“So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD, His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And 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 the newly fallen snow — coating everything in a pristine and sparkling WHITE. What I do not especially love, is that (in Minnesota where I live anyway), winter can start as early as October or November and last until April or May. No. I’m not joking. We had school canceled last year in MAYdue to a significant snowstorm.
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 so 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 of ours 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.” And to that end, we want to teach the students in our program to return to their community by calling upon this same principle, and in turn, Reaching back to help pull their community Out of the Ashes.
God is and continues to be at work growing and stretching us both as individuals and as a whole. And with growth comes “growing pains.” While we cannot tell you we know all of the specifics of what is in store for us just yet, we can tell you that we have continued to feel an overwhelming sense of “It is good, because HE is good.”.
Winter seasons can be hard. 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.
But it is here in the middle of winters that we can also find great clarity.
Have you ever stopped to consider that it is because all of those leaves that have fallen off of the trees to die on the ground, that you can see a lot farther than you can in the other seasons where these very same trees are in full bloom?
Winter is our deepening. Winter is 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. And in doing so, we prepare for what is ahead: the spring rains that will come and water the earth, and us along with it. (Hosea 6:3)
I have found this to be true: You can see God in anything, and you can miss Him in everything.
As we press toward the mission to which we have been given, it is our prayer that individually and collectively, this winter season would be one of growth. We pray for roots that run deep so that we can continue to bear witness to the world around us that God is good, and 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 the Out of the Ashes, Inc. program. Anyone who has had the privilege of meeting her knows that her smile is bright, and her heart is enormous. Adenech was hired by us in the past year to be one of our newest Social Workers. Having always told us through the years that her dream was to help others in her community, and 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 little 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 my dad was dead when I was three years. My younger and my older sisters were still little so at that time was a hard time for my life because my mom did not have work and no one was there to help my family and me. We lost food my grand-mom was begging for our food because we had no money. I remember I saw my mom at night. She would cry the whole night because she can not get us to school and also she did not have food. That’s my challenge to see mom cry. But 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 for my studies and my sisters. Thanks to God.
OA: What was your favorite subject/part of school?
Adenech: My favorite subject was sociology because I love helping people. I wanted to work assisting humans to think of how can they live in society and how can they live their life better and how they can to 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 to work as a social worker for Out of the Ashes and to counsel the students how to be good students and help them find whatever help they needed like going to the hospital when they are sick. I visit the schools and help the 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 that I read. I love reading books, watching movies. But what I want to do more and more is helping people and praying because when I was young no one was helping me, and I know a lot of people need help like I did and God loves that. I like to pray and talk to God.
OA: Tell us a fun fact about you/ 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 with my free time. They are above 50 years old. They had a loss of hope because of losing family so I would go with my friends and we would say to them that we are your family. We would see on their face happiness, and that is the blessing we can not 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/ look up to and why?
Adenech: She is my mom because she did a lot of things for our success. She cried, and she begged even when she heard terrible talk from others. For our success, she would go hungry, and she would give food to us. She is close to God, and for us, she would tell me about God’s love. She taught me to pray. She gives me advice every single day. There is one is like her. She is beautiful to me. She is strong, and 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 on 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 changed and 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 so much, 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, and 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 masters degree this year because I want to build my knowledge and help more people. I believe God can do this. He can change a lot of things. I want you to pray for me. I believe one day I will have a big project and have a lot of people to help. God is doing a lot in my life, and I know He can help me improve a lot of people. Please pray for me in this special 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. Thank You so much! I love you all.