Try to imagine yourself in this woman’s sandals… You are extremely poor but are doing your best to feed and care for your three children. Your grown daughter gives birth to a baby girl then disappears, leaving you to raise your granddaughter. After you become pregnant with your fourth child your husband deserts you.
This was the harsh reality of life for Firehiwot (pronounced ‘Fray-oot’), who lives in the town of Shashemene, Ethiopia – a 5½ hour drive south from Addis Ababa. After her husband left her, she could no longer afford the rent on their house so the family had to move out. This determined mother built a two-room house out of sticks and mud but was not able to put a roof on it so a leaky tarp has been their only protection from the elements. Her 19-year old son goes to school and contributes what he can from his meager income at a garage but it is not enough to feed and pay school fees for the family.
Now picture when the love of Christ enters Firehiwot’s life in the form of a family in the United States who ‘adopt’ her and her children. I’m not sure we can imagine how much HOPE can transform a life!
Pete and Anna Jones ‘adopted’ Firehiwot in May of 2013 after Pete came home from a trip to Ethiopia with his pastor and missions director from Brooklake Church in Federal Way, Washington. Adoption Ministry 1:27 has partnered with two churches in Shashemene to identify and help 52 at-risk families there. Brooklake has committed to “care for orphans and widows in their distress” by finding sponsors who send $40 each month to meet the most basic needs of each of these families. For Firehiwot, this meant that her family began receiving food (their greatest need), formula for her malnourished baby and regular visits from the Adoption Ministry 1:27 case manager.
The Jones began praying for Firehiwot regularly and their hearts became invested in this struggling family. As Anna has written, “Pete and I truly feel like they are an extension of our family. God has blessed us immensely and has put it on our hearts to use what He has given us to bless others, especially this family.” After receiving a report that 10-year-old Besufekad was having trouble with vision, they paid for him to go to the doctor where he got treatment for allergies and a new pair of glasses. The Jones have plans down the road to help set up Firehiwot with her own income-generating business so that she can become self-sustaining.
A team of folks from Brooklake Church is getting ready to travel to Ethiopia in April and two very eager people will be part of that group – Pete and Anna! They are so excited to get to meet Firehiwot and her family in person and they hope to bring the full amount needed to build her a new house.
If you would like more information about Adoption Ministry 1:27 and to read the biographies of several at-risk families still waiting to be ‘adopted’, please visit our website: