February 28, 2013

Project HOPEFUL Awassa FIG Sponsor meets child!

One of our FIG families were able to meet their FIG child in Awassa last week!  We are so thankful she took the time to go meet Mintamir and her family!  Project HOPEFUL Awassa is blessed by wonderful families who go the extra mile. Here are some pictures and Melinda’s thoughts.

from Melinda:

Meeting the little girl we sponsor through Project HOPEFUL Awassa was on of the highlights of my LIFE!! Amazing experience.. I can't encourage people enough to look into this program. $30 a month gives a child a chance at an education, spiritual, physical and social support.


Sweetest little thing ever

melinda 2

She changed right away into an outfit I brought for her.

melinda 6

melinda 5

We were also able to travel to her tiny 2 room house that she lives in with her 17 year old sister and 9 year old brother.

melinda 3

this was on their wall


I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. Revelation 3:8

Would you like to become a Family In the Gap sponsor as well? Go to this post to see what your $30 contributes to and children who still need a FIG.

Thank you Melinda and family!

February 27, 2013

Someone Free

Someone sent this to me today. So powerful. So convicting.

It’s speaking specifically about sex trafficking..but can be applied to so many other things.

Who do we deem not valuable in society? Not worthy of a second (or third) chance? 

Not worthy of our time or response?

“When Jesus said love our neighbor did He really mean the prostitute down the street?”

Want to get involved in the fight against trafficking? go to www.IJM.org

February 24, 2013

Dealing with Death

It’s been a little over 2 months since my dad went home to God.  Some days it seems like that night was forever ago and other days it seems like it was just last night. Some days I know that he is gone. Other days it just seems like it isn’t real.  A paradox of emotions and thoughts.


2 months to begin to process all that has happened. I have a couple of suggestions or comments that I’d like to share from what we have experienced.

Suggestions for you!

#1) Sit down soon and talk with your special people and let them know what your wishes and desires are. about everything. WRITE IT DOWN. If there are special things you want for people to have—write it down.

#2) Put everything together that someone would need in the event of your death in a specific place. You don’t think about it..and think that you have so long before something could happen. But you never know. This is on my list to do pronto.

Here are some examples of what to have in a notebook here:


Suggestions for others:

#3) Don’t start making a list of what you want and let it be known that you want it. Don’t take things without permission (whether you had given them as a gift or not)  Wait for the family to bring it up. They are still processing the fact that someone is gone and giving away (or selling) special personal items is not even in their mind yet.

#4) Do not volunteer to be a pallbearer weeks before a person dies. Seriously.

#5) Do not criticize how people handle the funeral and the remains—especially if you aren’t family. Just don’t go there. If you don’t like it, that’s fine, you have free will to do what you want when your family member dies.

What has been the best help?

People who just be with you. 

God sent angels that night in the form of a couple of older men who just put a loving warm hand on my back as I said goodbye.  People who helped days after by cleaning and driving for us. People who ran errands. People who brought meals and told us they were praying.  People who called and said “I am here. anytime. just call me.”  and called again to repeat that.

My favorite? 

People who shared their stories of my dad. Of fun times. of laughter. of things he did that I didn’t know about. That’s what makes the hard times easier. 

Just some thoughts from a daughter who is missing her daddy.

February 19, 2013

a very special little girl needs help and a family


Can you help me share this post with anyone that you think would be interested?  We need to get this sweet girl the medical help she needs and a family.

Thank you!


From IAN:

We have another exciting opportunity to help a child in need. We want you to meet Baby M. She was born two months ago with several medical conditions that need immediate attention. The hospital in Mekelle contacted us for assistance, as the treatment needed is not available in Ethiopia. They state that “… her future life is under threat unless the problem is managed surgically.”

The doctors have diagnosed Baby M with Myelomengiocle (a type of Spina Bifida), Hydrocephalous and Clubfoot.

The doctors informed us that Baby M “… needs urgent attention to save her life as the management of her illness needs higher experts requiring surgical repair… that is not available in Ethiopia”

Our ultimate goal is to find Baby M a forever family; however our immediate goal is to provide the medical care she urgently needs.

We all know that it takes a village to raise a child and we believe with your help, resources, and connections, we will be able to drastically improve her quality of life.

If you would like to learn more about her conditions or resources available in your area:




If you would like to help or are interested in becoming her forever family, please contact us. Photos and medical information will be provided to serious inquires.

You can also contact IAN at:

1 303-691-0808 waitingkids@internationaladoptionnet.org

February 6, 2013

Help for Kayite and family

All of these needs have been met!! THANK YOU!

I love being a part of Project HOPEFUL Awassa.

I love watching God and His people work.

Sometimes though..as I look at pictures and receive updates on children and families, I weep and shake my fist. So many things that are not fair. So many things that make me frustrated at my lack of ability to fix.  So many things that are “just the way they are.”

One such story is of this sweet girl who is in our FIG program.  She is in 2nd grade and has 2 brothers and 2 sisters and lives with her mother only.  She has a FIG family but has some needs that extend beyond what sponsorship money can do.

Her mother is very sick and needs medication that would cost $55.

The whole family needs clothing that would be about $200.

The staff in Ethiopia also wants to stock them up with food for $60.


This is one of those instances that we CAN help. We CAN do something.

We can make a difference for THIS family.

If you would like to help click on the donate button below and put KAYITE in the message.



Want to help purchase a playground?


At this orphanage? in Awassa, Ethiopia? 

(This is where Teshale spent the first part of his life at)


For these children? (and many more)


The plans are for a slide, a swing, and a seated merry go round. A designer has drawn up the plans for it and is ready to go. We just need the funds!!  The estimate is for $1,200 and something that would give fun playtime for the children who live there.  (can't you just hear the shouts, screams and giggles?) 

Many of these children have lived here since they were tiny infants and are still here. We really want to add some laughter and fun to their lives!

Our goal is to have this funded by my April trip! Sooner is just fine too! :)

If you would like to make a tax deductible contribution to this please donate here and put PLAYGROUND in the message.  If you would like to send a check—message me at charisa@projecthopeful.org and I can give the address.

Thank you!!


February 2, 2013

Update on Emebet!


The surgeries have begun!!  From what our friend in Ethiopia has told us…Emebet was completely ready to begin. It’s a pretty long road for her and I am inspired by her bravery.

From the doctor on Friday.

Emebet was operated yesterday. I decided to operate both knee joints.
All contracting scar tissue was excised. Both joints were extended to quite some degree following the scar excision. An external fixator keeps both joints in the new extended position. The knee joints will gradually be more and more extended over the coming 1-2 weeks. Skin graft will be done once the joints are fully extended.

Please continue to keep her and her family in your prayers. I will keep you updated!

I cannot wait to see her in April-- I am hoping she is well enough to dance before the Lord with me!

Blessings to you all for being part of her story!

February 1, 2013

Women of the Bible--Hagar


“fugitive” or “immigrant”

I don’t know about you..but as an adoptive mother..this part rips my heart out. I wonder what my sons’ mothers felt when they made the choices that they did.

When the water in the skin was gone, she put the child under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot, for she said, "Let me not look on the death of the child." And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. 17 And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, "What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. . 18 Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation." 19 Then  God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. 20 And God was with the boy, and he grew up. He lived in the wilderness  and became an expert with the bow. 21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

The story of Hagar has always seemed somewhat unfair to me. It shows when we make choices that are outside of God’s plan and out of fear and desperation (Sarah using her for the heir) that those choices can affect so many lives.

Thankfully God still hears our cries. He still bends low to rescue us. He still redeems situations and lives.

I wish that I could have all of you over for that Middle Eastern feast they suggest and discuss and share all of our thoughts and ideas. But we’ll have to settle for blog world.

What did you think?  Anything new come to you?  The issue of pride being in this story with Hagar was a new thought for me.

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