The congregation at Grace Lutheran Church and School, Jacksonville, FL supports a small group of orphans in the towns of Dukem and Debra Zeit, outside of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Our support is of both a spiritual and material nature. The children sponsored and supported by this mission are in extreme need of many of the things we take for granted. The material support through contributions to the Orphan General Fund supplies food, shelter, clothing, school supplies, medical needs, and emotional support to these children.
In May 2016, Ande' Tesfazion and Marni Jennejahn traveled to Ethiopia to visit the orphans. We visited the individual homes of the children. We discussed with the leaders the needs of the families and the church. We are looking at the possibility of building a school. Pastor Jeff Skopak and other pastors are supporting this mission as well.
Our Partner in this mission is Mekane Yesus (the Lutheran Church of Ethiopia in partnership with the LCMS) which provides for the spiritual needs of these orphaned children through dedicated Christian teaching. In our desire to expand this ministry, we are providing opportunity to anyone outside our congregation on whom God may place the desire to help these poor children. 100% of all donations go directly to the children. There are no administrative fees or costs. Pastor Jira audits the funds sent for this Mission and sends the Mission Coordinator at Grace validation of the receipts and disbursements.
How can I help?
There are three ways to help:
1. First and foremost is to pray. Pray for the children, for the dedicated teachers and evangelists of the Dukem church who are committed to this ministry, and for the ultimate salvation of each child.
2. Contribute to the Orphan General Fund. We collect funds donated throughout the year and then bi-annually wire transfer these funds directly to Pastor Jira, coordinator in Dukem and Debra Zeit to be used as mentioned above.
3. Sponsor an individual child. This program began in 2010 and we are now sponsoring 21 children. A person or family that chooses to support a child is given a picture of that child with information concerning him or her. The cost to sponsor a child is $25.00 a month. This can be automatically deducted from a bank account through Grace Lutheran's program explained elsewhere on this website.
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