Joy in KonckoRich Stigall
We are filled with joy by an update from Alison Barfoot, Executive Director of GO Africa, that children in need of family will soon be welcomed into The Father’s House in Koncko, Ethiopia.
Dear GO Family,
Nega, Zewudie (read her story), and I had a great meeting today with the Koncko Management Committee. It was cold and raining, but lots of joy. They are almost finished with construction at The Father’s House. You can see the attached photos. The have put up a simple partition in each house to create a room for the mothers. On this trip, I have learned that it is not a “wall,” but a “partition.” Walls, apparently, are more permanent and require bricks and mortar. A partition is plywood nailed on to 2×4 beams. I guess I grew up in a home full of partitions, but no “walls”! 🙂
They still have about $5,500 remaining to complete the work at The Father’s House and the school, including furnishings and the kitchen. The beds, as you can see, are already made. I think they have enough money to finish what needs to be done. And, they even used some money to put up a fence around the compound, which had not been budgeted. I told them that because of their faithful stewardship and management of these resources in the small things of mud, cement, wood, and iron sheets, that God was about to put them in charge of the big things of caring for the lives of His precious children. They had proven themselves faithful, and now He was giving them charge over much.
Kitchen and fence at The Father’s House, Koncko
The Father’s House, Koncko Management Committee inside a nearly completed home
They have identified 6 double orphans and 6 single orphans who they believe qualify as true orphans. I told them they didn’t need to fill every bed and should leave a few beds vacant in case there is need in the community to take in other children in desperate condition. So, I think that’s what they are going to do.
They have already identified two women from the congregation to serve as the Mom’s.
I also shared with them the three primary things Joe reminded us about in July that makes for a successful Father’s House – proper child selection; proper mother selection; and church “wrap-around.” Church “wrap-around” is a little hard to translate, so we talk about it as church members being personally involved and volunteering. We have realized that we need to give some direction to the Management Committee on what that looks like. So, we are suggesting that the women’s ministry goes three times a week to pray with the Mom’s and the children; that the youth ministry goes once a week to play with the children; that the men’s ministry goes three times a week to check on the children, to pray with them, and to share a Bible story with them. Out of these times of contact, sharing, and prayer, I do believe that the Lord will show them other ways to be involved.
I suggested to them that the Moms arrive three to four days in advance to get settled into their new home, and for the Management Committee members and Nega to provide some training and orientation for them in what it means to be a mother to children who are not their own, but who God has given to them.
Finally, about the borehole. Tesfaye, the Hydrologist, seems to have gotten good data today. It turns out that the government is working on a water project nearby, but it is not completed. So, we left Tesfaye at the District offices and then he was going to the Zonal offices to get more information about the government’s water plans for the area. It turns out that Tesfaye is from Hossana and used to work in a government program with Nega. So, they already knew one another! It’s possible that instead of a borehole, Koncko might be able to tap into the government’s water scheme. He was encouraged by what he found, and he learned things that the local community didn’t know about. So, as of today, I think it was a good decision to bring him with us and to see what his report concludes. In the meantime, The Father’s House will get water from where the community normally gets water. As we say in Uganda, “They’ll find their level.”
Nega and Zewudie, GO partners