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Andrea Gaines :: Habesha Momma Art and Hope for Korah {Soul Care}

Last weekend I had the honor of attending a Soul Care retreat in Vail, Colorado. Megan, a gifted writer and dear friend, documented their stories while I captured their pictures. Megan will be sharing about each of these women and their incredible missions.

Megan would love to hear your story. Send her some love.

When Andrea walks into a room, a presence fills every space. This woman is strong, she is fierce and yet has a deep and rich well inside of her of love for the people she knows and serves in Ethiopia.

Andrea has a full-time job and has adopted children to love as her own. She also plays major roles in two nonprofits that we are absolutely giddy about: Habesha Momma Art and Hope for Korah.

Through these two organizations, Andrea and others are giving people access to education, vocational skills and medical help. She played a major role in empowering Ethiopian artists and connecting them with artists in the USA to raise awareness and funding.

“Many of the women we work with have been told their whole lives that they are trash,” Andrea said.

Both organizations serve a city once known as a leper colony. It has become home to over 133,000 people who are living on what is used as a massive dump site.

Andrea wears the truth that her friends in Ethiopia are priceless sons and daughters of God.

For the photoshoot, she was the only woman who asked for a “city-feel” shoot, which struck us as unique. We both had descriptions of Andrea in our minds to help us find the perfect locations for the shoot. We needed spots that could portray her: regal and royal.

Those were the words that swirled around us, like the snow blowing through the trees and her hair as Tanya’s camera shutter began to fly. So many times, Andy (her high school nickname and subsequent photo shoot nickname) lifted her hands high, face to the sky and something in our hearts stopped. We watched a woman who is lifting up a community to the light so that their true worth can shine. Her people too are regal and royal, worth a life laid-down.

…..

Oh, and by the way.

Andrea’s other nickname (which we bestowed upon this queen) is “Pistol.”

And we aren’t telling you why.

We love you, Andrea!

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