As we look ahead at this coming year for Hope Overflowing, there are some potential needs and growth opportunities.
It became evident as we lived at new Life Home, that they need a car. Each time a child needs to go to the doctor, groceries need to be bought, or any outing needs to be made, it will take our staff several taxi rides to get where they need to be. This can take hours as they stand in line waiting for a taxi or bus to be available. And then there is the cost. This is adding up fast for our team and becoming a major expense, as well as a great inconvenience.
At first, we thought a van would be great to haul everyone, but the expense is outrageous, and the actual amount of times that everyone would be going somewhere at the same time didn’t make sense. We went with Menge to the Toyota dealership to see about buying a smaller car, a Toyota Corolla. The dealer quoted us a price of $1.9 million birr. That’s $70,000 US dollars. We walked out. Cars are very expensive in Ethiopia. One of our volunteers, Jos, is helping Menge to find a used smaller car that is more affordable.
Now that the boys have had time to settle in, it is a good time to start school. Given their various backgrounds and lack of education (all but 2 of our boys have had some sort of school in their lives), we feel it is best to begin with private tutoring at the house. There is a great room in the smaller house behind the main house, with glass windows reaching from floor to ceiling and opening up to the courtyard, that would make a perfect school room. Menge is looking for desks and chairs as well as other school supplies for the room.
Getachew, one of the staff living at the home, will begin with some basic tutoring while another teacher is sought out. A few of our boys are older and it may be best in the future to focus on skills training, learning a trade that they can take with them to eventually be independent and make a living for themselves. One of our boys has a technical mind and expressed an interest in being a mechanic. Once we have a car, a mechanic could come to the house and train those who are interested in basic car maintenance. A valuable skill.
Many have asked me, "What about the girls in Ethiopia? Aren't there girls on the streets too? How can we help them?" I, too, have wondered the same thing. Sadly, they are often tucked in the dark corners working hard behind the scenes or living as prostitutes.
Some of you may remember in one of our first posts, we helped a mom living on the streets named Mulu. Menge knew Mulu as a fellow church member in his hometown of Bahadar. One day he ran into her living on the streets with her children, and we as Hope Overflowing, helped to get her started with a small business she could support herself with. We have kept in touch with her, visiting often and enjoying tea together while sharing baby clothes, food, a little money to help not only Mulu but a small group of her friends, too, other young moms living on the streets.
Several of the boys living in our home are there because Mulu and the other street moms pleaded with Menge to help this young boy, and this one too. The boys and young moms looked out for one another in their state of distress. While in Ethiopia, we invited 7 of these young moms to come for lunch at the house, 6 were able to come. We sat and shared lunch with them discussing their needs and hopes for the future. We expressed concern and a love for them and their children and wondered how we could help them. This was a beautiful time - and I got to hold babies!
Looking at these moms next to our now "cleaned up" boys reminded us of how far our boys have come in such a short period of time, and the great potential for these moms and their children to also have the chance to experience God's transforming love from the inside out. This is Hope Overflowing.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
To do this, we would need a whole new house. Another "female" Menge. Another staff. This is big, but our God has big plans! Please pray with us as we move forward with loving on these women and seeking God's will for their lives as well. Thank you for all of the love, prayers, and support! We expressed to the boys that they have a team of people cheering them on and praying for them. Wanting their best. Thank you.