Ashagre has a God-sized story that continues to unfold in amazing and inspiring, new chapters. We met Ashagre on our first trip to Addis Ababa in June 2013. Honestly, while his childlike mannerisms and contagious smile softened our hearts, his rough exterior and “street” face kind of scared all of us.
His life changed dramatically through tragedy when he was only 12 years old. While he always knew a life of poverty (his dad a beggar, his mom a prostitute), the night thieves stole his father’s groceries, beat him up and sliced his eyes leaving him blind changed the dynamic of Ashagre’s family. With his father blind, he was not able to provide the way he used to for his family. Forced to move into a smaller “home” (a space large enough for two twin beds side by side with a narrow space between), there no longer was room for Ashagre. So, at 12 years old, he moved to the trash dump. He not only worked there collecting thrown away plastic containers to help his parents with rent and food, but he also lived there amidst the endless piles of city trash with hundreds of other trash dwellers, people who burrowed spaces within the trash piles and called it “home”.
Today, after serving as a “Big Brother” in the I AM not 4gotten Judah House for three years, Ashagre works as the I AM not 4gotten Shop Keeper. He is married to his long time sweetheart, and they have a sweet baby boy. God has done and is doing an amazing work in this young man’s life. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jer. 29:11