Giving hope in Ethiopia: little is much

“She’s all grown up and saving China!”

I think in movie quotes.  Yeah, that gives away the fact that I’ve spent too much time watching movies. Also, the connections I make in my tangled lil’ brain aren’t always readily evident to others.  But I’m blaming my little sister for the quote currently knocking around in my head.

My sister whom I jiggled as a newborn. Whose hair I braided when she was a little bigger. Who always saw me doing things first, and (I suspect) often wished she was grown up and heading off on adventures like her older siblings.

That baby sister of mine is all grown up now, and getting ready to head off on an adventure of her own. One that I may never have. She leaves for Ethiopia in June. That in itself is not unusual, for my family anyway. In the past 5 years, nine members of my close family have been to Ethiopia — and that’s not even counting the five kids who were born there.

But my sister isn’t just planning a visit. She has committed to live and work as a nurse in Ethiopia for two years. Even now she is sorting supplies and making checklists and tallying ‘needs met’ and ‘needs still remaining’. Learning to make cheese and butter. Taking classes and reading everything she can get her hands on. Doing her best to look thoughtfully forward, to anticipate the things she might need to live in a third world country and provide decent medical care to the poorest of the poor.

People who are scared into giving their grocery money to witch doctors saying their kids will die without the right spell said over them. People for whom a $3 bottle of antibiotics is the difference between life and death. People who in some cases might not even need a doctor if only they could afford shoes– or clean water — or enough food.

My little sister knows she is not going to save the world… or China Ethiopia…or even the town of Soddo, where she will live and work. But during the days and weeks and months and years of her ministry there, she WILL be making a difference. Chipping away at the problem bit by bit as God allows. One life at a time.

This will be Sophie’s fifth trip to Ethiopia. On one previous trip she was handed tiny, premature baby John, born weighing only 2 pounds. No one was sure if he would live. I saw this little guy too– I was there adopting one of our girls. I could hardly bear to look into the blanket Sophie clutched to her heart, he was so impossibly tiny and frail. What if I breathed on him and gave him some bug that could kill him?

He needed an incubator. And tube feedings. And intensive care. And a whole slew of good luck. Things orphanages aren’t so great at providing. So someone tucked him into Sophie’s arms. I think she was slightly breathless at the responsibility that had been thrust on her. But there wasn’t a better option immediately evident, and as it turned out, God knew there wasn’t a better person for the job.

Sophie cuddled him and tube-fed him and warmed him and cared for him and prayed over him and loved him. And you know what? He lived. he grew. He thrived. He is now a happy toddler FOUR year old, adopted into a wonderful family.

That one child made the trip worthwhile in Sophie’s heart.

How many more will she be able to help during the next two years? I am eager to hear the stories she’ll tell.


If you would like to assist Sophie in her mission work, providing money for supplies and groceries and rent and everything else she will need, will you please consider clicking on the donate button below? You’ll be taken to the main page at Sign in (or create an account), click on ‘Send Money’ then type in Sophie’s email:

I’ll be checking totals and giving updates today and tomorrow. If you are led to help out, awesome!  Every little bit helps. If this project isn’t something you’re interested in, no pressure. Come back tomorrow when I’ll be showing how I’ve organized my laundry room for better efficiency.  But if you want to be a part of this exciting work, jump on in and click below.  Little is much.

A letter from Sophie’s previous trip
Sophie’s ‘sending’ agency

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  1. Was it the weekend when it was happy?

  2. Mary – the donate button won’t work for me….

  3. Sorry, I don’t know why the code that paypal generated for the account didn’t work. For the moment, I’m just using the button to direct you to the main page of paypal. There you can sign in, select ‘send money’, and type in as the person to whom you are sending money.

  4. That quote made me think of a favorite movie–from your post a couple of days ago. I don’t think anyone mentioned Chariots of Fire. Love that movie!!!!!!!!

    And love following your sister’s story in Ethiopia. Last summer and now going again………

  5. What a great story!


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