Nathenael’s Gift

Nathenael “Nati” Mulugeta is a 13-year-old boy who has been in the BCI program longer than he can remember. He credits BCI for introducing him to his best friend, Surafel Tefera, whom he has grown up with and enjoys playing with. He attends the BCI Academy, where he is a Grade 7 student.

Nati’s mother tragically died during childbirth, and his father abandoned him at birth. Nati has been raised by his older sister who provides for Nati, his brother, and two other sisters. By all accounts, his story is that of a typical Ethiopian orphan, except that beneath his humble exterior, Nati is a young man blessed with extraordinary talent. His name means “God has given”, and it’s quite clear that his ability has been given by God.

Last year, Nati’s talent was discovered during a church service in Debre Zeyit. Talent scouts from the capital city of Addis Ababa were in the audience and heard Nati singing worship songs. They immediately identified his exceptional singing ability, and brought him to Addis to film a music video, which is now the 5th most watched video out of 246 videos on the talent scout’s YouTube channel. The video of Nati singing an Ethiopian worship song has garnered more than half a million views, and an outpouring of support from viewers.

“This little baby boy has a unique spirit from God.”

“Nathenael has been chosen to do many great things by God.”

“I have two kids. I want them to follow your footsteps. God bless you more and I love you from the bottom of my heart.”

Shortly after his video came out, we sat down for an interview with Nati and asked him why he made the video. His response? “God helped me.” While his favorite subject at school is geography, Nati dreams of becoming a professional singer when he grows up and praising God through music.

Nati receives excellent marks at school, and when he is not attending school or church, he is helping his siblings by performing chores at home. His favorite food is Shiro, a stew made of chickpeas, onions and garlic. He looks forward to eating his favorite meal once a week.

When asked “how do you know you are a Christian?”, Nati responded in his typical matter-of-fact style: “Because I am Jesus Christ’s son.”

We lost count of the number of viewers who commented on how blessed Nati is, and what a blessing it was to listen to his song. Praise God for using this young man to reach so many
people. His heart burns for Jesus and this shines through his
music. We could not be more proud of Nati and awed by
God’s hand in his life.

We invite you to check out Nati’s music video and be blessed:

 

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Melkam Gena

With Ethiopian Christmas right around the corner on January 7th, we feel so joyful to know that 58 of our children are receiving special gifts this year. The blessings include outfits for 30 children, where needed most gifts for 24 children, extra grain support, help for a disabled child, beds, undergarments and sanitary products. In western culture, we sometimes tease our children with the threat of getting socks and underwear for Christmas, but this is earnestly the gift that our Ethiopian children want and need. The contrast always provides an opportunity to be thankful for the abundance of blessings in our own lives and for the chance to make a big impact with such a small gesture. Thank you to everyone who has partnered with us this year to spread some Christmas cheer. Please join us in wishing Melkam Gena to our Ethiopian family!

 

 

Delivering Dresses & Hope

In the springtime, six children were delighted to receive Hope Baskets from one of our wonderful interns, JoAnn, who visited them in their homes. The baskets included essential items such as cooking oil, pasta, peanut butter, soap, bananas, and rice.

We were further blessed when a missionary named Heather packed a suitcase full of brand new, handmade dresses for the youngest little ones in our program. New clothes are a rare treat and the girls felt special.

The gifts themselves are lovely, but the greatest impact came from the fact that someone traveled halfway around the world to step into their lives and demonstrate love.

15 year-old Tsedenya and her Mother

New Dress Day

Meron Fikadu Update

We first introduced you to 8-year-old Meron Fikadu in 2014. Meron’s situation was a desperate one. She lived in the red light district of Debre Zeyit, a street full of bars and brothels. Her mother was a drug addict who worked as a prostitute in a bar. Because of this lifestyle, she was unable to care for Meron and gave her daughter up. Meron was taken in by a guardian.

A church in the States heard this sad story and generously offered to support the mother to enable her to leave her job and reunite with Meron. The two moved into a clean, furnished home and began rebuilding their relationship.

Meron with her Mother in 2017

Tragedy struck this summer when on July 15th, Meron’s mother passed away after a lengthy illness. There is no guardian to care for Meron at this time so BCI stepped in and placed her in a foster home with several other full orphans. She will continue to receive support from her sponsors and will have a community around her in the other teens she will live with at the foster home, including her best friend, Haben.

Please join us in praying for Meron as she adjust to this next chapter in her life.

Faven Abebayehu

My name is Faven and I am 7 years old. My name means “light”, and I sure do light up a room! I am described by my social worker as a “sweet, lovely and well-behaved girl”. I live with my mother and 10-year-old sister, Dibora. I love my sister so very much!

My mother had to leave my father due to a bad situation and she now cares for us by herself. She tries all the time to find work but no one will hire her because she has no skills or education. This makes me sad, and it’s hard for my sister and I because we don’t have much.

I enjoy playing jump rope with my sister the best. When I grow up I want to be a doctor and help people. A lot of us kids share this dream because we have seen so much sickness and suffering and we just want it to stop!

I would love to have a sponsor to write letters to like the other kids. I know my future could be bright, with the support and encouragement of a sponsor. I am patiently waiting!

It takes a village to raise a child. We welcome anyone who would like to be a part of Faven’s story to reach out to us:

(888) 269-2719
info@BlessingTheChildren.org

English Competition a Success

Hundreds of children recently gathered in the school courtyard on a sunny afternoon to hear the results of the annual BCI English Competition. After a week that featured multiple rounds of competition, winners emerged at each grade level. Our grand prize winner, Remedan Jemal, was thrilled to receive a laptop computer that will aid him in his studies. There were many eyes upon him as he received his prize, and no doubt these children returned home inspired to study hard for next year’s competition.

Congratulations to all of our competitors, and especially to Getaneh Yohannes – Grade 6 Champion, and Tinsae Teklu – Grade 7 Champion. Getaneh and Yohannes have grown up in the BCI program and we are delighted for their achievement.

 

Growing Pains: Water Shortage at the BCI Academy

If you have bought a home or rented an apartment, you have likely felt the “joy” of those little discoveries you make after moving in: the noisy neighbors upstairs or the room that always seems to be mysteriously colder than the rest of the house. We made a discovery like this after opening the Bethlehem campus of the BCI Academy this past fall. As it turns out, the water line does not provide enough water to support the more than 1,500 students who attend the school, especially during the daytime.

The Bethlehem campus water line originates from a reservoir in town. Water continues to flow throughout the night, but we currently have no way of capturing it to save it for the next school day, meaning that this precious and scare resource goes to waste. This also means that the students run out of water during the day and are unable to use the drinking fountains and toilets. This creates a sanitation issue as well as a dehydration risk, particularly during the warmer months of the school year. Besides the health concerns, the water shortage is a distraction for the students. It is difficult to concentrate on your studies when you are physically uncomfortable in class.
In an ideal situation, we would install a well on the school property; however, this is a difficult task in Ethiopia, as the water is hundreds of feet below the surface and requires use of a $25,000 well-drilling device. There is also a 2-year wait list to use the drill.

Young BCI Academy Student

The current water usage for the school is more than 20,000 Liters per day. In order to provide an adequate supply of water, we need to install two tanks that each store 10,000 Liters of water. These tanks will collect the water that flows through the night and hold it for use the next school day. The cost to install both tanks, all accessories included, is only $1 per student. We think this is a small price to pay to enhance the health of more than 1,500 students! We hope you will consider partnering with us to make sure our students stay clean and hydrated during school hours.

1 Tank: $750
1 Grade: $125
1 Class: $30
1 Child: $1

Blessing the Children International
2265 Fraser Road
Kawkawlin, MI 48631
1-888-269-2719

http://www.BlessingTheChildren.org/donate