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!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Funding Update!

This chart shows our monthly giving goals that our family needs before we can move to Ethiopia to begin our ministry. The red X represents sponsors already committed. We need your help! We are asking you to stand with us, to give a voice to the voiceless, transform lives by love, and raise up local leaders in their community. We are looking forward to partnering with you as we serve in Ethiopia.


Visit and go to SECURE GIVING in menu bar.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Big Big Thanks!!

Have to take second to thank all of you who helped complete the Matching Gift. As of today the $2500 gift is matched. That makes your gifts total $5,000!!! What a blessing all you are that joined our ministry. You know who you are but I WILL get to individually as well, so if you haven't got one yet, be expecting a hug. Another lesson to me that God will provide.

The Plan

Yes, we are still in the middle of the 50-50-50 Challenge where we need 50 people in 50 days to commit to $50 a month. But I also wanted to share the giving plan that we have on our website so that you can see the other needs. This is the plan we have laid out, however you can enter any amount you feel comfortable with. Thank you so much to those of you who have already contributed through one-time needs our monthly commitment. and those ore you who have reached out to pray our family and ministry. We know we can not do this without you. Please share about our ministry with others on your Facebook or blog, that is also another way you can help our ministry.


5 @ $200 monthly = $ 1,000 (currently have 1)
8 @ $150 monthly = $ 1,200
10 @ $100 monthly = $ 1,000
20 @ $50 monthly = $ 1,000 (currently have 3)
30 @ $25 monthly = $ 750

Go to!secure-giving/c1ghi to see more and contribute.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


We have been so blessed by the generosity of others as we get 8:7 Africa ministry up and running.  We know that we can not do it without help and every time we start having doubts or feeling discouraged, something amazing happens.  Reminding us that God has this and that we are not alone in this. In the last 2 days people have donated around $4,000...  Isn't that truly amazed during this holiday season!! Some saying they want to be a part of 8:7 Africa through financial gifts and others through words of encouragement, cheering us on when it seems so daunting.

One of question we have gotten is, How do you know it is the right decision to move? I look at like this, we are called to help the poor and needy, the orphan and widow and that may look different for everyone. But for us, it is a need that God has put on our hearts and we walk forward in this decision with much excitement & anticipation (a few nerves in there too!!). We trust that God has us in the palm of His hands & know that His plans are far greater than ours. 
 Isaiah 30:21 - And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. 

We love this verse because it reminds us that we are on God's path and gives us comfort as we move our family overseas.

If you want to see more go to

Yordonose & Besa! Can't wait to see these sweet little faces again!!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Match the Gift!!

AWESOME opportunity to double the impact of any gift given by the end of this year! A generous donor has set up a $2,500 matching gift program. We would so appreciate any help in maximizing this opportunity!! If you are feeling led to be the matching donor...WOW!!! If you'd be willing, please share this with your family & friends via Facebook/blog!! Any donations to 8:7 Africa will be matched up to $2,500 until Dec. 31st, 2013!!! What a blessing to our family and our ministry!

Go to to get involved.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Hi!!! We are the Gilliss family & we are moving to Ethiopia...yes, thats in Africa!! Crazy, right?? Oh, believe me..we've tried talking ourselves out of this crazy, life-changing decision more times than we can count! It'd be so much easier to just stay put in our comfy-ness! Oh, but GOD! We just cant turn our backs on what He has up His sleeve for us..we'd be missing out on just way too much goodness! Oh, did I mention...we are moving to ETHIOPIA with ALL of our kids...not just a few of them, but ALL 5 of our crazy loving munchkins!! Prayer, financial donations & well wishes for our crazy lovin family are extremely appreciated!!! We can't do this without YOU!!

I love this paragraph from Crazy Love by Francis Chan...
  Similarly, we are each given different gifts and talents by our Master. The thing that matters most is how we use what we have been given, not how much we make or do compared to someone else. What matters is that we spend ourselves.

So, we do NEED YOU! As humbling as this is, we recognize that God will place the right people at the right time in our path!! Here are a few ways you can support our family...

1. Commit by being a monthly supporter. visit to make your tax deductible donation today. Monthly or one-time gifts are both welcome:)

2.Share about our ministry, on your Facebook wall.

3. Follow & "like" 8:7 Africa on Facebook.

4. We would be happy to share with your bible study group, church or even a group of friends at your home:)

Visit to make a tax-deductible donation!! 

Friday, August 23, 2013

2013 summer rundown. Ethiopia update. prayers for Tesfa.

Whew!! That four letter word accurately tells you how I feel!! Whew!! Coming back up for air.....

Its hard to even know where to start with this post...Lets go way back to July:) July 4th we had a pool party at my parents house & fun was had by all!! I am so amazed at how well the kids are doing with their swimming! Grant is the only one who has ever been in lessons...& I can excitedly tell you all 4 older kids are swimming like little fish now..(Tesfa is still not so sure about the deep end)!!! The first few days in the pool, Ageze, Kate & Ariyat were still using a floatie & after a few days swimming they just took off!! So fun to watch them grow, learn & loving the water!!

The next day we started our road trip down to Colorado to spend time with friends & family! Long drive but soooo worth every second we spent in the car:) We had time to play, hike, swim, visit, eat yummy Ethiopian food, catch up with friends, attend an amazing church, visit some more & just hang with some really special people!! Thank you friends for always making us feel welcome when we come! We enjoyed every minute we spent with each of you!

After we returned home(thank goodness this next part didnt happen while we were gone!!) we woke up one morning to a flooded basement bathroom & hallway...not just a little water, but sewage water:( Gross!!! So, within a few days that bathroom was torn apart=no water. no toilet. nada!! Ok, no biggie, we have another working bathroom...Not for long!!! A week later I was in the dining room & I came into the kitchen where it looked as if someone dumped a good 3 buckets of water all over the floor & immediate reaction was to yell at the kids. yes, i do yell sometimes. I'm working on that. So, all 5 kids were lined up looking at the mess. each of them saying..."I didnt do it!" How could it be?!! At the same time I was venting, Kasey walked in the door with a favorite tea of mine & asked what happened...I told him someone obviously made this mess...Kasey looked up at the ceiling & there was water dripping down from the bathroom through our kitchen ceiling...say what?! I quickly apologized to our kids & that was that. another toilet gone= no toilets for 7 people=not gonna happen!! Oh, & we normally have a 3rd toilet, but that one is out too. We tried the porta potty. that wasnt gonna happen either!! So, we had a couple weeks stay at my parents & now we are back to 1 toilet!!! Lesson learned....a family of 7 can totally live with 1 toilet!!! Whew!!!

Tesfa. please be in prayer for him. long story realllllyyyyy short. We leave on September 2nd for an intensive attachment therapy in Minneapolis. Tesfa, Kasey & I will be there for 1 week & then we will come home to get our other 4 & they will be with us the rest of the time. The normal treatment time is 2-3 weeks. We would sooooo appreciate your prayers. We know our God is mighty & He will be covering us all with his love, grace & peace. We are believing & trusting that Tesfa would be healed.

Ethiopia:) We've had many people ask & wonder about Ethiopia. Are we still going? What about Tesfa? When are we going? Good questions!! As far as taking Tesfa back to Ethiopia, the place where he was born & his trauma could stem from...we DO trust that God knows. God will go before us here or there. He knows Tesfa has/is struggled/ing. We do believe that He has a great plan for Tesfas life. We look forward to watching it all unfold!! We have talked with his doctors & therapists about our move & they have each told us it could be very healing for him. When Tesfa is asked about going to Ethiopia, he responds happily.
When will we go??....that is the question!!! We have been making a few tweaks to our website & will have that up & running very soon so we can actively continue the funding process! God knows when we will be going & we will wait on Him! Our hope is to go November-ish!! Yes, we had originally planned on being there in September, however with advice from Tesfas team, the next opening for therapy wasnt until the beginning of September.

So, yes, we are still going!! We eagerly wait for that day when we will be booking our tickets to Ethiopia! Trying to be patient & still during this wait!! Thankful that we have a God that loves us no matter what, impatience & all!!

Oh, and cant forget....August 12th, we celebrated Grants 11th birthday!! What a joy he is!


love & be loved.
a few pics to end this lengthy post.

 swim time with the LeTourneaus!!
 2 families with a hand full of kiddos each:)

 {love my girls}
 friendly little chipmunks!!
 our strong 11 year old!
 sweet sisters:)
 beauty everywhere!

 senior pic pose!!

 Ageze & Abuzaid...bunk mates when they were in Ethiopia:)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

My Mission Trip to Ethiopia By: Grant

Since I haven't posted since my mission trip in May I thought I would give you a little update on my mission trip. I had such a great time with all the people that came along. It was so fun  playing with the kids and just having fun with them and giving them their sponsor gifts. One of my favorite things about Ethiopia is that the people are so nice and friendly. The people on the trip were so fun to hang out with. Thank you for donating towards my mission trip, I really appreciate it! Here are a few favorite pictures from my trip...