One of the most important goals of this partnership beyond caring for the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of orphans and widows is to to ensure sustainability. There is constant evaluation of how much dependency is on us and how much responsibility is being taken on by the orphans, widows and the Zeway church. Our ultimate goal is that the care of orphans and widows is fully sustained by the Zeway church and by the orphans too, but we provide them with a "boost" until that happens.
Sustainability looks very different for all kinds of relief and development. I'm by no means fully knowledgeable on this, but I do know what it means for the Zeway Partnership.
In full agreement and partnership with the Zeway Evangelical Church Fellowship (ZECF -about 10-14 united churches in Zeway), we have agreed to work with them to visualize and come to practice what the Bible says about orphan care and adoption. This is the ultimate way we believe God has revealed sustainability for orphan care in Zeway. The local churches will do it.
One big step in doing this is for the ZECF to understand what orphan care and adoption looks like on a theological and practical level. On May 31 and June 1, an orphan care conference hosted by Seed Adoption will be in Addis. From the help of many sponsors, we are funding 31 pastors and their wives to attend this conference in Addis. They will be attending some amazing sessions on orphan care and adoption taught by local Ethiopians and curriculum provided by Together for Adoption and several other well-known orphan and adoption organizations.
We are very excited to be a part of this. This is a huge step for the ZECF to care for orphans and widows and they are excited to be a part of it as well. Matt Kouri and John Patterson will also be attending this conference in Ethiopia, so we look forward to getting updates from them.