How we got started...
Two weeks after returning home, they got a call from their fellow dreamer saying he had found a house that had plenty of rooms, and a couple who agreed to live with the shoeshine boys! A plan for a return trip began. Jodi recruited her close friend, Kim York, and Kellye recruited her sister and brother-in-law, Dixi and Blaise Campanella. On June 1, 2013, this team of four moms, one dad, and a college student, traveled to Ethiopia to set up a house for the boys! God did amazing things and worked out a plan only He could have orchestrated! The six weeks of setting aside personal finances and reaching out to friends for money to start the first house ended up not being enough. Much prayer had gone into this project, and we knew God would be faithful. After 3 full days of working to put a house together, meeting the shoeshine boys, and God-sized appointments, Blaise Campanella pulled Jodi aside and said he felt God leading him and his wife to become a strong financial contributor to this effort. We all knew this was an answer to prayer! The very next day, Blaise went to the bank and picked up the money to finish the first house. Let's just say the bank shut it's doors and had armed guards out front to complete the transaction! God's purpose superseded our plans. These homeless, shoeshine boys that once roamed the streets trying to earn enough money every day to pay for a place to sleep every night, will not be forgotten anymore.
Since that first trip, we have opened a second home with another 13 boys, a feeding center and sponsor 84 families, each with a special needs child. Our long term hope is to impact many lives in Jesus’ Name!
In December 2011, Todd, Jodi and Jeremy Guy went to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to meet their soon to be adopted boys, Worake and Dimo. During this trip, they met the “shoeshine boys” (young boys that come to the city to work from their country-side villages because their families are too poor to take care of them) and somewhere between playing catch and soccer in the guest house yard, they all fell in love. Each boy, so sweet and desiring attention, stole their hearts. It was heart wrenching to leave them when it was time. But, Jodi had a plan for her return visit when she would be picking up her adopted sons. She collected many needed items and returned in February 2012 with a new outfit and shoes for each boy she had met and more, 45 total! With the help of her guide, she took one boy at a time into the guest house she was staying in and washed them and dressed them in new clothes. It was a full day of blessings! Again, the departure was bittersweet. Jodi was finally bringing her adopted boys home but leaving behind many pieces of her heart. She knew one day she was going to return.
April 2013, Jodi finally returned with Ordinary Hero, a mission group focused on the area of Ethiopia known as the trash dump in Korah. She returned with her sister-in-law, Kellye Jones. Kellye fell completely in love with the country and the people she encountered which included some of the shoeshine boys. Their mission trip was full of experiences to see and help the children of Ethiopia, and Kellye knew she wanted to be a part of helping change these boy's lives through Christ. One night, Jodi and Kellye began talking with the manager of Ordinary Hero, and he fanned the flame to an idea they dreamed up together about having a house for the shoeshine boys to call home.
First group on the ground, June 2013, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia ~ Pedro Lima, Kellye Jones, Kim York, Blaise & Dixi Campanella and Jodi Guy
June 1, 2013, we started our journey with only a vision and a DEEP love for a group of boys we barely knew, but God knew! From every step of Faith into unknown territory, God has gone before us and made a way.