Chicks for Change

On the Farm Update #3 - Chickens


Although apples were the idea that sparked the project initially, poultry has now taken a leading role in our plans for the farm. It is actually a dual strategy, a one-two punch, if you will. Apples are a long-term sustainability strategy, requiring about 5 years to produce significant income. Chickens, on the other hand, are our short-term strategy. Poultry production is the only thing that promises sufficient profit to make sustainability in the near future a possibility.

This is why the Chicks for Change Campaign was so important over the past year. Due to the funds generated through that campaign, we have the potential to generate enough income within the coming year to make the farm itself self-sustained.

Shortly thereafter, the farm will realize the goal of pumping money into the larger organization in support of all of Onesimus' projects. The Chicks for Change designation will remain open on our website for those who wish to continue to give. So don't put those change jars away just yet! Additional funds that are designated to Chicks for Change will go toward much needed operating expenses.

New Hatchery Building

Back of the hatchery building

Dawit checking on the chickens

Adamasu monitoring the incubator

Aregahegn with chicks

Chickens all grown up

Local chick

Tarekegn loading the incubator

Me checking the incubator


To learn more about the farm, read On the Farm Update #1 – Welcome to the Farm and On the Farm Update #2 - Apples.

To support the farmers, donate here.

Honoring an Advocate


  By Randall Johnson

Nicci Feathers, a short term missions visitor to Onesimus, spoke about her trip to the Kiwanis Club of Germantown, TN, on May 24, 2012.  She shared passionately about her interaction with the children and how she immediately fell in love with them.  She shared specifically the story of Fikedu and Alemayu, two boys who found their way by God's providence to Onesimus and were ministered to.

Fikedu was a boy who initially would not warm up to the team.  He was very stand-offish and was obviously struggling to trust adults, especially these foreigners.  But when Nicci went again a year later, Fikedu was a changed person.  He had come to faith in Jesus Christ and was ready to share his story about losing both his father and mother to death and his grandmother sending him to Addis to live with an aunt.  The connection with his aunt did not take place.  He was only five years old and was forced to live on the streets.  The director of Onesimus, Nega, found Fikedu and invited him to the drop-in center, where he has been thriving on the love of the staff and the Lord Jesus.

Alemayu's story was shared in video as he was reunited with his mother.  He had been living in a rural community near Chencha when he was kidnapped and taken to Addis to work in a factory.  He escaped three years later but did not know how to get home.  He ended up at Onesimus, where Nega and Jonathan Bridges were able to piece together his story and make an attempt to restore him to his family.  This they did successfully, and the video captured them walking down the slope to his house from which his overwhelmed mother came and embraced her lost son and all those responsible for bringing him safely home.

Nicci did a great job of relating her passion for this ministry and her hopes of one day being a teacher at Onesimus.  She thanked the Kiwanis membership for their support of K-Kids at Germantown Elementary, who recently presented TFC with a check for $1,800 for Chicks-for-Change.  Cicely Jordan, who co-sponsors K-Kids with Nicci, and is also a teacher at Germantown Elementary, was presented with a plaque and letter from The Forsaken Children for her efforts at raising the $1,800 and encouraging these children to open their hearts to children around the world.  Kelly McGugan, who is leading a team from Central Church in Collierville, TN, to Addis this June, made the presentation.

K-Kids Part II


  By Randall Johnson

K-Kids, a group of select 2nd through 4th graders at Germantown Elementary school who have joined with the Kiwanis Club to serve underserved children, presented Heather McGugan of The Forsaken Children with a check for $1,800 on Friday, May 18.  This was the culmination of their work to promote "Chicks For Change" and raise money for the chicken hatchery in Chencha, Ethiopia, that our own Jon and Jess Bridges have started.


The purpose of this hatchery is to provide sustainable support for our partners in Ethiopia who work with at-risk children.  So it is a perfect match with the stated purpose of the Kiwanis Club and for the K-Kids group at Germantown Elementary school.


The children went above and beyond expectations and brought great joy to Ms. Jordan and Ms. Feathers, their sponsors for K-Kids.  Ms. Feathers is Nicci Feathers, who has been to Onesimus, our partner in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and worked with our children there.  She is planning on returning in June with a team from Central Church.



We are very grateful to the K-Kids group at Germantown Elementary and say thank you on behalf of the children of Ethiopia who will be beneficiaries of this generosity.  Together, we can make a difference.


Two Worlds Collide


The minute I left Ethiopia last June, I began praying for God to show me every way possible I could advocate for the children I loved so dearly from thousands of miles away. I wanted everyone I knew and loved at "home" to love and care about the children the way I did. I shared stories with anyone who would listen. I longed for everyone to understand the great need that was in Ethiopia, even if their own eyes had not witnessed it. Some listened. Some did not. But, God continuously poured opportunities into my lap.

One of those opportunities was sharing in a place I least expected. As a public school teacher, I never dreamed that I would be able to share my stories with the children at school.  Luckily, God had things planned long before I ever traveled to Ethiopia.

In August of 2010, I became co-sponsor of our school's service club, Kiwanis' K-kids.  This club participates in a variety of service activities on a local, state, national, and international level. So, because of God's amazing provision, I was able to introduce the children in Ethiopia to a group of 50 4th and 5th graders here at home, sharing ways that they could help them!  I can't describe the way my heart swells to watch the kids I love here working and serving the kids I love all the way across the world. It is humbling, in fact, to know that God wanted this!

In October, I was able to share photographs and stories, and it was heartwarming to answer their questions and share with them how different things are in other places for children their age. Then, as a club, we decided to participate in the Chicks for Change campaign. They were so thrilled!  We collected empty milk jugs from the local Starbucks to use as our containers. Then the kids started collecting their change!




Also, our K-kids hosted a school-wide Chicks for Change campaign. Letters went home with over 800 students about Chicks for Change and its goal. Eight hundred new families learned about TFC and the work that is taking place in Ethiopia. God is so good. All week I watched as the change poured in! Each day the number grew and I thanked God for His provision and sovereignty.

Truthfully, I am overwhelmed by the way God has provided in allowing my two worlds to collide. I pray that He will continue to allow me to advocate for the children I love so. Listening and watching my students' excitement about being involved is absolutely amazing. Giving back is a good lesson for someone of any age, and, as they give to the children in Ethiopia, my students receive an invaluable lesson. My prayer is that God will continue providing ways for hundreds of people to learn about and support The Forsaken Children. Truthfully, I never dreamed that my students here would be able to help serve the children in Ethiopia. But, God allowed it and the GES Kiwanis K-kids were able to raise $1,828.38 for the Chicks for Change campaign. To God be the glory!

"'For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' Then, the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'" Matthew 25:35-40

The 2012 change campaign is called Give Me Five.  Your change gives hope!  Please read more here.