I apologize for the delay in posting. Thanks to all of you for continuing to check in on me.
We knew that in the midst of so many blessings that the devil couldn’t stand by without a little harassment. Joe, Mike, and I have all been suffering from illness this week. Nothing serious. It’s just been enough to slow us down. We were awakened this morning at 6:30 by a loud knock at the door. It was our landlord along with the chief of police. We had to deal with the police all day over questions about visas and passports. Mike’s Amharic class was interrupted and I had to cancel my tutoring session. Everything is fine now. We are all feeling better and the police are satisfied.
This week has proven to be as busy as the first. Joe, Mike, and Nega visited the CHE kids and their families at their “houses.” Words are not available to describe the pitiful conditions that these people have to live in. One of the little girls lives with 5 other people under a scrap of plastic on the sidewalk. Mike made the mistake of asking for the bathroom and witnessed the most unsanitary conditions imaginable. I will spare you the description.
I didn’t join them because I was catching up with my friends from Calvin College before they returned to the US. God used them once again to make another important contact for CHE.
It was just supposed to be a shopping trip. There is a ministry that took a group of homeless women and taught them to make and sell jewelry. The women are now able to support themselves by selling the jewelry that they make. An American lady who helped to start the ministry was to meet us at a house and we would have a chance to buy some of their jewelry. When we arrived at the house I met the owner, Birtukan, and her friends, Jan and Jayne.
Birtukan grew up as a poor child in Ethiopia. She became sponsored by World Vision Ethiopia, which allowed her to go to school and make a better life for herself. As an adult she noticed all of the street children in her neighborhood. She desperately wanted to help these children as she was helped. She started bringing a few orphaned children into her home, but she wanted to do more. She met two American women named Jan and Jayne. They shared her vision and started raising funds to help the ministry grow. In 2002 they founded Yezelalem Minch Home for Children. They now have over 90 orphans receiving community-based support. This means that they are placed under the supervision of extended family and the ministry provides the resources to care for them. They also provide a foster home to 25 kids who couldn’t be placed with a new family.
What they are doing is very close to the vision of CHE. In fact Jayne told me that it sounds like CHE is at the same place they were a few years ago. We believe that Yezelalem Minch will be able to offer us a lot of guidance as we continue growing.
Yezelalem Minch means never-ending spring. The name comes from Isaiah 58:10-11. “If you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed… The Lord will guide you always; you will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”



  1. Jonathan,
    I have wanted to post, but usually just can’t find the words. I am almost brought to tears reading about life in Ethiopia, but can’t imagine seeing it first hand. Thank you so much for keeping this blog up. It really helps to put life into perspective. I continue to pray for you and your entire family and the work you are doing for the Lord. You are truly a blessing and an inspiration!

  2. Keep up the good work and especially the good words to us. We are glad to hear you all are a little better physically. Our prayers continue for you safty but most of all for God’s will to be accomplished. We rebuke the devil’s interferance in the Great and Holy name of Jesus!

    Our Love,
    Dad and Mom

  3. So you had to go all the way around the world to get in trouble with the cops?

    Glad to hear everything is cleared up now.

    Take care,

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