Jonathan Bridges

Impact - A Conversation with Farm Hands


Yacob and Markos It is so exciting to see how the Kota Ganate Hatchery is impacting lives even before the first chick has been sold! This is exactly what the “Chicks for Change" campaign was all about.

Recently, we sat down and talked with the farm’s two hatchery technicians, Markos and Yacob, and asked them a bit about their lives and work. Both 22, their stories are common throughout the rural areas of Ethiopia.



Yacob with freshly hatched chicks.Yacob, as the eldest child, quit school to help his family financially. He spent years doing strenuous farm labor for just 5 birr per day (5 birr equals a quarter in American money) before coming to Kota Ganate. He has worked with the farm for three years and is enthusiastic about his new position as hatchery technician.

However, it isn’t all about the money for Yacob. He is seeing his spiritual life changed as well. In his own words Yacob said, “Now I believe this will change my life. Not only the money, we (the staff) also do bible study and pray together, which will also change my life. It makes me closer with God.”





Markos working with freshly hatched chicks.Markos also worked in agriculture before coming to Kota Ganate, and he prefers the atmosphere at this farm. He commented that because the work isn’t as laborious as what he has done before at other farms, he has strength for other activities and isn’t worn out at the end of the day. He enjoys this because it allows him time to read, both his Bible and other subjects of interest. Markos is excited about the impact the farm can have on the community. He sees the farm as a way to show God at work in the community. He commented, “Because the staff believes in God and pray, people who don’t know God from the community will come to know Him.”


Markos and Yacob showing off incubator.Yacob and Markos have learned new skills in their new positions that will serve them both now and in the future. They understand and are excited about the impact that Kota Ganate can have on the community both financially and spiritually. Here are a few responses they gave to the question, “How will Kota Ganate benefit the community?”

  • Direct support of beneficiaries – especially giving them access to education. (Something he missed out on)
  • Increased job opportunities.
  • People will learn about God through the example and witness of the staff.
  • Provision of better, cheaper supply of poultry products – Chicks to raise, as well as, eggs and meat.
  • Supply of other farm products – apples and seedlings, grass (used as hay for milk cows), electricity (we allow neighbors to tap into our electrical lines).


We are so thankful for the opportunity Kota Ganate affords us to invest in the spiritual and material lives of our farm hands as well as the community. And we couldn't do it without the support of people like you! Thank you for donating, and please pray for us as we share the Word and the love of Christ at Kota Ganate.

Putting Down Roots


This year's “Permanently His Campaign” has me thinking a lot about our work in Ethiopia. More specifically, I've been thinking about  the Kota Ganate Agriculture Project - something we started almost six years ago - because permanency is what this project is all about. Where we're from, “putting down roots” means to establish yourself permanently somewhere - to make a place your home. You make friends there, make a home there, start a family there - you become part of the place just as much as the place becomes a part of you.

I guess you could say my family and I have put down roots in Ethiopia in more ways than one. With Kota Ganate we're “putting down roots” for a generation of children who desperately need the permanency TFC provides, children like Abel, Sossina, and Metu.

Kota Ganate provides long-term sustainability to ensure these kids and many others will find the permanency they need.


Apple farm

Chicken hatchery collage


As we literally put down roots with each crop we plant, pray with us for God to deepen our financial roots through Kota Ganate so we can continue to offer street children in Ethiopia the chance to become Permanently His

Pray for Jonathan


For this month's prayer post, I only have one request - TFC Sustainability Coordinator, Jonathan Bridges', knee. As I sit here in America and hear of Jonathan's knee injury and the difficulties it is causing him in Ethiopia, my powerlessness to do anything drives me to one thing... prayer. Will you join me and pray for Jonathan? While you're at it, you can lift up his wife, Jess, and their two precious children as well.

Bridges Family Photo

Here's a recent update from Jonathan concerning his knee:

Here's a look at Jonathan's swollen

"My injury baffled the docs. There was no obvious event which triggered it, there was little to no pain, and the x-ray showed nothing. So they invited me to the hospital for a thorough examination. At the hospital one of the doctors drained the fluid off and gave me a shot of cortisone. Immediately I was able to walk without crutches, and within a couple of days, my knee was back to normal... or so I thought. We packed up and headed home to Chencha.

The next few weeks were great, and on June 23rd, Aregahegn (the farm manager) and I traveled to Addis Ababa to pick up chicks for the Kota Ganate Hatchery. The trip was successful, and we brought 332 chicks to the farm.

The Kota Ganate Hatchery

About a week later, however, the cortisone apparently wore off, and my knee started swelling again. It swelled more slowly this time, but within five days I was on crutches again. We went back to the hospital on July 6th. The orthopedic surgeon took a quick look at my knee and scheduled me for arthroscopic surgery a few days later.

I had surgery on July 10th. To our surprise, there was very little damage inside my knee - only a little damaged cartilage under the knee-cap. The rest of the knee was in perfect shape. The doctor was actually surprised that my knee swelled with that little amount of damage.

This was both good and bad news. It was great news to find out that my knee is actually in pretty good condition. The bad news is there is no good explanation for why my knee is acting as it is, and they don't know what to do to fix it... I'm trying to stay positive, but I'll admit to you that it's starting to wear on me."

Thank you for your prayers!