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Those that have known me a long time know that I love helping others. I was always the teenager taking care of the kids at big events. I earned a degree in special education because I love helping those who sometimes aren’t understood or accepted. I was always the friend who was there in your time of need, and looked for ways to bless people. I have known I would be an adoptive parent since I saw Annie when I was just a kid and saw how many kids are in need of homes, parents and love. I have always wanted to go on every mission trip available and have, when the timing was right (marrying young and having babies right away means the timing was NOT right for a number of years!)
In the past few years, I have been through a lot personally and with my family and have had to work hard to simply keep our family together and whole. There wasn’t a lot of time for helping others on top of dealing with some pretty serious marriage issues, raising my kids and running my business. And while I am thankful for our journey, I have so missed helping others. I have never forgotten the promise that God gave me that I would be a world changer, I just wasn’t sure how, or when, he was going to use me! I thought “Well, now is the time I need to focus on my family, God will use me when it’s time.” “Or maybe my kids will be world changers and my job is to simply raise them to believe they can!”
So, I told myself to be patient. God has (and continues to) restored my marriage and life’s pressures have eased a bit. As the new year rolled around, I wasn’t LOOKING for anything big to happen… I mean being a wife, mom of three and running a business is pretty time consuming anyway, but God is good and He keeps his promises.
Last month, I was unexpectedly asked to be on the Board of Directors for a non-for-profit, Habesha Momma. I know the founder and president well, as well as another board member, Dori, but we had never discussed me getting involved other than possibly joining them on a mission trip. So when, the opportunity was put in front of me to be on the board of directors, I was floored! Am I ready for this? CAN I do this? Do I have enough skills to make a difference? Do I have enough experience… do I have ANY experience? Am I a good enough leader? Am I good enough, period? Whoa baby, lots of scary questions to ask!
In the end, I am sitting back on the promise. God said I would change lives. My heart is to help people. If I don’t have the skills or experience, God will give it to me. He says “Go” so I’ll go. I hope I am able to help make this organization grow and help change lives. I hope people are blessed and my children will grow up learning that yes, one person can make a difference, but sometimes it takes MANY to join together to make that difference.
I’d love for you to join me during this next year. Please go take a look at the many projects we are doing at Habesha Momma. We’re building a school, we’re providing life saving water filters to families, we’re teaching women to care for themselves and their children and we’re partnering with many other awesome organizations doing other amazing work in Ethiopia. We want to Empower Ethiopians. We want to provide opportunities for education, health and prosperity. You can join us in prayer. You can join us in donating to some of our projects. You can join us on missions trips. If you are great with fundraising, let me know, we’ll be needing to do a lot soon!
I can’t wait to share with you all the pictures I will be capturing on my missions trip there in the fall. I have long dreamed of taking my camera with me and photographing a missions trip. Photographing the hard work the volunteers put in, but also photographing the amazing people and culture of another country. I can’t wait to capture the innocence, love, strength, sadness, joy, sacrifice, empathy, trust and endurance we will see while on this trip.
I am just thankful for this opportunity. I am scared, nervous and I feel unworthy but I know that through Him, I am enough. I can’t wait to see where this adventure takes me!
If you would like to help me get to Ethiopia next fall, I am raising funds here and would love any support! http://www.gofundme.com/getdevontoethiopia