Bricks for the BCI Academy

With construction of the BCI Academy high school addition well underway, funding the cost of the build and meeting our project timetable is heavy on our hearts.

In order to be compliant with government regulations, we must complete phase one of the project by September 1st. This includes construction of the columns, beams, floor, and ceiling for the first of three floors. This is the minimal progress we can make in order to have functional classrooms, and does not include electrical, stairs, or finishing. Without meeting this deadline, we will be unable to offer grades 9 and 10 for the 2017/18 school year and will be forced to turn 80 students away.

This is truly a time where we are walking by faith, with no visual of how we will accomplish this project.

“For we live by faith, not by sight.” – 2 Corinthians 5:7

The cost for phase one of the first floor of the project is $16,600 USD. We will be “selling” bricks for the BCI Academy, and we invite you to join us on this journey as we build the first floor of the high school wing, brick-by-brick.

Please help us spread the word for this great cause by sharing this story with friends and family.

Levels of Support

Will you join us in our race against the clock to keep our high school students in class?

Three ways to give:
Online: http://blessingthechildren.org/donate/
By Phone: 1 (888) 269-2719
By Mail: 2267 Fraser Road, Kawkawlin, MI 48631

Educational Paintings

In the midst of ongoing renovations at the BCI Academy, a local artist has covered the exterior walls of the school with some fun and educational paintings. The paintings cover a variety of subject matter, including math, spelling, anatomy, physics, geography and English. We are excited to facilitate learning in an artful way that also makes the school feel more bright and cheerful. Check out some of the paintings below!

UPDATE: Christmas Beds

Last November we shared a need with you: ensuring that every child in the program has a bed to sleep in. At that time, we had a number of children sleeping on the floor, many of whom had never known the comfort of a bed. We asked for help purchasing a bed for each child, including a frame, mattress, blanket, sheets and pillows. We just received photos from Ethiopia, and the smiles speak for themselves! Thank you to everyone who supported this campaign, both financially and in prayer.

Dawit Dereje

Fekadu Alemu

Mihret Teka

Bereket Tamirat

Nebeyu Shimeles

Tewodros G’Alif

 

Birthday Blessings

In a third world country like Ethiopia, a birthday does not hold the same significance as it does in the Western world. Except for in the wealthiest communities in Ethiopia, most of the time there is no celebration. Many don’t even know or track their age or date of birth, since the caretakers are often unable to read and do not have calendars or clocks. A day that should be a cause for celebration often goes by unnoticed.

We are excited to announce that we are piloting a Birthday Blessings program this summer. We have a missions team traveling to Ethiopia from April through the end of summer. The team has volunteered to visit the local shops in Debre Zeyit and pick out a special birthday gift and deliver it to your child. Imagine your child’s delight at receiving this most unexpected surprise!

  

If your child’s birthday falls between April 20th and August 31st, you may participate in the Birthday Blessings pilot program. The deadline to sign up is March 20th, to ensure birthday delivery.

You may choose to send any amount to be used where needed most, or select from the gift options below:

Clothing – $40
Household Item – $25
Toy – $15

We also invite you to mail a birthday card to the office by March 20th, which our missions team will deliver to your child.

We are excited to be able to provide this opportunity to give your child special birthday memories!

Blessing the Children International
2267 Fraser Road
Kawkawlin, MI 48631

1 Million Meals

Abu Sara is a farming community located approximately 20 miles from Debre Zeyit. Last year, the community was devastated by a drought that killed their harvest and left them with nothing to grow or eat. Some villagers abandoned their homes, some lost loved ones, and others became beggars.

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Hungry Child in Abu Sara

Out of Work and Hungry in Abusera

Men Out of Work and Hungry

After seeing what the people of Abu Sara were going through, Blessing the Children decided to help by partnering with Prairie Gleaners, a Christian non-profit organization based in Canada. The gleaners take locally grown fruits and vegetables that would normally end up in the landfill and turn them into dried food and soup mixes, which are distributed to people in need around the world. The organization is run on volunteer time and serves 40 different nations.

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Dehydrated Soup Mix

Prairie Gleaners readily approved the request for a food container to be sent to Ethiopia. The container took several weeks to arrive by sea to the port town of Djibouti. The food was then loaded onto two large trucks and driven nearly 500 miles to Debre Zeyit. Half the container was distributed to the community of Abu Sara, while the other half stayed in Debre Zeyit.

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Food Shipment Arrives

Food Distribution in Abusera

Food Distribution Begins

A staggering one million meals were provided by these dehydrated food and soup mixes, benefitting children in the BCI program as well as those in a crisis state of famine in nearby Abu Sara. In total, 950 families have received the food support.

We are grateful to Prairie Gleaners for turning nutritious produce that would have been wasted into a remarkable blessing for the families of Ethiopia!

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Children of Abu Sara Rejoicing

 

Gift Matching Update

A few weeks ago we shared with you the need for footings to begin building the school addition for the BCI Academy. Footings provide the foundation for the school.

A donor stepped up with an amazing gift-matching offer to support the purchase of the footings as well as a larger school bus and a new stove. Other donors have responded, and we are now close to reaching our goal – a $7,500 need has been reduced to a $1,650 need!

We were just sent photos of the recently installed footings. There is much more building to go, but we are excited to have broke ground on the addition. Take a look!

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We have also been able to secure the purchase of the larger school bus. We now only need $1,650 to cover the balance on the new stove.

If you would like to take advantage of the generosity of this donor and double your gift, please contact us at the office by March 1st.

2267 Fraser Road
Kawkawlin, MI  48631
(989) 667-8850
Info@BlessingTheChildren.org

 

From Hopeless to Hopeful

Fikerite Tilahun has had her share of challenges in life. She lost both of her parents as well as her younger brother to HIV. Fikerite was also born profoundly deaf. Since joining the BCI program, her self-esteem has improved and she has learned sign language at a special school.

Sadly, Fikerite has been taken advantage of many times in her life due to her disability. Having a disability is difficult no matter where you live, but those who live in a culture that is less educated about disabilities struggle the most. When Fikerite tried to work as a waitress, the restaurant did not follow through on their commitment to pay her. Without intervention from BCI to help Fikerite find a good working situation, she would have no opportunity for success. 

We were thrilled to learn about a newly opened furniture manufacturing company near Debre Zeyit. The owner has a passion for helping the deaf community and has hired deaf staff members. Goldy, our lead social worker, took Fikerite on a tour of the company and the owner agreed to hire Fikerite and pay her a salary. She is starting off by doing clean up and training. The company has also agreed to pay her transportation after school. In God’s perfect timing, He provided an employment opportunity for Fikerite that is a blessing beyond belief. img_6447-00000002

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Donate Used Technology Devices

technology-devices

Did you receive a new laptop, tablet, or cell phone for Christmas? Is your old device sitting in a drawer somewhere, unused? If so, we would be thrilled to repurpose this device for the benefit of our children.

Imagine how much smaller your knowledge of the world would be if you had never used a computer, cell phone, or tablet. A quick Google search yields millions of results, and solves many day-to-day problems for most of us. In today’s world, lack of access to technology creates a poverty in knowledge that puts one increasingly out of touch with a quickly developing world.

We want to help our children become engaged in the world around them. We believe that providing them access to technology is necessary to make this happen. We would love to offer a prize, such as a laptop, for the winner of our English competition this spring. Not only would this be a prize beyond the wildest imagination of our students, and something that would open up the world to them, it would also serve as a great motivator to ensure that our students study hard for the competition and improve their English skills.

If you have a laptop, tablet or cell phone that you are not using and would like to donate to our program to be used as a prize for the spring English competition, please let us know by March 1st. You can mail the device to our office at 2267 Fraser Road, Kawkawlin, MI 48631.

Building Hope Update: New Staff Room

As part of the renovation at the BCI Academy to fulfill accreditation for high school, the existing staff room had to be converted to a classroom. This left the teachers without a room to prepare their lesson plans. A new staff room was recently built and it is an improvement over the previous room.  The new staff room overlooks the playground, which allows more eyes on the children while they are at recess, and the staff can clearly see the students come and go from the school. Since two of the walls and the concrete slab were pre-existing, the addition was able to be built at minimal expense, helping the build project to stay on budget. We are now one step closer to completing the BCI Academy upgrade project.

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Completed Staff Room

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Painting in Process

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Beginning Stages of Staff Room Build

 

Double Your Gift

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We recently put out word that the BCI Academy is in need of a school bus, stove, and footings for the new addition. The total cost of these three items is $7,500 USD. One donor responded to the need in a big way – offering to match any donations toward these projects, dollar-for-dollar, up to $3,750.

At times like these we are reminded that though our challenges are overflowing, so are our blessings.

If you would like to take advantage of the generosity of this donor and double your gift, please contact us at the office by March 1st.

2267 Fraser Road
Kawkawlin, MI  48631
(989) 667-8850
Info@BlessingTheChildren.org

Donations can be mailed to the BCI office, called in, or made online at http://www.BlessingTheChildren.org/donate.