Three UK football players and Agegnhu (second from left) our driver,
all decked out in UK apparel!

For the third year in a row, the athletic department at the University of Kentucky has sent a few of their football players, along with the assistant athletic director (and Ethiopia adoptive dad) to spend a week serving the very poor in Ethiopia.  These young men are identified for their leadership qualities and potential, and are given this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to interact with so many who are living lives very different than their own.

The four men arrived on Thursday morning and jumped immediately into service!  What’s a little jet lag?  There was work to be done!  Mark Wolbert, our missions director, and Jeff Burns (have camera, will travel) led the team to one of the communities in Addis Ababa where YWAM has an Adoption Ministry 1:27 program, Bole Bulbula.  This is one of the poorest sections of the capital city, located in a rural area behind the airport. 

Homes in this very poor area often have walls with lots of spaces and gaps (can you tell?) for wind and weather to come in.  The team lined the inside walls of two homes with plastic sheeting to keep out the rain.  Any more sturdy improvements are considered by the government to be ‘upgrades’ and reason to raise the rent, so tarps provide the needed protection and allow these dear folks to stay in their homes.

We can hardly imagine the difference this makes and the gratitude the recipients feel.  Just look at that smile!  Her name is Ethiopia!

Here is the team in front of another home they worked on.  The woman in pink lives there with her young baby.  On the far right is Demiss, the AM 1:27 Case Manager.  He has a degree in accounting and is a blessing to our ministry as he faithfully serves the people in our program.

Next the team helped to distribute food in that same community to the widows and children in the 1:27 program.  If these women have jobs at all, it is usually selling cow dung or firewood for fuel, working as a daily laborer or washing clothes.  Many beg for the food they feed their families.  They live a very day-to-day existence and food is not a guaranteed commodity. 

I’m hoping Jeff is able to keep sending me photos and updates as this team of guys experience the ‘real’ Ethiopia.  Won’t you join us in praying for them?

You can find out more about Adoption Ministry 1:27 on our website here.  There you’ll be able to read about this program designed to preserve families and prevent orphans.  You’ll also be able to see pictures and bios of some of the families who you can ‘adopt’ and we’re always adding more!