Senait is beautiful. Her smile opens everyone’s eyes and turns their heads.
Born in southern Ethiopia, in a small mountainous town called Gidole, she was raised alongside her brother and sister by their single mom.
After graduating from high school, her older brother invited her to come and live with him in the capital city of Addis Ababa.
“Here you will have opportunity to achieve a higher quality continuing education,” he told her.
This is how she came to enroll as a student at a technical and vocational training school.
Attention from men followed Senait’s every step. Not long after classes began, she became pregnant by her boyfriend. Her brother, strict and strong, would not be able to accept it. She ran away without telling a soul.
After giving birth to a baby girl she named Lynne Kaleb, Senait moved to Kotebe, a different area of the city. Renting a small apartment, she found a construction job.
It didn’t take long to discover she couldn’t make ends meet. Life’s difficulties intensified with each passing day. The new friends she’d found made their living as sex workers and were not shy in pushing her to join the life.
“Surely Lynne and I will no longer go hungry,” Senait reasoned.
She decided to try their way.
To her dismay, the sacrifices and pain that came with life as a prostitute made things worse. Her customers beat her. Many would not pay her. Life got darker and tempted Senait to give up entirely.
Mesmerized by Amsal
“Come with me Tuesday night,” said one of the friends who had urged Senait into the sex industry.
“A friend of mine will be speaking. She needs moral support.”
Indifferent but desiring a night off, Senait agreed.
Two days later they arrived at a humble looking building with a sign that read: Ellilta Women At Risk Vocational Training.
The friend they were there to support went by the name of Amsal. Her lovely presence welcomed the audience. And when she shared her testimony, it mirrored Senait’s experience: becoming pregnant…keeping the baby…needing to provide…working in the sex industry, only to wind up worse than before.
The difference was that Amsal had taken refuge at the very place in which they were now seated, the Ellilta Home.
“Ellilta empowers women like me,” Amsal shared.
“Its vision is to see urban women experience deep inner healing and permanently leave prostitution. That’s what happened to me. I no longer work the streets. I provide a happy life for my son Daniel and me, with enough income to even save for the future.”
Senait could not stop staring as Amsal spoke. Then and there, she decided to take her ticket out.
Embracing a new life
Enrolling in the Ellilta program, Senait first received structured counseling. For six months she received Christian counsel, Bible study, life-skills education, and an addiction recovery program.
She then received hands-on employable skills training as a housekeeper—her chosen profession—and training for successful entrepreneurship.
Finally, she was placed in a job, and a mentor supported her with follow-up guidance for five months while her daughter, Lynne, started at a nursery.
“If it was not for this center, I had no hope,” Senait says with tears and heart-felt gratitude for donors like you who make her experience possible.
“Coming here gave me hope in life.”
Thank you for reaching women like Amsal (who you may have read about last month), who then reach women like Senait—continuing the cycle of blessing!
Please join us in prayer:
- PRAY for Senait, Amsal, and many others like them, that God will use their testimonies to help even more people.
- PRAY for the Ellilta Women At Risk Vocational Training program, that God would bring healing and new life to many women.
- PRAY for the funding necessary for the program to continue doing the life-changing work so desperately needed in Ethiopia.
Your generosity today reaches young women on the streets—like Amsal and Senait—so they can discover the gospel and receive practical tools for changing direction in life.
Please prayerfully consider giving a gift to further impact the kingdom of God.GIVE A GIFT
*Names and photos may have been changed for the sake of privacy and safety of our workers, ministry partners and those we serve.