In October 2016, a young man from Santa Rosa, CA, named Endrias Atlaw, was suddenly killed in a car accident. Endrias was full of life, love and joy. He loved people, once telling his mother as a child that he wanted to have a hundred children. His ability to make a lasting impact in the world was seemingly snuffed out in a tragic instant. However, his legacy was given new life through a dream and a vision that had already been planted as a seed in his mother’s heart.
Endrias’ mother had immigrated from Ethiopia during political unrest before Endrias was born, and it had always been on her heart to someday return to Ethiopia to serve vulnerable children in Addis Ababa, the capital city and her hometown. This dream became a vision when her church made a pledge to do a work in Ethiopia in memory of Endrias during his memorial service. The vision came to be known as the Endrias Ethiopia Project.
The announcement of this project drew many people who knew Endrias to come alongside and invest in this vision. Through research and networking, contacts were established with an organization, called Ebenezer Grace, which was already serving children through its homes in Ethiopia. Shortly afterward, a small team, including Endrias’ mother, traveled to Addis to visit and experience the work firsthand. The experience was amazing, and the church began supporting the ministry monthly.
Over the course of time, the project led to a connection with another organization in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, called Hanna Orphans’ Home (the namesake of Endrias’ mother, who is also named Hanna). Through learning about HOH’s history and reputation—caring for vulnerable children by providing a safe home for growth and education—and seeing the need for the expansion of its facilities, a new phase began within the vision. It was clear that the Endrias Ethiopia Project needed to become something more.
The decision was made to create a nonprofit to expand its vision, that could help bring awareness and connect resources to start school in Addis that will provide a high quality education to 200 children, as well as to support other organizations like Ebenezer Grace and Hanna Orphans’ Home. Thus began Endrias Ministries International—and the opportunity to give Endrias his hundred children, and more!