Monday, February 10, 2014

Stepping out!

Good Morning!!!
As much as I'd like to be able to say we are fully funded & set to go financially...I can't quite say that yet..Oh, how we knew that this life that God has pressed upon our hearts would be not be easy or comfortable..Since saying "yes" to adoption 4 1/2 years ago, our lives have dramatically changed...and it hasn't been easy or comfortable at times!! Because we are human, there are days when I long, (I mean long!!!!) for normalcy, whatever normalcy looks/feels like! Right now, in the midst of raising funds for moving our family to Ethiopia...our normal has become living in our home that really doesn't look or feel like home anymore(thank God I know where our true home is!!) raising funds, which at times feels like we are begging for your support...and, please, please never hear or read it as begging...we know that this is just part of this process & its necessary, but God has most definitely been faithful with using friends & family in our life that have shown incredible support & love for us..we are truly thankful for you! And yes, we will continue listing our needs...if you feel led to support us financially, thank you!!! If you feel led to support us in another way, thank you!! You are a vital part to our ministry & we can't thank you enough!! We've had a few people express their concern as to how we are able to move while we aren't fully funded...great question!! We are in the process of securing our plane tickets to go to Ethiopia in March...we are just waiting on a few different prices..But, we GO trusting that God knows the needs & desires of His people & we've experienced His faithfulness time & time again!! Is it scary stepping out of the boat?? YES!! Id be lying if I told you that I have no concerns about going without being fully funded, but at the same time, we fully trust in our God & we know that He is able to do far more than we could ever, we are stepping! Will YOU step with us??? Will YOU make the jump & prayerfully consider supporting 8:7 Africa & our family???

John 21:6
And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat and you will find a catch.” So they cast, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish.

be blessed.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Why We Follow Him

This might be a long read but I hope it's worth it for you. It was a very exhausting day yesterday. It's hard to explain the joy I felt yesterday at Jemo followed by the deepest sadness I can remember feeling. 

I started out the morning attending an awesome church service, the message to the Ethiopian congregation was about being mission minded and giving to others. I remind you that these people have nothing but yet at every opportunity they give of themselves. It reminded me why I fell in love with Ethiopia. I was invited up on stage and was asked to speak. Like Kristen said I get very nervous, but I spoke about how only God's love can bring two cultures so different together to form one family. The whole time I am thinking, if these people only knew how they have changed my families life. 

I then had the best time hugging our girls. They were happy to see me but it was very clear that Kristen was the one they really wanted to see. ha I love it though! She is such a nurturing woman, so I totally get it. 

Ok, so this is where my heart sinks... After the girls ran off I met with the director and Fikire to discuss a boy that Kristen had asked me to check on. The decision was made to bring him in so that I could see him. I was not prepared to see what I was about to see, even with the description Kristen had given me. As the boy walked in I could see how scared he was along with the pain he was in. I assured him the best I could that it was ok. They asked him to lift his shirt and OH WOW is the only thing I could muster up to think along with a gut wrenching feeling. They proceeded to ask him to lift his pant leg and that is when I almost broke into tears. His body looks as I can only describe as flesh eaten and raw, covering 100% of his lower body from waste down. Only a picture would explain the horror I was seeing. When I looked at his sweet face I saw a child that's spirit was broken. His pride shaken to the core. It was like I was looking into his soul. I can't shake the image. Honestly, I don't want to!!! I asked for permission to take photos, sent them to Kristen and our wonderful friend Lynne who is trying to get them in from of a dermatologist. I could not help but think, if this boy is not helped he will not be with us in a year or so. It was that bad. 

So when, people ask us why we want to go to Ethiopia. Today is why!!! How can I turn my back on that. 


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Women of Entoto

Women fuel wood carriers are among the poorest in Ethiopia, with average incomes of less than $12 a month. Approximately 60% are the head and sole support of their households. One third are between the ages of 10 and 19. Working under harsh conditions, the women carry bundles of eucalyptus branches weighing 75-80 pounds 18 miles down Mount Entoto to markets in Addis Ababa. Guards sometimes harass them, demand bribe money, or assault them sexually. Despite the risks to their health and safety, women fuel wood carriers have no choice. They lack the education and financial resources necessary to make income alternatives a reality.

8:7 Africa has the incredible opportunity to work alongside Connected in Hope Foundation working with dozens of the women who once carried 70-80 pound bundles of eucalyptus branches the 18 miles down the mountain to sell in the markets of Addis Ababa for a dollar. Overcoming enormous odds, 70 of the former fuel wood carriers now weave scarves and make baskets to earn income for their families. Currently, Connected in Hope supports their efforts by bringing their products to global markets and re-investing profits in programs that benefit the women and their families.

We are really looking forward to developing relationships with these women & their families!! March can't come soon enough!!

Visit to get involved and support our Ministry. Thank you to all you prayers and support.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Year end

This is Kasey Gilliss, Director of 8:7 Africa, and on behalf of my wife and I and our Board of Directors, I want to thank all of you who have committed to supporting 8:7 Africa and our cause in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia through prayer and financial support. We envision many great things happening in 2014 but to make that happen we need to request your help supporting our cause. Our objective is to raise awareness about the increasing poverty levels in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and join with local leaders to lift up the poor, vulnerable women, and children while promoting compassion, community and sustainable development. Your tax deductible year end donation will make it possible for 8:7 Africa to work alongside these amazing people and show Gods love and grace for them and the hope for a better tomorrow.

If you would like to contribute to this worthy cause, please make an online donation at You may also mail a donation to the address listed below.

8:7 Africa
Kasey & Kristen Gilliss
715 N Mandan St.
Bismarck, ND 58501

Thank you for taking the time to read about our Year End Fund Drive. We appreciate you considering a donation. If you would like more information go to

Friday, December 27, 2013

Blinking Carry-on Luggage

Good Morning!! As we look ahead to 2014 there is much excitement in the Gilliss house...Their "all I want for Christmas" wish was a carry on suitcase and a first aid kit for Kate! I guess we're all set to go!! Luckily, Target had 5 different suitcases that were calling their names! So, if you happen to pass the Gilliss family in the airport, don't be surprised if you see 5 kids pulling carry on bags that light up one way or another. What a sight that will be!!!

We want to thank each and every one of you for your support throughout the holiday season. It was AMAZING!! While both funds still have some need, our one-time needs fund is doing great!! Our monthly commitment needs fund is where we need to focus on, as well as continuing with our one-time. If you feel led to support 8:7 Africa and our family, visit and click on Secure Giving tab to find out more.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Cooking With The Family...

Tonight my girls helped me make 2 Ethiopian dishes. Love that the girls love helping in the sure smelled a lot like Ethiopia tonight!! I have to say that this is the 4th time doing Doro Wat and it was by far the best this time and the Yataklete Kilkil is a first for us but it was really good dish. Love cooking Ethiopian food with the family. Everyone gets involved and it takes about an 1 1/2 hrs so you get fun time with the kids instead of iPods!!! 

Yataklete Kilkil
Measurements and Ingredients (serving for 4-6) 

A vegetarian dish from Ethiopia—There are various versions. Here is one we made tonight.
4-6 servings
Potatoes-peeled and cut into chunks 6
Carrots-peeled and cut--4
Green beans, cut in half—1/2 pound
Onion, chopped—2
Garlic minced—2 cloves
Gingerroot, peeled & minced—1 Tablespoon
Chili pepper, minced—2-3 (I use this)
Oil, butter, or niter kibbeh –3 tablespoons (I used niter kibbeh)
cardamom—1/2 tsp
salt and pepper to taste( i like salt:) )

1. Place potatoes, carrots, and green beans in a large saucepan, cover them with water and add 2 tsp salt. Bring to boil over medium heat, then simmer until veggies are done. Drain, reserve water, and set aside. (about 20-30)

2. Place the onion, garlic, ginger, and chile pepper in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.

3. Heat oil, butter or niter kibbeh in a large saucepan over med. heat. Add the onion puree and saute until the moisture evaporates and onions lose their rawness (6-8 minutes). Don’t let onions brown. best with niter kibbeh(like clarified butter with spice like fennel, cardamon, cinnamon, nutmeg)

4. Add cooked veggies, cardamom, salt, pepper, and about 1/2 cup of reserved water. Stir well and simmer on low heat for 15-30 minutes. (mine didn’t take that long) I also added more of the niter kibbeh.

Serve hot or at room temp.


Doro Wot (Red Chicken Stew): One of the most popular dish of Ethiopia.

Measurements and Ingredients (serving for 10)

5-8 pounds of chicken drumsticks and thighs skinned and cleaned
8 large onions fine chopped
2 cup of vegetable oil
5 teaspoons minced or powder garlic
2 teaspoons minced or powder ginger
1/2 cup of authentic Ethiopian Berbere(more to make spicier)
1/4 cup of Paprika for redness
2 teaspoon Korerima
2 teaspoon Wot Kimem (Mekelesha)
2 teaspoon salt (as needed)
1-3 cup of water

Preparation Method:
In large pot, simmer onion, garlic and ginger with vegetable oil till lightly brown. (about 20-30min)

Add Berbere and Paprika, continue to simmer for about 15-20 minutes at low heat stirring occasionally by adding a touch of water as needed to avoid sticking.

Add chicken and simmer until chicken is done while adding the remaining water as needed. Finish of simmering by add salt, Koreria, Wot kimem (Mekelesha). (I use boneless breast and put slits in them for juice to get in and Boneless thighs for dark meat) about another 30 minutes.

Serve hot with Injera (Ethiopian flat bread made of teff) or We served over organic short grain brown rice since we don't keep injera around all the time.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Move to Ethiopia!! Update

Hey there friends & family!!! So hard to believe that Christmas is only a week away!! Daily, we are reminded that the only way we are able to say "yes" to this journey ahead, is knowing that God has called us to this! We are so thankful for you, the support that we have been shown through prayer, financial gifts & the well wishes that have been sent our way..Isn't it something how God uses each of us in different & mighty ways all for His glory?! I just love witnessing the unique ways that God is working through His people..

Just wanted to give you a little rundown on the $$ side of things, after all, we know we can't do this without supporters like you!! We've had many one-time generous donations, which are absolutely vital in getting us there & starting up!! As important as the one-time donations are, we need to continue raising our monthly support also..we've had a few people commit to a $ amount once we are in Addis, which is so very helpful & awesome!!! If you or someone you know would like to commit to supporting us once we are living there, you can definitely let us know, as it is very helpful to us, as we keep a spreadsheet for budgeting purposes...

Love & be loved, Kristen & crew

You can visit and click on Secure Giving to find out more!