Monday, November 12, 2012

The Empty Tree

In January, I met my sponsor child.  I took a lot of you with me.  

I fell in love with her.  And I came home broken.

I sat her on my lap to feed her an orange.  As I peeled, she would grab each piece that I meant for her and gently place it in my mouth with her own little fingers.  She would watch me chew, and then touched my cheek as if to say, "Good job."  

I looked down to realize that this child was feeding me her food (the gift I had brought for her) while wearing broken shoes and tattered clothes, and my heart pretty much unraveled at that point. 

She honored me, and then she humbled me.  
In April, we went back.  

I waded into that massive pack of beautiful children with my new son and daughter in my arms and my husband by my side, and I sat in some sort of spiritual shock as I watched so many parts of my heart collide.  

I found wedding-dress girl, and learned more about her story.  
She was wearing a uniform this time, thanks to YOU.

Everything I thought I knew about my life, my goals, and MY world was shattered at Kechene, and I would not have it any other way.  

He broke my heart for what breaks His.  


What a glorious Gift that is.

And now, Christmas is coming, and I have an opportunity to pass that Gift along to you.

Greta and I received an email asking if 39 more children might find sponsorship if they were admitted into the program at Kechene.  We said yes.  We need YOU.

So now we have beautiful new kids, some of whom are getting their one meal a day for the first time from this care point.  There are educational supply needs, increased food needs, and there is a fund set up to assist in this ministry growth.

We have learned a lot this year.

We understand that our regular version of the Christmas season is no longer satisfying to our souls, and that Christmas is not our birthday.    

We want an empty tree, and a full heart.

We want to remember that Moses and Miriam could have starved to death, and we want to be a part of honoring God in Ethiopia.  

To us, the children of Kechene have come to represent the futures of our own children; adopted and sponsored.  My children would have been among the fortunate in Ethiopia to have been able to attend Kechene.  

I want to remember that the Lord gave my babies life, rescued my son from certain death, and gave me Life Eternal.  

And it all hinges on that stable, and on that homeless Baby who paid my dues on that FIRST Christmas tree that He was nailed to.    

Our family has been blessed enough this year.  I get to tuck my children (all four of them) into bed every night without begging God for my life or their own, or wondering if I will have enough food tomorrow to keep them alive.  

Everything else is surplus.

This year, we would like to forfeit our Christmas gifts in the hope that donations be made instead towards our personal goal of raising $2,500 for Children's HopeChest's Kechene Care Point in Ethiopia.    

Please help me spread the word about this project by sharing this link:

I also ask you to check out the new Kechene kids, and consider gifting one of your own children this Christmas with a new set of stationary and a sponsor child packet, and watch as the gift unwraps itself in your own family's lives as you correspond with your sponsor child.  


1)  DONATE towards our goal.

2)  POST our Fundraising Page to Facebook, or share this blog post.

3)  CHOOSE your child today, and join my Kechene family.  

Melkam Gena, Kechene!!!