Marissa’s House – Ethiopia

The original inspiration for Marissa’s House was decided during a visit one Sunday afternoon with friends of ours, in Plano.  They were able to arrange an initial meeting for us with an individual who had already been involved with building Church Homes in Africa.

After meeting with several individuuals in the North Dallas area, we were connected with a wonderful organization out of Virginia called International Cooperating Ministries ( With their international expertise and connections, Marissa’s House Orphanage was planned, constructed and finished in 2010, in Jimma, Ethiopia.

Marissa’s House was dedicated on January 30, 2011.

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One of the finished dormitory rooms.

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The dedication service.
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Pastor Sisay Tefera (L) of Jima Emmanuel United Church and a church member.

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The congregation of Jima Emmanuel United Church poses in front of their beautiful new building.

The local Muslim-dominated government in Jima has never approved us to house children because of our Christian affiliation.  We negotiated for 3+ years and finally in 2015 came to the understanding that God wanted to use this building in a different way.

In its short/medium term objective it is providing a tutorial class to KG1 school children with a long term objective to provide elementary school by 2019.

Classes are being taught, tutoring is offered as well as clothing, school supplies, uniforms and food. It is operated with the help of the congregation of Jima United Emmanuel Church, which also holds some services, Bible studies and Sunday school in the building.



We purchased playground equipment to provide an area for all children connected with Marissa’s House and the Jima church to come an play, and we have been doing our best to support the needs of school fees, uniforms, textbooks and school supplies for the drop-in children.