Yared’s Change and a BIG Name Change

Yared when first at Drop-In Center
Yared on his first day at the Drop-In Center

Just this morning I heard amazing news about a young street boy, Yared, from Nega Meaza. Upon finishing up his time at the Drop-In Center (a safe place for children to begin their journey off of the streets) Yared was approached by the Center’s cook, Fitela. Fitela had felt the Holy Spirit prompting her to pull Yared aside so she could challenge him to repent from his sins and follow Jesus. To her surprise Yared jumped at the opportunity and told her he had been thinking about this for quite some time. Together, Fitela and Yared knelt down as Yared told God about his desire to be forgiven and to follow Jesus for the rest of his life.

Nega, in his obviously ecstatic Ethiopian accent, said, “Joe, you can see a change in him. It’s amazing!” Wow! That is truly what this is all about. Not a change in living circumstances, in future opportunities, or in physical appearance. While these things are good, what we really strive for is a spiritual change, where children, like Yared, recognize how messed up they are and how only Jesus can fix the mess.

The BIG Name Change

Yared’s story brings me to other exciting news. Children’s Home Ethiopia, The Forsaken Children’s sister Ethiopian ministry, is changing its name. Today, this incredible hands-on ministry to street and pre-street children is called the Onesimus Children Development Association (Onesimus for short). This new name is a perfect fit for a ministry that is radically changing children through the power of Jesus Christ. If you do not recall, Onesimus was the runaway slave of Philemon, who Paul exhorted to take Onesimus back, stating:

“Formerly he [Onesimus] was useless to you, but now he has become useful…” Phil. 1:11a

Isn’t that what God does in each of us who trust His son for salvation? He makes us useful. I think about Yared and how many people saw him as useless, including his family, but now he is the embodiment of useful because of God’s grace.

Like Yared, Ethiopian children are coming to Christ, leaving the streets, reuniting with families, and one-by-one changing the future for their country because of the Onesimus Children Development Association. I’d say that makes them pretty useful!

Onesimus's Sign
Children’s Home Ethiopia is now the Onesimus Children Development Association (Onesimus for short)

Joe and Karyn Bridges

We are really just ordinary people who have fallen in love with the people of Ethiopia, especially the children. Many stats report that 100,000 of these children live on the streets of Addis Ababa. After experiencing this firsthand in 2006, we helped start The Forsaken Children, Inc., which exists to bring lasting hope to Ethiopia through these, Ethiopia's street children. We are all about partnering with Ethiopian ministries to carry out this task and have loved doing so with the Onesimus Children Development Association! We currently live in Memphis, TN where Karyn is a stay at home mom and Joe works full time for The Forsaken Children. The loves of our lives are our three kiddos - Jack, McLaine, and Silas!

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3 Responses to “Yared’s Change and a BIG Name Change”
  1. Jimmy Gross says:

    What an incredibly awesome update!

  2. Joe,

    What fantastic news! You guys are on the front lines of Kindgom work. Let’s connect…I want to know how we can best help. I have a couple teams coming in September and October. Would there be volunteer opportunities for them either at the center in Mexico or Lafto?



  3. Karen Miehe says:

    Awesome! I hope to hear more stories similar to Yared. Praise God!

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Family Reintegration

Watch Alemayu's Reunion With His Mother, a beautiful success story unfolded for you in the video above:

Alemayu, an 11-year-old boy, was taken from his home in rural Ethiopia when he was 7-years-old to work in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s Capital. Seen here is the moment he sees his mother for the first time after being gone for 4 years. Thanks to The Forsaken Children and especially their ground efforts in Ethiopia, Alemayu is now living with his family again.

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