wirelessly connected to the Internet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As I lay on my couch watching my flat screen television to get the latest news updates from CNN, BBC, and a variety of other news networks, I can not forget how difficult it was to get continuous information of world events during the past 25 days. Unfortunately, for many people living in Ethiopia, these things seem to be a distant dream. While living in Ethiopia, we “struggled” with on and off again "cold" water for bathing and with having to drink bottled water every day. We had days when electricity was powered by a generator and in many cases no generator at all, while the rest of the country had power cuts as the hydroelectric power supply was shut off for whatever reason. Although we enjoyed our short-term mission, it's a blessing to have the conveniences that we have in the United States. Many people don't realize how blessed they really are to have these conveniences until they have spent some time in a country where they are not available to the average person.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What's for Dinner....Raw Meat!

The Ethiopian people are very friendly and hospitable. In fact, during our time in Ethiopia, every time that we went to a person's home, we were asked to eat--injera. In an effort to turn the tables around, we decided to take two orphaned children that we know and their social worker out to dinner. We thought the two young girls would ask for pizza, chicken, or something other than Ethiopian food, since we were paying the bill. To our surprise, they wanted something even more traditional than injera--Kitfo. What is Kitfo? Raw meat! Yes, Ethiopians are notoriously passionate about raw meat. Kitfo comes minced, like steak, with spiced butter, curd cheese and wedges of false banana. Oh, don't forget the injera; no meal is complete without injera! The two children showed their affection by feeding us some of their injera. Generally, Ethiopians of all ages show their affection for each other by gathering a handful of injera with Kitfo, in this particular case, and putting it in your mouth. This is typical for many Ethiopians to do and is a a display of friendship and being a part of the family.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Helping People Help Themselves

People in different parts of the world earn a living similarly to how you and I may earn a living in the United States. Some are salesmen, contractors, laborers, farmers, businessmen, clergy, and so on. In each of these occupations, you will find members within these organizations helping each other. As members of the body of Christ, we too must help each other.
Currently, we are in the process of helping a ministry in Ethiopia to prosper by financing the cost to purchase a Bajaj. This vehicle will help a person in Ethiopia earn an income in the taxi business. The cost to purchase a Bajaj is about $4,500. The average income that a driver would earn is about $10.00 a day. Although $10.00 a day may not seem like much to a person living in the United States, in Ethiopia, the increase is significant; especially when the average wage paid is about $2.50 a day.

Also, a person earning this income will not only be able to help increase the kingdom of God through their giving in tithes and offerings but will be in a better position to care for their family. We are asking that anyone who is interested in helping a fellow Christian, living in a different part of the world, to make their tax deductible donation to Heart of Compassion Missionary Ministries. We will continue to provide updates of the progress of this new business venture as they become available.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

If you aren't called to go, are you serving as a sender?

As we prepare to go to the Middle-East and then to Ethiopia, I am reminded of one of my favorite Bible verses. In Romans 10:14-15, the Bible says, "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent?" The Bodi Tribe lives in the Omo Valley-- one of the most diverse regions in the world. Each bordering tribe speaks their own language and practices their own customs and beliefs. When a member of the Bodi tribe dies, the men perform a ceremonial death procession and will keep the body safe for three days. After this, the tribe will gather together and consume the body as a sign of respect and to ensure passing into the next world.

After reading this, you probably can understand why Christians are called to go into all the world to preach the gospel and this is also why we need to support those who do go. Please consider the Bodi tribe as you send us to tell them about Jesus. There are many more people than you think that have never heard the gospel. It's up to you to do something about it. If you aren't called to go, are you serving as a sender?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Preparing to Go to the Middle East and Africa

We are preparing for another mission trip to Ethiopia but on our way to Ethiopia, we have an opportunity to stop over in the Middle Eastern country of Dubai for five days. Dubai is located on the Arabian Gulf and is bordered by Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar. Islam is the state religion. Dubai is strategically positioned in the middle of the 10/40 Window. An area where the predominate religion is Islam. Dubai is one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). What is an emirate? An emirate is a political territory that is ruled by a dynastic Muslim Monarch styled emir. Even though it's against their law to proselytize or attempt to convert anyone to another opinion and, particularly, another religion, if prompted by Holy Spirit, we will tell someone about Jesus. After our layover in Dubai, we will be on our way back to Ethiopia. Keep us in your prayers.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Leaving the Conveniences of Home...at Home!

When you go on a mission trip in a developing country, it's very easy to realize how blessed you really are in the United States. Even though we had the opportunity of using the Internet, the connection was so slow that our letters probably would have made it to the United States first, before we even logged on the Internet!
It seems like the few stop lights that we did see on the roads were just decoration on the street because many people did not follow them anyway! Where we lived, the water was turned off practically every other night and sometimes all day. If we didn't fill the water containers before leaving the mission house, when we returned, the little water that we did have was just enough to wash a few dishes. And because there usually was no hot water, we washed dishes and bathed in cold water. It was like being back in the Army all over again!
For those of us who like watching movies, there were no NetFlix or Blockbuster videos to rent. And for those people who have a desire to kick fast food out of their diets, you can easily do it "cold turkey" because there were no McDonald's, KFC, or Popeye’s Chicken to add to your high fat diet!
All in all, we would not trade the experience by going anywhere else in the world! There is much work to be done in Ethiopia and God is using us to do the part that He has called us to do. We are hoping to go back to Ethiopia in March or April 2010.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Our Mission is to Teach People how to Fish!


There is an old proverb that says, “Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime." Our mission is to teach single mothers, widows, and men basic ways that they can earn an income and care for their families by selling simple items or providing a service. These items may be as basic as selling chicken eggs or as intricate as sewing traditional clothing that could be sold to people living in the United States. Everyone has a gift or skill that could benefit someone else and ultimately help their family produce an income, but in many cases people just need a little help to get them started. Unlike in the United States, people don't have the availability of receiving small business loans for a business idea. Our goal is to work with people whom God has led us to help by providing microfinancing. Microfinancing will be in the form of a donation, as little as $150.00, to help finance a business idea that someone may have in a developing country. We will assess their skills, help them develop their ideas, teach them some basic business concepts and then help them finance their ideas into income producing businesses. As we plan our next mission trip to Ethiopia, through your donations, we can help people by teaching them how to earn an income and ultimately feed their families for a lifetime--Amen!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Baptized not by water but by....!

On the last day before departing Debre Zeyit, Ethiopia, I was baptized by a child. Not in the same way that you may think! On the day of our scheduled departure, we accepted an invitation to eat lunch with a family that we met in Ethiopia. The taxi was scheduled to pick us up that afternoon, so there was enough time to have lunch before leaving to the airport.

Linda and I both put on our cleanest clothes that morning because we knew that we would be in the airplane for over 18 hours, and we didn't want to offend anyone sitting next us on the airplane or the person picking us up from the airport once we arrived in the United States.

In any case, our friend picked us up from the mission house to eat lunch with his family at his house. His wife prepared the national meal that all Ethiopians eat, injera; it looks like a pancake, with stew or "wot". It's a very delicious meal. Everything was going well until my friend's son decided that he wanted to sit on my lap. I thought that was nice gesture because on the previous day that I met him, he didn't want to have anything to do with me because I was a new face to him. Anyway, I felt pretty good that he wanted to be close to me. I picked him up and placed him on my leg. I told my wife that this little boy really likes me! As I ate lunch with one hand, I balanced my friend's son with the other hand as he sat on my leg. Over a period of time, my leg, where the boy was sitting, began to feel a little warm. I thought... hmmm... it's probably because he has been on my leg awhile. I continued eating. Again, I began to notice that underneath my leg was feeling a little warm. I still didn't think anything of it. Finally, I noticed that between my legs began to feel warm and also in the chair that I was sitting felt unusual. I lifted the boy up and there it was. I was baptized by pee! Yep, he peed on my cleanest clothes! All we could do was laugh... and we did. I was baptized not by water but by pee!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

We Thank God for YOU!

Food, shoes, pencils, pens, clothing, vitamins, and money... we thank God for your obedience in giving what God has placed on your heart. Many widows and children only have what has been donated by YOU! Through your donations, we were able to provide food for 22 mothers and widows that had very little food to eat!
Many single women try to make ends meet using skills taught to them by leaders in the church. In Zion Church, women are threading cotton on a spool to sell in the local market.




Children listen,
as a Bible story is read to them.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sponsorship Makes a Difference!

Sponsoring a child is important to helping underprivileged children find love, encouragement and hope for a future. Widowed mothers cannot care for their children without an income and many don't have jobs. Sponsorship gives children opportunities and provides regular support needed to care for children. In many cases, it pays for food, school supplies, teachers, medical care and much more. As we visited different homes in Debre Zeyit, Ethiopia, we found that children who were sponsored through child sponsorship organizations are doing so much better than those who do not have sponsors.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Vitamins are Essential!

Vitamins are an essential element of a diet, especially when a child is not receiving nutritious meals every day. Children in Ethiopia often lack the basic nutrients needed for their bodies. Many mothers don't have money to buy food for their children, the water may not be adequately filtered, and many children don't have access to health care. But a daily vitamin can make a world of difference! We purchased twenty bottles of children's vitamins from the United States to give to widows caring for children. Although it was a drop in the bucket, it's better than not having anything at all. Additionally, as other missionaries visit families in the area, we are hoping that they will also bring vitamins with them. It's important that we all pitch in to help these children so that they will have an opportunity to live a productive and healthy life.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Coffee Ceremony

Ethiopia's coffee ceremony is an integral part of their social and cultural life. An invitation to attend a coffee ceremony is considered a mark of friendship or respect and is an excellent example of Ethiopian hospitality. As we ministered to people in their homes, we had the opportunity to observe and be blessed by taking part in a coffee ceremony! Some of the people whom we visited would go out of their way to prepare coffee for us. In fact, one lady insisted that she go to the market to purchase some coffee beans so that she could prepare a fresh pot of coffee. The Ethiopian women that you see in these pictures are making coffee from scratch! After roasting the beans, they place the roasted beans in a little container and crush them with what looked like a piece of re-bar or a metal stick. After the beans are grounded, the grounded coffee is poured in a pot that contains some water and then the pot is placed over a fire. As the grounded coffee beans were heated in the pot, the one room home quickly filled with a sweet aroma of coffee! Once all the grounds were cooked the coffee is poured in little cups and sugar is added to bring out the taste. It was better than any Starbucks coffee that I have ever tasted! In fact, Starbucks actually purchases their coffee beans from Ethiopia! What a wonderful treat.