Ethiopia (MNN) — In Ethiopia, children abandoned by the death of their parents to HIV/AIDS are forced to beg on the streets to survive–some as young as two years old.
"They live on the street because they have no one to take care of them," said Getahun Tesema of Buckner International.
Buckner expanded their Ethiopian adoption ministry three months ago to include international adoption. In a country where Christians face severe persecution, Evangelical Christians account for about 20 percent of the population while Muslims and Ethiopian Orthodox make up the other 80 percent.
Getahun is very excited for international adoption. "The child will find a family who can help them," said Tesema, "especially American parents or families who want to adopt–very good families, Christian families also.
"We believe that children need a dedicated Christian family to know Jesus, and ultimately we wish them to find Jesus Christ."
There are currently 11 children registered in the adoption program, but Buckner is prepared for growth. "We already built a new building for adoption children who are abandoned
and found from the streets. We're going to put them in that shelter and baby home for a while. And when we get families from the U.S. we send them to here," said Tesema.
Tesema emphasizes a large benefit of adopting form Ethiopia. "The process is very easy. It's not like any other country. Ethiopia is, I would say, the best place to adopt children when it comes to processing. It takes two months to finalize
everything." The process will also be very low-cost.
Families are needed to pioneer this program.