February 2013 Update

The start of 2013 at MTE has seen the arrival of the Christmas shoebox gifts, much to the delight of the children, as well as the provision of a new school uniform for each child.

It was also a great delight to have a team of 18 from the Belfast church visiting us for a week at the end of January and they were a great blessing both at our own compound and the new church in Babogaya. Every morning, we had a bible club at our school for various classes. This involved singing, games, bible verses and the teaching of the gospel through the Wordless Book. The afternoons were used for painting our school and also for running the weekly bible clubs at Babogaya, Kuriftu and our own church.


The highlight of the week was the Sunday morning service where our ‘Blaze’ choir sang and performed the ‘Everything’ drama. The gospel message was brought by Richard McGreevy and two precious souls made a decision to follow Christ. To God be the glory!

We personally enjoyed having the group here for a week of great fellowship and fun and we look forward to the next visitors!

New school uniforms

A few months ago, we made plans to give each of our school children a new uniform. All their uniforms were already 3 years old and in need of replacement, particularly since the children can be seen wearing their uniforms at home on the weekends as well as during the week! There was much excitement when they were told they would be getting a new uniform at the start of the new year!

We purchased the material from the market in Addis Ababa and employed a team of tailors who stayed on site to measure the children and to make the uniforms, which consist of a skirt/trousers, a shirt and a waistcoat.

Once the tailors completed their task, the entire school was lined up to receive their uniforms. A quick change of clothes took place in every classroom and then they were all brought outside to have their photo taken with Jim & Eleanor. 

It was a lovely day at the school and you only have to see the look of delight on their faces to know how much a new uniform means to these kids.


One of the major highlights on the school calendar every year is the arrival of the Christmas shoebox gifts from Belfast and this year was no different! Every year, the children each receive a shoebox filled with clothes, toys, games, pencils and lots of other treats. For these children, this is the only present they receive each year so, as you can imagine, there is plenty of build-up to this exciting day!

Although the distribution was slightly delayed this year by customs, the big day finally arrived on Friday 8th February.

All 600 children were gathered into the church where a short gospel programme took place. First, the school choir performed a number of songs including ‘Love you, love you Jesus’ and ‘This is the day’. Next, our Scripture Union drama team performed a short nativity play to emphasize the reason for giving gifts at Christmas time. It would seem we have a number of talented actors and actresses in our midst at the school!

After this, the children were called up to the front by class to receive their shoebox. The excitement was palpable as they were all trying to get a peek into the box to see what’s inside! After this, we had a Big Countdown and everyone opened their boxes. From woolly hats to crying dolls, the variety of gifts is unbelievable and the children try to wear as many of their new items as they can – no matter how warm it is outside!

As part of our shoebox distribution this year, we also had gifts for all the children who attend our village bible clubs every week in Babogaya, Kuriftu and at our church. This was the first year we had distributed gifts to these children and it was great to see the look of delight and surprise on their faces when we arrived with the brightly wrapped gifts. Most of these children are from very poor families and they don’t attend school so receiving a gift like this was an entirely new experience.

We would like to thank everyone who took the time to fill a shoebox for the children here. We trust that the photos do some justice in showing just how much joy a little gift can bring.