A Joyful Celebration
By Adele Ohs
On May 16, 2015, East African Village Outreach celebrated its tenth anniversary with a banquet and program at Bethel Evangelical Church at 7276 French Road in Sacramento.
The party was well attended by many EAVO friends and donors—some folks we have known for many years and some new to our community. Many dear friends traveled a great distance to be with us for this event. We were especially honored to have Hailu Ibssa join us from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Mary Staples from Tucson, AZ. And there were surprises, too. Hailu’s daughter, Tsehai, came from Southern California as did longtime supporter, Mrs. Pat Fay.
Thanks to Edossa Geleta and his dedicated crew, the church grounds were set up for the comfort of all attendees. Tables under shaded awnings and inside the fellowship hall provided pleasant seating in the warm afternoon. Colorful tablecloths and hand-woven baskets from Ethiopia adorned each table. Haimanot served a lavish Ethiopian buffet and an amazing baklava for dessert.
The program opened with a blessing from Pastor Tamirat of the Bethel Evangelical Fellowship and a welcome from EAVO’s Board Chairman, Dr. Olanna Aberra. Following a time of spirited worship singing led by Johanna Band, Mr. Frew Tibebu gave a keynote address in which he shared his journey from Ethiopia to discovering his passion—to spread universal literacy to Ethiopia through involvement in Ethiopia Reads—and his conversion experience of meeting Christ and walking with Him.
Then followed brief updates on the progress of EAVO’s projects, including school construction, medical clinics, water projects, high school and college education, benevolence, and financial health. The program highlights included a moving memorial tribute to Lana Reese, who played a major role as a co-founder of EAVO and funded some of its most significant projects. Her friend, Marcia Brim, shared excerpts of letters in which Lana shared her heart for Africa and for Ethiopia. Hailu Ibssa, who gave a loving testimony of the progress that EAVO’s involvement in Acheber village has made possible, was warmly received and honored by the attendees and was lauded by his brother and EAVO Executive Director, Seifu Ibssa. Then followed brief updates by the Board Members on the progress of EAVO’s projects including school constructions, medical clinics, water projects, high school and college education, benevolence and financial health.
The program concluded with Seifu Ibssa sharing future plans and expressing gratitude for the support of family and friends in helping EAVO make a difference in Ethiopia. Adele Ohs offered a closing prayer.
Afterwards many stayed to chat and continue to visit in the church yard—to enjoy the sweet fellowship of being part of this work that God has blessed for the past ten years and to anticipate the wonders He will enable in the future.
Thanks to your continued support, we just celebrated the graduation of 17 of many college students we have supported throughout their high school and college years. These graduates worked very hard in high school and in college under difficult circumstances away from family. We are all proud of them and their achievements! See sample pictures (above). While this is great news, the number of female graduates is only one. EAVO plans to change this trend by hiring a full-time tutor for girls in Acheber
Village, Ethiopia. Pray for resources.
- Belayneh Adane – Civil Engineering
- Melesse Rga – Biology
- Worku Haile – Accounting and Finance
- Talegne Negesse – Mechanical Engineering
- Shemelis Geremu – Mechanical Engineering
- Geremew Melisse – Marketing Management
- Abinet Tadesse – Dry Land Crop Science & Horticulture
- Olana Megerssa – Cotton Engineering
- Temesgen Gemechu – Lab Science & Pathology
- Alemayehu Milkessa – Mechanical Engineering
- Tsehai Melka – Biology (the only female graduate)
- Tamirat Bedada – Construction Management
- Sewdegu Debushe – Banking and Finance
- Dejene Tekka – School & Counseling Technology
- Michael Ayele – Economics
- Alemayehu Kassahun – Psychology
- Sissay Mengistu - Chemistry
Delivering Good News on Bicycle
EAVO donated ten bicycles to a partner organization who is engaged in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ to Muslim communities in Ethiopia. Our partner reported that 96 Muslims came to Christ through this program and were baptized a few weeks ago. Praise God for His Salvation work.
A Gift of Desks
We are blessed with a gift of 80 desks and office furniture donated by Paraklete Foundation, a nonprofit organization located in Sunol, California. These desks have been delivered to Lana Reese Preschool and Ginchi Church Preschool both of which we are about to open in Fall 2015.
We are grateful to Denny and Judie Smith, and to the Board of Directors at Paraklete Foundation!
Heading to Africa
Jim Reese and Seifu Ibssa will be travelling to Africa on October 1, 2015 to visit our project sites, to open Lana Reese and Ginchi preschools and to reevaluate our partnership in Kisumu, Kenya. They also hope to be present at the opening ceremony of Acheber high school, which was partially funded by EAVO. Please pray good health, wisdom and a safe return. Thank you!
Send your tax-deductible gifts to:
East African Village Outreach
7276 French Road, Sacramento, CA 95828.