Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ethiopia 2011 | part one

Well friends, here are a few photos about my trip. I think I am finally ready to share more about what I saw. There is so much to share that I'm going to split it up in several posts. I experienced everything from an earthquake to walking through The Red Light District...

It never hits me that I'm going overseas until I'm actually on the plane. I love to journal while we are flying through the clouds. Things seem so peaceful and worries feel irrelevant. It was a long journey, but we finally reached Addis Abeba. 

After a good night's sleep and a shower, we started our trek to Angacha...

Of course there was a little silliness on the way. :)

The land was not what I expected. The land may look beautiful, but the soil is dry from lack of rain. I can't see how anything grows there when all the ground looks like rock. The people are not unlike the soil. Telltale signs of years of hardship were as evident as the dry land in the eyes of some. 

We had hardly been in in Ethiopia 2 days when we were all awoken in the middle of the night. I woke up to my roommate screaming my name and the room trembling. It seemed like a dream to me. An earthquake? In Ethiopia? In the panic we didn't even think to grab anything but shoes. For several hours we shivered in the cold, waiting for the aftershock. It never came, so we went back to our rooms. As you can imagine, sleep was not possible after that.

When light came we decided to explore a bit. Needless to say we drew a lot of attention. The children steal my heart every time. It makes me want to adopt one day.

Such contrast - a shack next to a hotel...well, by third world country standards that is.

With the earthquake behind us, we headed out to the medical clinic to help with their feeding program.

There were so many families in the program. I was so wonderful to see how successful this ministry is in the community. The parents are so proud that their children are doing well. If it wasn't for ICA hundreds of these children would have died. A few of them looked a little pudgy (not much though), which is very, very rare. I didn't see one over weight Ethiopian there. Everyone was extremely thin. 

Beautiful people.

These are the families waiting to get into the program. There over 30 families that came to the clinic just because the foreigners were visiting and were accepted into the program. Their babies were incredibly malnourished and would have died otherwise.

These babies may look like newborns, but they are not. Some of them were up to 6 months old or older.

After finishing up at the clinic we visited the new hospital grounds - they were breathtaking. They made sure to plant flowers at the clinic and the hospital grounds. It's such a simple thing, but to the community it represents hope. Many families have started planting flowers of their own as well. Because of ICA this place has been transformed. The people have future. The flowers are just a symbol of the hope they have that things will get better. That is indeed a beautiful thing. 

This is the crop of potatoes they harvested from the land. God has really blessed these grounds. I thought it was amazing that the money for these things came from a local church in Ethiopia, not from America.

I was able to use a Nikon for the day! It's strange how foreign my point-and-shoot feels after so short a time. I made a good choice in not bringing it though. My mind was much more focused on what I came there to do, instead of photos.

There is so much work yet to be done. ICA has made a huge difference in this community and we got to be a very small part of that. Still, I can hardly describe what it is like to walk among them and feel their need. The burden still weighs heavy on my heart.

More coming soon...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ready for the weekend...from my iphone

Confession: We are not dressing up for Halloween this year. It's kinda sad. Jonathan and I had some costumes ready, but we are going out to eat with friends instead. Oh well. I did {finally} get some pumpkins! Yay! I love decorating for this season. 

Welcome to the casa de Blair!

I use that chalk board for so many things! :) Oh, and I promise that I've read that C. S. Lewis book...I just use it for decoration now! I love to put books everywhere.

I had to be minimalistic with the pumpkins this year, due to my decor budget of zilch. However, these where 2 for $1! I was so happy to be able to get a few!

Well, it looks like it will be a quiet weekend for us. We don't mind too much because we've been so busy. I've got some chili cooking on the stove and some apples ready for baking. I'm rather looking forward to being on the "grown-up" side of Halloween this know, being behind the door and passing out candy.

What are you all up to this weekend?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sponsor in November

 All sponsorships go towards International Crisis Aid.

Thank you all who have sponsored The Blair Affairs in the past few months. It has been a blessing to use this to help raise money for missions. This month, I want to give all the proceeds to the organization I went with to Ethiopia. I have never seen a better ministry overseas. They are doing so much, especially in regard to sex trafficking. I'd love for you to help me raise money in order to rescue these girls.

Each sponsor will get a spot like the one below, and a summary post.

Contact me for more details at 


I just had to post this little preview of Tuesday's engagement session! It was a dream come true to push that canoe out onto the lake! {Sigh} Isn't it romantic? Someone please take our picture in a boat out on a lake at sunset! :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Were we live the weather is so unpredictable. It can go from cold to hot in what seems like minutes, especially during the fall. It makes it hard to transition into the autumn season. It feels like life is doing the same thing to me. These past few days back in the states have been really hard for me. I've been thrown from one setting to another and I feel rather lost. There is so much I still have to process, but life must go on.

I love the life God has given me. I'm thankful for where I am. Still, I know things in me are changing...things that need to change. I just got back from a quick trip home for an engagement shoot. I usually take the chance to take some photos of my family while I'm there. (Thus, these impromptu photos! I love the one above! It is my siblings in a nutshell!) They wanted to know all about the trip, but I found it hard to talk about. It was so good to spend time with them, but I have a huge heaviness that is weighing on my heart.

However, I hope to share more about what I experienced in Africa. This trip has help transition me into a new phase. I am changed. My leaves are falling and it is a beautiful, but hard thing. I pray God shows me where to go from here.

My heart is full. My mind is filled with beautiful and intense memories. I hardly know how to put them into words, but I hope to soon.

How have you all dealt with life's abrupt transitions?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Back from Africa

Hello all! I just got back from Ethiopia last night! Man, it was quite a trip. I have been overseas many times, but I have never experienced anything like this past week. I have seen so much. I knew it would be hard to process all of what I saw, so I put together a few video blogs from the trip along with a few photos. I just brought my little point-and-shoot, but I was able to use several other nicer cameras as well. I hope to be posting more soon!

Until then, I hope you watch this video. I hope it gives you a small glimpse into what it was like. Oh, and sorry for the shaky camera...apparently I didn't know I was doing it!

Untitled from Jennifer Blair on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Day 9


"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was inthe form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." - Philippians 2:3-11

Friday, October 21, 2011

Day 8

The least of these

"'For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'" - Matthew 25:35-40

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Day 7

Love & Giving

"If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful." - Luke 6:32-36

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Spotlight on Sponsors

Hello friends! My name is Natalie, and I am the potter and blogger behind NS Pottery. I have a heart for taking dirty clay and turning it into something beautiful and useful in everyday life. I strive to live for Christ every day, and hope that I can inspire others to do the same. On my blog, I talk a lot about my faith as well as my life as a potter. I hope you'll join me in my journey.

 {Check her blog out here!}

The blog of a girl who is a lily among thorns. She gave up living for herself so that her Lover could live through her. She owes Him her life. I'm pretty much your ordinary girl with an extraordinary hunger for beauty, which can only be found in Him. This blog is pretty much a diary of of my life through His story. 

{Check her blog out here!}

Hello! I am Sarah and I am a photographer & designer, from Colorado! I love Jesus with all my heart! I am very close to my family & I love to bake! :) I have an etsy shopwhich has my photo prints & other handmade items for sale!

I run a blog called, "on the brightside"… and it is a really fun way for me to document so many things… it is where I share my photos & designs… what inspires me… & little pieces of my blessed life! It really is such a blessing to me! I would love to have you stop by sometime…

{Check her blog out here!}

Hi, friends! I'm Ashley, and I am a wife, mom of two and a daughter of the King. I love creating, decorating and pretty things, and of those passions was born my etsy shop, The Poppy Chain Boutique. I make vintage inspired jewelry and accessories, including custom orders. I also blog over at Embrace the Space, where I share my sweet family, favorite things, creations, thoughts and photos. I've been so inspired by Jennifer's blog and I'm honored to have a glimpse into her truly beautiful heart!

{Check her shop out here!}

Hi, I'm Jen. I'm a wife to Josh and new mama to Earnest. I am a collector. Beauty is abundant and my aim is to uncover it. I love thrift stores, garage sales, libraries and other places where time and stories are tucked away. I love photography, writing, sewing and other domesticities. I love Jesus Christ. I am inspired by strong coffee, urban spaces, anything vintage, nature by the people that have gone before me and the people that are holding my hand along the way. I am inspired by redemption. 

{Check her blog out here!}

"I am married to my high school sweetheart.  I live in downtown Chicago.  I work at a bakery.  I study communications at Moody Bible Institute.  Now, I blog."

{Check her blog out here!}

I'm Jen, and I blog over at Jennifer March. I love photography, fall, my dogs, and a cup of tea and a good book. I'm a student, a worker, and a believer. I write all about my life on my blog, as well as using it to try to make a positive difference in the world. Most recently God has led me to help those in extreme poverty, and I'm so excited to see where He leads me with this. I would love for you to come follow along on my journey with me.

{Check her blog out here!}

i'm perpetuating my own brand of individuality by combining the act of classy with the act of gangster, because when you're from where i'm from, you can do that. {okay, not quite.} i'm a twenty-year-old undergrad studying english lit and history. i love Jesus, reading & writing, and the color orange. i believe singleness is a gift even when it isn't easy, that faith is a journey, and that it isn't until i lose my life that i find it.

{Check her blog out here!}

Beka Fox. Mother of 2. Wifey to 1. My husband (aka-SUPERMAN) and I are in full-time ministry to a small-town in Iowa. We are directors to Master's Commission (! I am a full time photographer & I love to sing & lead worship at my church. My blog is about Jesus, Family, my favorite things, & helping others. :) I enjoy meeting other people. 

{Check her blog out here!}

Hi! My name is Mary and I'm a graduate student at University of Florida! I am a student by day and well, a student by night but any time in between I am a craftaholic and blogger obsessed. I have found a passion in using my photography, crafts and new found love of writing to bring glory to and serve God so that He can become greater and I can become less. I strive to be an example of His love for me to others and hope that my blog will bring encouragement and joy to all who read it! 
{Check her blog out here!}

Hi there! My name is Breanne. I'm a young girl searching and discovering. I have a destination, but the journey is the beautiful part. As of May 31, I am a Mrs. to a wonderful man of God. I am a young wife learning how to live a Christ-centered life, and traveling the world with y husband Kendall. I am figuring out how to live with open hands and give my life to the least of these. We are trying to live overseas full-time but it has been quite a process. I journal about our life getting there and how Father is molding and shaping our hearts daily. You might get a glimpse of our daily lives with our new up Benaiah. I'd love to meet you and for you to join along with us!

{Check her blog out here!}

Hello, Lovelies! I'm Leslie, and I believe that life is full of moments of wonder. My blog, "Show the Wonder" is my online journal whereI share all of the wonder-full moments in life. My husband and I are in the process of moving overseas to do humanitarian work, so we are intentionally filling our last few months in the States with as many moments of joy, family and friendships as possible. My hope is that by sharing the wonder in my life, it just might inspire others to notice the wonder in their lives as well. Come over and say 'hi', and lets enjoy all of the wonder that life has to offer together!

{Check her blog out here!}

Hi everyone! My name is Heather, and I'm a graduate student in Pittsburgh. I love coffee, fall walks, and organization. I'm learning that little things can bring the most joy, and happiness is a choice. Join me over at Relevant Notes for my random thoughts and ramblings on life.

{Check her blog out here!}

All Grown Up is about the life of a recent college graduate now working in the full time job realm. I write about my work, my play and my amazing church. Being "grown up" is a big transition and my blog is about how hard it is being full time, trying desperately to move out, and the battle between saving money and going on extravagant shopping trips. Come on over and check it out!

{Check her blog out here!}


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