Journey 28:19 believes in the importance of coming alongside people through partnership. As they note on their website, financial means are essential, but solutions for addressing poverty are more complex than throwing money at the problems.
Relationships matter to them so they actively partner with others to bring additional skills, perspectives and resources.
They have this approach in Ethiopia, where they partner with the Ekklesia Academy in Sendafa. The Academy provides food, a K-6 education, school uniforms and supplies, medical care and Christian discipleship to 200+ children through child sponsorship.
It also provides income-generating programs and vocational training, such as embroidery, tailoring, hairdressing, agricultural techniques and HIV/AIDs prevention, to the local community.
Journey 28:19 also respects and partners with Ethiopian leadership, understanding they are the closest to the needs, know the dynamics of the country and can best determine the right priorities and sequencing of work.
They share this approach with their donors as well, partnering with them as they come alongside their organization. It’s a priority to them that their donors feel connected, informed and are given the options they need.
When searching for a new software platform to host their child sponsorship program and manage their donors, it only felt appropriate to them to choose a solution that could come alongside them and offer additional resources to further their ministry.
“We have been very happy with REACH,” said Regina Kehl, co-founder and Executive Director of Journey 28:19. “We are grateful to have found a platform that is able to do the things we needed and more.”
REACH’s user-friendly platform enables their donors to have control of their personal information. Donors can download their contribution statements, modify their sponsorships and update their payment and contact information themselves.
Donors also can communicate and message with their sponsored child, which Journey 28:19 can moderate and approve. Letters and pictures from their donors are special treasures to the organization’s sponsored children in Ethiopia.
“We particularly appreciate that the software is integrated with Google Translate, allowing our donors and our team in Ethiopia to receive messages in their own language at the click of a button,” Regina added.
REACH also allows donors to use all credit card options and to choose the frequency of their donation, be it monthly, quarterly or yearly.
Journey 28:19 was able to largely set up their sponsorship program in REACH on their own using the various articles, how-to-videos and FAQs on REACH’s Knowledge Base.
“As far as setting up and transitioning our donors to the new platform, we couldn’t have asked for a better process. We have been so grateful for all the help and how great their Knowledge Base is. We have been able to consistently follow their instructions in setting up the various aspects of our program time and time again.
There are always ‘user’ issues but I would say it has been just that, a ‘user’ issue. The customer support has been incredible.
Responses to help us work through any issues we have come quickly and everyone has been helpful and patient with us. We also appreciate REACH’s willingness to listen. If there is something they don’t have, they will listen and evaluate the recommendation. If it is a good fit for them, they will do what they can to make the change.”
Journey 28:19 started with 35 children and 20 sponsors in 2014. Their hope is for more people to feel and know the love of Jesus, both in the States and in Ethiopia. They also hope to continue to grow their sponsorship program, which is currently around 200 children, to 500.
To learn more about Journey 28:19 and the work they are doing in Ethiopia, you can visit their website at https://journey2819.org.