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?

 

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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. 

missionaries-pray-with-children-in-debre-zeyit-ethiopia

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!

2017-mission-trips-debre-zeyit-ethiopia-blessing-the-childrenmissionary-and-child-smile-in-ethiopia

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:
https://blessingthechildren.wordpress.com/2015/11/05/what-people-are-saying-mission-trip-testimonials/

Watch a photo slideshow from a mission trip:

For more information, please visit our website:
http://www.blessingthechildren.org/missions/MissionTrip.html

Send as an e-mail with questions, or for help getting started:
Trips@BlessingTheChildren.org

 

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.

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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

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.