Ethiopia: Bemnet And Liya’s Story

LSM’s vision in Ethiopia is to empower at-risk single mothers and their children to become stable, godly families who will transform their country for Christ.

For children and their mothers, our Family Preservation program is transforming lives for the glory of God! Here is one family’s story:

“My name is Bemnet. As a young boy, my father abandoned me and my mother. I don’t remember him and I know my mother was very young. It was a terrible day when she had to leave me with my aunt to find work. My aunt tells me that I cried and cried. For the next 8 years, I never saw my mom. She would call me on the phone, and I would beg her to come get me. She told me that she was desperate to see me but she had to work in order to send money to help me survive.

I clearly remember the day she came to bring me home! She was crying with happiness when she saw me and I met my sister, Ayana, for the first time!

She told me people from LSM had rescued her and shared Jesus with her. Through LSM, she was loaned money to start a business so her family could reunite!

When we arrived at our home, my mom showed me the house she was able to rent with money from the business LSM helped her start. LSM also helped me attend school for the first time! I like English and Environment Science, and I would like to be an engineer. But above all, I love to hear about Jesus. I follow Him now too and I’m eager to share about Him with people I meet!”

“I am Liya, Bemnet’s mother. At the young age of 10, deep poverty forced me to work in order to survive. I married at a young age and gave birth to Bemnet when I was just 15 years old. But my husband soon abandoned us. I made the difficult decision to leave my son with a relative to find work in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital.

After 6 years I married again and became pregnant. I was heartbroken when my husband left me. Again all alone, I gave birth to my daughter. I barely scraped by washing clothes and preparing Ethiopian spices. I continued to feel deep remorse for leaving Bemnet and fell into depression and overwhelming hopelessness.”



God heard Liya’s cry. He led our Ethiopian staff to Liya, where they found this desperate young mother and her daughter in a small hut in the slums – full of insects and with no mattress or bathroom. Our staff began ministering to Liya. Over time, the shame and guilt she had felt for years began melting away when she realized God knew her by name and loved her as a daughter. This realization transformed Liya! She excelled at business training and was able to retrieve Bemnet.

What a joyous occasion when this family was finally able to be reunited and together for the first time! By God’s grace and through the generosity of our donors, our Family Preservation staff was able to continue offering Liya spiritual and emotional support as well as more business training. They also came along Bemnet with education, tutoring and counseling.

Liya and Bemnet became role models to other families in our Family Preservation program because they understood the difficult road others had been on. Their eyes light up when talking with others about the transformation God provided.

Liya shares, “I once felt worthless and had no hope to continue. It was difficult for me to see that God saw something special in me. His love allowed my heart to heal, and with LSM’s support, I’m now the mom He created me to be. I give glory to God for that!” Liya’s family came to us downcast and were transformed by Jesus Christ!

LSM’s vision in Ethiopia is to help at-risk children and their mothers reach their God-given potential so they can transform their culture for Christ. We give women like Liya a firm foundation in Christ and life skills for a better future, which ultimately benefits their children….and their children’s children. We’re thankful for Bemnet and Liya’s story, which represents the journey from trauma to transformation for so many vulnerable families we’re privileged to serve. But God has called us to empower and give dignity to even more vulnerable families by raising $40,000 in additional support to expand our program. Would you prayerfully consider making a life-changing difference in the lives of vulnerable families like Bemnet and Liya? Your prayers and investment would mean so much.

With Gratitude,

Doug Isch, LSM President


Our Family Preservation Program has rescued and restored hundreds of Ethiopian families representing more than 200 children! Through our Gospel-driven approach, families are empowered with skills and resources to live with dignity and to pursue their God-given purpose! With your help, even more can thrive and become leaders in their local communities, transforming their culture for Christ!

AT-RISK FAMILIES IN ETHIOPIA NEED SOMEONE TO STAND UP FOR THEM so they can transform Ethiopia for Christ. Will you help?

We are praying for $40,000 in one-time gifts and ongoing support to help empower more vulnerable families to transform their culture for Christ.