Tracy Craven-expanding her role

Dec 5, 2017

Addis Jemari is excited to announce that Tracey Craven, one of our board of directors, will be expanding her role as Director of Missions. Here are some words from Tracey on why she feels blessed and ready to begin this new role:

“It was on my first mission trip in 2014 where God rocked my world and broke my heart for orphans in Ethiopia. God took me to Addis Ababa in June 2014. To be frank, I struggled most of the time I was there with why God had brought me to this place. I just saw so much poverty, hurt, loss, and dejection. I didn’t know how I could make a difference in just a week. But I had asked God to break my heart. I had asked him to take me out of my comfort zone. Careful what you ask for, right? That week, probably for the first time, I really learned what it means to step out of my flesh and put God’s plan first. I had to surrender my will so His will could be done.

It was at the last orphanage we visited that my life was changed forever. I met a group of older girls who were about to age out of the orphanage. Their vocational and daily life skill sets were minimal, job prospects were bleak, and none of them had finished high school. They were afraid and vulnerable. I prayed with them at the orphanage and hugged them and told them they were worthy of all they dreamed for.

On the plane ride home to the States, I shared with one of the mission team members what God had put on my heart. These vulnerable girls needed a place to help them transition to a life outside the orphanage walls. They needed a place that would keep them safe, help them to finish high school and/or college, and teach them life skills. Most of all they needed a place that would encourage them, empower them, and show them the love, grace, and mercy of Jesus.

Little did I know that a seed had been planted in my heart for Addis Jemari. Many trips to Ethiopia later and many seasons of advocating for the rights of these girls, I was introduced to Cindy Douglass and Suzanne Ward, co-founders of Addis Jemari, who had also had that same seed planted, and had given it love, nurturing and roots. I was so lucky that they brought me on as a board member, and I have been able to be a part of Addis Jemari since its inception. I have learned the long term impact a mission trip can bring. Although the trip itself and the physical time on the ground may be short, if one goes with an open heart, mind, and arms, he or she can come back with seeds planted, maps drawn, and hearts engraved with God’s purpose.

Jesus called us to serve the least of these (Matthew 25:40) and God gives hope to those who work according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). I have been fortunate to see God unfold his plans piece by piece. It has been an amazing journey that I know has only just begun.

If you would like to go and serve and be the hands and feet of Jesus, then I invite you to prayerfully consider joining us on one of our Addis Jemari mission trips. The capacity to serve and bless others is great. You will come home with a fire to serve, not just abroad, but in your own backyard. If you would like more information regarding future mission trips with Addis Jemari, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at “

Stay tuned for more info on 2018 Addis Jemari mission trips!