Published Fri, May 06, 22.
Written by Scott Chleborad.

This past January, Dr. James Nold led a team to Ethiopia to launch an English Literacy program at the Adams Thermal Academies in Hosanna and Ottoro. But Dr. Nold is also a child sponsor. So, during his trip to Ethiopia, he was able to visit the homes of his two sponsored children as well as the homes of children sponsored by his team. Dr. Nold first visited our schools in Ethiopia in 2018. But he was not yet a child sponsor. So, January was the first time that Dr. Nold could personally engage with the children he supports. Below are some observations that Dr. Nold shared regarding the experience of visiting the homes of sponsored children:

"On one level, you know you sponsor somebody and that you're helping them. But the really humbling part is actually meeting them and seeing where they live. You can't even describe the home. It's not like anything we would live in. It was hard to get there, first of all. Then we walked into a single, small room with a concrete floor. They have so little and yet they're happy to see us. It's an entirely new perspective and makes me thankful for what I have."

"One of my visits was with a daughter and her father and they were living in such a small space. As I unpacked the gifts I brought them, I thought of how many things I did not bring in this backpack that they could truly use. They had such a basic existence with minimal lighting, a bed on the floor, and hardly any possessions. The father is the only parent, and he shared an incredible story of doing whatever he could to keep his daughter in school. So, of course, I encouraged her to stay in school as well."

"We visited a child in Ottoro whose family lives in a mud hut with a grass roof. Painted on the outside was 'We love God' along with a big heart. They had so much joy and so much love despite their extreme poverty." 

"I saw another student at the school that I recognized from our last trip. She was doing so well, and I was able to witness the positive impact the school is having on these kids. What an impact we can make on their lives."

While traveling to Ethiopia does represent a sacrifice of time and resources, we do invite our Child Sponsors to consider visiting Ethiopia and connecting personally with the students and the families that they support. It's truly a heart-changing experience that will impact the rest of your life. Reach out to or call 1-877-678-1099 to find out more about visiting your sponsored child.