Ethiopia Diary Entry #1: Back to School

During the summer of 2012, members of the Women of Faith team visited Ethiopia to see first-hand how the Women of Faith community is impacting lives there. Over the next several weeks, we’ll share entries from our video diary of that trip.

These are stories you won’t see at a Women of Faith event; they’re reflections from Sheila Walsh, Sandi Patty, and Brenda Warner about their Ethiopia experience. We hope you enjoy them!

Click to Play the video

Back to School

by Sheila Walsh

Back-to-school for my almost 16 year old son, Christian is a fairly standard procedure. His school requires each student to wear a specific uniform so for Christian that means new khaki shorts, navy blue shirts and socks that reach mid-calf. His feet grow at such an astounding rate that we usually have to go up a few sizes each year. For Christian it is a boring necessity…at least it was until our trip to Ethiopia. That experience changed him.

So many of the things he has taken for granted like a new backpack or the latest tennis shoes have become  moments to pause and remember. “Do you remember how many of the kids had no shoes at all?” he asked as we waited for the sales assistant to return with his size.

“I do,” I said. “I was actually just saying a prayer for them right now.”

We paused, silent but in our own hearts lifting up those whose faces we have touched, smiles we have seen, hopes for their future we believe in.

Even a mall can become Holy Ground

Do you know someone who is making a difference at home or abroad? Are you involved in a project or ministry that impacts lives in a positive way? Tell us about it and see more stories on our Making a Difference page here.


  1. 2 years ago
    Sherri P says

    Wow, was Denver awesome or WHAT?! I absolutely love these conferences! My first WOF experience was about 17 years ago, in Albuquerque, NM. I was raised attending a Wisconsin Synod Lutheran Church, baptized, confirmed, etc. but felt truly born-again at this conference. If church fed people like a WOF conference does, there would be so many more genuine believers – you are all SPECIAL, gifted, Spirit-led angels of God delivering a wonderful consistent, message.
    Since then I have attended in Las Vegas, Phoenix, and now Denver and shared this wonderful experince with someone new each time. Mom, sister, aunt, friends. You never disappoint!! Keep up the fantastic job and THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!

  2. 2 years ago
    Michelle DeLarm says

    I love you ladies and your great ideas. I too have just lost my father this year to lung cancer. Now my mother who was married to my father for 47 years would have been 48 this November, 2012, has heart issues going in tomorrow morning for possible heart surgery, could use some prayers. My mother of 45 years is sooo prolife that they had 7 children. I love them immensely. In the process of this and having been soo blessed to attend 3 conferences , I’ve decided to crochet blankets for babies that get saved from abortion through a place in Sioux City, Iowa, called Mary’s Choice. It is sooo humbling to know that these babies will be wrapped in a little bit of my love. I want them to be and feel safe and warm in that little blanket. I too could use a little bit of yarn to make a blanket for those little precious one’s. It costs approximately 20.00 for one blanket to be made unless I can find it on a major sale. Please pray that I can continue to do this. May God bless all you women.

    • 2 years ago
      Cindy K. says

      God Bless You, Michelle. I too am very active in pro-life activities, supporting our local Pregnancy Care Center, where thankfully, many women are choosing life for their babies! Please post your email address so that we can be in touch, as I would love to support your cause and get some baby blankets for our center.

      • 2 years ago
        Maxine F. says

        Thank you Cindy! I send you an email.

  3. 2 years ago
    Carol Perry says

    I support a lovely young girl in Ethiopia. She is such a blessing to me. When the video was shown @ Women of Faith I looked intently at the children’s faces hoping to see her but I did not see her. I wept throughout the video as I considered it a gift from God to be able to touch her and her family.

  4. 2 years ago
    Cynde B. says

    I heard if you volunteer then you can go for free.

  5. 2 years ago
    Maxine F. says

    My email address is please email me and I will send my telephone number and address where the yarns can be sent. I truly appreciate your kindness and yes I would love to donate my knitting to the Moffitt Cancer Center. Thank you in advance!

  6. It’s true, lots of women can’t go to the Women of Faith activities because of finances. I, myself, am retired and cannot afford to send people, if I can even go myself.

  7. 2 years ago
    Nanc McClure says

    My nephew just arrived in Ethiopia a week ago today in the Peace Corps. I look forward to your upcoming posts sharing your experiences in Ethiopia this past summer. It will help me knowing what a difference my nephew can make in the lives of those who live in Ethiopia. Blessings.

  8. 2 years ago
    Maxine F. says

    I started this project on my own knitting hats for cancer patient and people who are homeless, then send it to various places that accept donation. I have been slow at it because of my finances to get yarn. I have been asking various people that I know if they know anyone who is donating yarn please email me. SO far, response has been slow. I am knitting a scarf to send off to a relative who had a stroke couple of months ago. I love giving back and feeling the love within that I made a difference to someone lives.

    • 2 years ago
      Patty Thomas says

      Dear Maxine,
      I would love to donate some yarn to your cause. Cancer is a cause very near and dear to my heart because I have lost many family members and friends. If you would like to e-mail me a place to send the yarn and what would be your preferred choices I would be happy to support your great cause.

      • 2 years ago
        Maxine F. says

        Patty, I would truly appreciate this. Yes, I lost too a family member and my mom is a cancer survivor. Now a close friend of mine has cancer. I would love to email you the address to send it to. Is safe and is it okay to put my email address on WOF comment site?

      • 2 years ago
        Maxine F. says

        Hi Patty Thomas and Cindy K, is it possible for you to send your email address so that I can send my full address to you where you can send the yarn? For reason I not comfotable placing my full address on a website. I submitted yesterday my email address. Thank you in advance.

        • 2 years ago
          Cindy K. says

          Hi Maxine – you can reach me by email at
          I sent an email you the email address that you posted on this WoF blog site, but maybe you did not receive it.

    • 2 years ago
      Cindy K. says

      Maxine – I too would love to donate to your cause – my beloved Dad went home to be with the Lord after winning his battle with lung cancer. I live in the Tampa, Florida area, and we have the Moffitt Cancer Center here so know they would be glad to receive some of your “projects”. So please do send the details on how others can contact you to send yarn or contributions. God Bless You!

      • 2 years ago
        Maxine F. says

        Cindy K. can you send me the address for the Mpffitt Cancer Center I would like to send some of the scarf I knit. Thank you so much.

      • 2 years ago
        Maxine F. says

        Hi Cindy K. I made couple of calls to the MOfitt Cancer Center, left voicemail to the donation deparment and no one has return my calls as yet in regards to donating the knitted scarfs. I decided to donate the scarfs to Hospice Atlanta. I spoke with the Volunteer Coordinator at Hospice Atlanta and they will gladly accept the donation. I am bringing the knitted items over there next wednesday. Thank you so much.

    • Maxine
      I would love to donate yarn to your cause. My dad has been battling cancer for thr past two years so this is a cause very near to my heart. Please email your information to and in the subject line please put WOF yarn. Let me know if you have any color preferences etc…. God bless you in your ministry.

      • 2 years ago
        Maxine F. says

        Hi Donnalynn, Good morning. I send you an email and I appreciate whatever you can send. I prefer yarns that are soft , pastel & radian colors.

  9. 2 years ago
    Monique says

    WOF making a difference to those who can afford it?
    This year I gave my ticket and another ticket away to ladies at church because people in my church couldnt afford it. Both ladies came from the conferrnce feeling so blessed they sre going to save each month for a year so they can go next year,,,

    WOF is wonderful but only for the affluent.
    Seems sad that testimoney is so costly.