Preventing a child from becoming an orphan – Part 3

by Jeff Butler
Adoption Ministry 1:27 Program Director

Jeff recently returned from Ethiopia where he visited many of the families in our Adoption Ministry 1:27 sponsor program, both in Korah and in Dembidollo. In part three of this series, Jeff introduces us to a woman in Ethiopia who is preparing to lose her husband to HIV and faces the prospect of raising her children alone.

I was deeply impacted as a result of spending time with the Basada family.  I was saddened to learn that the entire family is HIV positive.  This family is so grateful to God for the help they have received through the Adoption Ministry 1:27 “Adopt a Family” Program.  They are doing better as a result of the food and needed supplies they are now receiving.
 
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Sadly, the father of the family is just days away from dying. He has full blown AIDS.  After we spent time with the wife and children, the other Ethiopian pastors and I walked into the little hut to go see the father.  There he lay, back in the dark corner of the room, motionless and lifeless.  The family followed in close behind us.

The room fell silent.  What do you say to a man who speaks a different language, has a different culture and is within days of death?  What a journey it had been for me to leave comfortable American suburbia, travel half way around the world to one of the poorest places on the planet, and then enter the room of a man who is about to leave this world.

More silence….. I ask the other pastors, “Does this man know Jesus?”  They affirmed that he did.  I asked God to give me the words to say and the strength to hold back the tears for a few minutes longer…  With a lump in my throat I said, ”Dear brother, I believe you will be leaving this world soon.  I don’t want you to worry at all about your family any more.  The church is here and we are committed to caring for them when you leave.  I will see you again in heaven one day.”  I barely made it through with those words.

The next thing pushed me over the edge, as the dying man began to slowly, ever so slowly, raise his hand, higher and higher.  With all the strength he could muster, he raised his hand in praise to Jesus and held it there!  It was one of the most powerful expressions of worship I have ever witnessed!  I will never be the same.

 
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The reason I and the other pastors could assure this man that his family would be taken care of is because they had been adopted by a family in America through the Adoption Ministry 1:27 “Adopt a Family” Program.  An American family provides monthly support to this poor Ethiopian family, so they can survive and stay together.  We can’t save this man’s life, but we can save the family, by keeping them together and providing them the essentials they need to live.

You can read the previous posts in this series here.

For $40 per month, you can help change the quality of life of a very poor family and also prevent a child from becoming orphaned. We match families in the United States with a family in Ethiopia who has been identified by church leaders there as ‘at-risk’ of collapse or those willing to take in an orphaned child. For more information, visit our website here or contact us at:
jamie(at)adoptionministry(dot)net

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