Hanna Orphan’s Home Founder
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Hanna Teshome is the founder and director of Hanna Orphan’s Home, Harmony Outreach’s partner organization in Ethiopia. A committed believer from her childhood, Hanna first received the call from God to help orphans and elderly people when she was 14. HOH began some years later when Hanna visited a neighbor, near death from HIV. As Hanna was trying to comfort her, the woman burst into tears, not because she was dying but because she was worried about what would become of her four-year-old child. Hanna picked up the little boy and promised the mother that she would take care of him as her own child.
Little did Hanna realize this was the beginning of a ministry that would eventually grow to include approximately 250 children living in 30 children’s homes throughout Ethiopia. Hanna never had a plan to have a large ministry. Rather she took in one desperate child after another—sometimes two or three at a time. She never knew how she would support them—only that God wanted her to do it. When she first began she was still living with her parents, who supported her by opening up two rooms in their home for the orphans. As the number of children grew, Hanna began doing embroidery and crocheting to support the work. Over time word about her beautiful life of faith began to spread so that individuals and organizations, such as Harmony Outreach, were sent by God to help her in her calling.
Harmony founder John Bentley often credits the inspiration for his own life and calling being sweet-spirited women of faith such as Mother Teresa and Corrie ten Boom. John’s nickname for Hanna is “the EMT”—“the Ethiopian Mother Teresa.”