“So, let us know, let us press on to know the Lord, His going forth is as certain as the dawn. He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the Earth.” – Hosea 6:3
It is winter. Winter is not my favorite season by a long shot. I can appreciate the beauty of newly fallen snow coating everything in a pristine, sparkling white.
I do not especially love that, in Minnesota, where I live anyway, winter can start as early as October and last until May. No. I’m not joking. We had school canceled due to a significant snowstorm last year in MAY!
While winter is not my particular favorite, I have come to a place in my life of realizing that every season, whether easy or difficult, has some profound truth in it, as long as I have eyes to see and ears to hear. In this season for Out of the Ashes, we are fresh off of a lot of transitions. A lot of growth and a lot of “firsts.”
For example, we recently hired a student who graduated from our program under our guidance and care. You can read more about her in our Staff Highlight below! Proud doesn’t even begin to tell you how we feel seeing a student come full circle with us.
This is who we are and why we exist. If you have ever traveled with us, you know that Stacy and Brad Segebarth, our fearless founders, often say, “we want to give a hand up, not a handout.” To that end, we want to teach students in our program to return to their community by this same principle, in turn, reaching back to pull it out of the ashes.
God continues to be at work, growing us both as individuals and as a whole. With growth comes “growing pains.” While we cannot tell you we know the specifics of what is in store yet, we can say to you we feel an overwhelming sense that “it is good because He is good.”
Winter seasons can be challenging. It feels as though once-living things are now lying dormant. It feels like parts of you want to hibernate.
For me, it brings with it a sense of being invited to be still and reflect. In the natural world, we see naked trees as our constant landscape. It can feel like the world you are viewing is marked by things that are barren and dead.
It is in the middle of winter that we find great clarity. Have you ever stopped to consider that it is because all of those leaves have fallen off the trees to die on the ground that you can see farther than you can in other seasons when these same trees are in full bloom? Winter is our deepening and our gift. Winter brings clarity.
The intent of the season as is the intent of our Father in Heaven is to make our roots go deep. In doing so, we prepare for what is ahead. The spring rains that will come water the earth, and us along with it. – Hosea 6:3
I have found this to be true. You can see God in anything. You can miss Him in everything.
As we press toward the mission to which we have been given, our prayer is that individually and collectively, this winter season is one of growth. We pray for roots that run deep to continue to bear witness to the world around us that God is good. He is doing great things in our midst.
With Love on Behalf of the OA Team,
We could not be more proud to announce one of our recent hires, Adenech. Adenech is a graduate of Out of the Ashes. Anyone who has had the privilege of meeting her knows her smile is bright and her heart is enormous.
We hired Adenech in the past year to be one of our newest Social Workers. She always told us through the years that her dream was to help others in her community. Given her success both in and out of school, she was a perfectly natural fit.
We recently sent Adenech a few questions that she answered in her best English. Here is what she wanted you to know about her:
OA: Tell us your name, how old you are, and a bit about your family.
Adenech: My name is Adenech. I’m 21 years old. I have a family. I have four sisters, no brothers, and my dad died when I was three years old. I currently live with my mom and my grand-mom.
OA: What is one challenge you had to overcome as a child or a teenager?
Adenech: My challenge is that my dad was dead when I was three years old. My sisters were still little, so that time was a hard time for my life. Because my mom did not have work, no one was there to help my family and me. We lost food. My grand-mom was begging for food because we had no money. I remember I saw my mom at night. She would cry the whole night because she could not get us to school. Also, she did not have food. That was my challenge, to see my mom cry. We lived by praying and by God. He did a lot in my family. He was a good father. He is my dad. He provided for my food, my studies, and my sisters. Thanks to God.
OA: What was your favorite subject in school?
Adenech: My favorite subject was sociology because I love helping people. I wanted to help humans think of how they can live in society, how they can live better, and how they can give thanks to the Lord.
OA: What is your current job? Tell us what a typical day looks like in your life right now.
Adenech: When I finished psychology, I began work as a social worker for Out of the Ashes to counsel children on how to be good students and help them find whatever they need, like going to the hospital when they are sick. I visit schools and help students every day.
OA: What do you like to do for fun when you are not working? Do you have any hobbies?
Adenech: I like to write some quotes that inspire me on paper from the books I read. I love reading books and watching movies. What I want to do more is help people and pray. Because when I was young, no one was helping me. I know a lot of people need help as I did. God loves that. I like to pray and talk to God.
OA: Tell us a fun fact about you or something interesting that makes you different than anyone else.
Adenech: I love helping people. When I was at Dire Dawa, I was in one organization working as a volunteer in my free time. They are above 50 years old. They had a loss of hope because of losing family. I would go with my friends, and we would say to them that we are your family. We would see on their face happiness. That is the blessing we cannot get by money. They pray for our success and go to church with us. That is what is interesting about me.
OA: Tell us about a person you admire and why.
Adenech: My mom, because she did a lot of things for our success. She cried. She begged even when she heard terrible talk from others. For our success, she would go hungry. She would give food to us. She is close to God. She would tell me about God’s love. She taught me to pray. She gives me advice every single day. No one is like her. She is beautiful to me. She is strong. I have no words to tell you more about her. My tears fall while I write these words to you.
OA: Tell us what you think God is doing in your life right now.
Adenech: I do not have the words to say what God is doing in my life. He is doing a lot. So much that I cannot even tell it all, he is everything for me. He does a lot for me. He is a father to me because I have no father. He is the strength of my world.
OA: How have the OA/P61 programs affected your life?
Adenech: I went to school at Shashemene for eight years. That was an answer to our prayers because I came with my younger sister. I thank God for that. I want to thank Stacy and the Out of the Ashes board members for my success. If I did not go to school, I could not be a social worker. Thank you so much. It has shaped my behavior. I pray that one day my life and my story can be a testimony for Out of the Ashes.
OA: What is a challenge you are facing today?
Adenech: The challenge today is I want to get my master’s degree because I want to build my knowledge to help more people. I believe God can do this. He can change a lot of things. I want you to pray for me. I think one day I will have a big project and a lot of people to help. God is doing a lot in my life. I know He can help me improve a lot of people. Please pray for me in this particular way.
OA: Is there anything else you want to say to our Out of the Ashes friends and followers?
Adenech: I want to say Thank You so much to OA. I have no words to explain to you. Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to work here. I love you all.