I am preparing for my trip to Ethiopia, coming up in just a few days. My purpose and drive is always to equip our staff and guide the ministry to be ever more effective in serving those for whom we exist. While in Ethiopia, I fill my days from dawn to dark with conducting meetings, giving seminars, consulting with the staff, and of course… working with the kids. That’s my passion and I make the most of every minute I have in Ethiopia.Home visit DSC08808

It’s been very encouraging over the past few years as I have seen great growth and progress. We have even been awarded 1st place in the rating of NGOs by the Ethiopian government! You can read about it here.

It’s no small feat working in a third world country but God has given us great staff who share the vision and work together to accomplish our goals. But we are far from one of our big goals. It is great to expand our walls, but even better to transcend them.

There is a great TED Talk called “Tribal leadership” by David Logan. If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it.

The speaker talks about how we all form tribes, still today… and how those tribes have five culture stages of development. 

Stage four is when a team comes together and works united for a common cause. At stage four, a tribe is able to change and improve their environment but the next stage requires moving out beyond their tribe (organization) to impact their community and the world. This is where we are at in BCI right now. We need to focus our attention from making “our” world a better place… to making “the” world a better place.

2For several years during my visits, we’ve sown into the lives of our sponsored children and staff through English quizzing competitions, English camps, training seminars, and leadership conferences. We’ve offered a constant pouring into our sponsored children and staff, but have not so diligently focused on going beyond the walls of our organization.

This visit to Ethiopian in March marks a change. It’s time to begin reaching out beyond ourselves and beyond those we serve, to extend ourselves to the community. We will move beyond growing BCI and work on growing a community and having a greater impact on Ethiopia.

This year, we are inviting local schools to join us in the English Competition with rewards for both the schools and the students, the goal being to motivate excellence in English to all schools, not just in BCI Academy. We’re also inviting staff and teachers from other community schools and organizations to participate in this year’s seminars.11357206_579819878826659_2782281940711472808_o

Because these activities are in addition to our existing programs and outreaches, I need to raise a budget of $2,491 for these new initiatives.

  • English Quizzing – $1,424 for individual prizes $419, school awards $500, medals ribbons & plaques $253, and refreshments $252.
  • 2016 Annual Spring Conference – $724 for conference materials, lunch and refreshments for 125 staff members from other schools, ministries and local government offices.
  • Medical Checkups – $343 for medical equipment providing free checkups to community children.

I am reaching out to you because I believe you share this vision. Together, side by side, our tribe is changing lives…now on an even more significant scale. Would you be the sponsor – or help sponsor – one of these events; 2016 English Quizzing, 2016 Spring Conference, or the 2016 Medical Checkups?

In his TED Talk, David asks, “What kind of an impact are the tribes that you are in making?” I want to thank you for being a part of this tribe who is bringing hope to the hopeless and making a way out of poverty for the children and widows of Ethiopia.

In Christ,
Keith V. Strawn | President

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