An Update on Kind Hearts

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” -James 1:27 (NIV)

If you recall this post from a while ago, you already know that our family is sponsoring Dawit, a little boy at Kind Hearts Orphanage near Addis Abba, Ethiopia. We just recently received the March 2010 newsletter from Kind Hearts, and it was full of wonderful pictures and encouraging news of how the children there are being fed spiritually and physically through the sponsorship program coordinated by Children’s HopeChest.

In the newsletter, Ato. Wendimagegnehu Mecha, the executive director of Kind Hearts, says, “Children’s HopeChest is a guide in a time of crisis and a gift from God. Our hope flourishes through this organization. We are grateful for your support and we require further assistance to ensure the proper survival and holistic development of the children. Thank you.” 

There’s much work yet to do, more children will be enrolling at Kind Hearts soon, and Children’s HopeChest is currently developing another location with nearly 100 children that will need sponsors. If you would like to sponsor a child, please contact Karen Wistrom at

For more about Kind Hearts, I encourage you to follow this blog by Karen Wistrom at Family From Afar, or download the Kind Hearts newsletter PDF by clicking here: Kind Hearts Newsletter March 2010.

Thanks for your consideration. May God bless you!

A Love Story

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24 NIV 

A little over a year ago, very dear friends of ours adopted two beautiful little girls from Ethiopia. Over the past several months, we have had the honor of walking beside them as they have gone through the many ups and downs, joys and struggles of the adoption process.  

Can you imagine, for a minute, the language and behavior challenges in adopting a 6-year-old and a 1-year-old into a family that already has three children under the age of 8? Whew! And can you imagine the joys of hearing orphan cries turn to shrieks of laughter and limp arms turn to passionate embraces? 

The last several months have not been easy for our friends. Not easy for one minute. Day after day, they are the hands and feet of Jesus to these girls as they feed, clothe, educate, parent and love them. God called them to this great endeavor of caring for orphans, and He never promised it would be easy. But God did promise to bless their faithful obedience to Him and His word, and God always fulfills His promises. 

Our friends’ faith in God and their love for these two precious daughters continues to amaze and inspire us. We’ve seen true compassion. We’ve seen faith in action. We’ve seen unquestionably sacrificial love. We’ve seen incredible obedience to the Lord. What a joy to see God so clearly at work in their lives! What a testimony! They have made such a profound difference in the lives of these girls, and God is writing this great love story on the hearts of their biological children as well.   

I don’t know if our friends will ever comprehend how much they have spurred our family and other on toward love and good deeds. Truly they have encouraged us and kept our hearts from being hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. Passion like theirs is uncommon and quite contagious.

In fact, their uncommon, contagious passion has encouraged us to sponsor a little boy in Ethiopia through a program called Children’s HopeChest. Our sponsorship provides this precious little boy direct help for emotional, educational and medical needs. He will receive age-appropriate Bible training and discipleship classes that will offer opportunities for a national believer to share Christ through word and deed. He will receive birthday and Christmas gifts and parties. And we will offer him encouragement through prayer, letter writing and relationship. Our prayer is that we will make a profound difference in this young boy’s life. Our prayer is that this little boy will know how long and wide and high and deep is the love of Christ, a love that stretches across the globe from Minneapolis, USA, to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and beyond. 

Likewise, we pray that this endeavor will further teach us how long and wide and high and deep the love of Christ is. We pray it will make a profound difference in our hearts and the hearts of our two daughters. We pray this will soften our hearts so we are more tender toward those in need. We pray that, in however small and remote a way, we will be the hands and feet of Jesus to this dear little boy. 

Of course, dear readers, I want to spur you on toward love and good deeds as well. So I’d like to encourage you to prayerfully consider sponsoring a child through Children’s HopeChest. Find out more at

May you also know how long and wide and high and deep the love of Christ is, and may you spur others on toward love and good deeds.

This post is part of Rachel Olsen’s devotion carnival, in which she asked readers to write a devotion on the topic of love.