International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Colleen (Kendrick) Kraft came with the first group of Taylor University students to teach farmers composting and to start the Yetebon garden. What she saw in Yetebon, Ethiopia, would have a lasting impact on her. It was at Project Mercy’s compound that her calling started to shift from being a missionary in Africa to pursuing medicine for marginalized populations. Colleen went on to medical school at Indiana University and received her medical degree followed by a residency in internal medicine at Emory University, where she is currently employed. In 2014, when the cameras captured the first Ebola patient coming into the hospital, Dr. Colleen Kraft was on the team of doctors to treat the patient. Dr. Kraft would return with her husband and three sons to Yetebon in 2015. Her favorite thing to see was projects she had worked on 20 years ago, including the garden. The food security in the region had totally changed. “God used the experience in Yetebon to influence my future,” she said. Dr. Kraft currently serves on the Board of Directors for Project Mercy. She celebrates what Project Mercy is doing for women in science in Ethiopia. She said, “Yetebon is shaping women and girls through education which is important for science and Ethiopia.” Project Mercy continues to plant seeds in those who we educate and the ones who come to serve in Yetebon. To those who have stood beside us, thank you! You are the one planting seeds far beyond Ethiopia.


Dear Friends, Many have reached out to ask how we’re doing in Ethiopia. Thank you so much for thinking about us! Frankly, we are concerned about how you are doing there as well. May restoration, healing, and peace reign, we pray! From here, it is very difficult for us to imagine how things are in the West. Still, please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers, as is the whole country. Ethiopia has reported that 16 patients are diagnosed with the virus and no deaths. (This is where the US was about one month ago.) There is a lot of anxiety because the Ethiopian culture of social interaction and the level of social distancing required today is very countercultural. At Project Mercy, we have closed the school following the recommendation of the government but the teaching staff is ready to restart when schools reopen. The home for the children that we help raise, our livestock development programs, and other programs with long-term commitments are running. The hospital in Yetebon is fully operational to serve the needs of the community. Working with the government’s health bureau, we have put procedures in place to detect potential symptoms, limited visitors, established response and quarantining plans. Still, our concerns are high because we know defenses that can be mounted against this virus are limited, especially in these poor, rural settings with limited resources and medical professionals. You are in our prayers, and we appreciate that we are in your prayers as well. Thank you for keeping Marta and Deme in your minds and your hearts. We love them and worry about them, as we know you do too. We will keep watching and praying for developments there and will update you on Ethiopia from time to time. With prayers for health, hope and a speedy end to this pandemic, Bete Demeke President