We are pleased to offer a variety of ways for you to travel to Ethiopia and participate in God's work first-hand. Some people are called to send and others are called to go. If you are considering going, let us help make your gift of service memorable and effective. We would like to assure you that no special talent is required to make a significant impact.
Why Should I go to Ethiopia?
BREAK OUT OF YOUR ACADEMIC OR WORK ROUTINE - Serving abroad will be very much unlike what you are used to doing in your regular day-to-day life of working or going to school. It's a great opportunity to break out of the monotony of the routine you follow year after year.
EXPAND YOUR WORLDVIEW - Those who serve or study abroad return home with a more informed and less biased perspective toward other cultures and people.
SERVE THE LESS FORTUNATE - Mission trips and internships offer a rewarding way to fulfill what God accepts as pure and faultless religion (James 1:27).
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:
to look after orphans and widows in their distress and
to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
DEVELOP SKILLS A CLASSROOM CAN'T PROVIDE - Being immersed in an entirely new cultural setting is scary at first, but it's also exciting. It's an opportunity to discover new strengths and abilities, conquer challenges, and solve problems. As you encounter situations that are unfamiliar, you will learn to adapt and respond in effective ways.
MAKE FRIENDS AROUND THE WORLD - While abroad, you will form lasting bonds with people who live thousands of miles away but will feel like close friends by the end of your trip. You may even meet other international teams, missionaries and students who are as far from home as yourself.
LEARN ABOUT YOURSELF - People who serve abroad return home with new ideas and perspectives about themselves and their own culture. The encounter will help you strengthen your beliefs and values, and enable you to see your own culture through new eyes.
KNOW ANOTHER CULTURE FIRST-HAND - Cultural differences are more than just differences in language, food, appearance, and personal habits. A person's culture reflects deeply held perceptions, beliefs, and values that influence his or her way of life and provides the lens through which the world is viewed. People who experience cultural differences personally can come to truly understand the vantage point of other cultures.
ENHANCE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES - Through an employer's eyes, a person who has served or studied abroad is self-motivated, independent, willing to embrace challenges, and able to cope with diverse problems and situations. Your experience negotiating another culture in a foreign country will set you apart from the majority of job applicants and your unique stories will make for a memorable interview.
A brochure is available to help you compare our Mission Trip and Internship programs and choose which one best suits your calling.
Blessing the Children International is a unique organization that is big enough to make a broad and lasting impact but small enough to offer an intimate and individualized experience for each traveler. Our staff in Ethiopia will work closely with you to ensure that your ministry objectives are met and that your trip is personally rewarding and impactful. We know each child in our program by name and there is a great sense of community in our organization that you will be welcomed into with open arms.
Debre Zeyit is located approximately 39 miles southeast of Ethiopia's capital city of Addis Ababa. The climate is moderate, with an average high of 78 degrees Farenheit and an average low of 44 degrees Farenheit. The elevation of Debre Zeyit is 6,300 feet, which is comparable to Colorado Springs.
The period from May through October is the rainy season, with the heaviest rainful occurring in July and August. If you are traveling during the rainy season, we recommend packing appropriately by including rainboots, a waterproof jacket, an umbrella, a poncho, and a waterproof bag for carrying your personal items.
Debre Zeyit is a popular tourist destination due to beautiful Lake Bishoftu. There are many nice hotels and resorts in the area.
We have never had a problem with violence or aggression against our teams or missionaries. As a safety precaution, our guest house has a guard who acts as a gatekeeper to ensure that only BCI staff and missionaries enter the guest house, and you will be accompanied by a staff member when traveling around town.
You will stay in a guest house, which will have modern amenities that include running water, electricity, and a bathroom. Many of the guest houses offer wi-fi to help you stay in touch with family and friends back home. As Ethiopia is a third world country, please be aware that the availability of running water, electricity, and wi-fi is not always stable from day-to-day. Flexibility is the key to a successful trip.
Meals in the BCI guest house are prepared, served, and cleaned up family style. Upon your arrival, a team cooking / cleaning schedule will be created. Each team member will be expected to participate.
If you are traveling alone and there is no scheduled team at the guest house during your stay, you may prepare your own meals or hire a cook to assist you with meal preparation.
The best way to stay in touch with your loved ones is through e-mail. Many guest houses offer wi-fi and there are several internet cafes in Debre Zeyit. Note that there are periodic internet outages, so at times you may need to wait several days to send an e-mail.There are also pay phones and call centers if you wish to phone. In addition, you can send postal mail from Ethiopia. Keep in mind that postal mail could take several weeks to arrive home.
If you are able to set aside personal funds for your trip, that is of course the easiest approach. The reality is that raising support is a necessary part of mission trip planning for many who are called to the field.
BCI projects are team efforts. Raising support for your mission trip is a great way to expand your team. It is important to remember that the objective is not simply to raise money, but also to allow others to partner with you in your ministry work.
Please keep in mind that while your trip fees will include funds for ongoing outreach projects, you will need to raise support for any special projects you hope to engage in during your stay. For example, if you would like to organize a women’s ministry day or provide a needy child with clothing or home repairs, you will need to bring funds for these activities. If you feel called to provide some of these “extras”, we recommend including this in your budget when raising your ministry support.
If you are part of a group from the same church or community, make the most of your efforts by working together as a team to raise support. As you begin this faith building process, follow these Ten Guidelines for Raising Ministry Support.
The U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia is located at:
Entoto Avenue, P.O. Box 1014
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Telephone: 251 11 124 2424
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: 251 11 124 2400
Consular Fax: 251 11 124 2435
It is advisable to keep your passport with you at all times, especially when traveling. While in Ethiopia, you may choose to keep it securely stored in your room.
There is a small clinic located in Debre Zeyit. Many emergency medical items are available there. You may choose to bring some first aid supplies as you feel comfortable, and perhaps you could leave any unused items with the ministry prior to your departure.
For more serious medical issues, our staff will transport you to a hospital in Addis Ababa.
To provide yourself a layer of financial protection, you may choose to purchase travelers insurance at the time your airline ticket is booked. The cost depends on your age and is typically between $40-100 USD. Prior to the booking of your flights, please notify the office that you would like to purchase travelers insurance and a quote can be provided.
Antibiotics are not recommended for prevention of travelers' diarrhea. The decision is based on:
1. Concern that prophylaxis of travelers' diarrhea may cause emergence of resistant organisms in developing countries
2. The number of side effects associated with antibiotics
3. The fact that prolonged or excessive use of antibiotics could in itself lead to other gastrointestinal symptoms, which include diarrhea
Those at high-risk or those planning a once-in-a-lifetime brief trip may want to take an antibiotic while traveling. Please consult with your medical doctor.
On January 9, 2018, the Ethiopian government voted to ban international adoption from Ethiopia.
If God is calling you to join us at our ministry site in Debre Zeyit, Ethiopia, we invite you to apply today.