Friends of Orphans and Vulnerable Children

Friends of Orphans and Vulnerable Children
What could be better than an Ethiopian welcome, FOVC style?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

We Have Left on a Jet Plane!

It's early Tuesday evening and we are sitting in the Houston Airport, waiting to depart for Dubai. After a quick night in Dubai, we'll take a 4 hour flight to Addis Ababa. We arrive Friday the 22nd at noon Addis time. We expect to meet Bereket early Friday afternoon. (That's just Thursday evening U.S. time!)

(We just watched a bomb-sniffing dog from the Houston Police Department go through our plane and the baggage with a fine-toothed, um, dog brush. We like that in a police dog!)

We thank you all for your love, prayers and support. Because of so many kind expressions from so many of you, I have to say: we really feel so loved, so privileged, so honored, so blessed. Who are we, that so many dear people would join us in our family's journey, in so many special and touching ways.

We still don't know if we can update the blog from Ethiopia, but we will have email and Facebook.

Pray for our girls! Pray for us! Pray for our son!

And to God be all glory, great things He has done.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Getting Ready & What to Say?

In just four days, we will be on our way. Like all traveling families, we have so much to do!

How to pray:
  • For Bereket, that his heart and his little self will be ready for ready as he can be.
  • For our initial time with Bereket. Fortunately, we will be spending the first week in a guest house with nine other IAN families and their children...many of whom are Bereket's friends. During the second week, Dave and Bereket and I will travel to Sidama together. Thankfully, we will be surrounded by Ethiopians who can, hopefully, help us translate!
  • For our girls while we are gone. I am struggling with fear (which is, by definition, a lack of faith) when I think of leaving them for two weeks.
  • For my mom, who will be Grammy-ing the ship while we are away.
  • For our faithfulness, that we will discern the assignments laid out for us, and that we will accomplish them to God's glory.

What to Say:
  • Friends, and friends of friends, have come through so beautifully in these days leading up to our trip.
  • We have been given a laptop and a new digital camera to take for the ministry in Sidama, and a laptop for Children's Heaven.
  • We are simply very overwhelmed and humbled, to be trusted by God and by people, in these ways. We promise to look with our eyes, ears, hearts and minds for the best opportunities to make the greatest impact.
We can Facebook and email while we are in Ethiopia, but I'm not sure about blogging...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Yesterday was a whirlwind day....helping the students work with the Chick-Fil-A cow yesterday morning, then setting up at the restaurant, then back to the school, with the cow, to work with the students again.

The fundraising event succeeded beyond our wildest hopes and prayers. We had hoped to raise $300-$400 to bless the children we will spend time with.

Instead, Westview students and families, and our friends and neighbors all came....and a total of $1000 was raised!

(1-17-10 Update: The final total
has amounted to over $2000.)

We praise God!

We are humbled, and we promise to be good stewards of this gift. We cannot wait to discover what we will do with these gifts.

We could not be more impressed by the students and families at Westview. We understand this is the biggest fundraiser Chick-Fil-A has hosted. We love our school! The group of girls (and one guy) who helped to plan and organize this event were unmatched; these kids were there from the initial planning about a month ago, till we closed Chick-Fil-A down last night--incredible! And all of the families who turned out in droves--amazing!

Thank you, Everyone. Thank you for coming, and for eating, and for giving! Together, we really will be able to change a bit of the world for these precious children.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Lots of updates

Whew! Our heads are spinning around here!

We bought our plane tickets today! We're flying on Emirates and leaving in less than 12 days--January 20--and returning February 3. Dave will be traveling all next week, and the two days before we I have lots of details to take care of without his help.

It's a long time to be away from the girls....even though they will have each other, Grammy, their familiar home and their crazy routines. I hate the thought of being away from them for so long. God, keep them safe!

And yet, I yearn to be in Ethiopia. Can't wait to get there. Can't wait to see what's gonna happen, what God's gonna do. In addition to the fun and joy of traveling with NINE families from our agency, we'll get to see Hana Fanta, go to Children's Heaven, visit the big market, go to the fistula hospital and the leper colony...all the stuff we treasure from our last visit.

Additionally, we will spend several days in the Sidama region. It happens to be where Bereket is from. Also, it's the location of this relief organization that Dave is now connected with. The emails Dave gets from these hopeful people are just unbelievable.

At our repeated insistence that we would like to bring something to help this organization, they have requested a digital camera and a laptop. Oh man! We can swing the camera. But we think the laptop is out of our reach at this time.

If you have a laptop you could donate, I can assure you it is for a good and desperate cause. (We can provide more information if you're interested!) If you don't, and you are a pray-er, would you join us in praying that God will provide?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

May God Bless It

See the email (below) Dave received from a guy he is working with Southern Ethiopia. Don't you see why our hearts love Ethiopia so?

Father God, please use this "chance" encounter for your glory and for these folks' blessing.

We don't know how this will play out, and will or won't happen....but hope we will be open, discerning, obedient...and even fruitful.

Dear Dave,

I am very sorry for being late to respond your email. I was out of the town for sometime and now I am back.

Dear Dave, I really thank you for what you are doing for us. God bless you and your family for everything you are doing for us.

I am eagerly waiting to see you, your beloved one and your son. I hope we will have the best time together getting to know each other and as well as you will learn more about my vision and my community.

As I am a member of Wolaita Zone House of Councils, I can give you full information about the business/economic environment in my area of Ethiopia and what we believe you might do to assist/empower our community in creating economic development in our country.

Regarding to my location, currently I am working this project in Southern Ethiopia, Wolaita Zone, Damot Pullassa Woreda/District. Wolaita Zone is one of 13 Zones in Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region/SNNPR/.

Finally I thank you very much for your intention to bring something for me from your country. But as you have no much space, please don’t bring anything for me. However, my staff and I have prepared cultural clothes of Wolaita Zone for you and your wife. I think you will be interested on that. In addition to that our orphans are prepared to well-come you when you arrive to our project area.

Dear, if you are interested I will join you at Bole International Air Port and say welcome (Lory's note: I think this would be an 8 hour journey for him). If you are Ok with my idea please let me know that.

Thank you in advance.

Faithfully yours,

Desalegn Daka

South Ethiopia

Wolaita Soddo

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Picture of Our Son!

We received Little Boy B's birth certificate this morning. I booked flights a couple of days ago. It's pretty official!

So, I think we can tell you that our son's name is Bereket. His birth certificate says his name is Bereket David Howlett. So, we have decided that we will keep his daddy's name as his new middle name: David.

Also, I "think" it's ok to share a photograph now....?

How cute and sweet is Bereket David Howlett?

Yesterday, we picked up a fleece and a vest to go with his winter coat.

He's going to come home soon!