Casey and Mary Beth Picker are Americans who now live in Ethiopia to live out the beautiful ministry of Christ, teaching children and serving their families. It’s been an amazing journey from sharing life with friends and family at LRC, to living and serving in an eastern nation of Africa.
Through some God-ordained circumstances, the Pickers became involved with the ministry of Lifesong for Orphans. You can read more about their work with Lifesong here. They joined a team of several other families who are passionate about changing Ethiopia. In the last three years, God has used this team to raise over $300,000 as they continue to expand the work of the school. The student body has grown from 430 to ~1,100 children. Their impact in the war against poverty is widening as they reach out to more and more families in this community. In this same period they have made four trips to Ethiopia to see what God is doing, and are convinced that He is blessing and growing this ministry.
In the spring of 2012, Casey and Mary Beth took the Perspectives course at a local church. This discipleship program grew and challenged them in new and exciting ways. They completed it with a new vision of God’s purpose for their lives and an emboldened desire to serve Him faithfully.
Because of this and because of the heart He has given them for Ethiopia, they spent six weeks in Ethiopia in the summer of 2013 as a family. The Pickers saw the trip as an “internship” to help them decide if God is calling their family to serve overseas long-term.
During their time in Ethiopia, they assisted the existing missionaries in any way possible, shadowing them and learning from their wisdom and expertise. They spent tim getting to know the students better and helping at the different schools in various ways. They also helped with preparations for the 2013-14 school year, including some registration support. But, most of all, Casey and Mary Beth enjoyed time in Ethiopia with their children as they gathered necessary information to make an informed choice for their family. They sought to know how being overseas will affect their family life and to determine if they can still be effective parents to their children while serving overseas.
In the fall of 2013 and spring of 2014, the Pickers moved through a time of assessment and discernment regarding their calling and readiness for long-term cross-culture living in Ethiopia. Continuing to see God’s leading to this new life and work, planning preparation and transition to Ethiopia began in earnest in the fall of 2014.
In June 2015 the Pickers relocated their family to Ethiopia to begin in-depth language study and cultural orientation. Casey and Mary Beth expect to join a local school in Ethiopia during summer of 2016.
For more information, explore these sites: