Ann Rae is Returning to Ethiopia!

Ann Rae pic for blogFrom Ann Rae about her upcoming return to Ethiopia:

Just 5 days left before I board the plane for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia!

Just last year, I was living in Ethiopia and working through a ministry located in Addis Ababa. We were working mainly in a village called Korah, which surrounds the city trash dump. Korah means “cursed,” and the village started generations ago when people from all over Ethiopia and surrounding countries were looking to get treatment for their leprosy. However, when they reached the capital city of Addis Ababa, they were unwanted and outcasted for their leprosy and forced to live in Korah, where they dump their trash.

These people were left with no job and no way to provide for their families, no way to send their kids to school.

Today, generations later, the village of Korah has a population of about 130,000 people. Many of these people are widows, orphans, and single mothers – some living with leprosy, HIV/AIDS, and other illnesses. We found an organization that hired individuals and taught them a skill making handicraft items to sell. This way, through their jobs at the organization, they could keep their families intact, provide for them, and send their kids to school.

Sadly, because of some unfortunate circumstances, that organization closed down last year, leaving the employees without work. Many of my friends lost their incomes and lost the ability to provide for their families. It broke my heart. I had grown to love these women and men I had spent so much time with. It was hard to see them discouraged and saddened over losing their jobs. However, despite their circumstances, when I visited them in May this year, they were surprisingly joyful and hopeful, which encouraged me and reminded me the best is yet to come!

After all this time, I still feel like God has put on my heart the people of Korah, Ethiopia.

My plan is to live in the village of Korah. I’ll be sharing a house with an Ethiopian family – a husband, wife, and their two children.

During my stay, I will be spending time with the women in Korah who previously had jobs with Mission Ethiopia. I want to help them and show love to them in any way I can, whether this means visiting them at their homes, praying with them, helping them with something at home, or even tutoring their kids.

Some of the women have been hired by new ministries in Korah. A ministry called Carry 117 has hired five of the women! I can’t wait to serve at this organization!

I’ll also be spending time at some of the other ministries where we bring our short-term mission teams–Embracing Hope, Kidane Miheret Orphanage, Youth For Christ Ethiopia, Women at Risk, and others. This way, I’ll be able to learn more about these ministries first-hand. That will help LifePoint develop new partnerships with our Christian brothers and sisters in Ethiopia. It will also help us to better serve them when we bring our teams!

I am getting excited to go, but I’m also really sad to leave all of my close friends and family here at home again. Goodbyes are so hard.

Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement. It means so much to me.

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