Ethiopian Child and City gate Ministries has joined with Ethiopia Hope Ministries to rebuild the house and lives of an abused mother and her children in Ethiopia.Next step

Ethiopian Proverb


If relatives help each other, what evil can hurt them?

Three Generations

Three Generations

The pretty little three or four year old girl was alone…….almost. When her father intervened in a dispute between two men they turned on him and killed him. Soon thereafter her mother was killed by lightening. The child had ear infections.

The oldest of her three brothers were teenagers. The four lived in a mud house with a straw roof in a remote village. Relatives decided an orphanage wouldbe best for her. Maybe there she would get medical attention for her ears. She didn’t.

In 2007 then eight year old Fetlework and a six year old deaf boy, Yonatan, “came home” to their forever family in America.

Four years later the location of the biological brothers and the village had been found and a visit was arranged. There was a large extended family of poor subsistence farmers who live near the brothers, among them her paternal grandmother!

Grandma's Kitchen

Grandma’s Kitchen

Grandmother, eighty nine, is blind and spends all her time on a hard ledge in her little mud house.

Her only comfort is an animal skin cover between her and the “bed” where she sits or reclines. Nearby is an open fire of twigs or cow dung to keep her buna (coffee) warm.

Grandma’s “Stove.” The fuel is twigs and cow dung

Surrounding the fire on ledges and in niches are her earthen cookware, a few modern artifacts and gallon plastic oil cans.

The cans are used to carry muddy water from the watering hole in the valley.

Ethiopian Child will help Gurane Village dig a well. The clean water will help keep Grandmother and the small children healthy. You can help by donating. Click “donate” in the column on the right.

Search for “Forever Family”

They are intelligent, engaging, beautiful healthy HIV positive orphan girls. Thirteen other people live in the

"My" girls

same tiny little house in Addis Ababa, Capital city of Ethiopia.

The younger sister plays soccer, the older does hair braiding in her cousin’s shop which is attached to street side of the painted stick and mud house.

The older of the two writes and asks me to find a “forever” family in the U.S.A for them. She tells others she wants “Poppy” (the name our grandchildren use for me) to adopt them. We are in our seventies.

We can’t.

The Ethiopian government only allows photos to be made available to interested parties.

Will you help me find a forever family for them?

Maybe you?

A New House for His Bride

Wondesson, Fetlework, Danychow and Zerihun Tebebu

Threshing as David did.

Threshing at Gurane

The four wheel drive car turned right off the pavement and began to wend it’s way through people, donkeys and occasionally  dogs. Dust swirled around the tires as we began our decent into the valley. Everywhere there are small farm plots being prepared for the rains which (hopefully) soon are to come. We crossed the “river”  which is little more than a ditch and drove across the valley.
Wheat, teff, peas and beans are the main crops here. They can all be harvested and stored. There is no electricity hence no refrigeration.
Finally we arrive at Gurane Village Ethiopia, on one of the many small hills scattered across the valley. At the foot of the hill the ground is level and flat enough for farmers to do their threshing. Animals walk in a circle, their hooves crush the seed heads and separate the grain from the stalk. I am reminded of King David and the threshing floor he bought thousands of years ago. The technology hasn’t changed here.

A few months prior Charlie had visited and asked Zerihun, older brother of adopted granddaughter Fetlework: “How can we help?” Three boys and the youngest child, a girl, became orphans years ago when both parents had died. The girl, Fetlweork, was deaf and went to an orphanage and eventually to our family. The boys stayed in the village.

Zerihun’s priorities had changed from a year before. Then he wanted “seed” money to open a small shop. Now his responsibilities have grown from himself and a younger brother. He has taken a wife.

Zerihun and his Bride, Zenash

We had told him “we don’t give money.” Now he would like to rent more land for farming and buy a second ox which means  he would no longer need to rent someone else’s. He needed a team for plowing. He may even be able to rent out his team instead.

We decided Zerihun is a responsible young man and, contrary to our word, gave him the needed funds with one stipulation: “God has blessed you with this. When your next harvest is complete and you have made a profit you must help someone else.”  We shook hands and it was done.

Now we have returned for, among other purposes, to see his ox. He was proud as he opened the gate and showed us. It is big, black, healthy and strong looking. He did well. So well, he had purchased the ox for less then market price. There was “Extra” money.

Zerihun is not one to waste an  opportunity. Their house is made of sticks and mud.

Current Residence

The straw roof  and walls are deteriorating. It is where they were born.

He can gather the needed poles and when the rains come he can make mud but really, a tin roof is better. With the additional funds he purchased the tin. The tin is in the house for safe keeping, leaning against the wall.

Now he can take down the old one and build a nice new, dry house for his bride.

There are other orphans in Gurane. As we identify them and determine their needs maybe you will help us help them?

Ain’t God Good!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Living Water, Clean Water Initiative 1

Our no longer orphan Granddaughter was born here in one of the typical mud huts.

She is old and can only carry a small amount up the hill

At Gurane Village Ethiopia and surrounding communities water access is…….challenging.

The river is too far and the watering hole becomes only a muddy puddle when rain is scarce.

Will you help us bring Living water and clean water to Gurane?

Living water in the form of an educated, trained pastor who can teach God’s word and help us facilitate construction of a water well and other matters?

$1,600 U. S. pays the pastor for two years after which he should be self supporting.

$1,500 U. S.  will dig the well and install a hand pump.

Our past fund raising endeavors have always resulted in more cost than revenue. We are looking for 31 people to contribute $100.00 each.

Will you help these precious ladies? And the children? Click “donate” in the right column.

It is a long walk and the water is DIRTY

Reunion at Agohelma orphanage

It was a typical ride through the city. There were near misses with taxis, buses, donkeys and people. A cacophony of sounds (and sights) assailed our senses as the driver maneuvered the ancient, overloaded Toyota mini van taxi through the chaos that is the streets of Addis Ababa Ethiopia. He missed the final turn. I informed him, he backed down the street against oncoming traffic and miraculously was able to carry us to our destination unscathed.
We had arrived at Agohelma Orphanage where four years ago we loaded then eight years old Fetlework into a thirty year old little blue and white taxi and whisked her away to another world.
I was honored to accompany daughter Rebecca and her husband Vernon for that experience. Now we had returned in the process of the adoption of two more Ethiopian orphans. Fetlework and Yonatan, both deaf, joined Mom and Dad to reunite with biological siblings and visit other memorable locations.

We entered the compound and disembarked. Down the slope (almost nothing is level in Ethiopia) we saw a group of ladies who were obviously American or European. They looked up and one exclaimed: “Just a few minutes ago I said I guess I’ll never see Fetlework again!”

They were a group of from a Lutheran ministry in Sweden visiting locations where they sponsored children and had just looked at photos of Fetlework on the wall from when she was a small child. A few minutes after they exited the room there was Fetlework walking toward them.

Hugs, kisses, introductions, photos, more photos and it was time to go.

Ain’t God good!!!!!!!!



Ain't God good!

It has required three trips to Ethiopia and multiple meetings but finally SUCCESS.

Three and a half years ago, half way around the planet, we said goodbye to a precious little girl who had been the best friend of  Fetlework, our adopted granddaughter at Agohelma Orphanage in Addis Ababa Ethiopia.

The orphanage no longer “does” adoptions. First Charlie was told:  “It can’t be done.”  He was also told “There are two” (there is a younger sister.) Both are healthy HIV positive girls who receive necessary medications.

On a subsequent visit Charlie was encouraged that it can be done. Now! after many scheduled meetings most of which were postponed. SUCCESS!

Less than a week after return two possible “forever families” have been identified. One is VERY serious!

Please pray with us for continued success and that these two precious girls will “come home” at last.

Below are samples of the artwork of “our” girls.

Marvelous Moringa

Imagine a plant that produces almost perfect food. Gram for gram, Moringa leaves contain seven times more vitamin C than oranges, four times more calcium and two times more protein than milk, four times more vitamin A than carrots, three times the potassium of bananas, three times more iron than spinach and twice the protein of yogurt.
Moringa also contains all eight of the essential amino acids and ten of the non-essential ones required for the human body, plus several antibiotic properties.
There are thirteen identified species of Moringa. The most popular is Moringa oleifera, a fast growing tree that can reach thirty feet in height and grows best in a tropical or sub-tropical environment, and Moringa stenopetala, which is indigenous to the mountains of Kenya and Southern Ethiopia. The Konso people of southern Ethiopia grow M stenopetala and use it for survival during the dry season when traditional food sources are unavailable.
The tree is known by many names such as: drumstick tree because of the shape of the seed pods, asparagus tree because of similar taste and horseradish tree because of the taste of the roots, as well as other names used by indigenous groups throughout the world.
M oleifera grows best at altitudes below 2,000 feet but can tolerate elevations as high as 4,000 feet, while M stenopetala has been observed as high as 6,500 feet but prefers lower altitudes. We are experimenting with plants at Yetebon Village in Ethiopia at about 7,500 feet elevation in hopes the plant will grow well enough to be useful to the villagers. It will probably not produce flowers and seeds at that elevation but Moringa is easily propagated from cuttings.
The easiest way to eat Moringa is to harvest the leaves from your own tree. Use them on salads or sauté them like fresh greens. The flowers and buds can be eaten also, but must be cooked, while immature pods can be eaten raw. Even the seeds can be cooked like snap beans or peas or, when mature, roast or fry them.
The dried leaves can be ground into a fine powder and used to make a hot beverage or mixed with spices for flavoring, but dry them in the shade. Direct sun will degrade the vitamins, especially vitamin A.
For the beverage add 1/4 teaspoonful of the powder to eight oz. hot water and stir. Drink the powder residue. It is part of the nutritional value of the drink. This formula successfully treats emaciated mothers who are nursing starving babies in famine stricken areas. The mothers become healthy and the babies survive and lose their distended bellies.
The roots from young trees can be made into a condiment similar to horseradish but the root bark contains several alkaloids. It is better to not risk becoming sick and just buy horseradish at the market.
Moringa seeds can be ground into a fine oil for use in cooking, cosmetics and lubrication and has a long lasting shelf life.
In addition to all these uses Moringa seeds can be crushed into a powder and used to clarify turbid water to between 90% to 99%. Harvest the seeds in the dry season for this purpose. It is often suggested this may have been the tree the Israelites used to purify the bitter water in the desert.
Moringa can also be used as a cattle fodder supplement. When planted closely in rows the top portion is harvested and the remainder is allowed to grow and produce again in about thirty five days..
A recent Moringa discovery is to squeeze the liquid from the green matter, dilute the juice with water and spray on food crops. This spray accelerates plant growth. The plants are more healthy and yields are increased by 20% to 30%.
Many people in Southern Florida grow M oleifera in their yards. Once the plant is established from seed or transplant  it will grow about one foot per month! Let it attain a height of six or seven feet, then “top” it to four or five feet which will allow the tree to bush out for easy access to the leaves.
In most parts of the U. S.  Moringa can be grown as a perennial or planted in large pots to be brought inside for the winter.
Are there more uses yet to be discovered? Time will tell. Research is on-going.
Moringa seeds are available from several on line sources as is more detailed information on this the “Miracle” tree.

Seeds or plants and recipes are available from:

Charles E. “Charlie” Brown founder, “Ethiopian Child”

Sources:    Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization Technical notes (listed under Agriculture):
I Love Moringa:
Trees for Life:
Genera Nutrition:
More resources:

Clean Water, Living Water


Dogachow and Zerihun Tebebu with Charlie

October fifth 2010 Ethiopian Child will embark on a journey to Ethiopia. There Charlie will meet up with Alayu Kebede. The two will deliver clean water by introducing Sawyer Point One water filters to the people of a small, remote village. Mr. Kebede is an Ethiopian man who works for Blair Foundation to introduce the word of God to villages in his native land. He will introduce the “living” water of the gospel (John 7:38) and interpret for Charlie who will deliver and demonstrate the filters for “clean” water.

The village is near Debre Tsige, North of the capital city of Addis Ababa in the heart of the area where the Oromo people live. Three teen age boys, Zerihun, Wondeson and Dogachow Tebebu have lived there eight years with no mother or father.

It is also planned to honor the people who have helped the boys survive by sharing a traditional Ethiopian meal with them.

It is a ninety minute walk to Debre Tsige and there are times when the Jemma River valley is flooded and they are not able to cross to town. Half way to town is the dirty stream where all their drinking water comes from.

Zerihun, now nearly eighteen, has expressed a desire to open a “shop” in the village, where he can sell needed goods to people not only in the village where they live but to others in the vicinity. We will help make that happen if, when we explore the possibilities, it seems feasible.

We will also deliver story books, clothes, medicines, bandages, school supplies and visit LeaMcD Educational Services for the deaf of Ethiopia.