This has been an exciting summer for Hope Overflowing! Between Menge visiting the United States, my daughter Audrey and I visiting New Life home in Ethiopia, and inviting new staff into our vision, Hope Overflowing is experiencing dynamic change.
Our in country director, Menge, travelled to the United States for about 5 weeks to share what God is doing at Hope Overflowing, Ethiopia. While in the US, he visited about 6 different states and spoke in many churches and community groups. The purpose of this visit was to inform and inspire, as well as give Menge time to connect with old friends and families, while hopefully finding rest.
Also this summer, I, Krista, and my oldest daughter, Audrey, had the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia for a week to visit and encourage our boys and staff in country. We were welcomed with traditional grass spread throughout the house, a coffee ceremony put on by our cooks, Tigist and Yabsalom, and lots and lots of hugs. The boys were eager to practice their English they have been learning and we spent a lot of time just working through conversation with them. This usually lead to a lot of laughter. We even attempted to teach a formal English lesson in their classroom. The boys were excellent students!
A highlight of this trip was the amount of time we were able to engage with the boys. Puzzles, games, UNO, and a game of soccer was played in our efforts just to be with them. Spending time with them, getting to know their individual personalities, and conveying our love and the love of Jesus was a priority that we felt was executed well not only by us, but also by the amazing staff.
Currently at New Life Home, we have two other male staff members living and caring for our boys. Getachew is full time and has a great servant's heart. Frequently helping the kitchen staff and managing the purchasing of food and supplies, he is a consistent and loving presence in the home. The boys love and respect him, asking him for help with common household tasks, and playing him in FIFA on PlayStation. Watching their interactions you can see they trust him deeply. Our other full time staff member is Ebiyot. With a contagious laugh and a big heart for the Lord, Ebiyot is a strong leader in the home, dissolving conflict and guiding the boys through the love and mercy he has found in Jesus Christ.
Being with the boys and staff at Hope Overflowing was incredibly encouraging for us and we hope equally so for them. God is moving and changing lives! Our boys long to learn about Jesus and are sensitive to His love and the love offered by others. They welcomed us with open arms, and some even wept when we left. The tears and parting gift drawings were a testament to the relationships and commitment we were privileged to make during the week, and we hope to continue building in years to come.