Shea Connell is a awesome young man from Tacoma, Washington who is serving Christ at YWAM's Mercy Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the next five months. Mercy Development is an outreach to children living on the streets of the city and includes a home where many of these children have been taken in. Shea will be living in the compound during his time in Ethiopia. In the last couple of weeks, he has been traveling with Joy and Mark to our orphanages in Adama, Nekemte, Dembidollo and Gimbie.
Shea completed his YWAM Discipleship Training School (DTS) in Florida and has traveled to Thailand and South Africa for outreach prior to coming to Ethiopia. Missions and children are big on Shea's heart. He grew up in a Christian home with parents who trained him in the ways of Christ. His love for Christ and his zeal to serve are an encouragement to all of us. Shea is a "kid magnet" and is ready with a smile, hug or soccer ball to engage children wherever he goes.
We are thrilled that Shea is partnering with Adoption Ministry in Ethiopia and are looking forward to how the Lord will use this fun but very challenging experience to make him more like Himself. Shea's heart's desire is just that - to be more like Jesus. You will be hearing more from Shea on the blog and we ask for you to pray for him during these next months. Here is his latest update:
We got back to Addis after long travels out west! We brought back six babies that were all abandoned!
What an amazing thing to be a part of! These kids - ranging from 18 days old to 16 months - left in the dirt, forgotten and most likely to be eaten by wild animals. Sad and tragic stories... But these stories are a reality in Ethiopia, where mothers aren't able to provide for their babies and find it easier to just abandon them - out of sight and out of mind. Yet God had a different plan for these children who were saved and are no longer called abandoned but are adopted into His family as sons and daughters of the living King! To see a life left for death, but be turned around and picked up by our heavenly Father amazes me. I am so thankful to our Father that loves us enough to pick us out of the dirt and bring us home in His loving arms.
Tomorrow Mark, Joy and Dr. Tom Siler leave. (They are the team that I have been traveling with the past 3 weeks.) I will move into my room at the boys' compound tomorrow morning where I will be staying for the next 5 months. I'm excited to run with these children and learn the ways of Jesus with them.
Please pray for strong and trusting relationships with all 11 boys. Also pray that God would use our team to reach out to more orphaned street kids that they may find a home for eternity.
Thank you all for your prayers and support!