Summer '07 ESL Teaching Training Trip July 10 - 26, 2007

Prayer Calendar


We are excited to tell you about our trip to Ethiopia beginning Tuesday, July 10th through Thursday, July 26th, 2007. We know that there is no way that we can do this trip on our own strength, so we appreciate your prayers, both as we prepare, and while we travel.

PictureOur team of 16 includes one family of four, one father-daughter duo, four elementary teachers and four secondary teachers. Half of our team is returning to Ethiopia, and for six members of our team this will be the third trip.  While in Ethiopia, we will overlap with a team of six who is teaching English for two months and with a high school team of twenty. 

PictureOur team has a simple mission – to teach teachers best practices for English-as-a-second-language teaching techniques.  Our trip will take us into a small village in the Rift Valley six hours South of Addis Ababa where our church has built a school with our Ethiopia partner, HOPE Enterprises.  (To learn more about HOPE, click here.)  During our short 24-hour stay there, we will gather information for the family sponsors and deliver messages and cards.  We will also assist in teaching teachers and students and enjoying some crafts.  Our team will also head into the hills of Ethiopia, ten-hours north of Addis Ababa, to serve with HOPE Enterprises at their school in Dessie where we will love and play with the children and provide our training program for the teachers during our week-long visit. As HOPE would say, these are the poorest of the poor (in a country that is considered one of the poorest countries in the world). (In each entering class, of 50 students, forty percent (or 20 students) are full orphans, another forty percent (or 20 students) are half orphans and the remaining twenty percent (or 10 students) are considered “destitute” (to use a HOPE phrase) – living in a large family where starvation is a real risk either because of a lack of income or the family income is variable.)

PictureOur team will also serve in the HOPE feeding kitchen in Addis Ababa. The soup kitchen would be makeshift by American standards (with its corrugated tin roof held up on poles), but it has been serving the street children of Addis Ababa since 1975 and is the oldest and largest feeding kitchen in Ethiopia. Today, it feeds approximately 200 children each morning, who are then given some biblical instruction before they go to school, and 660 people at lunch, including street mothers and children, people suffering from severe disabilities and others who live on the street or are destitute. Each person eating lunch must present a meal ticket which can be purchased for 1 BIRR or approximately $0.12 US. That represents 1/4 of the cost of the meal, the rest being underwritten by donations.

During our time of preparation, our team decided that our mascots would be Gumby and Pokey, given that they form a perfect team (one is nothing without the other) and they are incredibly flexible (as we hope to be). To understand what these two plasticine creatures have come to mean to us, please click here.  Love, Listen, Laugh, Learn (or L4) has become our mantra or team covenant. We hope to carry ourselves in this way as we learn what God has in store for us. And we look forward to sharing it all with you through these pages while we are there, and with our personal stories upon our return. During our time there, we would appreciate your prayers. If you are so inclined, please refer to our prayer calendar.