It has been forever since I have had time to log in and share what God has been doing in our ever changing family. As a mom I have held my breath the past few months as we have experienced so much change in our family. At the end of last week, I finally felt that I could begin to breath regularly again. Over the past two months we have moved our oldest two out of our home, transitioned Jacob into high school and all four of our youngest started into middle school. That is A LOT of change! Praise the Lord they are all doing wonderfully well and I am the only one still trying to adjust to our new normal.
It has been a joy to watch my older girls thrive in their new environments and that has helped my mom heart cope with the fact that I am old enough to have two kids in college. After years of pouring into my girls God has been so faithful to encourage me as I watch them chase after Him. There really is no greater joy. It feels at times that they are outgrowing my wildest dreams for them and I absolutely love it!
I am always amazed at God's timing on things and during this time of transition God granted our family a really neat gift. We found out a few days before Kaylee and Megan moved out that our family received a grant to travel back to Ethiopia this next year. It was such a great time of celebration for our family in the midst of sadness as we approached the older girls moving away from home. It gave us great joy to know that this year we would be traveling together as a family to a place we all love.
Enough about us..........I want to update you on some amazing things that God is doing in Ethiopia. Last year when David traveled to Ethiopia it was such a blessing to our family to hear of what God was doing there. Upon David's return we contacted a ministry that helped us partner with two Ethiopian believers to help share the love of Jesus with the Zay people. They are encouraging the few that have accepted Christ and continuing to reach those that have never heard. We love to hear updates from these men who are loving a people group that God has called our family to reach.
We also have received a few emails from Garrett and Tia's older brother, Welde. Welde accepted Christ and was baptized while David was in Ethiopia last year. It is encouraging to hear him share about growing in his faith. It will be a sweet reunion when we see him in a few months.
Several times when Garrett has shared stories of living on the island he has mentioned times when his mom would cry at night because they would not have water for the light (oil for the lamp). He remembers the total darkness and how his mom was so poor that they couldn't afford oil in order to have light when it became dark. While David was in Ethiopia last year he purchased 3 solar panel lights to take with him to the island to resolve the issue of our extended family not having light. These solar panels not only provide light but they also serve as an outlet to provide power as well. We heard last week that these solar lights are very popular with the Zay people. People are lining up and waiting to get to use the outlets.
Our family knows that God is calling us to make sure that every family on the island has a light and power source. What better way to teach them who Jesus is than to give them a physical light and use the light to tell them of the real source of light and power? Teaching them that Jesus is the Light of the World by physically providing light for them each evening. We are so excited that he has called us to this task. We know that the nine of us can't provide the resources alone needed for this to become a reality. We are asking you to prayerfully consider adopting a Zay family and help us purchase a light for that family. We can't wait to light up the island!
Our family can't wait to travel to Ethiopia this next year and visit our extended family. As a mom, I can't wait to show our kids the clean water (thanks to so many of you that gave) and for them to see that their island has light! When they lived there they did not have either. Can you imagine living life with no running water and no electricity? Can you imagine part of your family living that way? For our family this is a reality...........We can't provide running water and full electricity in each hut on the island but we have provided clean water and now we hope to give them light and a power source. Will you join us?
The solar power units cost $150.00 each. Our goal is one per family which means that we need to raise $15,000.00. They are purchased in Ethiopia (which we love) and David hopes to provide each family a light when he returns to the island in February. Maybe give one as a Christmas gift, ask for one to be given as a gift to you, or better yet sacrifice something that you really want for others to get the opportunity to hear about the Light of the World! (Our oldest son just decided to do just that this week.)
We can't wait to share a picture with you of the entire island shining at night!
If you want to give email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can give by going to www.taketherisk.com next click the GIVE tab and there will be a drop down window where you can give to the Solar Light Project-Zay people Light project. We hope that you will join our family as we share His Love and Light half way around the world.