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Friday, February 1, 2013

Ethiopia: A Milestone in Generosity

















This week, Lyle Hatton visited the village of Toniya for the first time and saw the clean water system that was recently installed there. Although he had never before had the chance to see them, shake their hands, and hear their voices, he and his family back in Alberta had thought about Toniya’s people many times over the past few years.

David S. McKenzie, HOPE International Development Agency’s International President, received this email from Sherri, Lyle’s wife, in November 2009:

“Hi Mr. McKenzie ~

Thank you for taking my telephone call this morning.  My five-year old son, having been adopted from Ethiopia, was touched deeply by the gentleman’s comment at the Calgary [fundraising] dinner that 2 out of 5 children die from the water in Ethiopia.  It sunk in very deep for him.  He even remembers carrying very heavy water a long ways when he was 2 years old.

The day after the dinner, my son sat down with the pastor at our church and told him some of the things he’s learned.  He ended up doing a video interview, which was then played to the congregation the following week.  Many people were in tears listening to this five year old talking about children dying and how we all need to be doing something to help them.

My husband and I both dream of being heavily involved in projects happening in either one, or many, countries of Africa.  We want to be part of a ministry, or doing something on our own, like starting a clinic or orphanage.  With my son’s hope of helping the children already, we thought it would be a great opportunity to see what we could begin to campaign for now, and possibly see some of the effects of that when we return to Ethiopia next year to pick up our daughter.

I understand the huge cost associated with the springs in Ethiopia. I also understand that these goings-on are outside of Addis and we are prepared to cover our cost of visiting anything that we may be involved in, whether contributions towards a spring, or a different type of project.  […]

I look forward to discussing further plans with you in the future.
God bless,
Sheri Hatton”


The Hattons worked hard as a family to raise the tens of thousands of dollars required for Toniya’s water system. Their passionate advocacy attracted the attention of their community, the media, and many generous donors over the years. Lyle’s trip to Ethiopia this month, with David and a few other friends of HOPE, marks a tremendous milestone for the Hattons.

We salute the Hattons for all they have done. They have our respect and gratitude.  We can’t even adequately convey how the people of Toniya feel about them.

If you want to know more about the Hatton’s experiences, please take a look at their wonderful blog, The Family Expansion.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you David for the amazing opportunity to see the results of our families dream. Thank you for furthering our desire to help in Ethiopia. The need is great.

Lyle