Dreams and Childhood Restored: Birtu’s Story

May 24 3 Minute Read????

Dreams and Childhood Restored: Birtu’s Story

Hello May 24th, 2024

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Birtu* always dreamed of getting an education. She left her hometown and moved to the capital city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with hopes of working while attending school. Unfortunately, her story took an all too familiar turn.

For Birtu and so many other young girls in Ethiopia, financially supporting her family became a priority over education. Once Birtu arrived in the city, she was passed between homes as a domestic worker, left without a path to education, and separated from her family. 

Birtu’s childhood had been taken from her, having had to grow up too soon and start fending for herself at a young age. As our Ministry Partner, All God’s Children International (AGCI), explains, it’s not a malicious act on behalf of the families of these young girls. It’s out of hope for opportunity, a better life, and, ultimately, survival. Most families have no idea the dangers their daughters face in the big city or the trauma that occurs as a result of those dangers. 

An estimated 600,000+ orphaned or displaced children are living on the streets of Ethiopia. Many young girls come to the city in hopes of a better life and end up alone, vulnerable, and on the streets, where they’re at risk of trafficking and abuse. Oftentimes, they end up as domestic servants and undocumented child laborers. 

Thankfully, by God’s grace, Birtu was connected to TTF’s Ministry Partner, All God’s Children International, by the police and came to live at the AGCI & TTF House of Hope in July of 2022. There, her life started to alter course for the better. 

Alongside our partners at AGCI, we provide trauma-informed care for children who have gone through stressful experiences away from their families and have found themselves in a big city alone. The House of Hope in Ethiopia provides a safe refuge for young girls to live, learn, and find true healing while the staff works to find their families and reunify them whenever possible.

TTF---AGCI---Birtu---Blog-Graphics_C.pngWhen Birtu entered the AGCI & TTF House of Hope, she was very closed off and slow to trust. She had been determined to survive by her own strength, having been on her own for so long. 

As she encountered the House of Hope staff and received counseling to cope with her trauma, Birtu experienced God’s love, and her walls began to come down. Thanks to the loving care of the staff and the friendships she built with other residents, Birtu was able to relearn what it meant to be a child—and not just any child, but a beloved child of God. 

She had previously given up hope for her own future, determined to be her family's sole breadwinner. At the House of Hope, Birtu was reassured and reminded that the weight of providing for her family didn’t fall on her shoulders. 

With that weight lifted, Birtu could start to dream again of the plans God had for her, to give her hope and a future, as Jeremiah 29:11 tells us. 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. - Jeremiah 29:11

Birtu was given access to the formal education she had always dreamed of. She started to heal and then blossom. As she participated in House of Hope’s Bible study and devotion time, her faith grew more and more. 

The AGCI & TTF House of Hope staff was able to find Birtu’s family and reunify her with her loving mother and four siblings. The staff educated the family on the importance of allowing Birtu and her siblings to have true childhoods, free from the stress of earning an income.

TTF---AGCI---Birtu---Blog-Graphics_B.pngPraise God, Birtu was reunited with her family, and today, she is back home and attending school. Her dreams of getting an education and her childhood have been restored. She knows that her worth and value aren't found in what she can do or provide but rather in who she is as a beloved daughter of the King. 

There are so many other young girls, like Birtu, waiting desperately for hope and healing on the streets of Ethiopia. They need someone to stand up for them in their darkest hour of need. 

Through our partnership with AGCI and our House of Hope, we can reach and rescue more young girls from the dangers and evils they face on the streets. Will you help us get to them?

Help us rescue more children and fight for the world's Most Vulnerable People! 

* Name has been changed to protect privacy

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