Pictures from Our Trip to Ethiopia

A few weeks ago, Gail and I visited Ethiopia as guests of World Vision. This was our very first trip to Africa. Although we Twittered about the experience in real time, words can barely describe the incredible shift that took place in our thinking. It has profoundly affected us.

an american adult holding the hand of an ethiopian child

I hope to say more in another blog post or two. However, for now I think a picture is worth a thousand words. Here are some pictures that Gail and I took with our little Sony Cyber-shot camera. It will give you a feel for what we experienced.

I would be grateful if you would consider sponsoring a child from Ethiopia. For $35.00 (U.S.) a month, you can make a huge difference. You may not be able to change the world, but you could completely change the world for one child. In fact, as we witnessed first-hand, child sponsorship has an impact far beyond the life of one child.

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  • matthewdbenson

    Great photos, showing real life, not posed. Thanks for posting.

  • Brad Lomenick

    Mike- i was in Rwanda for 9 days last week as a guest with Compassion International, and like you, was incredibly impacted at the deepest levels. Once you've experienced Africa, your worldview shifts drastically. thanks for sharing some of your photos.

    • Michael Hyatt

      You're welcome. I really hope to get to Rwanda, too. We had another team go over there this spring. They were really move, especially by the genocide stories.

  • pressedforward

    The difficulty of getting water and the difference the water makes are striking. I think I might post a couple of your photos over my kitchen sink to remind me to be grateful and to think more about the needs of others. Thanks for your posts throughout your trip and for all these incredible pics. Blessings–

    • Michael Hyatt

      We were shocked by the scarcity of water. We take it for granted in this country. For many poor Ethiopians, there entire lives revolve around trying to get enough water just to sustain life.

  • colleencoble

    What incredible pictures! I especially like the one of Gail with the little girl. The child's gap-toothed smile says it all! and love the one of Gail and Mary in those bright clothes. Watching your tweets and seeing this pictures is such a powerful reminder of how blessed we are and our responsibilities. We complain about things that really don't matter. Thanks for sharing, Mike1

    • Michael Hyatt

      That is so true, Colleen. Max Lucado told his wife, "If you ever hear me complaining again, punch me twice—hard." I concur.

  • Marla Taviano

    Thank you, Michael. I so admire your heart.

  • Shelia

    Mike, these are fabulous! Such radiant people…SO beautiful!! Looks like you guys loved and were loved. The dry watering hole broke my heart. Glad to see you finally got round to the front end of the camel. :) I will give you a dollar if you'll wear your new duds under your robe on Sunday. Gail looks like a million bucks, but then you know that. Thanks for telling the stories and for showing us each precious face. Welcome home.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for the welcome home. The pictures are the easy part. I'm still trying to find a way to express in words what we experienced. It's not easy.

  • LynnRush

    Wow. Great pictures. I followed your Twitters about the trip. Amazing. I'm so glad you shared the pics and I look forward to more.

  • Brian Alexander

    What is the model number of your sony cybershot? I have one as well and love it. Mine is 7.2 mega pixels and takes some stunning photography. Glad to hear about the trip. I love the pictures Hyatt.

    • Michael Hyatt

      It is a DSC-W290. We bought it at target right before we left. I have a big Canon SLR camera that I wish I had taken. Fortunately, we had Jon Warren, a professional photographer, with us. I can't wait to see his pictures.

  • cara davis

    Enjoyed the photos and descriptions. Beautiful smiles that brighten the day.

  • ML Eqatin

    Glad to see you bringing this country to more people's attention! Ethiopia has been a peripheral part of my life for 14 years, ever since our close friends adopted 12 children from that country. We have been blessed to be a second set of parents to several of them.
    Nothing changed my worldview so much as when one of the ones who had come over at an older age was discussing America's homeless with me. He pointed out that the food he and his family could earn from a hard day's labor was neither as plentiful, nor as safe (in terms of likely disease bacteria) as what street people in our country could get out of any fast-food dumpster.
    His conclusion about our poor? "Americans aren't hungry, they're just too proud."

    • Michael Hyatt

      That's very sobering.

  • tymm

    Thank you so much for your heart and for making these photos available for everybody to see.

    Ethiopia has fundamentally changed my entire view of everything. Our son forever rests there and our daughter was born there. We are in the paperwork process to go back in early 2010 to grow again…

    We have recently coupled with some others who have the same passion for this land and are trying to put our heads together to do some good. I am so happy to see you moved by this country and its people – and to share that with your audience is HUGE. You have a much bigger audience than we do and it makes me heart smile to see you pushing this out there.


    • Michael Hyatt

      Awesome. And I am not done pushing it ether. I hope I can get the word out some more.

  • fogbound

    Michael, thanks for sharing the photos and blog about your trip. Last year my daughter went on a missions trip to Ethiopia and it had a real impact on her too, working with aids children and children orphaned as a result of aids. She wanted to bring them home with her. How we need our eyes opened to the real needs around out world. It's so easy here in the US to become complacent.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I fear complacency and apathy more than anything!

  • Scoti Domeij

    Compassion International is a wonderful ministry. The Association of Christian Schools (ACSI) also provide a child sponsorship program at

    The gift of a Christ-centered education releases children from the relentless cycle of poverty and provides them with options to serve God, their families and their communities. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ launches a child on a life-long quest for his or her potential.

    Individuals can sponsor a child's Christian education for $28.00 per month, which provides the following life-changing benefits:
    * Tuition to a local ACSI member Christian school
    * Books and school supplies
    * Meals and medical attention, as needed
    * Personal connection with loving, caring sponsors

  • Thekla

    I am surprised yall didn't come home with a child in your bag.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I had to keep checking Gail and Mary's bags!

  • Jill Savage


    I traneled with Compassion International to El Salvador last year. My life has never been the same. I'm so glad you were able to have this experience!

  • Mary E. DeMuth

    I went to Ghana last summer with my then 12-year-old son who, out of the blue, decided to raise money for a well there. Both of us were forever changed. Nearly every time I turn on our water, I get sad and prayerful. We take it for granted, not realizing what a blessing fresh, plentiful water is. I love that the church is rising up and providing water and education and agricultural assistance around the world. Truly, the hands and feet of Jesus.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I hope to get to Ghana, too. There is SO MUCH need in the world.

  • Julie Abel

    Great pictures. I so enjoyed your tweets while you were on this adventure. Amazing insights into this area of Africa.

  • Sidney

    I joke and kid alot and I really don't know you at all but I must say this.
    In just the few times I have posted on your sight and the many times
    I have visited I find you to be quite the honorable, considerate, take it
    all in stride, try to have a minute for everyone; kind of human being and
    my friend(that I don't know at all) in this day and time that-I repeat that
    is the cat's meow. In your position, you could kiss the world off and be
    none the worse but you don't and from what I see you haven't. There
    are so many torrid individuals out there(some, in fact, that you direct
    your viewers to that are just wretched in the way they handle their communication venues. You sir, are a credit to humanity. You sir,
    are a kind sort.
    May God bless you in his Math,

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  • Debbie

    Mike, I knew once you and Gail got to Africa, it would "get to you"…. with your big wide-open hearts, I know many more good things will flow between you and that amazing continent from now on. Thanks for your posts, and the fabulous pictures. I almost feel like I went with you!

  • KarlaAkins

    Thank-you for showing us and reminding us how blessed we are and how much work there is to do in the world to help others and share Jesus. I really appreciate it!

  • Dzifa

    Hi Mike, I just found your blog this morning during a random search. Great material. Am particularly impressed by your christian perspective on everything. If you ever do get to Ghana, ie, if you haven’t been already, it would be great to meet you.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for the invitation. I hope I can come sometime. My oldest daughter is arriving in Uganda today.

  • Albert

    I have seen how water is very scarce in that region. Nat Geo had it featured in a documentary. Plumbing is not possible on such a location and a firm like blocked drains melbourne can’t thrive there.