Wednesday, March 26, 2014

building relationships

Steve and I have just returned home from a week long visit to a country we are so passionate
about ~ Ethiopia!

What is the reason for this most recent trip back?  Work on strengthening our new international relationships!   We feel it is important for us to return regularly to Ethiopia so we can continue to build sustainable relationships and a solid trust with the local community and the people we will be working with.
Here is a glimpse into what we did while in Ethiopia
Our trip back to Ethiopia was special in so many ways!  The best part ~ bringing Steve back to the village the kids and I first walked through this past summer.  To experience in person the hope and energy radiating throughout Dolma village.

Steve surrounded by the young lives God has called us to advocate for

Meeting with officials from Dolma Village.  The man in the center is the head chairperson in this village.  Before we left the village he expressed how thankful they were for our return and for remembering them and the every day pain and anguish the young children and people from this community endure.   He was very grateful for our commitment to their village. 

gathering with village leaders before visiting the school compound
Winding our way through the village on dirt lanes, mothers and children begin to peek out curiously from their homes.  Children begin to run with excitement after our van, most of them with bare feet yelling "sister, sister."

Visiting the school ~ this school is located in the village, but has been left abandoned.   Most of the  1500 children in the village do not attend any school.  Our goal is to one day have this school be fully functioning with the most vulnerable children from the village receiving an education.

The existing building has only two classrooms. 

We had the opportunity to travel with friends this past trip and we were thrilled to have them along!
They adopted a little girl from Ethiopia six years ago and have dreams of doing more in her birth country.  We give thanks to God for sending us a family with the same hearts, minds, and willingness to serve those living in desperate poverty.  Thank you John and Jennie for your enthusiasm to jump in with everything God is doing through Everlasting Joy.   We look forward to seeing how God will continue to use your God-given energy and skills to bless the people in Ethiopia.

We love sharing our passion with others and invite YOU to join us on our next journey to experience a country, a culture, and a people we love and respect so much.

Meeting Elias!
Elias was referred to us by our friends from Addis, Lisa and Atkelt.   He will have the role of managing  the project while we are here in the US.  We have had many conversations through email, so it was nice to be able to meet face-to-face.  We knew right away Elias was a good fit for us because of his undeniable love for Jesus and for his community!
Thanks Lisa and Atkelt!

Currently the most critical need in Dolma is access to fresh water.  There are 3000 people living in this village who fetch water from nearby lakes, ponds, and surrounding villages.  During our visit we met with an organization drilling wells in Hawassa and throughout Ethiopia.  We were quoted $16,000 USD for the digging of the well and completion of pipeline and filtration.  WooHoo!!  Praise the Lord!!  That brought smiles to our faces! (thousands, lots of thousands less from our previous quote!)  Thank you Yared and Sammy!  We look forward to working with you!  And as promised Steve will be there ready to work! 

We cruised around in one of these a few times this trip!

more exciting news and pictures coming in the days ahead...


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Meet Hailab

The following letter is from our friend Lisa who is currently living in Ethiopia and is the communications director and co-founder of Elshadai Child Development Organization.  One of the children in her sponsorship program in no longer being sponsored by his US family and she is asking for all of our help to find this boy a sponsor.

Dear Friends,

We have a little boy (who has an identical twin!) who is in need of a sponsor this year!  His name is Hailab Alemseged (see attached photos).  He is starting first grade and is 7 years old (birthday Feb. 27, 2006).  He is a very sweet little boy.  His sponsor has decided that they are actually not able to sponsor.  Please consider enabling him to go to school, have lunch at school, hear the gospel and receive medical care as needed with his twin brother Kaleb, who is already sponsored.  Their father has passed away and their mother is HIV+.  Please help us to extend the love and mercy of Jesus to this little boy!

The cost is only $40/month to sponsor little Hailab!  If you are interested in being his sponsor, you can simply reply to this message or sign up to be his sponsor on our website: (click on the "Sponsor A Child" tab").

Thank you so much for your loving support of Elshadai Child Development Org.!


Lisa Simon

Would you, or anyone you know, like to sponsor Hailab and change his life forever!  Sponsorship programs work!  It is an amazing way to help a child by providing them with some of life's basic needs such as nutritious food, water, medical needs, mentorship, and Christian discipleship.  More importantly, through your sponsorship,  Hailab will have an opportunity to receive an education, which is key to freeing himself from the vicious cycle of poverty.  Your love and support will make it possible for Hailab to grow spiritually, physically, emotionally and educationally.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for prayerfully considering sponsorship through Elshadai Child Development.  It brings me such joy to be able to advocate for all of the children living in Ethiopia and my prayer for little Hailab is that the Lord will stir one of your hearts and will use you to transform his life.  There is no greater gift than the gift of hope -- hope for a future, hope for happier days. 

"For I know the plans I have for you,"  declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you a hope and a future."         Jeremiah 29:11 

Email me at if you would like to sponsor Hailab.  I will forward your information on to Lisa, who will contact you soon.  Thank you!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

MOVE 2013


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Our 1st brat fry fundraiser was a huge success!!  Many thanks to our family, friends, Super Ron's, and the Pulaski community for stopping by and supporting us!  It was a fun weekend and we look forward to seeing everyone next year!

These are the only pictures I have of the brat fry.  They're not the best, but they work!  Mussie and I are wearing our Ethiopian shirts.  (Notice our banner on the pole.  We love it!)

 we sold our dog treats and had a 50/50 raffle
Everlasting Joy for Ethiopia (that's us!) has t-shirts available for sale to help raise awareness and money for the orphan crisis in Ethiopia.  The cost of the shirt is $20.  We have children's through adult sizes.  Any one who would like to purchase a t-shirt email me at

Our next fundraiser is going to be at a CrossFit gym in Green Bay on July 20th.  Invite your friends and family and join us on Saturday morning for an excellent workout benefiting an excellent cause.   All money raised from this event is going to be donated to Elshadai Child Development Organization.  Please see attached flyer.  I'll get back to everyone when I know the time of the workout.

JULY 20, 2013
1014 Parkview Rd
Green Bay, WI





Hope to see you all there!! 

 Special thank you to Mr. Olson, principal at Sunnyside Elementary, and all of the teachers who donated school supplies and toothbrushes.  We'll be taking all of these items with us and donating them to the children at Elshadai.  We still have room for more!!  Anyone looking to get rid of extra school supplies, craft items, or small games we'd love to bring them along.  Call or email me and I'll come pick them up!  Also, the children are in need of shoes.  If you're cleaning out your closets in the next couple of weeks and come across shoes that no longer fit, I'd be happy to pick them up and donate them to Elshadai!!

Last but not least, we had a meeting with our lawyer yesterday to start the process of writing our bylaws!  YAY!!  Moving along!  He mentioned if all goes well we should have our 501(c)3 non-profit status sooner than we thought!!  Very exciting!



Friday, June 21, 2013


Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send?  And who will go for us?"  And I said, "Here am I.  Send me!"    Isaiah 6:8

We have some exciting news to share!  After many prayers and much discussion we have decided to follow the calling that God has planted deep in my heart and move forward and file for our 501(c)3 status.  We are in the very beginning stages of the paperwork and from what I hear the process takes almost a full year to complete.

"Take the first step in faith.  You don't have to see the whole staircase.  Just take the first step."
                                                                         Martin Luther King Jr.

God is taking our family back to Ethiopia this summer and we are beyond thrilled.  We will be traveling with open hearts and open minds and allow God to guide and direct where we will be working. This trip we will be meeting with other NGO's currently working in Ethiopia with hopes to partner with them since all of our work will be done from the United States.  I have been in contact with many NGO's and there is one that I am most interested in visiting -- an NGO working in the Sidama region.  This particular region holds a special place in our hearts.  There is a little village in this area where Mussie was born and it is our desire to focus on the needs near his birth home.   

We will be doing some fundraising this summer while we wait for our upcoming trip so when we get home we'll have a good start and then be able to dive in and have a specific goal to work towards.  We have been brainstorming different fundraising ideas, meeting with a few companies, creating a website, and working on our paperwork to become a non-profit.

We are selling homemade dog treats for one of our fundraisers.  If you are interested in supporting us and would like to place an order email me If you are in the Green Bay/Pulaski area
we can arrange a personal delivery to avoid the shipping costs.

To view a complete description of each treat visit our website
We will also be having a brat fry at Super Ron's in Pulaski next weekend.  If you're in the area we'd love to have you stop in for a delicious meal.

Everlasting Joy for Ethiopia

Come join the Fischer's for a delicious meal and 50/50 raffle
Hamburger, Hot Dog, and Brat Fry Fundraiser

Super Ron's

Friday June 28, 2013 4pm
Saturday June 29, 2013 11am

Corner of Hwy 32 and Cty Rd B

All proceeds will help fund upcoming projects in Ethiopia

While in Ethiopia we will be visiting the El Shadai kids. If anyone has any used school supplies or any other item (craft items, books, games) I'd be happy to pick them up and deliver it to the children.
We are so grateful to have such amazing family and friends who have been praying for us and supporting us and believe in our mission to care for suffering children and their families.
We are looking forward to this new journey and can't wait to see how God is going to use Everlasting Joy For Ethiopia to lift the poor and needy from living in these desperate conditions. 
Together we can make a difference, one drop at a time!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The following information can be found At

Elshadai Child Development Organization (ECDO) is a licensed indigenous non-profit organization in Ethiopia supporting dozens of needy children.  Our mission is to free children from poverty and to empower them in the name of Jesus by supporting their physical, academic and spiritual development.  Many of the children who come to us lack adequate nutrition and access to health care so when they are registered in our program we make sure that they have access to our daily feeding program and that treatable illness are addressed.

After these basic physical needs are met, we believe their greatest need is the hope that is found in Jesus Christ.  Therefore, we hold a weekly Bible teaching after school where sponsored children can come and learn about the Bible and most importantly, about their Savior, Jesus Christ.  They participate in Bible readings, story telling, crafts, dramas, singing and praying.

Our hope is that they come to understand their value and purpose from a biblical perspective.  Sponsor children also receive a quality education.  We believe that this is a key component in freeing these children from poverty.  In Ethiopia, children whose parents cannot afford to send them to private schools often do not have opportunities to further their education after high school and are, therefore, trapped in generational poverty.  However, with the education they receive through ECDO, these children will be equipped to pass national exams after high school so that they can continue on to higher education.  This will enable them to find jobs that will allow them to be self-sufficient and one day, maybe sponsor a child in need!  Though the implementation of both relief and developmental efforts, we have seen incredible improvements in each child's physical health, spiritual development and academic success.
Many children in the Akaki-Kaliti sub-city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia lack proper nutrition and health care and do not have the opportunity to attend school.  By being a child sponsor, you are giving one child the opportunity to receive food, health care, the message of Jesus, an education and the chance at a brighter future.
These children are not able to attend school before entering into the sponsorship program.  Over the past few years, we have seen amazing progress in the children’s health, academic success, and spirit after finding relief through this sponsorship program.  Thanks so much for offering the gift of hope to yet one more child!
                                                                                                    Lisa, communications director

Join us in the fight against poverty!  There are 15 children still waiting with great hope for a family to sponsor them. (refer back to the previous post for pictures of the children along with their profile)

Please pass this information on to anyone you know.  Feel free to link the blog address to your facebook page.

Check them out on facebook, Elshadai Child Development Organization, and see what a difference your support will make.  Their cheerful smiling faces radiate JOY and HOPE.  These children know God is providing a FUTURE for them because of you.

Thank you for your help!!  email me if you have any questions or if you're interested in sponsoring one of the children.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act.”
                                                                                                                    Proverbs 24:12

Most used word in the Fischer home: Ethiopia
Life before Mussie:
American Dream!” Yup, that's right, up until this point we've been living the American Dream! Married! Work hard!! Successful business owner! Stay home mom! 4 healthy children! Dogs, chickens! Beautiful house in the country! Cottage on a lake! Prayer life pretty good, praying for who knows what, maybe more easy livin'! What more could you ask for? Maybe one more child from a country far, far away. A country that we never talked about and the only thing we knew about it was the pictures of starving children we would sometimes see on TV.
But God had other plans for us. Plans that would lead us to Africa on a journey to adopt Mussie and WHAM! out of no where God got a hold of my heart, twisted and turned and forever changed me! And on that journey two years ago, God planted in my heart a deep love for Ethiopia! That's all it took. Ruined! For His Glory! Forever!! Prayers changed. Thoughts changed. Passions changed. Life changed.
Once home it was hard for me to go back to my life as I knew it. My eyes were opened. I couldn't pretend I didn't know. I felt responsible to act. Over the last little while, I really can't pinpoint a specific time, I have had a strong desire to build a school in rural Ethiopia and start a sponsorship program. I am still praying for a clear picture and lots of details because someone I know (who shall remain nameless) loves clear pictures and lots of details! But God doesn't always give clear pictures. We don't always know His specific plan, but there is one. The righteous shall live by faith, not by knowing what God's plan is. All he's asking for is obedience, to be glorified in all things, and to love Him with all our hearts, mind, and strength. We have absolutely no idea what's next for us. And that's right where he wants us. Completely and utterly dependent on Him! I'll trade living the American Dream for living recklessly for Christ any day!!

But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Since returning home from Ethiopia I'm finding myself a little restless. I'm feeling a little impatient – sometimes it's so hard to wait! Especially in a season of unknowns! So while I'm in the what's next stage, I've been praying for God to keep me connected to Ethiopia and to use my time while I am here, at home for something bigger. And He did!
First I need to backtrack a little bit...while in Ethiopia we met a woman named Lisa, who we were introduced to by her husband you remember him...he works for Compassion International...he was our host for the two days we spent getting to know our sponsor children...Lisa, along with an Ethiopian woman started a sponsorship program – Elshadai Child Development Organization – for a community of children living just outside of the city, Addis Ababa...the children are bussed to a school in the city where they are receiving an education, a nutritious meal throughout the school day, and a weekly bible lesson...we picked her up at a restaurant near her home and off we went to the school to meet the children, who are currently sponsored, and attend their bible class...Lisa is one of teachers...

Lisa and Atkelt 
we visited with them at their home the last day we were in Addis
they invited us over for dinner

the school where the Elshadai students attend
the children began piling in to this classroom after their school day to
attend their weekly bible lesson
we were greeted with a warm welcome of hand shakes, hugs, and beautiful smiles
it was great to be able to spend time with the children as they listened, learned, worshipped

and sang praises to God

Mischa is passing out candy to all of the children after their class

So back to my days of praying and waiting... I received an email from Lisa the other day with photos of 19 children waiting for sponsorship. I am filled with joy and thankfulness that God has provided this opportunity for me to use my blog and speak on behalf of all the little ones over in Ethiopia, specifically at Elshadai Child Development. Sponsorship programs work!! We saw for ourselves firsthand as we visited with our own sponsor children and the children Lisa works with everyday. These children are thriving, hopeful, and full of life.  
How about you? Would you like to be part of changing a young child's life? Sponsorship is an amazing way to help a child by providing them with some of life's basic needs such as nutritious food, water, medical needs, mentor ship, and Christian discipleship. More importantly, through your sponsorship, children will have the opportunity to receive an education, which is key to freeing themselves from the vicious cycle of poverty. Your love and support make it possible for the children to grow spiritually, physically, emotionally, and educationally.

Since returning home from Ethiopia I have been eager to help out in any way. I am honored that Lisa has asked me to join her in getting the children at Elshadai sponsored. I am asking you to prayerfully consider supporting one child through Elshadai Child Development Organization. ECDO is looking for monthly sponsors who will commit to $40 per month per child. There is no greater gift than the gift of hope – hope for a future, hope for happier days. Everyone at the Fischer house is dreaming big for the kids at Elshadai and we hope you will too! Together we can change the world one child at a time.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

Take a look at the kids!  Email me if you would like to sponsor one of the children below.  I will forward your information on to Lisa, who will contact you soon!

Tsehay Abebe 
Grade 2
Birthday December 23, 2004
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Her mother is deceased and she lives with her grandmother.
Her father lives outside the city.
Adugna Sori
Grade 4
Birthday May 26, 1999
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
His father is a daily laborer and his mother is a housewife.

Alem Girma
Grade 1
Birthday February 19, 2004
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Her parents are separated and she lives with her mother. 
Her father is a daily worker outside of the city.
 Haymanot Membere
Child ID# ECDO.00064
Grade 7
Birthday January 10, 1999
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
She lives with both parents.  Her father is ill
and her mother is a housewife.
Samuel Zergaw
Child ID# ECDO.00065
Grade 7
Birthday December 5, 1998
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
He lives with both parents but his father is
injured and unable to work

Wondimagegn Merga
Child ID# ECDO.00066
Grade 4
Birthday December 19, 2003
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
He lives with both parents.  His father is a daily laborer
and his mother is ill.

 Tigist Tilahun
Child ID# ECDO.00067
Grade 6
Birthday September 13, 1998
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
She lives with both parents and her father is
a daily laborer.
Eyob Legese
Child ID# ECDO.00068
Grade 5
November 10, 1997
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
He lives with his mother who is a daily laborer.
His father is deceased.
 Solomon Taye
Child ID# ECDO.00069
Grade 7
Birthday July 9, 2000
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
He lives with his mother who is not working. 
His father is deceased.
Henok Alemayehu -- SPONSORED!!
It means so much for a child to know that he has been chosen!
A sponsor to call his very own, my mom and dad!
What a cutie!!

Kalkidan Daniel
Child ID# ECDO.00071
Grade 6
Birthday February 16, 1999
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
She lives with her mother who is a daily laborer.
Her father is deceased.
Zinash Wabitew
Grade 4
Birthday May 24, 2000
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
She lives with a guardian who is an assistant teacher.
Her mother lives outside the city.
Tamrat Ordoffa
Child ID# ECDO.00073
Grade 5
Birthday December 23, 1998
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
His father is a janitor and his mother is a housewife.

Eyob Abraham
Child ID# ECDO.00078
Grade 3
Birthday March 11, 2004
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
He lives with both parents.  His father is injured
and limited in his ability to work.  His mother is a daily laborer.

Hiwot Beyene
Child ID# ECDO.00079
Grade 7
Birthday November 3, 1999
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Her father is unable to find work and her mother is a housewife.

Mintesinot Abebaw
Child ID# ECDO.00080
Grade 4
Birthday September 9,2006
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
He lives with his mother who is a daily laborer.
His father is deceased.

Dawit Gesese
Grade KG-3
Birthday May 26, 2006
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
He lives with his mother who is a homemaker and
his father is deceased.

Eyob Kasim
Grade 1
Birthday July 24, 2005
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
He lives with a guardian and knows nothing about his parents.

Elias Desalegn
Grade KG-3
Birthday February 19, 2006
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
His father is a driving trainer and his mother is a housewife.


What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works?  Can faith save you?  If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them,  "Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill," and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that?  So faith by itself, if it has not works, is dead.     
                                                                                                                       James 2:14-17