by Joy Casey
Abebe is our Ethiopia Country Manager and his wife, Abonesh, is head of our Finance Department in Ethiopia. NewLife has been working alongside this super duo for 16 years and together we have guided the growth of NewLife as God opened doors.
When I flew home from Ethiopia the end of June, Abebe and Abonesh traveled with me. For 25 days they visited partner churches, adopted children, were pampered at a private lake in the mountains of Arizona, did some sightseeing in the Northwest and caught up with friends they hadn’t seen in years.
CHILDREN THRIVING IN THEIR ADOPTED FAMILIES
A recent high school graduate eagerly discussed his college and career plans with Abebe.
A sweet girl gave Abonesh a fresh picked lavender bouquet from her garden.
One very talented boy serenaded us on the piano and used us as his audience to practice a speaking audition for a play!
A very tall 15-year-old who was adopted as a baby was eager to ask questions and learn more about his birth family. Abebe came prepared with pictures and letters to personally share with him.
Two adopted boys, not pictured, are getting their pilot’s license and one boy we didn’t get to see was on a mission trip in Guatemala. We know that there are so many achievements, hopes and dreams of the delightful, intelligent children God sovereignly transplanted into loving families. It is an incredible privilege to be a part of their story, and Abebe and Abonesh left the homes they visited humbled and grateful for a glimpse into their lives. They only wished they could have connected with more families.
Thanking High Pointe Church, one of our church partners.
The VBS of Fellowship Bible Church in Tacoma took our Mana Gammachuu orphanage on as their project. The children learned about Ethiopia and what it is like to be an orphan, understanding the acute need for formula. Over the course of the week, the children brought in over $1500 for formula! Abebe and Abonesh went to the last day of VBS and were amazed (overwhelmed, actually) at the amount of formula presented to them! Ameseginalehu (thank you) to Fellowship Bible Church children!!
Enjoying time with people from a supporting church.
A marvelous afternoon with longtime friends, Mark and Liane Wolbert, who for many years led teams to Ethiopia.
A RETREAT IN ARIZONA
Abebe takes a selfie on arrival in Arizona.
It was a scorching day, but Abonesh and Abebe took part in an old-fashioned Fourth of July parade in Show Low, Arizona.
Our close friend and ministry partner, Dinah Monahan, hosted us for a week at her beautiful lake. We rested, played in and on the water, solved major problems of the world, watched the sun set and stars fill the sky. The setting and camaraderie refreshed our bodies and spirits as we thanked God for His incredible goodness. Dinah has been a friend of Abebe and Abonesh since 2010 when she and her late husband Mike traveled to Ethiopia where God captured their hearts with His plans for that country.
We cooled off in Dinah’s lake nestled in the Arizona mountains.
Abebe fished …
…and caught dinner!
AT THE EDGE OF THE PACIFIC
Never having seen the Pacific Ocean, it was on our must-see list.
Becky Burns was our administrator for 15 years and as such became close colleagues and friends of Abebe and Abonesh. Her husband Jeff traveled multiple times to Ethiopia with NLE as photographer. The Burns invited us to their home in Beaverton, Oregon where we enjoyed their wonderful hospitality.
One of the days we drove to Canon Beach and were blessed with a perfect day of July sunshine. Tide pools captivated their attention with starfish, sea anemones, muscles and barnacles. They were enthralled with the sound of waves crashing and a coastline of white sand that stretched as far as they could see.
Lunch with an incredible view. First taste of shrimp and clams!
Abebe and Abonesh are now on the East Coast visiting friends and relatives. They will head back home the first week of August, and I am sure their children and grandchildren will be relieved to have them back. The office staff has done a stellar job keeping up with myriad details with only telephone conferencing with their bosses. I trust Abebe and Abonesh’s time in the U.S. was invigorating and refreshing for them – they certainly blessed all of us who were privileged to host them!