Seven years ago, God planted a young American nurse in the heart of a slum district in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In response to the overwhelming unmet health needs, Emily began a health service out of her backpack, tending to many living in Korah who could not afford even the most rudimentary healthcare.
From its small beginnings as a backpack service, the health services of Hope for Korah now employs 3 local, full-time health staff and numerous others in support. Along the way, many foreign and local health professionals along with Ethiopian government officials, have contributed their perspective and expertise on what kind of health service would best serve this community in helping families to break the cycle of poverty. Collectively, it was determined that a Primary Health Clinic focused on the prevention of disease would be our unique focus (though not our only emphasis), allowing us to build relationships and the capacity of families to attain and maintain health.
It must be hard to imagine, if you are living in in a “first world” context , the reality of so many disabled and dying from completely preventative diseases/ traumas we rarely see here because we HAVE. But such IS the case in Korah. Too many children, mothers, siblings, fathers, aunties, uncles, friends losing their lives or their productivity far too early. Some I have held, played with, prayed over. They are not statistics, but people with names; abilities; families who love them. With each loss, the dream in my heart has grown, though there have been MANY moments where all the red tape involved in this pursuit has caused me to lose hope. Perhaps you can relate to waiting and not knowing if what your heart desires is what God has in mind for you or the people you are advocating for.
You can imagine my exhilaration, then, when three days ago I received word from our staff in Korah that the Primary Health Clinic had been approved by the government, and our compound lease signed for three years. Seven years from the beginning... four years for me.
These next weeks will be full of renovations to the space, but we have legally aligned with the government and can move forward with our vision- which is also their desire for their people- of equipping families to regain or attain health. Stable health gives these families the chance to maximize Hope for Korah’s educational and vocational programs, assisting them to break the cycle of poverty.
I believe that there is a time and season for everything, but I am grateful for THIS open door at THIS time and season. To so many of you who have supported along this journey, thank you!!