Misfit Disciples in an Orthodox World

Misfit Disciples in an Orthodox World
"You had better be a round peg in a square hole than a round peg in a round hole. The latter is in for life, while the first is only an indeterminate sentence." – Elbert Hubbard

Big Love Ministries

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Below is an excerpt from the "About" page at Big Love Ministries. This is a worthwhile ministry led by Chad & Amy Holtz. Please visit their site to see how you can get involved in helping minister to the orphans, widows, and others in need of Ethiopia. May God richly bless you as you lend a helping hand!

Chad & Amy Holtz of Big Love Ministries

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress (James 1:27)

I’ll never forget the day we first met Fannuel and Hideat.   Before May 12, 2008, they were just pictures on our computer screen and words on a page.   But as we watched the blue van pull up to our hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, they became more than that – they became our son and daughter.

Little did we know at that time that embracing them for the first time would open up a new world for us every bit as it opened a new world to them.   Our eyes were opened to the  severe plight of orphans and widows.   On the heels of this embrace came the realization that there are so many more excluded.   As we walked the streets of Ethiopia, one desperate woman begged Amy to take her four children back to America so that they might have a  chance to live.   She cried out, “I’ll have a small bag packed for them if you come by my house!”  (I share this story  in the sermon I preached at Fannuel and Hideat’s baptism).  We wanted to  close our eyes again but we could not.  Now that we had eyes to see we knew we had to do something.

That something began to crystalize when out of the blue we received an email from the mother (her name is Tsigie) of our two adopted children, now called Eli and Sophie.  She is a widow – young, poor, hungry – who  desired nothing more than to know her children were safe and loved.   As we got to know her more and more through her english-speaking cousin, a pastor in the countryside of northern Ethiopia (Tigray), we felt an increasing burden and calling to do something to help not just her but the many, many women and children just like her.

But you need to hear the needs in their own words.  Here is one email from Alex, the pastor I mentioned above, responding to my wife’s  (Amy) inquiry about what needs they have. His english is a bit broken and I left it as-is:
Hello Amy
Today I have come with all in detail information and try to read it carefully. And what I will do is I will show you the huge gap in this region so that you can choose one or two projects to start with.
First let me tell you the back ground of the region shortly.
-Tigray region is located in the northern part of ETHIOPIA ( IN border  for Sudan and Eritria )
-Ethiopia has been reigned by different princes ,kings and  ,governors for centuries especially Tigray region had been the battle field for those governors since 1855s
-And during those governors we loosed a lot of innocent people
-There was also a remarkable moment  in 1985 e.c during this time we loose 200,000 people due to sever famine
-Recently the war ib between Ethiopia and Eritria we have sacrificed more than 36,000 soldiers and hundreds of innocent people
-Parrarelly HIV AIDS also took the life 30,000 people with in 20 years and made many children homeless and fatherless still many became victims
-Beside to this fact as a region TIGRAY (THE FIVE ZONES )  have many common problems that the government alone can not solve it and could not give attention these are
1-      Attention for aged people (senior  citizens ) and children who loose their parents by war and HIV AIDS
2-      Death of children due to luck of nutrition
3-      Prostitution (moms who have 2-5 children) they do this staff to raise their children
4-      Dropping (ceasing ) school because of the luck of food ,cloth ,and stationary for school
5-      Attention for positive moms to get balanced diet specially pregnant moms
6-      Attention for real Widows who are forced to raise their children alone ( because of the war and HIV AIDS)
7-      School opportunity for disable ( specially young children who are blind and deaf )
And other common problems of the region
-          Sight problem ( eye disease )
-          Tooth ach
-          Wheel chair for disable children and young
Dear Amy
I pray that God may open your spiritual eyes to see the deep poverty hovering the region. This region is badly seeking a good Samarian man and woman who can lift up the region from deep quagmire of poverty which had killed and has been killing the lives many people.
And as for me it is better to give priority for the problem mentioned in number 1, 2 and 3 the rest problems can be solved under this project. All these things were with in my heart for several years . I prayed and fasted that may God see this region from His holy throne and now I am able to see when God moves His hand for my people and I am able to see a little cloud that can cover the region.
Who knows if God raised you to like the Samarian man for this really hurted  and severely  injured region?
Who knows if God may be speaking to you right now to help the orphans and widows that  so desperately need it?

They need you. We are in the process of putting together a plan to buy land (cost is about $2000) where we can build a ministry center that will do a number of things, beginning with nutrition for babies, feeding the hungry a daily meal, delivering food to the elderly, provide school supplies, clothing and eye glasses, facilitate classes that teach job skills and conduct chapel services.

We hope you will consider partnering with us in this ministry.   You can begin today by donating a few dollars to help us get this ministry center started.   Become part of this big plan to show big love to God’s precious children in Northern Ethiopia and beyond.

Thank you on behalf of orphans and widows everywhere.
In Christ,

Chad and Amy Holtz
Big Love Ministries

***Chad also maintains a personal blog here


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