A Surprise Blessing

We love to receive good news. We were thrilled last year when a church from Arizona who had traveled with us to Ethiopia surprised us with a generous donation to purchase beds for the children.

You may remember that we asked for help in purchasing beds for Christmas in 2016. We were able to meet our goal of getting all of the children off from the floor and into beds. This was a great feeling!

Although we achieved this important goal, we still had situations that were less than ideal, such as teenage sons sharing beds with their mothers, and multiple family members sharing a bed. Receiving this unexpected gift allowed us to greatly improve the sleeping arrangements for so many children.

It is heart warming to know that others out there think and care about the children like we do, and take it upon themselves to help provide for their critical needs. Thank you to this special church and to everyone who makes sacrifices, big and small, to support the children throughout the year.

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A Key to the World

In partnership with our global sponsorship family, we do everything we can to give our children the best chance for a bright future. We provide them with nutrition and medical care, we pour into their spiritual lives, foster social development, and give them access to a complete education. One thing that we feel is a key to opening up the world to them and helping them break out of the cycle of poverty is the English language. English is the most widely spoken international language for business, academia and tourism. By contrast, the national language of Ethiopia (Amharic) is spoken only in Ethiopia. By teaching our children how to speak English fluently, we are giving them the ability to communicate with the rest of the world.

Several years ago we established an English Quizzing Competition in order to motivate the students to study English above and beyond their work in the classroom. The competition is a big event within the community and takes place over a one-week period each spring. Top students from grades 4 through 10 at several local schools are nominated by their teachers to participate in the competition, which consists of many rounds of competition before winners are selected. The top six students in each grade receive a cash prize and ribbon, and the top two students in each grade are invited to a special banquet along with a guest and their teacher. Participating in this banquet is a big honor and is something that the students strive towards.

Due to the fact that we are now responsible for over 2,000 students at the BCI Academy and Bethlehem School, we have had to limit the competition to these two schools for 2018. There simply isn’t funding to bring in additional schools at this time. In fact, there is no funding available period. In past years, a generous donor financially supported the competition. When our competition sponsor passed away in 2017, we lost a dear friend and also the ability to support the English competition. We feel that it is critical to continue this competition in order to keep the students motivated to develop their English skills. Therefore, we are asking for partners to join with us in sponsoring the competition this year.

SPONSOR A GRADE: $85 per class for ribbons, medals, and cash prizes
SPONSOR A CHAMPION: $45 per student for banquet meal, including one guest and one teacher
SPONSOR THE GRAND PRIZE: $500 for a laptop computer for the 10th grade winner, to help with college preparation

We invite you to visit our YouTube channel to view a video of last year’s competition, including several touching speeches by the children: https://www.youtube.com/c/BlessingtheChildrenIntl

 

Counting our Blessings

We are filled with gratitude at the outpouring of generosity from our donor family this Christmas in providing much-needed essentials for the children. We want to take a moment to share some numbers with you: we think you’ll be as excited as we are!

28 pair of shoes to protect little feet

22 outfits to provide comfort and dignity

16 backpacks to transport books to school

10 bellies filled to keep bodies strong and nourished

12 hygiene kits to protect from germs and illness

20 toys to develop imaginations

54 months of vitamins to keep immune systems healthy

1 home repaired to keep a family safe and dry

Meat and eggs added to the school meals to provide protein that will help the children grow strong

And, many more blessings! Our BCI family also provided new bedding, rent, sanitary products, medical expenses, support for waiting children, and financial gifts to be used where needed most.

God is good all of the time!