Jason’s Boys (Yehiwot Raey)


Hey everybody!! Thanks for the awesome letters! I love hearing from everybody back home.

Sounds like Utah is pretty hot right now, sorry everybody. Believe me, I can feel your pain;) African weather is crazy. It is 110 degrees one minute, then the next it will rain so hard that you feel  like somebody (allah) dumped a bucket on your head!! A couple weeks ago, the villagers around here were praying for rain for their crops. Several goats were sacrificed in Haleku, the project village. Something must have worked, because this week has seen some of the biggest rain to hit the area. I have been in Addis for the past week, but when I returned, my house is now lakefront!! haha cool! I dont think ill be swimming anytime soon though. The water here looks preeeety nasty. Lots of peoples huts are now floating. I feel really bad, to be suffering from drought, then your house is floated. What a nightmare. The area that was hit worst was around Lake Langano, but my town of Ziway recieved quite a bit of water as well. Ill do what I can to help, but honestly if its as hot as it was before, I think the water will dissapear pretty quick!!
I cant believe it, but this friday will be day 60 away from utah for me. Wow!!  It doesnt even seem like ive been gone for very long.

Hmm, I cant remember exactly what I wrote last time. Sorry if you get some of this info twice.

This past week and a half I have spent in a boys shelter in Addis Abbaba. The guy that runs the shelter, Jason, is great. Hes a great friend already, as well as the 20 boys that are living there. However, Jason is super busy trying to find funding for running his buisness, and keeping the Eth. government happy about his program. He has his hands full. So my job was to…well play with the boys!! What a great job! We played all sorts of games. None of these boys ever had a dad to throw a ball to them. I think I threw my shoulder out this week. Playing catch with 20 different boys is hard work!! We also have family home evening once a week, regular “family meetings” and dinner is served ethiopian style, one one  big platter. You havnt lived until you share dinner with 20 different boys. Haha eat fast!!

The boys home in Addis is really just a big house for a family of boys. They act just like a family, and look out for eachother just like family does. There is a lot of tough love going around, wrestling matches and punching fights are a common way to show affection here.

A cool project that we did this week was build a chalkboard for a local school. It was great to teach the boys basic carpentry skills, and it was awesome that we were doing service. Thanks Skinner family for donating the materials!! I think with the money donated for the project, we can complete 3 or 4 more chalkboards, to be donated to various schools that need them. This was the first step in many that the Jason’s program will take to teach these boys service. The idea is that street boys, hardened by their lives as “outcasts” of society, can learn to serve and love their community, and the love will be returned from the community to the boys, who will no longer be seen as a threat, or annoying. Outreach will include service to others in the area (like building chalkboards for schools) and also looking after the homeless population, and other street children. Its a great plan in my opinion, and I will continue to update you guys on how it is going!! Other projects planned for the near future include starting small buisnesses with the oldest boys in the home. This is an effort to help them become independant the programs help, eventually allowing them to live independantly.Braden Hand Hold

The boys are so much fun to live with!! I had the opportunity to take two of them to a movie at the movie theature as a reward for doing well in school. These two had never seen a movie in a theature before, let alone the 3d spiderman that they got to see!! Haha I didnt even watch the movie, just their faces. One boy, Getish, was so excited the whole time that he was bouncing up and down on his seat the whole movie. The other boy, Mersha, is so so quiet. He doesnt ever say anything, but during the movie he smiled the whole time. Seeing those kids laugh and smile makes coming over here so worth the time and effort spent preparing.

After my time in Addis, I got the opportunity to visit the Morrell farm (Paul morrells farm) in Beltu, Ethiopia, near the Somali Border. Wow, what a cool opportunity. I got to see all sorts of animals (warthog, Dikdik, Nyala, baboons, bushbuck, everything!!) on the way, and lots of them lived on the farm. The Oromo tribesmen around the farm wear some pretty legit skirts, much cooler than the scotsman id have to say. Lots of them add spice to their outfits in the form of an ak 47 as well. They also use camels there!! Man, camels are huge. I cant believe they listen to the people telling them what to do. Some of the bulls around here are just plain massive. The farm itself is huge. Standing in the middle, at the house, you can barely see one end, and you cannot see the other end of the fields. It just keeps going, and going, and going!! It has an airstrip, and a few really nice, modern american houses. I really liked it there. The temperature was perfect, and it was really peaceful. it was really nice to get out of the smog and noise of addis and breathe some clean air again. It is a really neat place, and I hope I get to go back sometime.

*funny note, near the houses, there is a small corrall. This corrall is called the “jail” it is where stray animals are put if they are found grazing on the farm. When I was there, there was about 8 cows and 15 camels in “jail” They looked quite happy to be locked up:)

This next week, I am back in my house in Ziway working on the Forsight program in Haleku. This week my job is to gather and organize tools, and help the local teacher of the school build a curriculum for 4th grade (they currently only teach k-3 here, to go to 4th you have to walk quite a ways).  I really like working in this area.

These people are amazingly responsive and giving. They thank their god  for everything they have, when they have almost nothing. They are amazingly happy, and consider everything that happens a will of god. I have learned so much from these people. Even though they are not “mormon”, and we do not share many beliefs (most are muslim) They have helped my testimony, in my god grow so much. I have especially been shown Gods great love for all his people, rich and dirt poor. Muslim, christian, and Jew. (all three live side  by side here). I have something that most of them do not have, a  testimony  of the fullness of the gospel, but I also see  things  that they  have that  I can only hope  to have. The people here  have  faith in  their  god stronger  than  anybody  I know. They accept his  will without  any question, amid  circumstances I  can hardly  believe  sometimes. The  biggest  thing  I have  begun to  see  is  that the fully  restored  gospel  is  so  amazing, so perfect. What these  people do not have is the full gospel, but what they do have, and have taught me is having the  belief and strong faith in  a eternal  Heavenly  father  is the  central, key point.


p.s. Here is a link to Jason’s Blog all about his boys.  He keeps it updated, and writes really well.

Hope  everybody  is well
Ati Waqayyo wajjin
Braden  Fuller

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