The High Cost of Education

The High Cost of Education by Jonnett Teshome

I have lived in Ethiopia for 10 months now.  I see poverty, desolation, and pain all around me.  I don’t understand all of the things that I see.  I don’t understand why God lets certain things happen to his children.  I don’t know why God allows some families to struggle financially while other families never have to worry about money.  Through my prayer for the families I have met in Debre Zeit, Ethiopia God has shown me that it is not for me to ask why-it is for me to do.  While I can’t financially help everyone I meet, I can be an advocate for them.

We are told many times in Scripture that we are to help the poor. In Matthew 25 we learn that if we help someone in need than we are doing it as if we are doing it unto Jesus.  That is amazing to me.  When we feed or clothe someone in need it is as if we are feeding or clothing Jesus.  I love that!

When we do these things we show God’s love lives in us.  Contrastly, 1 John 3:17 says “But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from his, how does the love of God abide in him?”  The Apostle John is telling us that if we have and we refuse to give to the poor then how can God’s love be in us?  God is a giver.  He gave His Son to us, He gives us His love, He gives us His joy, He gives us His Creation.  If we are to be like Him, how can we not give as well?

I had all of these thoughts after I met Alemayhu Abera and his family.  Alemayhu is an eight year old little boy in the BCI program.  He lives in a small house with his mother, two sisters, and brother.  His father died about four years ago after falling off of a house while doing construction.

Alemayehu Abera with his brother & sister.

Alemayhu’s family has struggled intensely for the past four years.  His mother walks approximately two miles one way to work where she works for 12 hours a day, seven days a week.  She works at a local factory where she cooks injera (local bread) for the factory workers.  At the end of the week she is allowed to take the injera scraps home to her family.  These are moldy, soggy scraps of injera that she collects to take home to her children, because she very limited things to feed them.

Even though she works 84 hours a week she only makes 300 birr ($17) a month.  The rent on their house that has no kitchen, no bathroom, no running water, and no electricity is 100 birr ($5) a month.  That leaves 200 birr ($12) a month to feed and clothe a family of five.  Even though food and clothes are cheaper in Ethiopia than they are in America, it is impossible to feed and clothe a family of five off of $12 a month.  The family relies on BCI’s monthly grain support to help them eat, however, only Alemayhu is in the BCI program so the BCI support is not enough to cover the whole family.

I went to visit this family to see how we could help them.  I would like to find full sponsorship ($90/mth) for Alemayhu’s sister, Emebet.  Emebet is 10 years old.  I wasn’t able to meet her because she has been sent away for the summer to live as a servant in her teacher’s house.  Emebet attends school four miles from her house.  During the summer, she is sent to live as a servant for the teacher’s family.  Emebet does not get paid but the teacher provides a uniform and books for Emebet to be able to attend school the following year.

If a full BCI sponsorship is found for Emebet then she will be able to enter the BCI program where she will receive a free education, monthly food support, and health care.  She will no longer have to be a servant just so she can go to school.

I also would like to find someone to help send Alemayhu’s oldest siblings to BCI Academy.  Assagidutch is 15 years old and Getahun is 14 years old.  They will be entering grades 7 and 8 next year.  Currently, they attend government school.  Government school in Ethiopia is not great.  It is only half day, whereas, BCI Academy runs all day.  Also, the class sizes in government school average 80 kids to one teacher.  The class sizes at BCI Academy average 25 students to one teacher.  The children will receive a much better education at BCI Academy then at government school.

BCI Academy costs $208 a year for non-BCI, paying students.  If we find donors to fund a scholarship for Assagidutch and Getahun for this coming school year then they will be able to attend BCI Academy even if they are not in the BCI program.

Would you please prayerfully consider helping out this family?  They are the “least of these” by economic standards but their faith is so strong in God.  They praise God everytime they receive the monthly grain support from BCI and they praise God every week that the mother’s employer lets her bring home stale and moldy injera for the family to eat.

Would you prayerfully considering helping in one of the following ways?

*Sponsor Emebet to enter the BCI program at $30, $60, or $90 a month.

*Help to send Assagidutch to BCI Academy next year ($208 is needed).

*Help to send Getahun to BCI Academy next year ($208 is needed).

Please email our Program Director, Melissa, and she will help you to make payment arrangements. 

Any and all help for these precious orphans is greatly appreciated.  I can’t even express to you how even a small gift can make a huge impact on their lives.  God Bless You!

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