Thursday, April 17, 2008

I had lunch with a good friend today who also has a passion for what God is doing in Africa. We often talk and dream of what it is that God wants us to do there. As of yet He hasn't revealed to us the specifics. But here are some of the reasons we can't ignore the gut feeling that we need to do something more.

(I took what follows from Kingdom Vision Internationals Blog)

*Nazareth is where one of the orphanages is located that our agency is working with.

Nazareth, Ethiopia

Here's some basic information about Nazareth, Ethiopia
  • Emperor Haile Selassie renamed the town after Biblical Nazareth, and this name was used throughout the twentieth century. The city has officially reverted to its original Oromo language name, Adama, though "Nazareth" is still widely used
  • Nazareth is about 60 miles from Addis Ababa (capital of Ethiopia)
  • Nazareth is Africa's so-called 'high corridor of HIV'
  • It is a popular weekend destination for residents of Addis Ababa and hosts many governmental and non-governmental conferences
  • Nazareth is also home to at least 100,000 refugees, mainly from Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia
  • Nazareth has an estimated total population of 228,623
  • Nazareth has one of the highest percentage of 'street kids' in Ethiopia


Ethiopia is located in East Africa just north of Kenya and west of Somalia and only a few hundred miles north of the equator. Interestingly, it is the only African country never colonized by Europe (with the exception of an Italian occupation in the 1930s). It is slightly less than twice the size of Texas.

Roughly 75 million people live in Ethiopia. About half of the population today is Muslim and about 40 percent Christian. Ethiopia traces its history and ruling lineage back to King Solomon and the Ethiopian Queen of Sheba. It is believed that the Queen of Sheba went to visit King Solomon and had a child with him. That son became the next Ethiopian king, so every Ethiopian monarch since then can trace their lineage to the throne of David.

Many people know of Ethiopia from the 1980's when the country was going through horrific droughts. The media put up images of "starving children in Ethiopia".

Ethiopia counts one of the largest populations of orphans in the world: 13 per cent of children throughout the country are missing one or both parents. This represents an estimated 4.6 million children – 800,000 of whom were orphaned by HIV/AIDS (UNICEF)

Begging is frequent, with many children working to escape poverty. The labor and social affairs ministry estimates that 40 percent of children start work before the age of six, often working a 30-hour week.

According to the labor and social affairs ministry, some 150,000 children live on the streets in Ethiopia, about 60,000 of them in the capital.