A Hero Passes

A Hero Passes
Haregowin Teferra rescued orphans of Ethiopia
1946-March 17 2009

a Day at the beach
Haregowin Teferra consoles an abandoned newborn 10/08
Photo by Charlie

Haregowin Teferra was “armpit tall” (I have a photo standing next to her that proves it) but she was a giant of a human. Her “heart” was as big as all Ethiopia, (about twice the size of Texas) and there was never an orphaned child she didn’t love.
Some might say she was a little round for her height, but she was just right for snuggling a lonely, crying, frightened, abandoned child.
Sometimes there would be a loud noise at the compound gate. When the guard opened it, often there was a newborn wrapped in a blanket lying on the ground. No one else would be in sight. Or, perhaps a mother, stricken with AIDS, would hand over her child; or a policeman, or maybe a priest, would would bring a baby to her.
Although many were orphaned by the dreaded AIDS virus, for others there is no history, just a needy child.
When it is all said and done she was foster mother to 400 children, maybe more!
At Ethiopian Child we miss you Haregowin.
To learn more about Haregowin and the plight of children orphaned by AIDS in Africa go to:  There is no Me without You or:  Foster Mother.


Neal and Rebekah Neal and Rebekah Payne have been separated for two years and recently reunited in Ethiopia for a brief time.
Rebekah lives in Addis Ababa Ethiopia where she operates LeaMcD Educational Services for the Deaf of Ethiopia while Neal stays in the USA and drives a truck. He sends all the income he doesn’t need for survival to Rebekah for operation of the school.
The deaf youth are taught by deaf teachers and have a much better rate of success in passing national exams than those who only attend government schools. At the present time students receive tutoring and augment the teaching they receive from mission and government schools.
There is also employment training, employment placement and many other programs dedicated not only to deaf young people but also the “older” deaf including a deaf pastor, sign language training for families of the deaf,  and a classroom opened on Sunday where the deaf conduct their own church services.
Rebekah lives in a room at the school compound and Neal lives in the sleeper cab of his truck.
“No good deed is left unpunished”. Is an oft repeated phrase some would apply to Neal and Rebekah. They, however, subscribe to a different way of thinking. God’s Word. “Let us not be weary in well doing.” (Galations 6:8) is much more appropriate to them.
Recently there have been several unfounded legal “attacks” on LeaMcD of a very personal nature to Rebekah, the result of the necessity of removing several nonproductive, rebellious staff nearly two years ago.

For about seventeen years Ethiopia was a communist state. It is also the fourth poorest country in the world. The prevailing attitude among so many is: “White Americans and white Europeans are rich and we deserve some of their money.”

Bribes paid to judges and other government officials is an almost routine way of doing business. A few weeks ago Rebekah was hours away from a jail sentence because of this. Legal adviser Ejigu (say eh jee goo) Gabre-Michael has done a superb job of defending LeaMcD and getting the complaints removed one by one as they surface. He also has been very patient to wait for payment.

If you can, please help with this.Otherwise it will be necessary to stop paying rent on one of the two compounds which will result in the loss of classrooms and opportunity for the young deaf.
There is further financial burden due to the loss of Neal’s income while he visited, plus the travel costs incurred.

The current need to cover these issues is $6,000 U.S.