Welcome to my world

I am not one who often has many words to say, but living in Ethiopia now for almost 5 years, I have been so privileged to have experienced many things, including being touched by many people’s lives, the culture, the heart of the country, that others don’t have the privilege to experience.

People ask me what living in Ethiopia is like. Often it is hard to sum it all up, actually it is impossible. I think about the mothers in Grace that allow me into their lives, the life stories they have and the things they have experienced. They are more courageous than I could ever possibly dream of being. Yet when someone hears what we do here often we are met with admiration for the work that we do.  I am always humbled by that. In many ways, yes it is hard and it takes courage, but to watch these amazing ladies around me, these mothers who have experienced much pain in their lives, to have sacrificed so much, lost so much and now  to step up to give their child a chance that they never had… I am the one that stands in admiration.

Recently, life seemed to get really hard for me. It has been a tough year and a half, much heartache. I found myself feeling like it was too hard, that I no longer had it in me to keep on helping the less fortunate. I was looking at my own pain and heartache. I, without realising, became the victim. I know that we were sent here to help those less fortunate, those that could not help themselves, we came with hope to offer these families, but once I took my eyes off that, I became useless to everyone around me. So, a couple of weeks ago, I had a bit of a ‘wake up call’ when I had the chance to get away for a couple of weeks to rest, refresh and really pray about where I was in life. I was reminded of the true victims in this world, the young girls who get sold into the sex industry, brutally raped until they have lost all sense of what is right, and all hope of escaping. I was reminded of the child slaves, I have met many here, the young girls who do not get a chance of going to school, but instead have to work. They do not get the same opportunity as my own children do, they will never say ‘when I grow up I want to be….’, they do not get to dream. They do not get to choose. I could clearly see our mother’s faces who are now getting help in Grace, as clear as if they were standing in front of me, even though I was many miles away. Their stories came back to me, I wept for them and all that they have lost and experienced, but also wept tears of joy, because now when you look into their once empty eyes, you see hope!

So, in my wake up call, I wanted to start a blog, so that anyone else who wants to feel more connected to what we are doing here, can journey with me. I am not the most eloquent of writers, and have had little experience, but I will do my best to write from the heart, so you have the privilege of sharing this amazing life we get to be a part of. And in reading, I ask that you pray for us please. Pray for Andrew and I and our amazing children, pray for Marcie (co director) and Sefinew  and their children, for Tim and Cheryl (amazing volunteers and dear friends) and all the people who faithfully serve at Grace. Pray for the mothers and children (they are the future generation!), the fathers, extended relatives, for the teenagers and young adults studying. Please pray for our 120 faithful local employees who do their jobs so well. They are such a blessing to Grace.

I feel like I have much I want to share in future blogs, about our family’s experiences, our future hopes and dreams for what can be achieved, our employees, the Grace families and all God continues to do here. So thank you for being a part of it.

One thought I want to leave you before I go (hopefully it won’t scare you off for good), but how many of us play victim in our own lives? I think we forget sometimes the blessing our lives are, and how very blessed we are.


  1. gabbo2410

    Oh Dee,
    So eloquently and beautifully written, don’t ever doubt your grammatical skills. After spending only three months volunteering in Ethiopia (the best, but hardest three months of my life) I have been in awe of you, your family and others (like Marice and her family) who sacrifice so much to help the women and children who need so much.
    I can only imagine the overwhelming sense of perpetuity with the work that you do. When Paul said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Phil 4:13) I really don’t think he meant that you had to do ‘all things’ without some time out as well, so I am glad that you were able to recognise when you needed a break before the wheels fell off.
    I feel blessed every day and will never forget that this is because of the amazing work of Grace. Dee, you humble and inspire me and I hope things are improving for you.

  2. Sean, Regina and Daniel Sommer

    Dear Dee,

    Thankyou for giving us the opportunity to follow your story. I believe that everything that You and your Family are doing is inspired by God and therefore what you write is through God and can only be perfect. Regina and I feel blessed to know You and your Family. We feel blessed that Daniel spent the first year of his life in the care of Grace Centre. Daniel came into our lives with love in his heart nurtured by the wonderful people at Grace Centre. When I am feeling worn and not sure of the way forward I get great comfort reflecting on David’s Song of Praise 2 Samuel 22.

    Blessings from the Sommer Family

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