Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous country, has a staggering 5 million orphans. With a population of 85 million, that means that orphans comprise 6% of the population. Compounding matters is the fact that Ethiopia is one of the ten poorest countries in the world.
Helping the Vulnerable
Harmony supports five orphan homes in Ethiopia—Mercy Houses 1 & 2, Saba House, Sodo House, and Selah House. Although the numbers fluctuate, each home typically has between 5-8 orphans. These homes are part of a network of homes connected to a beautiful ministry called Hanna Orphan’s Home. HOH has approximately 250 orphans in their care, dispersed among small homes throughout Addis Ababa and other parts of Ethiopia. Five of these are Harmony supported homes.
Mercy House is named after a sweet little girl John met on his first trip to Ethiopia. Mercy was blind and partially deaf as a result of contracting meningitis in her early childhood. Mercy, like the other children in the HOH network, was not immunized because HOH had no money in its budget for routine medical care or immunizations. Mercy passed away in 2012 as a result of complications related to her disease. And so, in addition to our support of individual orphan homes, Harmony provides a full-time nurse to HOH, who cares for the medical needs of 250 orphans plus staff!
Only a tiny fraction of Ethiopia’s orphans will ever be adopted internationally. Our work is with the overwhelming majority of orphans who will not be adopted. The children in our care are raised in a Christian environment and provided everything they need to overcome the challenges they face and succeed in their own society—becoming change agents for their own country.
As Jesus quoted from Isaiah 61:1-4:
"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God,to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,the oil of joy instead of mourning,and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations."
Jesus said he came to rescue the poor and brokenhearted, transforming their lives into something new and beautiful. These “oaks of righteousness,” planted by the Lord, would then go on to rebuild and restore the society around them! Children who were trapped in a cycle of petty crime and incarceration are now the top-ranked students in their schools. HOH graduates have gone on to become lawyers, doctors and other types of leaders. Children and adults from Muslim families are coming to Christ.
With your help and the Lord’s leading, we are “…bestowing on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair!” (Isa. 61:13)
Spreading the Good News!
In addition to our work rescuing the vulnerable, Harmony Outreach is partnering with Word of Life Church in Wolaita Sodo. This powerhouse church of 4,000 is doing a great job spreading the Gospel and reaching the lost in South Ethiopia, including Muslim areas, but they are very poor.
The Bible says that the Body of Christ is one body with many members—each having a different function. When all of those members come together, with Christ at the head, we are complete and nothing is lacking. And so one way that Harmony helps to spread the Good News in Ethiopia is by partnering with Word of Life church and providing them some of the resources which they lack. In addition to providing physical resources—everything from computers, to guitars, to toothbrushes—Harmony organizes “friendship teams” to visit Word of Life church, where we engage in ministry with them. We go to bless and help them in their work and, in return, we end up having a fresh wind and fresh fire in our own walks with the Lord.
In 2015, Harmony, in partnership with Legacy Christian Fellowship, Thornton, Colorado, provided 2,000 Bibles in their native Amharic language to the children of Word of Life Church and to Hanna Orphan's Home children.
"At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. (2 Cor. 8:14)"