Wednesday, October 1, 2008

January Trip to Ethiopia

We are so excited about the leader’s trip in the last week of January, 2009! The trip is designed to equip those who have a desire to do more with the compassion they have for orphans, and to help generate a contagious compassion in the lives of others for the sake of the orphan.

We will have over 25 different ministries/projects and will have a choose-your-own-adventure feel with the ability to customize the trip.

Some leaders (using the term here to refer to those who are willing to say “yes” to that deeper calling to make an impact for the cause of the orphan) will have projects that they currently support and will be bringing others to see those projects. Other leaders may not be connected with a specific group, but desire to see more tangible ways that they can get involved.

We’ll see orphanages, group homes, non-residential drop-in centers, microenterprise projects that chip away at poverty, HIV related works, sports camps, foster-care-type housing, and a variety of other avenues for you to get involved. The goal here is not to overwhelm anyone, but to give exposure.

Additionally, if we are all truly about the cause of the orphan, there is no such thing as “competition”. There are many great groups doing fantastic things and we are not even close to having a handle on the epidemic orphan crisis. If you are about collaboration for the sake of the orphan, then this trip is right for you.

Each night, we’ll spend time using Life Coaching principles to draw out what we’ve seen and how we can translate that into raising awareness back in the states. By the end of the trip, each guest will have developed a specific plan regarding how they can best share the need as well as how they might encourage others to come and see the need first hand.

I’m a follower of Jesus, but the invite here is for everyone who is passionate about the cause of the orphan, regardless of where you are at with Jesus (you might find you are more like Jesus than you thought as was a real advocate of the poor, orphans and widows…and disadvantaged people in general). I mention that because there will be some praying going on…but nothing to be afraid of…no cornering by church goers allowed…lol.

The trip is a jam-packed 7 days. The dates of the trip are January 26th through February 1st…with a deadline of December 15th to register. There is no charge for lodging! In fact, having you in for free helps us to show you what we are all about…and our hope is to create raving fans that would want to send others in the future. The group will pitch in for meals and in-country travel…that should be about $200 for the week. To sign up for the trip, you’ll need to hop online and make a reservation at

As several different people are going from different organizations…and many with no particular organization, the only way we can be sure that everyone has emergency medical travel insurance is for each person to purchase that through the reservation online.

With regard to the specifics of lodging, think of our home(s) as a Newport Beach mansion with a bunk bed twist. We have two homes within walking distance of each other…both 4 story, wood, marble…secure with guards, etc…nice places for sure. Even still, it’s not about the buildings, it’s our staff that make the difference. With hearts to serve, they will leave an impact that you will remember for a lifetime.

Also, prepare to be pampered as each volunteer will receive a complimentary, one-hour massage during your stay as we have a full time masseuse on staff.

All lodging for the trip is bunk-style (men’s and women’s rooms). We realize that married couples may prefer to stay together in one room with a queen bed. That may be possible. When you reserve your lodging online, be sure to indicate your preference. We’ll do the best we can to accommodate everyone, yet we know that it will be impossible for every married couple to have their own room, so be prepared to make new friends in bunks. On a positive note, there have been some great bonds formed in trips like these with others you end up meeting. Bathrooms are shared…and not to worry, there is plenty of hot water.

Some have asked about staying longer. You are welcome to stay prior to the 26th or beyond the 1st if needed. If you plan to do so, the regular rate of $40 per night/per person will apply. We include breakfast and a boxed-lunch for you to take with you on projects you might want to see. Additionally, we can arrange transportation for you if you plan to stay longer. A full day of van rental, driver pay, and one of our own staff translators costs $60 to $75 depending on gas usage. If needed, dinners in the home cost just $5 per person.

Baggage (not the emotional stuff we all have…ha)...Each person on the trip is asked to bring one personal checked bag and one personal carry on. This allows each person on the trip to bring one checked bag of donations for the work in Ethiopia.

We’ll be covering items for donations in the conference calls prior to the trip.
Conference calls will be held on the last Sunday of the month starting Sunday, October 26th at 8:00 pm Central Time Zone. Stay tuned for the number to call in.

Getting to Addis: You are welcome to get to Addis any way you can (boats are slow). The airport code for Addis Ababa is ADD. Feel free to visit the links below as they have experience with travel to Ethiopia and/or Mission type travel:

Groups that have expressed interest are:

World Orphans
Gobena Coffee
Forsaken Children
Visiting Orphans
Mission Discovery

So…in a nutshell: January 26th through February 1st
Extended dates available.
$200 in food and in-country travel costs
$31.50 in Emergency Medical Travel Insurance
Tap into a number of ministries/projects.
Share your ministry/projects.
Be coached towards action/advocacy for orphans and possibly leading trips.
Make a reservation online at


Erica said...

WOOHOO!!!!!!!! So excited! I can't wait to see how God provides for me (and maybe a friend) to be able to make this trip! Thank you for all you've put into this Dave!

Anonymous said...

I love this!!! I'm friends with Steve and Denae and she was telling me about it. We're praying for this trip for all of you. We just recieved our referral of a beautiful 3.5 yr. old little man. We can't WAIT to go get him. I need to get some more info of this place- I've heard many great things about it!

Julia said...

Are you still going tomorrow? Praying for you!