Marisa’s Life with Selamta

You made it to day 4!! Wooo! Thank you for following along this week as I share stories of how Selamta Family Project, along with The Archibald Project, are changing the face of orphan care. These two organizations are so dear to my heart. Yesterday, I was able to introduce you to the Director of Selamta Family Project, Marisa. We learned she loves tacos, chocolate, a good blanket and all things Selamta! If you missed it you can read more here.

Today I wanted to paint a picture for you. Here we have a mom of two, who kisses her babies, squeezes her hubby, high fives her besties and heads to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 2-5 times a year (depending on what’s needed). When I was planning for my trip that was the main question I was asked over and over, “How are you going to leave Corbin?! I could never do that!” My response was simple, “You could… if the Lord call you to.” And that’s where the difference lies. It’s not on your own strength that you can pack up and leave your family for a few weeks at a time. It’s complete dependency on the Lord and the work he has called you to do.

James 1:27 says this, Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”

I’ve herd this verse taught in the sense of “helping those less fortunate than yourself,” but in reality this verse is as clear as day.

Visit orphans.

Help single women.

Don’t be like the world.


That is how we are able to show what religion is. I don’t know about you, but when I think of religion in it’s current state How thankful I am for a Father that breaks it down and says look… You want the purest form of religion? Visit orphans. Help single women. Don’t be like the rest of them. And you guys I am telling you, I have never been rocked more spiritually than in those moments serving orphans hand in hand with believers.

Marisa met the Lord while working for Selamta. And once you’ve been there it’s easy to understand why. These people are incredible. The culture is welcoming, kind and giving of the resources they do have. Selamta is changing the face of orphan care! This is not a task to be taken lightly. They are still growing and as each new phase comes, they prayerfully consider the best outcomes for each member of each family.

When talking with Marisa about her vision for the future of Selamta she said, “It’s not just about Selamta, but for Selamta to become a part of a much larger movement that can really revolutionize the orphan crisis world wide. That’s becoming more clear…It’s much bigger.”

I went on to ask, “what do you want the person who has never herd of Selamta Family Project to know?” Her response,”I want people to know our kids are extraordinary and they are capable of anything given the right access, opportunity and resources. And I know that, because one day we were at a feeding center. A place where they feed street boys, moms and babies, and as we were there I realized we were in a community many of our kids came out of and our kids had to eat there. So as we were preparing the banana, two rolls and warm milk, I quickly realized these kids are no different than our kids. As the kids started to file in God overwhelmed me with that realization. These are our kids. Our kids at Selamta are in permanent family homes, they are dreaming of their futures, they are involved…  They have access to opportunity that these kids, walking in to get a banana, just don’t have yet. But what if they did? How do we get there?”

“We never want Selamta to become about the quantity. About numbers. We always want it to be about the quality of love. Quality of care and commitment. It has to be about each individual, one at a time, always.”

So if you are sitting there thinking “wow, what can I do?”

Just start.

Pray to the Lord, put one foot in front of the other and do something.

Check back tomorrow for some tangible ways of getting involved in orphan care. It looks different for everyone, but it’s not if you should, it’s how you can!

2017-04-26_0001.jpgWorking in the office at the Selamta Community Center. 2017-04-26_0002.jpgDiscussing SAT prep and highschool graduation.
2017-04-26_0004.jpgMarisa with Assistant Director Habti
2017-04-26_0006.jpgShowing off some of the fun images we captured of their family!
2017-04-26_0007.jpgThe kiddos are always so excited to see photos of Marisa’s kids back home.

For more on the Selamta Family Project and The Archibald Project, be sure to check out my previous posts this week. Also you are welcome back tomorrow for the last post of the series! Thank you for being here!!

Follow along on Instagram @selamtaproject and @thearchibaldproject