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Episode 64

House of Hope’s One-Year Anniversary

Angelyn Salyer, AGCI Ethiopia Program Director

Welcome to the start of season four of Together by AGCI. I’m Marisa Butterworth.

We get to kick this season off by talking with Angelyn Salyer, AGCI’s Ethiopia Program Director. We just celebrated the one-year anniversary of the AGCI and Tim Tebow Foundation House of Hope, and I’m so excited for you to hear all the ways that God has been at work through this incredible home and our Ethiopian team working there.

Some stories about the incredible young ladies that we’re serving and all that we hope to see in the future. Angelyn, I am so glad that you’re able to join me. We originally tried to do this when you were in Ethiopia. That obviously didn’t work. Wi-Fi didn’t happen for us. But you are now home. You’re well-rested. You don’t have crazy.

Maybe you do have crazy jetlag. I don’t know. But I am so excited for you to join us again to talk about the AGCI and Tim Tebow Foundation House of Hope. We just celebrated our one-year birthday of the home actually being open. I’m just so excited to hear about it from you. Yeah. Thanks so much, Marisa, for having me again.

I can’t believe it’s been, I think, probably almost a year since we first connected on this. And the podcast. So, it’s so great to be back and there’s so much that’s happened in the last year. And yes, probably a good thing that we waited too to do the podcast. I think God had got it in there for us.

I think y’all would have not really understood a lot of the things I might have said with the Wi-Fi and the jetlag. I know it would have been bad. Yeah, definitely. Oh, my gosh. Well, I’m so thankful. And yeah, it was so fun to hear from you last year. I know this has been like, especially for you, a labor of love.

This is something that you’ve been working on with our team in Ethiopia for the last couple of years. And so, I would love will you for those people that maybe have no idea what we’re talking about, what is this place? Will you just tell us quickly about what this home is and what it does? Yeah. Yeah, you’re right.

It has been a little bit of a labor of love here. A lot of it. We started thinking about launching this home back in 2019, actually. And in in that year, we really started to focus on how we wanted to grow our programs in Ethiopia and where God was calling us to do so. We had a thriving sponsorship program.

As many people know, we had an adoption program there that was forced to close back in 2016. But we had been continuing to impact hundreds of children and families, but we really wanted to see where God was leading us, and that led us to do a pretty in-depth needs assessment of what some of the needs were facing or people were facing in Ethiopia, and really the one that stood out to us the most and that so many people spoke of from government officials to people working at the NGO level, social workers, they talked about this need that they were seeing continue to explode.

And that was specifically young girls who had been migrating into the capital city of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia to try to find work. Many of them had left their homes due to either conflict or just honestly, a pursuit of a better life. Education, yes. Yeah. Bringing an income in for their family and they would often find themselves trapped in Addis, working as domestic house servants, a lot of them unable to find any employment and all ended up living on the streets.

And so, they saw Ethiopia saw this massive increase of children, young girls specifically migrating into the city and with nowhere to go, oftentimes being stuck there, no pathway back to home, as many of them were trapped. And so, we decided that we wanted to launch a reunification home in Addis Ababa to serve this population of young girls.

And so really our goal with this home is to bring in girls who have migrated into the city and who have no pathway back to family, and then our team would work to identify their families and reunify them whenever possible. And so, this year has been an amazing year for our team and we officially we launched the home on time is as we kind of projected and laid out and now we’re just in full blown operation mode and getting to serve these young women has just been an amazing experience for all of us, especially for our team on the ground there who work so hard.

So, it’s been awesome. That’s incredible. I know I saw the work being done, so I know how hard you guys went after this. And I mean, I just want to even say, like, the fact that it was done on time, like according to your projections, I think that’s like a miracle right there in and of itself. But this was something I want to mention, too.

Like we have an Ethiopian team working there in-country. They are Ethiopian. And that’s why, like all the things that you’re talking about and how we found out what the needs were, it’s because the people that are there are the ones that are informing our decision about that. It’s not something that we just come in and like kind of, you know, try to figure out on our own.

So, we’re so fortunate to have that team there. And correct me if I’m wrong because I’m just trying to remember this off the top of my head are the numbers right now in Ethiopia that there are like 600,000 kids living on the streets in Ethiopia. Is that right or am I totally making that up? No, that’s actually correct.

Well, I mean, as best as they can determine, it’s a pretty hard number to gather. And it’s always fluctuating, of course. But that number continues to grow. And what they estimate is that there are about 600,000 kids in Ethiopia total living on the streets in Addis Ababa alone, they’re estimating over 100,000. So obviously actually a big crisis that they’re in.

And the government just does not have the capacity or the resources to respond to this. And AGCI and Tim Tebow Foundation, House of Hope. There has been other programs and NGOs doing reunification work, but the AGCI & Tim Tebow Foundation House of Hope is the first trauma informed care model of its kind that infuses the principles of trust based relational intervention to that and brings that into this home.

Every single day. And so, when we talk about this home and the importance of it, we’re not just simply reunifying kids. We have a model that’s rooted in trauma informed care and not just working directly with the children to help them heal from all the different traumas and difficulties and stressful experiences that they’ve faced while being separated from family and living on the streets.

But we also work directly at the family level and community level to not only prepare the families for that success for reunification, but also working with communities and community leaders to help them understand and help prevent children from having this experience in the future. Yes, we can do that prevention work so really, it’s a multilayered, very complex program and we realize that we only see success when we work in all of these levels, not just with the kids, not just in the home, but really, really bringing trauma informed care to each of these each of these areas, which is where I think we’re actually seeing the success.

And that’s why it’s so exciting because there like you said, there have been other organizations that have done this, but it hasn’t necessarily been something that’s successful, where the girls are staying at home, where their families are understanding what their kids like, the trauma their kids have been through, like even know how to parent that. You know, there’s it’s so I like that you said that it’s so huge and layered and this is really like I’ve said this before, but this is like deep soul healing work that we’re doing.

So, it isn’t something that I like that you said. It’s not something that’s just like super simple and we can’t overly simplify this because it’s so big, but just the fact that you guys are doing it, it’s just incredible. I’m so proud of you and I’m so proud of our team there for everything they’ve been doing. They they’re just insane.

And you have been there along the way, so. I don’t know. Mike, thank you. I’m so proud of. I’ve seen it. I’m so proud. So how many girls are in that living in the home right now? And maybe talk about how many total whatever numbers that you actually know and then how many have been reunified? Yeah, definitely. Well, we have actually now as of this last weekend, we reunified two more girls.

So, we have reunified 16 girls in total in the home. Yeah. And we have 18 girls currently in the home. So, we’ve served as of today actually because we got two new girls just. Yes. Oh my. Is okay. I hadn’t heard solutions. Yeah, it’s a brand-new information but we have served in total now with 34 girls. So, it was 32 when we were going out for the annual probably total if we want to count Friday because last Friday was our I’m kind of anniversary.

So, but yes. And all I will say probably it’s not just the number of girls that we serve. That’s our goal, really. How we measure the impact of this home and how we view it. Success is the number, the number of stable reunifications. So, I am happy to report that all of the girls who’ve been reunified are in stable family care up to one year post reunification.

So, it’s been just amazing to see, like you mentioned, I mean, I can’t say enough good things about this team that we have. We went from a team of six in Ethiopia who have been there for the last, most of them 13 to 15 years, team. Yeah. Got through all of ADC as operation and we had focused on all this work that we’ve been doing.

And then when we decided to grow this home, now we’re at 23 staff in Ethiopia and this staff just does such an incredible job from the cooks, the cleaners, the guards, the social workers, our director, our social services director, our finance head. Everybody has a role in this. And to see that work pay off and all of these girls remaining in family care is our biggest accomplishment.

And that goes to that just goes to all the different aspects of this program. And like you said, it’s that deep, deep healing work that that they’re continuing to do every day. So, yes, lots of lots of girls reunified many of the girls in our home right now. Kind of the processes they’ll enter into the home and they’re kind of in that intake phase for the first couple of weeks as we’re determining where they came from and their history and identifying their families.

So, all the girls in the home right now are kind of in that service. The stage where they’re receiving all of the services, counseling, life skills training, okay, education, formal education, spiritual, spiritual empowerment from our team. Just all the different aspects of this home that they’re receiving in that stage. And then we’re also looking to identify those, their birth families.

And so obviously worked with a lot of families too, and communities. So just a really great year so far that we’ve had my gosh, so cool. I’m so excited. It’s like, I don’t know, it’s just something to know that, you know, kids are able to get home to their families and their families are there and waiting and ready and actually prepared for them to return so that they are able to stay home and have that safe place again.

And I don’t know, it’s just pretty incredible. So, what are what would you say are some of the challenges to ensure a successful reunification? Like what do you see? Are the challenges? Yeah, that’s a great question. And that’s something that we spent a lot of time in preparing for when we did the programing and development for this home is understanding that every single circumstance is going to be different.

And I think that’s what makes our program stand out, is that we do not take a blanket approach to reunification. We have to do family assessments. We have to identify the traumas that the girls have been through and help them on their healing journey to heal from that while also preparing the family. So, if we’re not doing that and if we’re not allowing those girls time to heal and intervening through, you know, counseling sessions and psychosocial support and other avenues of healing through, like I said, we use TBRI®, trust based relational intervention.

If we’re not doing that in a way where we’re helping these young girls on their pathway to healing, and if we’re not working directly with the families as well, then we will not see a successful reunification. And so, it requires a lot of different assessments, a lot of just spending time with the families and getting to know their situation, understanding their needs.

Because some of the families are separated, not because of necessarily a conflict. Some of it was just because of the situation, you know, living in in dire poverty. And so oftentimes we’re just responding to identifying what the need was behind the separation. And so really, the challenges of that successful reunification, I mean, they’re at every level, some sometimes, but sometimes it’s even more much more traumatic than that.

And it’s that there was abuse from a father, from a mother. And those situations, we have to determine if it is if it is going to be safe for us to reunify with that family member. And if it’s not, then we have to look to other family members. And if there’s other family members who are willing to take that child in or there’s sometimes there’s a parent who got remarried and is that child is kind of a burden on them, then we have to look for other avenues.

And so, we have had some challenges. Of course, along the way it hasn’t been easy, but for the most part, I mean, we’ve seen a lot of success in really getting to the core and to the root of what that what that separation was and working alongside families to help. Mednax That’s incredible. It’s yeah, this is big work I like.

The more you unpeel it, the more I’m like, oh yeah, you know, think of all that stuff. That’s incredible. I’m glad that you guys are in charge of this and not me. And I hope, well, that’s all I’ll say about the team. I’m like, they’re the ones that are providing the direct, the care I get. Yes. The help with programing and management.

But I’m like, man, they even our caregivers do. And it they respond to things every day. I mean, these girls sure. We talk about the all the beautiful parts of this home. Right. Like all of the different I mean, it is it’s so much beauty and so much transformation and so much deep healing. But, you know, you think about 18 girls living under one home and, you know, girls come in from and they learn these habits on the streets or oh, yeah, servants.

And, you know, we have to it’s not just and they’ve been surviving. Yeah. Yes, yeah. So yeah, yeah. Anytime you have that many kids in one place, I mean there are bound to be lots of challenges. And when you add all of those layers of complications and traumas and I’m sure, yeah, it isn’t always pretty with like a bow on it for sure.

Yeah. It’s good to mention this is hard work in this, especially for the team there. Yeah. I mean there when we think about infusing TBRI® through that, the three we, we do that through connection correction empowering and there’s a lot of different aspects of the home that include TBRI® but really what TBRI® does is that helps to rework the brain so that children learn healthy attachment, they learn how to connect with safe adults, they relearn all of these different tools.

And so, we’re actually during their time in the home, what we’re trying to do is rework that brain, rework their brain, and so that they experience felt safety, that they can learn how to react, to attach with their parents again, because often that trauma, what it does is that it keeps these kids in that firefighter freeze mode all the time.

And if we don’t intervene now and if we don’t actually work to heal that trauma, then it’s just going to continue to worsen over the years. And they and they won’t be able to, you know, to come out of that as easily so that it’s not just reintegration. It’s reworking brains. I mean, it’s not easy work.

So no, I mean, yeah, when you bring the brain into it, that’s a whole like deeper level. And I mean, one thing that I wanted to mention to as you’re talking about that is that everyone that works with these kids from, you know, the director of the home to, you know, the caregivers to the cooks, they are all trained in TBRI® as well.

So, anyone having like regular contact with these girls, they’re all operating from the same lens, really through that lens of TBRI® and understand the goals. And so that’s even more powerful, I think. Yeah, absolutely. We do have two practitioners. So as our director of the home and Hailey, our social services director, they’re both TBRI® practitioners and they’ve been really infusing it, like you mentioned at every level with every single staff member.

So, when we launched the home, we did a weeklong intensive training for all of that, all of the staff that had been hired on at that point. And then anybody who gets hired on their onboarding plan includes a lot of, you know, just deep understanding of TBRI® and how the brain works and how we react to kids from hard places.

And so that’s really been a game changer for this home, I think. Yeah, I think so. I think it’s what sets it so far apart from anything else that’s been done. Yeah, it’s incredible. So, on the flip side, I know there’s the hard side of things, but I’m fortunate to see a lot of the photos that come through of the girls at the home, and they’re not always like wrapped in a bow perfectly, like we’ve said, but lots of smiling faces.

I get to hear lots of fun stories. What are some of your favorite stories that you share regularly about the girls that you’ve met in your time there? Yeah, man, I could talk about we can do a whole series on stories that come out of this home probably. But there’s so many and these girls are just unbelievable.

They’re so bright and special. And it’s just been such a joy to get to meet them and learn about their stories and learn about them. I mean, they’re one of my favorite stories is this young girl who entered into our care, and she had been separated from family, kind of in and out of her home. She was not what you would classically call maybe like a bad child, but she had pretty severe ADHD and her parents did not know how to really just handle her, respond to her needs.

And she often felt like she just was no one really understood her. And she came into our care after being kind of in and out of her home, living in an institution and we took her in and worked with her and identified what her needs were and worked with her family to help her family understand what those needs were.

And she stayed with us for about three months, and her family was really receptive to that, and they really wanted to build a relationship with her, but they just didn’t really know how. And we worked alongside them and she their reunification, it gives me chills. It was just like one of the most I mean, they just they didn’t know.

They thought they had lost her forever. Every time she’d leave and go into the streets and she’s now back in family care and her family has just been so receptive. And oftentimes there’s just, you know, some people think like, oh, well, if the girls are leaving, like, are the families even receptive to them coming back? Are they receptive to learning?

Like, yes, they really are. We just need to work with them and help provide them with those tools and resources they need so that was just one of my favorite reunifications, that moment of them, of her coming back home and just was really great. And I mean, there’s just so many. We have yoga every Saturday morning in the home, which is really high level where we have a volunteer yoga teacher who comes, and lead sessions and the girls get to practice their mindfulness skills because the girls also now know about TBRI® and they know, and we have our three roles in the home.

Yes, yeah. Stick together, no hurts and have fun. So, it’s so fun when someone is out of line or something and one of the girls will say like stick together or something and I just see them all learn from each other and grow. And yeah, I mean, I could, I could talk for so long about stories, but it’s been okay.

I want one more. Do you have another? Yeah, I. I do, actually. We have a girl right now who’s 17, and she’s our oldest girl in the home and. Okay, she’s been living in an institution for she was living in an institution for ten years. And this is one of those ones that is not a perfect ending per se yet.

And we’ve been working with her for about four months now. And we actually are not. We have not been able to locate her family. And she was so young when she was separated that it’s been a challenge for us to do that. And we when she first came into our home, in our care, she was incredibly reserved and would barely make eye contact and was very protective of her story, of course.

And over the last few months, we’ve just seen her turn into this to really like just to gain her youthfulness back. And she smiles now she makes eye contact. She loves just kind of help since she’s one of the older girls she loves kind of taking that little bit of a mom role and just kind of protective of the younger girls.

And you can tell they really look up to her. And so, I’m just watching her transformation and seeing that sometimes people assume that maybe the younger ones are a little easier. You know, they sometimes they think sometimes older kids are more difficult. And it’s not really the case. You just have to find ways to connect with them and find ways.

And so, she’s been taking on a little bit of a leadership role with doing coffee ceremonies and things that she’s shown interest in. Oh, and so we’re working on developing a plan for her to transition since she’ll be 18 soon, kind of transition her back into community, of course, with support. And she has a very close friend, someone who kind of cared for her many years ago, who’s quite a bit older, but not a biological family member, but someone who we feel can help her transition into community.

And she’ll be going through some formal life skills training and continuing to take night classes so that she can get her equivalent to a high school diploma and just so not every story is the same. There’s all these different dynamics and different stories. And just watching her growth and transformation these last four or five months have been awesome.

And we can’t wait to see her just continue to thrive and build to help her build a future that works for her and that she’s a part of. So, yes, yes. And a part of maybe for the first time that she remembers, you know, if she’s been in a home for the last decade or like in and out or living, I mean, it’s just that’s crazy to me.

So, what’s the youngest girl that we’ve had in the home? Eight, eight years old? Eight. Okay. Yeah. And sometimes ages aren’t super accurate, depending how much information we have. So even some of the older girls, you know, there’s always a little bit of we tried to do we do a developmental assessment, okay, understand where each girl is at.

But sometimes the ages are not quite accurate. But we feel we think the youngest has been seven or eight, around seven or eight. Okay, that’s so interesting. So, I loved hearing you talk even just about the community right then. You know how big a part the community can be. And I have heard tale of, you know, the home becoming a part of its community, and can you share with us just about how incredible the team is there and how they’ve really, you know, made this something that isn’t just about us, that’s bigger than us?

Yeah, definitely. It’s been incredible to see how God has not just built us this home, but how he has laid a path for our team to impact communities and generations to come. A couple of things that have stood out have been our team when we when we do a reunification. As I mentioned, we work at that community level, meaning that we don’t just work with families, but we help to identify any challenges that they might face in community after reunification, because there might be a lot of misconceptions from the community knowing that a child has left and now comes back.

There’s sometimes just culturally there’s can be some challenges. And so, our team has, especially in specific regions in the southern region of Ethiopia at Elders are really significant. And culturally it’s part of the tradition for Elders to speak on behalf of community and help guide paths for families. And so, there’s some cultural traditions in the South that have said that, you know, sometimes the eldest girl needs to come into the city to help find work and to send money back to her family.

And so, our team’s been educating and working with community elders to help them understand the realities of that that they might not know because it’s not what they actually. Yeah, so I’m really working directly with community elders. Our team has been doing and it’s been it’s been amazing to see just know how they respond to that and how receptive they are.

And then also we’ve had the privilege of I mean, ABC has been working in Ethiopia for the last 15 years and so our team’s been building relationship at pretty much every level from schools to they call them Waratah, which is like a small kind of town, like worried offices, meaning like social, local social affairs offices all the way up to the Ministry of Women’s and Children’s Affairs, who is the overseeing body for child welfare.

So they’ve been building relationships at every level for the last 15 years and they’ve had some unique opportunities just given that our team there on the ground is so trusted by the government and by leaders there that we’ve been invited and they see our success with our programs and they see our work with trauma informed care that they’ve asked a AGCI staff, specifically our two TBRI® practitioners there to come and lead trainings.

And so, as a in highly our team members there have gone and worked directly with institutions that are for government institutions in Ethiopia, in Addis Ababa. And as we’ve been highly have been working directly with those institutions to help provide trauma informed training to caregivers and stops while they can help provide better or provide elevated care in these institutions that might not otherwise or that don’t otherwise do that.

And so, they’ve been doing training series at the government institution level. They also were asked to lead a series training with the Addis Ababa Police Commissioner’s Office. So, they’ve worked directly with the I think they trained, I think it was 97 police and admin staff at the police commissioner’s office to help them understand some of the difficulties that children who have experienced trauma face and why, why TBRI® and why trauma informed care is important.

And so, they’ve seen a huge transformation at that level and often and those are those first responders I would assume like yeah, they’re who are called if there’s something going on with one of the girls or if someone’s found some, where are they? Is that accurate? Exactly. So often these police officers are the ones who have to make decisions even on where these kids go.

They’re the ones that are called to the scene. If there’s a child that’s been founders, if the girls run away, they typically run to the police officer. So, they’re often making decisions on what happens to these kids if they bring them to an institution or now, since they know about agency, I in our organization have seen the success.

They’ve often been bringing girls directly to us, which is phenomenal because it ensures that these girls don’t get transferred to a government institution and then just wait there for access, which is a whole other trauma. Exactly. Another in a government. Yes. And they I mean, some of the girls that we’ve served have lived in these government institutions for, you know, one, one year, three years, five years, ten years.

And so often if they get, they get trapped there. Then in the past, there was really no way out. And often these girls also some of these girls that we served, had been served by other organization and had attempted reunifications through other through other services, arena vacations or even the institutions that would just drop them back off the family.

And they always failed. But we’re seeing all these girls who even experienced that actually remained in their family care and be successful in there. So, it’s been awesome at the community level to say, wow, just all the different. There’re so many people involved from the police to the social to the welfare officers to social workers. I mean, there’s just so many layers and we’re really trying to intervene and provide a build relationship and provide services at every one of those levels so that we can provide wraparound services for these girls to be successful.

So, I love hearing how this year God has been moving like within the home and opened all of these doors that we weren’t necessarily expecting and doing that through relationship and doing that through, you know, them trusting our team and what they’ve earned there in Ethiopia. How do you see God moving? Like can you make any predictions? I know that the whole question I’m asking is that we don’t always know what God’s going to do this next year.

But what are you already seeing for a year or two? How, you know, how are the girls and their faith and families? Finding hope from all they’ve been through are what other organizations are we reaching out to or what do you see what doors are opening? Yeah, good question. I think it’s obviously a little bit difficult to tell exactly where we’re going to go.

But I think following the path that the Lord has laid out for us will lead us to where we want to go. And right now, what that’s looking like is he’s provided a pathway for us to lead a national TBRI® two-day training in October for approximately 300 different government leaders from different sectors of education, finance, welfare, all these different areas that people judicial system, that’s huge.

Yes. So AGCI has hosted a couple of these in some of the countries that we work in in Colombia and we’re hosting one in Ecuador as well and Ethiopia will be coming in October. So, we’re really excited to be to be doing this. And obviously, this isn’t maybe necessarily directly related to the House of Hope, but really what we get to do is we get to show all of these, we get to show these 300 leaders what trauma informed care looks like when it’s done well and how generations can be changed when we can work together to bring trauma informed care into policy, into programs, into the work that’s being done.

And we’re so excited for this training. And so that’s on the horizon. And I can’t wait to update you guys on all of that. But what it’s done is launching this home has really opened so many doors that we haven’t been able to predict that we’re responding to it as best we can. And I think that what’s what makes HCI stand out is doing this deep work in this trauma informed work and how intentional our team has been about it every step of the way in building those relationships that are centered around that.

And so, we’re just excited to see how this continues to unfold and how we as an organization can respond to the needs of when the government is drafting a new policy on best practice for kids to access or when they’re considering reopening international adoption, if that is ever going to happen or things like that. AGCI feels that we have a seat at that table and we, we can our staff can speak into some of those best practices.

And so, whether that means continuing to walk alongside institutions as they do institutionalize or just all these different areas, we feel like we’re not exactly sure where what doors will open, but we know that this movement is quickly growing in Ethiopia and our team is really on the forefront of helping to lead that. And it’s been just incredible to watch and obviously we would love to see this home grow and we are on track.

We were hoping to have ten girls at any given point in year one, around 20 girls in year two and around 30 girls in year three. Obviously, those girls transitioning out when they are reunified, but we’re on track to keep serving more girls. So that’s of course the priority for us is just to continue to make an impact there while also just growing the TVI movement in Ethiopia.

I mean, holy cow, that’s so cool. I’m so excited to see what God has for you to what this looks like for our team that’s there. All right, well, what are you what do you think? As people are listening and for me specifically, what can we be praying for specifically for this next year? What things should we be going to God about right now?

Yeah, great question. I think I mean, really, first and foremost, just to be keeping in your hearts and in your prayers, just the stories of these girls in the hearts of these girls, they are real kids with real stories and really difficult ones at that. And it’s not it’s not easy work. And especially for these girls. I mean, they’re the ones that are walking through this pain.

And now to get to the other side of that is not it’s not always an easy journey. So, I would say to prepare the hearts of these girls as they reenter back into family care, give them that peace and comfort and trust and help that, you know, we’ve seen the Lord do some amazing things in helping to rebuild trust in these girls.

But I would say that’s definitely our first priority, is these girls in their hearts. And then, of course, our staff can always use prayer. They show up and dedicate their lives to this work every single day. And also, not easy to be in the forefront of that. And we call that vicarious or secondary trauma when you’re not maybe the one experiencing that, but you’re the one witnessing that every day.

And you come home, and you hold those stories, and you hold those girls closely in your hearts. And our team cares so deeply for them. So, continue. I’m glad you’re acknowledging that for them. Yes. Yeah, that’s what it is. Yeah. And for our team too, to help keep providing a space for them to do that and to process that and we want to be sure where we’re meeting those needs for our staff and so that they can meet the needs for those girls.

Yeah. So yeah, that would, that would be our biggest needs. And then of course, just for it’s been a really, really hard couple of years in Ethiopia, just with the war that broke out in the northernmost region of Ethiopian Tigray. That conflict has not ended and has been continuing to unfold over the last couple of years. And even just recently the cease fire that was instilled, it was broken.

And so basically there’s still a lot of devastation there and it’s preventing our team from identifying and locating some of the families of the girls, just given that they are the families are living in some of the war-torn areas that have been too dangerous or impossible for our staff to locate. So just it’s been a pretty hard couple of years in Ethiopia, so I would just be praying for that country in general, for the leaders who are making decisions that impact kids.

There’s a lot of been a lot of transition at the government level lately, which can be good. You know, there’s a lot of new ideas around deinstitutionalization and some things that are a long time coming, but there’s just we would just be praying for peace and for understanding as these decisions are being made and for whom there’s also just tons of different tribes in conflict that arises and things like that.

And yes, the team could speak on that way better than I can, but I will say that that’s just going to be probably an ongoing need for prayer. That’s incredible. Well, I think I can speak for everyone listening that that’s something that will be holding in our hearts and praying for regularly. And I’m going to add to be praying for you, too, as you lead this up on this.

And I know it’s a huge thing for you as well, and that you experienced that secondary trauma as well. And just to be praying for your heart and, you know, just it’s big hard work. So, yeah, we’re going to add you on to the list. You are really well. Thank you for joining me on this call talking about all of this.

I just so appreciate you. I admire you and all of the work that you do every day for these kids, these girls and their families and our staff there. And you travel all the time, and it is a long flight to have. You haven’t traveled to Ethiopia. You may. We don’t know. But it’s like you’re on the plane for a solid full day, like a night and maybe a little longer if things don’t go well.

So just thank you for all you do and the dedication that you have to the people of Ethiopia as well. It’s my honor. It’s something I don’t take lightly. I, I hold them very dearly. And for those of you who have not traveled there, been there, mercy, I know you share my sentiment that it’s there’s something about it.

It’s like it’s just it is a very short play, I think. I think Ethiopia is a special place for God, too, because it’s just the people there just are so Jesus like and it’s just amazing. So, thank you for letting me be here and talk about this work and I appreciate it. I probably went way too long, but no, it was amazing.

Thank you. Thank you for joining us for the first episode of season four of Together by AGCI. That was Angelyn Salyer, AGCI’s Ethiopia Program Director, to find out how you can support the House of Hope directly or read or watch even more stories. Head to our website at On our next episode, we get to hear from two incredible AGCI Ethiopia adoptive moms who were recently able to visit the House of Hope with their daughters.

They will be sharing about their experience, visiting the home and what they learned from their time there. If you’d like to stay up to date on exactly what we need prayer for, we would love for you to join our prayer team, head to our website, then scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page and tap on prayer team to sign up.

Thank you so much for listening to Together by AGCI. If you liked what you heard, make sure to follow us and rate us wherever you listen to podcasts. You can also follow us on Instagram @AllGodsChildrenInternational. I look forward to sharing another story of hope the next time we’re together.