From Addis Ababa to Warancha!

Selam New. Greetings. How are you?
So let me back track to Thursday morning when we landed in Addis Ababa. I had not slept on the 16-hour flight, much to my dismay. Our guide and translator, Alex, and his driver, picked up our 7-member team and 14 suitcases along with all our carryon and went right to the Providence Guest House. After climbing 31 steps to the third floor, we had just enough time to deposit our luggage before we were rushed out to visit our first ministry.

Let me explain our mission. Our team is comprised of 6 members of Riverside Church and me from Hillside Fellowship. Our mission is to visit several ministries in Ethiopia and see where God would lead us to get involved and to establish relationships.
So our first ministry was Bring Love In ( . This is a ministry designed to give widows or women whose husbands have discarded them, an opportunity to re-establish a home. Bring Love In finds homes to rent and puts one mom in each house with 6-8 orphans to care for. The government is very happy with this program and keeps referring more and more children from the government–run orphanages. Bring Love In does not adopt out to other people. Their desire is to raise up strong Christian Ethiopians to stand on their own and continue the Christian walk in Ethiopia. This was started by Levi Benkert from California. We were there when the children came off the school bus. They were so excited to see their “moms” and us. We jumped rope and visited with the children and their “moms.”

On Friday, we next visited Korah. I wrote on that day on my facebook.

Saturday, we visited No Ordinary Love ( headed by Jimmy and Rachel Gross from San Antonio. This is a ministry to the under-privileged community children who the government had deemed as needy. They feed them one meal a day and have Bible stories and playtime two days a week. They also house 11 babies whose moms have been raped or thrown out. The women can stay there until they find a job and get established in another home.

Saturday afternoon, we went to Fashionable ( Ian and Brittany, from California, established this ministry to help prostitutes get off the street and establish a sense of self-worth as they come to know the Lord. This was a fun inter-active time where we helped the ladies dye the thread, soften it, rinse it and hang it to dry. They make beautiful scarves that you can purchase online.

Today, we spent the entire day at Warancha Children’s Hopechest Care Point ( Warancha is a community within
Awassa of about 75,000 people all under the poverty level that none of us could imagine. The children come to the school sponsored by Hopechest free of charge up to the age of 12. After that, they look for sponsors to support each child at $34 a month to attend public school. Few children from Warancha ever attend school after 12. We had planned a day full of activities, which for the most part, went fairly smoothly considering we had 400 children from 3 years of age to 12 years. Playing soccer and giving out stickers were both highlights of the day for the children. They like to touch our arms and faces and hair. Their skin is dry and tough so they aren’t used to soft skin. They say white and soft quite a bit even if they don’t know any other English words.

Forgive me for making this so long, but I have another funny one for you. We stopped in a coffee house yesterday and after eating, I volunteered to choose the desserts from the bakery. I went up to the lady behind the counter, and I pointed to various items and said, “I would like one of those, one of those, one of those and three of that.” (We were splitting everything and passing among us.) The lady said, “Sedo.” I said, “NO, not take out, over at that table.” (I pointed to my group.) She said, “Sedo.” I said, “No, not take out, over at that table.” We went through this one more time, then she said, pointing her finger in a slight curve toward the table and rather loudly, “SEAT DOWN.” I got the point and went back to the table. Our group has had many a laugh over that one, especially now that we are trying to get 400 children to SEAT DOWN!

Okay…that’s all for today…actually there is so much more, but it will have to suffice for now as it is 11:00 PM and 6 AM comes very early and we get to do it all over again.
Until then…CHOW!


  1. by Wanda Littles

    On October 16, 2012

    Judy, these children look so beautiful. I wonder what it would look like if children, black, white, red, yellow, brown could be the recipients of the kind of love and care of more organizations, churches, individuals around the world like the ones you mention. We could show the children a better Way to live. What would it look like if we embraced mothers and fathers in the same way as the leaders of families that can be taught a better Way. I am so inspired by this and I believe that if we each reached just one we could change the way of the world for the better Way of God.

  2. by Judy Watters

    On October 16, 2012

    Well said, Wanda. Everyone on my team seems to be drawn to these children. Admittedly, they are precious and so hungry for our love. However, I am finding that I am more drawn to the women of Africa. They live such hard lives and in the hierarchy of the family tend to be the very least. Their smiles show outwardly of contentment and even joy. I wish I could communicate with them more than just a hug and sitting holding their hands or helping them with their work. Keep praying for our team. Today is another big one.

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