I will look to finish the Child Soldier series later today. My heart has been really unsettled since I heard firsthand the atrocities that have been committed against children in northern Uganda. I haven’t been this troubled since I wrote of orphaned girls being impregnated to sell their babies’ organs in Moldova. I pray that, as you read the current account, it opens a window to the brutal reality for so many children.
I am now in Ethiopia for a couple of days. In just a few minutes I will be meeting with Dr. Tesfaye Yacob, the General Secretary of the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church (EKHC). The EKHC has a rich history in Ethiopia, spanning over 75 years as a result of successful church-planting efforts by SIM.
The fruit of that work is evident. The EKHC now has more than five million active members in almost 6,000 churches. Over 2.5 million of these attendees are children. In addition, EKHC is a partner of Compassion International and currently has 33 projects, supporting over 10,000 children, as part of Compassion’s sponsorship program. I’m therefore looking to determine how World Orphans can work in conjunction with those projects, providing additional pilot opportunities that we and Compassion International can jointly study.
UNICEF reports that, in 2005, there were approximately 4.8 million orphans in Ethiopia, a country of 78 million people. Over 10% of Ethiopia’s children are orphaned.
World Orphans already has projects here, but please pray that we can make an even bigger difference through the indigenous churches that are willing to reach out to these children.