May 2012

Hi Everyone,

Hope all is well at home.

We enjoyed our trip home at Easter even though it was short and rather hectic! We also had my family with us in Ethiopia for 10 days after Easter which was really nice and they enjoyed it so much that they’re planning to come back in July! 

My little brother, Kyle, turned out to be a bit of a heartthrob amongst the older schoolgirls. They were blowing kisses and shouting ‘My husband’ every time he walked across the playground so by the end of the trip he was refusing to walk anywhere on his own for fear of being ambushed!

Youth Club

The youth club is going really well, we had about 250 kids turning up for the junior youth club every Saturday morning so we’ve had to split them and run two junior clubs starting at 9am and finishing at 12.30pm. We purchased a box set of Tom & Jerry when we were home and this has proved a big hit! We also purchased some other resources such as a bible felt set which is also proving very popular and makes it much easier to teach the children.

We also brought a Nintendo Wii with us and as the children had never seen anything like this before, they were rather baffled by this invention when we first set it up. Now, however, there is almost a riot on Saturday mornings to see who can get the controllers first!

New church building

We are in the process of building another church in one of the surrounding villages called Babogaya. This building will mainly be used for mid-week meetings for people in that area as it is difficult for people to travel to church meetings, especially at night therefore it is important that we provide a place for them to meet and to be taught.

 

 

 

Village bible club

We recently started a bible club in the Babogaya village for children who do not attend school. Unfortunately, this is very common in Ethiopia as many families are too poor to pay for their children to attend school. We have approximately 50 children coming every Wednesday afternoon and we’ve no doubt that this will increase when the word spreads!

We teach bible stories & memory verses as well as playing games and singing songs. This club is currently being held on the site for the new church building in Babogaya and we’re hoping that once the new building is complete, we will be able to develop this club to teach these children basic reading and writing skills as they will never be able to attend school. If any of the children show signs of being good students, we will then give them the opportunity to attend our school.

We would like to take this type of bible club into many of the different villages as there are so many children who don’t attend school so there is a real opportunity for us to reach out to these kids.

Bekelech

As some of you may know, one of our 14 year old schoolgirls, Bekelech, was abducted when she was walking home from school 3 weeks ago. She was lifted by a man who wanted her as a wife. This is an ancient traditional custom in Ethiopia whereby a man can abduct a woman and if her family then agrees to take payment in the form of cows or goats then the marriage is legal and official. Although this tradition has died out in most areas of Ethiopia, it is still practiced in some rural areas, mostly by men who are HIV positive as this is their only way of getting a wife.

Her family came to the school when she failed to return home and the matter was immediately reported to the police. After much paper work and red tape, James & Bezabih accompanied the local police force to carry out raids on several homes to try and locate her but she still hasn’t been found.

It is unimaginable to think how she must be feeling and the trauma this little girl is going through. We can only pray that she is safe and being treated well. We have tried to encourage her family not to take any form of payment for her so that if she is found, she can return to school and complete her education.

Please keep Bekelech and her family in your prayers.

We have a few friends coming over this weekend and our mothers have both been building up an army load of supplies to send with them so it will be nice to have the chocolate stocks replenished!

Keep in touch & God bless

James & Lauren