Saturday, July 17, 2010


Ethiopia has truly changed us; the extreme poverty and devastating conditions that people lived in is unlike anything I have ever witnessed. It changed our lives and our perspectives about things, and we knew we wanted to do more to help.

How many times have we said "I'm starving" or "I'm SO hungry," but in reality,(fortunately) we have no idea what it is like to be truly starving. In America, most of the time our biggest dilemma is where we want to eat.

As a parent, I cannot imagine having to choose which child will get to eat today. I cannot imagine trying to comfort my child screaming with hunger pains, and having nothing to feed her. Holding my child in my arms until she eventually cries herself to sleep, famished, knowing in the morning she will awake with an even more ravenous hunger that I will still be unable to satiate.

Unfortunately, my newest daughter has had that experience, and the effects have been evident in her reactions to food at home.

Mariya would eat anything and everything when she first came home, and she would shovel it in as fast as she could with no "full" button. As soon as the food was gone, she would start crying for more even after eating multiple normal-sized portions. When she would get to the last bite, she would hold it in her hand; apparently in an effort to save it for later. That last bite could not be pryed out of her hand until more food was placed in front of her.

If she spilled her food on the floor she would cry uncontrollably as if she had been physically injured at the sight of the food on the floor. I can only imagine what was going through her little 2 year old mind. Was she afraid there was no more food? Was it the thought of the food being wasted?

If any of us entered the kitchen, Mariya would stand at the gate and holler for food, even if she had just gotten up from eating.

It was so sad to witness her food issues. We just kept assuring her that there would be more food, and, thankfully, she is finally starting to realize that.

However, there are so many kids in the world that are malnourished and starving, and they are not as fortunate as us; EVERY DAY 30,000 CHILDREN DIE FROM STARVATION OR PREVENTABLE DISEASES!

I think sometimes when we hear numbers such as 147 million orphans, or 30,000 children dying every day, we have a difficult time taking it in. I think that there is a tendency to feel overwhelmed and helpless in a hopeless situation. However, we must avoid that way of thinking because we CAN do SOMETHING. We NEED to do something. We can make a difference no matter how small. We won't solve all the problems in the world in one day, but every day we should strive to do our best to make the difference that these starving, suffering people need!

I challenge you to watch this short video and really take it in. Pray about what God would ask you to do.

(please go to the bottom of the page to pause the music before you watch this video)

Do Something Now from Children's HopeChest on Vimeo.

Dustin and I shut off our cable last month (a simple, painless luxury to give up), and with the money we save monthly, we have sponsored a child in Ethiopia.

This is Birke. She is a 12 year old girl living in Ethiopia. Her father has died, and her mother is living in extreme poverty. Birke's mom is struggling to provide her daughter with basic needs such as food and clothing.With our monthly sponsorship of only $34 a month, Birke is now recieving daily meals and clothing as well as being spiritually fed through discipleship, counseling, mentoriing, and biblical teaching. She is also witnessing a demonstration of God's love.

We sponsored Birke through Trees of Glory which is a program in Ethiopia that works under HOPECHEST

If you would like more information about how you could assist in this mission or how you too could sponsor a child please contact Karen at Also, check out her blog:

What luxury can you give up? What difference can you make today? Please do something, and once you have, challenge yourself to do more. What if it was your child? Don't let another day go by; don't let another 30,000 kids die before you make a decision to do something to help.


  1. I'm thankful to be on this journey with you Andrea! Karen Wistrom

  2. What a beautiful girl! I'm meeting tomorrow with several other sponsors who have kids at Trees of Glory (relatives of mine). We're hoping to take a trip back sometime next summer. I'll keep you posted about the details if you're interested.