Thursday, July 14, 2011

Break our hearts for what breaks Yours

The orphans I met in Ethiopia sing the song "Hosanna" constantly. It is as if it is their comfort as it continuously hums out of them. In that song there are lyrics that say "break my heart for what breaks yours". What I'm about to post breaks God's heart. As soon I saw this post the song immediately came to mind. Please take the time to let this sink in. Don't let it just be another fact you take in and forget in an hour. These are real people. They are my friends. Let God break your heart if it's not already broken.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Back so soon?

So, unexpectedly I sit in DC. I'm back sooner than expected. Much sooner than expected actually, but I believe I did the right thing by coming back. Many things were happening here in the states that drew me back here. Anyways, that is the least important part of this blog...

I'd like to introduce you to a beautiful little girl named Kidist. She is around seven years old and lives at the orphanage we worked at each day. She is a beautiful little girl and loves singing and playing with her friends. Lately she has had to go to the dentist for an abcest tooth. It has been very painful for her. She has recently gotten access to a toothbrush and toothpaste, but after seven years of not brushing there are still so many cavities. The last day I was in Ethiopia I had the opportunity of taking Kidist to the dentist. They did a full cleaning and then pulled the abcest tooth. I won't tell you details, but the post tooth pulling scene was so terrible I had to turn away. These children have serious infections. The positive side is that there is hope. After we were finished and went to pay it cost 600 birr. Now, that may sound like a lot, but in US dollars it is a little less than $10! There is no TennCare there, BUT there is us who have $10 and even more $$ to spare for a little orphan to visit the dentist or even doctor if they need to!

So, even though I am in the states I am still going to be helping my beautiful orphans in Ethiopia. Please let me know if you are interested in donating an appointment or even ten appointments to an orphan!!! This is an awesome opportunity to help greatly. Without our help the girls living there now (there are 5 girls there now)are paying for each orphan to visit the dentist or doctor.

Another great oppurtunity to help is by sending over donations of clothes and shoes for toddlers to teenage aged boys and girls. Infants and babies have clothes and shoes but the older kids do not. With winter approaching we really need to get those over there for them. There is another team leaving on July 15th, so let me know if you are interested and I will find a way to get stuff to a member going then.

Thank you all for keeping up and caring.
Love Cait

Monday, June 20, 2011

If you are wondering why I didn't...

leave out on June 15th like I had hoped to, then continue reading!

To say I've been on a rollercoaster of plans would be an understatement! Last week was one of those weeks where you can't eat, sleep, or think. I was getting shots, trying to send forms here and there, emailing constantly, and waiting to see if I had a flight to leave on June 15th. There was an 80% chance that I would get on the plane and not return until July 25th. I had a lot to take care of before I could leave for a month and a half!

I didn't find out about leaving on the 15th until the Wednesday before. I had one week to get it together. Kelly had called about leaving with a team of 3 to Ethiopia because our friend and co-team member Ashli needed help at an orphanage. She mentioned babies dying and laying in their own feces and I was ready to leave on that plane.

I have to take a minute to be honest here. I had a lot of selfish thoughts after I committed to leaving out on the 15th. It was like even though I know my heart and I know God created me with intense passion for hurting children, there was still a part of me not wanting to give up my summer. I am a teacher and have the summers off to enjoy! I could go swimming, play with friends, go to concerts, tutor, even make extra cash! There was a little part of me hoping just like Abraham did with Isaac that I wouldn't have to venture off before I had a little summer to myself. It is cold and rainy in Ethiopia! There would be nothing like a summer there. I told you I was having selfish thoughts. I literally was ready to go up until the flight departed. I was on the edge of my seat, anxious, excited, guilty, prayerful, hopeful, and waiting. I knew once I got on the plane and away from my comforts here that there would be no question about going. When the travel agent said there wasn't going to be a seat I felt relief. I also felt sad though. As much as I wanted my summer, I also wanted to put clean diapers and clothes on those babies. I wanted to hold them in my arms and rock them to sleep. I wanted to kiss them and love them because they have never felt the warmth of love. I was torn.

I told the agent to book my flight for July 1st. I knew of another team leaving then, so I wouldn't have to travel alone. So, now I wait for that day. I'm already packed. I have my second dose of shots. I'm ready!!

This is the part where I really need your help! I am so blessed to have an angel offer to pay for the plane ticket now and me pay it back when I get the money from you guys supporting me. Please consider helping me get to Ethiopia!! The plane ticket is right around $2,000. Any donation helps!!! Even if it is just $5! Please Please Please help!! If you would like to donate and get something for your buck then check out the Ordinary Hero store. I receive 40% of sales, plus if I am in the top three sellers I receicve and extra $500!!!!!! Do you know how much that would help me?! Just be sure to put my name (Caitlin Cooley) in the affiliate drop down menu so I get the credit!!

Thank you so much for reading, caring, and praying for me and the orphans.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Why you want to help orphans in Ethiopia...

I want to quickly share a story with you.

Yesterday I woke up pumped because the day before a 14 year old girl had donated $100 towards my mission trip. Along with that, her parents matched it and the donation doubled. I've not even met her parents! So, I went about my day floating because I knew God had his hand in this. You see, I doubt sometimes that God is involved. I doubt that he cares. I question if he really wants me to even go to Ethiopia.

But then I dive into my Bible and it all becomes clear again.

As I was floating yesterday morning my old pastor and dear friend, Tim, had posted the video of my last years trip on his FB account. A lady whom I'd never met posted about the video. She was questioning the trip and made some very valid points. She asked why would I pay $3000 to go to this country if I could just raise that money and give to them. She also mentioned them needing to be fed before they can hear God's word. Now, at first I was taken by surprise and not necessarily happy about her words. Then, God stepped in. What I began typing back to her was straight up from the Holy Spirit. I explained how when we go there we take food, clothing, diapers, formula, and even buy washing machines. I also explained how corrupt the government was over there and that is why we can't just send the money. I told her that we had to actually go and be the hands and feet to the least of these. I'll have you know that by the end of our writing back and forth, the lady donated money to my trip.

I was floored.

If that wasn't enough, Tim messaged me later on to tell me that the lady was a distant relative and was actually agnostic. He told me he could tell that it was the Holy Spirit driving my words back to her and he was floored as well.

It's not only about the orphans but also about the people you meet along the way. There are so many crazy stories like this one I could share from last years experience as well. God shows up and he shows out.

I'd like you to really consider being a part of this ministry with me. Whether you prayerfully or monetarily give, you have an opportunity to change lives. This is just a one time gift so there is no hassling or remembering to pay next time either. I really can't do it without help. I don't have a secret stash of "just in case" money. I'm completely depending on God to provide and I can't wait to see how he shows out.

You can donate online

Our trip is with Ordinary Hero.
On the 4th line make sure to choose yes and type in my name (Caitlin Cooley)so I receive the donation.

Thank you in advance to anyone who considers helping!! You are an Ordinary Hero!


Monday, April 18, 2011

I heart Africa Co.

When I came back from Ethiopia last year, I shared with my class all that I saw and experienced. Many of my students were shocked, heartbroken, and wanted to find a way to help. One student in particular made her own company (I heart Africa Co.) and began brainstorming ways she could help.

Watch this video of one of my third grade girls sharing her heart.


Don't you hate asking people for money? I sure do. It makes me all sweaty and uncomfortable. It makes me awkward, and I avoid it at all cost. It's not so easy to shy away from asking for money when your heart is in Ethiopia and all you can do is eat, sleep, and dream of being there again.

I spent this weekend fundraising. Luckily, we have Gina Payne to help us! She came up with phrases and the right words to ask people to buy things to go towards our trip to Ethiopia this summer. I think it went really well!! I was really annoying and bothersome, but I raised around $200! Now, I'm just waiting to see if I win the $500 grant for selling the most over the weekend! That would be a total of $1700, which is over half of the trip cost! What a blessing that would be!

$2000.00 is due May 15th! If you feel led to give you can go to:

***Just make sure on the 2nd bulletin you choose me as a specific team member . :)

Thank you!!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

To start a blog, or to not start a blog...that is the question.

Since I came back from Ethiopia I have debated whether I should start a blog or not. I'm not very good at keeping up with my laundry or grocery shopping, so I really doubted myself when it came to keeping up with a blog. I also know I'm not a talented writer like a lot of my "blogging" friend,s but I have decided to give it a shot.

I wanted to start this blog for a couple of reasons. First, I wanted a place to share stories about the orphans of Ethiopia. While I share their stories,  I hope you too can become heart-broken but hopeful for these children. Second, I want to keep everyone updated about my next trip to Ethiopia, which will be in July of this summer!

I hope you find yourself laughing, crying, and wanting to reach out to the beautiful orphans.