Our Resourceful Staff


We are blessed to have a wonderful staff in Ethiopia committed to helping us live out our mission. Our staff members are skilled at maximizing all of their resources. It is their passion for fulfilling the BCI mission that drives them to do this. Those who have traveled to Debre Zeyit on a mission trip or internship have witnessed this first hand.

An excellent example of their skill was recently on display when they took on the task of hand making new desks for our kindergarten students. The existing desk chairs were starting to break, and the older kindergarten students were outgrowing them. Rather than purchase new desks, which would have been expensive and not exactly according to the student needs, our staff made new, custom desks in our workshop.

Making our own desks saved money and the desks take up less room in the school, allowing more space for the students to move freely. Each desk is able to hold three children, and the new desks are comfortable.

We love to hear these stories of our staff making wise choices and stretching our resources. Not only does this help us do the most good possible, we also believe they are a great example to the children at BCI Academy.

Building Hope

Sometimes in life it is necessary to take a leap of faith and trust that God will take care of the details. We are doing this in a big way right now as we have just made a commitment to expand BCI Academy to add a fully licensed high school.

Representatives from the state government’s school administration office recently visited the school and informed us of the steps we need to take to fulfill the state licensing requirements for high school. These steps include a new addition to the school as well as various supplies and training.


With the new addition, we will be able to provide our children with a complete education from start to finish that meets all state regulations. This project has longevity, as it will touch students now as well as for many years to come.

This is a special opportunity for donation with name recognition. We are seeking six major donors to build four classrooms and two science labs. You may choose to have the room named after yourself or in honor or memory of a loved one.

Science Lab (2 available): $2,200
Classroom (4 available): $3,500

We cannot move forward with this building project without your help. Would you prayerfully consider whether leaving a tangible legacy in Ethiopia is right for you?

There are additional ways you can help. We need leads on:

  • Capital funding grants for international Christian non-profits
  • Gift matching programs
  • Corporate sponsorships

We also have a variety of smaller needs.


Gifts of any amount will help move us one step closer to making this high school build a reality. Donations can be made online at http://www.blessingthechildren.org/donate or mailed to the BCI office:

Blessing the Children International
2267 Fraser Road
Kawkawlin, MI  48631

Please direct leads and inquiries to Info@BlessingTheChildren.org

Thank you for your continued support of our children. Please keep our school in your prayers as we embark on this new adventure!

International Coffee Day

Second only to oil, coffee is the most valuable legally traded commodity in the world. Did you know that it was discovered in Ethiopia?

Coffee plays an integral role in the economy and culture of Ethiopia. It serves as their number one export, with the country producing 3% of the global market. Coffee ceremonies are an integral part of social life in Ethiopia. An invitation to attend a coffee ceremony is considered a mark of friendship or respect.  ethiopian-coffee-ceremony

In 2015, International Coffee Organization declared October 1st to be International Coffee Day. One of the purposes of the day is to promote fair trade coffee.

There is no coffee in the world that tastes quite like Ethiopian. Maybe someday you will go on a mission trip and experience it for yourself?


Is God Calling You?

Traveling overseas is expensive. Missionaries need to have special gifts or talents. Mission trips are for young people.

Does any of this self-talk sound familiar?  If so, we would like to remind you that God doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called. 


If you have ever felt a desire to travel to Ethiopia to meet your sponsored child, see a third world country first-hand, or immerse yourself in a faith-building experience, we encourage you to trust God’s timing and plan for you. You don’t need any special gifts or talents – your compassion and willing heart are enough. Many of our missionaries fund their trips through donations from friends, family, neighbors, and their church communities, and we have had missionaries of all ages, from 9-months old to senior citizens.

We offer flexible trips year-round ranging from 2 weeks to 3 months. While in Ethiopia, you will stay in a BCI guest house and accompany social workers on visits to see the children.  There are many ways you can help out while in Ethiopia – below are just a few:

  • Youth Ministry
  • Sports Ministry
  • School Ministry
  • Service Projects
  • Church Ministry
  • Adult Ministry
  • Internship

There are two people who will never be the same after a mission trip: the child receiving hope, and the missionary giving it!


Frequently asked questions:

How far in advance should I start planning my trip?
We recommend that you plan at least 4 months in advance.

Can I bring my own team?
Yes. You may organize your own team or travel alone.

Will anyone speak English?
Yes. All of our staff are fluent in English.  Most of the children speak Amharic or Oromo, but many are learning English.

How do I get started?
Fill out a mission trip application and mail it to our office.

Sometimes while in Ethiopia, I found myself thinking: ‘This is it, right now, I am living my dream’.” – Marianne H. from the Netherlands

Read reviews from past mission trips:

Watch a photo slideshow from a mission trip:

For more information, please visit our website:

Send as an e-mail with questions, or for help getting started:


Ethiopian New Year

Traveling to Ethiopia has often been compared to stepping back in time. As a third-world country with limited access to modern technology and developments, there is a distinct old-world feel to the country. Not only does Ethiopia feel like a different era, it is literally in a different time period, as Ethiopia follows their own unique calendar. While it is 2016 in the rest of the world, Ethiopia just rang in the year of 2009 on September 11th. In Ethiopia, the date is Meskerem 1.


The Ethiopian New Year is referred to as Enkutatash, which means “gift of jewels.” The New Year not only marks the start of the new calendar year, it also represents the end of the rainy season and a transition to good harvest weather. It is a time of hope and joy in the country. After months of torrential rains, the sky clears and the countryside is particularly beautiful. The children enjoy picking fresh daisies and handing out bouquets in the streets. It is common to attend a church service followed by a family meal of Injera. The children enjoy singing and painting pictures, while the adults socialize.

In addition to the fact that it is 7 years earlier in Ethiopia, there are also 13 months in the Ethiopian year instead of 12. Each month is 30 days in length except for the 13th month, Pagumen, which has 5 days (6 during a leap year). Ethiopia also has a different method for marking time. Instead of a 24-hour clock, they use a 12-hour cycle, with one cycle from dawn to dusk and another from dusk to dawn. Their day begins at dawn rather than at midnight.

We would like to wish all of our children and staff a prosperous Happy New Year!

Praise Report: New Glasses for Abi


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sponsored-child-in-ethiopia-with-new-glassesLife in rural Ethiopia is hard enough. In addition to the daily challenges of survival, some of our children are burdened with health conditions, and appropriate healthcare is neither readily accessible nor affordable.

Abi Sisay is a 12-year-old boy who lives with his mom and three siblings. Abi suffers from a painful eye condition that is unfortunately degenerative. On a recent visit to an eye specialist he was told that he needs special glasses as well as follow up visits with the eye specialist every two months.

We are thankful to report that in addition to the life-sustaining support he receives from his monthly sponsors, Abi has received a donation to purchase new glasses to help address his condition.

Thanks to his new glasses, Abi is ready to start the school year. When he is older he would like to become a doctor so that he can help others in the same way he has been helped.



Hope for Hiwot

girl-from-ethiopia-with-grain-supportDo you know a 9-year-old girl? Can you imagine arranging for her to marry a man, let alone one three times her age?

This was the sad reality for Selam, the mother of Hiwot Semeneh. Selam fled to Addis Ababa at the age of 9 after discovering that a marriage had been arranged for her. In a country where 41% of girls are married by the age of 18, her story is all too common.  Arranged marriages, child marriage, and marriage by abduction are still common practices in developing parts of the world, including Ethiopia.

Once in Addis Ababa, Selam worked as a maid to earn a living and felt safe until she was raped by someone in the house, resulting in the birth of Hiwot.  After this, she moved to Debre Zeyit where she worked as a waitress, struggling to support herself and her young child.

When she was older, Selam married and had a second daughter and a son. Her husband has since abandoned the family, and she has been forced to raise her three children on her own. She washes clothes for an income but only has two customers who call her once or twice per month.

Like so many others in Ethiopia, Selam lacks the education needed to move on to higher paying employment.  Every day she wonders how she will make it through the month.  Things have gotten so bad that she had to burn the family’s only chair in order to have firewood to prepare food for her children.

Selam’s first-born, Hiwot, is a 4th grade student at BCI Academy.  She is quiet and well behaved at school and loves jumping rope and playing hide-and-seek with her friends.  In spite of the family circumstances, Hiwot has not lost hope.  She dreams of becoming a pilot and is interested in environmental science and English.

Selam is HIV positive, which means her health will continue to decline.  By the grace of God, none of the children are HIV positive, but they will have to carry on and support themselves when their mother is no longer able to. As the eldest child in the family, Hiwot has an additional burden. She must take on responsibilities at home, such as food preparation and helping with her siblings.

The single rented room that the family shares costs $13 USD per month.  All four family members sleep in the same bed, and they share a toilet with their neighbors. The only clothes Hiwot owns are the ones she is shown wearing.
bed-shared-by-four-people-in-ethiopia makeshift-kitchen-table-in-ethiopia
Hiwot is currently partially sponsored. Because of her sponsorship, she is able to attend BCI Academy.  She also has access to the breakfast and lunch program, and she receives monthly grain support.  With only $2 USD available per month for all food, clothing, household items, and living expenses, there just aren’t enough funds available for Selam to provide much for her children beyond a roof over their heads.

Imagine for a moment the bravery of a 9-year-old child to escape the clutches of an arranged marriage, and the courage of this mother in the face of raising a family in extreme poverty. She is alone and her health is failing.  Without our help, Selam has no hope for a better future for her family.

We would like to replace the family’s chair and provide other furniture to improve their living conditions.  We would also like to provide a clean outfit and new shoes for each family member and send 6 months of grain support for her siblings.  Hiwot needs an additional $60 per month to be fully sponsored.

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the needs of so many families in Ethiopia, but with support from our donor family, we can rewrite the story for families like this one.
two-girls-in-ethiopia social-worker-delivers-food-support-to-child-in-ethiopia
Hiwot’s Urgent Needs:
$320  Furniture
$120  Outfit and shoes for 4 family members
$180  6-months of additional grain support
$60/mo.  Complete Hiwot’s monthly sponsorship

Please prayerfully consider what you can add to Hiwot’s story.  If you are able to meet one or more of these needs, please make your donation online or by mail today!


Building Upgrades at BCI Academy

With the BCI Academy building now seven years old, it was time for some upgrades to protect it from deterioration. bci-academy-debre-zeyit-ethiopia-building-upgrade

The months of May through September are considered the rainy season in Debre Zeyit.  Most of BCI Academy is protected by shade, but some parts of the building are vulnerable due to exposure to direct rainfall.  Reinforcements were added to these areas as well as areas close to the ground, which are exposed to water during cleaning.  Reinforcement came in the way of cement, which will provide effective water proofing. New walkways were also added outside the school.

These upgrades ensured that BCI Academy is ready for the upcoming school year, and the building will remain standing solid for future generations.


Modern Technology for a Modern World

We live in a world where communication is faster than ever, where messages can be sent and received at lightning speed.  That is, unless you live in a third world country.  In countries like Ethiopia, modern technology is still considered a luxury.  This includes technologies that we take for granted, such as broadband internet.  Even for the minority of Ethiopians who own computers, broadband is cost prohibitive and is typically reserved for office purposes and businesses, such as internet cafes. 


 In an effort to improve communication with our donor family, we have recently installed broadband at our Ethiopian BCI office.   We are excited about helping our staff complete their tasks more efficiently and having a better line of communication to share information with our donors. 


World Humanitarian Day

World Humanitarian Day - August 19thWorld Humanitarian Day was established seven years ago by the United Nations.  It is a perfect example of what the world needs more of – turning despair into a vehicle for change.  Using devastation and hate as fuel for prosperity and love.

It was August 19th, 2003 when a truck bomb ripped through the UN headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq, killing 22 and wounding more than 100. The deaths included Sergio Vieira de Mello, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and 33 year veteran of UN peacekeeping operations.

In 2009, the UN decided that the story wouldn’t end there.  By enacting World Humanitarian Day, they used this day of destruction and turned it into a day to honor the 130 million citizens of the world who rely on humanitarian aid to survive, and the countless aid workers who risk their lives while serving the greater good.

Each year the UN selects a special theme for the day.  The 2016 theme, One Humanity, was chosen in reflection of the World Humanitarian Summit, which took place this year.  The summit brought the world to Istanbul, Turkey for a discussion on how to best serve those in crisis and improve safety for aid workers.

World Humanitarian Day is a reminder that even today, there is more good than evil in the world, and by working together we can enact change.

If you feel God calling on you to be a part of global change through Blessing the Children, please reach out to us.  You don’t need to have all of the answers, just a willing heart.