Verse of the Day

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Addis Ababa, Part 3: YWAM Mercy Development

The streets of Addis Ababa

Women selling vegetables, roadside

Lots of busses and tons of traffic

The streets are always filled with people

View of nicer area of Addis, near Ethio-Comfort

Any home with any value has razor wire on top of walls

On Thursday, May 24, 2012 we had a pretty leisurely start. I was unfortunately up at 3:30 a.m. again due to the Muslim call to prayer. Between the barking dogs, jet lag, and the Muslim call to prayer, a good night's sleep is pretty close to impossible!

This morning, T. and I are regretting the fact that we forgot to bring lots of dried fruit. Last trip, we stocked up on whole-food bars, nuts, and a variety of dried fruits. Since I traveled alone with T., I was quite reluctant to venture to the local mini-mart. It was a short walk, but one I was not going to risk making. 

T. and I never felt uncomfortable or unsafe while in Addis. We did have a male driver with us at all times within the city, and did not venture out without him. We chose not to go out at night, and did not eat anywhere but the Ethio-Comfort. Some might call us too careful, but when you have a beautiful and novice traveler as your daughter, and a sweet little boy--- I'd rather err on the side of being too careful.

Today we spent much of the time driving through Addis Ababa. The city is teeming with people, cars, busses, donkey, goats, and construction. The city is literally changing over night, with old and run-down areas undergoing demolition and new, high-rise building taking their place. Since none of the land is privately owned in Ethiopia, when the government wants to build, they build. Home owners are reimbursed for their homes, but I am told that often times the reimbursement is not too favorable for the home owner. 

Indeed, much of Ethiopia is undergoing such change. The Indian government is leasing huge areas of land (the size of Addis, I am told) and introducing mechanized farming; the Indians are also building various manufacturing facilities. When the Indians (or the Chinese) come into the area and decide on a particular plot of land, the government takes the land from the Ethiopians living and farming on it. The Ethiopian families are told to go elsewhere. This has created anger on behalf of the displaced Ethiopian farmers, in some cases. In other cases, Ethiopians surrender their land and end of working for the Indian companies. Additionally, I learned that the Ethiopian government makes a large amount of money through leasing the land, and through taxes on the exported materials. From what I understand, the farming and the manufacturing do not benefit the people of Ethiopia; all the food and products leave Ethiopia, and are exported. I do wonder how much of the new construction is government funded, and how much of it is foreign-government funded? With all of the obvious changes in Addis, there is certainly a lot of money coming from somewhere. 

T. and I did manage to spend a bit of our own money, purchasing beautiful items from the stores near the Addis Post Office. We did not have Kassa, our Lalibela tour guide with us to bargain... so I'm sure we paid about double what we did last shopping trip! Nonetheless, we enjoyed shopping in Addis and appreciated the helpfulness of the shop keepers.

Next stop, YWAM Mercy Development.

Outside of YWAM Mercy Development--- no overhead shelter  for outdoor benches

Outside YWAM MD

Not much room for kids to run and play, and what is here is not very safe 
Main entrance to YWAM MD. Note the sofas and chairs on the porch. The facility has no room inside for them.
Let me introduce you to a busy place: the YWAM Mercy Development complex. Well, it used to be a complex. Just last December, YWAM occupied 3 separate buildings. Now, due to lack of funding, YWAM occupies only one house. Many of the children are no longer able to stay at the houses. All of the ministries are run out of this one facility. Two of the missionaries left; the discipleship training school is defunct. The compound itself  is woefully inadequate--- overcrowded, messy (due to lack of storage and usable area)... and down-right upsetting. 

The YWAM home used to have separate boys' and girls' houses. Now, they are under the same roof--- adults staying in the main rooms, providing supervision for the kids. If I recall, the age range of the 15 children living in the complex is from 8-16. The home provides shelter, food, and funds for school; it also provides some Christian discipleship and accountability. 

In addition to the room and board aspect of the ministry, YWAM MD also runs a school-day feeding program for about 20 kids. Everyday, these kids come to get good food and hopefully, the sweet love of Jesus.
Lunch time feeding program

Outdoor food storage area

Kids enjoying lunch and fellowship

Some were bashful for the camera...

You can smile...

Gotcha! Such a beautiful smile from a great kid!

Indoor eating area for the younger kids

Inside main living area of home

Cramped quarters; the extra refrigerator is in the hallway

Computer work area for older students

Main area, looking out to front of property

Scripture decorates the walls

Tiny indoor kitchen area--- shown to us my Pastor Abdissa

I am not pleased... the kitchen area is so inadequate

Outdoor cooking and washing area
If I remember correctly, YWAM Mercy Development needs about $1500 USD to operate each month, and it is not meeting current budget needs. In order to grow and to serve more children in the surrounding community, the ministry needs to rent another home. There is a home currently available to rent--- almost across the street from the existing house. If YWAM MD can secure more faithful donors, more children can seek and find refuge. As it stands now, YWAM and all of its ministries are in jeopardy. That means no housing, no food, no community feeding program, no water program, no discipleship training program. If you would like to share in the burden to bring relief to these children, please make a donation online at (indicate that the funds are for YWAM MD). Please consider making monthly support payments. The US dollar goes a long way in Ethiopia (exchange rate is 17:1).

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