There are people who come face to face with hurt and turn the other way.  Then, there are those who take big risks and step right into the hurt to offer the love of God to a world that’s desperate to know and believe He exists. 

At Jennifer DiDio Photography, we have been fortunate enough to partner with people who step into the hurt and offer the hope found in Jesus.  Our philanthropic commitment to give back 50% of our profits locally and globally has allowed us to partner with a man who has a vision and a calling to help the women and children in his country.  I’d like to introduce you to Henok, a world changer.

Henok lives in Ethiopia and previously worked in an organization called Mission Ethiopia until the government closed it down last year.  He served as the director of 144 women in the town of Korah.   

The women of Korah created necklaces, scarves and bags which provided an income for them to support their families.  So when Mission Ethiopia was closed, these women, their families and Henok were devastated. 

Women called him regularly to ask for assistance, but he had nothing to give.  For 6 months, he avoided the town because of the crushing sadness he felt when he returned.  He emptied his pockets of any money he had to help these families, but there was never enough. 

Henok listened to story after story about families renting out their children to beg on the streets, families being torn apart because they could not feed their children, and children living on the streets because they had no home.  Henok knew he had to do something about this. 

Korah is home to 150,000-200,000 people.  It is located around the city trash dump where the trash of 8 million people is dumped regularly.  The inhabitants of Korah benefit, directly or indirectly from the dump by scavenging thru the trash for food and searching for items that can be sold.  This is not how Henok imagines anyone should live and he is desperate to change life for those who call the dump home.

Instead Henok, after much prayer, decided to start Carry 1:17 based on a passage of Scripture, Isaiah 1:17, “Learn to do right; seek justice.
    Defend the oppressed.[a]
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
    plead the case of the widow.

So 6.5 months ago he rented a house and invited 3 women to come to work making bags to sell.    They make beautiful ipad cases, purses, messenger bags, lunch boxes, yoga bags, etc. 

Very quickly 3 women became 5 as Henok partnered with churches in the US to help support his vision to provide women with a paying job, health care, and schooling.  He is working to re-unite families that have been split up due to poverty and provide an education for their children to help end the cycle of desperate poverty.  Through this ministry the women also learn how to read and write.  Every step is taken to build and restore the dignity of women in the program. 

Henok believes improving the lives of these women and families through education, housing and healthcare is the key to bringing hope to the whole community. 

The main goal of Carry 117 is orphan prevention and family preservation through empowering women with a way to provide for their own families.  In addition, women are encouraged to set up bank savings accounts to help them build their future.  They are also encouraged to participate in community outreaches.  This gives them opportunity to serve as they have been served. 

Volunteers from LifePoint Church have been serving in Korah for the last 3 years.  Ashley Bohinc is the Henok’s contact at LifePoint and they have partnered together in their efforts to help restore Korah.  These two are a great team and eternity is being changed by their efforts to coordinate relief for Korah.  They both bring a passionate conviction that Jesus offers hope to the world and that healing and restoration is found in His name.  They long to offer that hope to Korah and see it restored.

The latest team from LifePoint served alongside the ladies in Carry 1:17 and together they plastered & painted the walls, cleaned & organized to create a kitchen and supply room for the ministry. They laid flooring in the ministry store & kitchen, they ran electricity to the new kitchen to give them woman a place to have fellowship, eat lunch, and take break.  They completed these and several other projects while they were there, but most importantly they love on and encourage the hearts of employees.

So Henok, we cheer you on in your on the ground efforts in Korah and pray that the Lord will continue to use you mightily to bring hope and healing to Korah and all who are a part of Carry 1:17! 

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