BACKGROUND

 

TRENT POST -  Founder and Executive Director

Make Your Mark Ministries International

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

TRENT POST

Trent Post is founder and executive director of Make Your Mark Charlotte/Ethiopia, which he and his wife Carmen officially started in 2007, and expanded to Ethiopia in 2011.  The Posts now live in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and rescue homeless, orphaned street boys who live in filth and poverty protected only by wild street dogs.  They provide a day center to give the boys meals, arts and crafts, education and love.  They help the boys transition from the streets back into their own families or foster/adoptive care families. 

Trent was born and raised in Mint Hill, on the east end of Charlotte, NC. Post’s passion to help people transform their lives for the better is a result of a seven-year prison sentence he faced as a young man for drug-related crimes.  He converted to Christianity in prison and ended up serving only 15 months of that sentence.  Post calls his time in prison “God’s answer to many prayers of what it takes to change our lives.”

 Now Post fights for others who need transformation in their lives, whether it is a child growing up among drugs and prostitution in Charlotte or the Bronx, or a street child sleeping under a bridge with dogs in Ethiopia. 

 When the Posts first moved into Charlotte’s west side in 2006, their only intent was to fix up a house and resell it at a profit.  As they worked on the house, they witnessed drug deals, prostitution, addicts smoking crack, gun shots at night and other illegal activities.  Trent would invite the addicts and neighborhood homeless to help him work on the house, with the purpose of building relationships.  When their first child was born, Carmen would walk him in the mornings and stop at the bus stops to talk with all the neighborhood kids.

 One day, Trent and Carmen began to ask “where is the hope for these kids?  All these kids see is drugs, prostitution and fatherless homes.”  They remember hearing that small, still voice saying, “What are you going to do about it?” They thought to themselves, “What can we do to make a difference here, how can we help these kids break the cycles of destruction in their lives?” At that point, Make Your Mark was born.

 They decided to use their community center once a month and just show the kids of the neighborhood that they are loved and not forgotten. They fed them pancakes, played games and just began to build trust. Still today MYM serves these same kids, their families and others whom God has brought by meeting basic needs such as power bills, rent, food, relationship, mentoring, service projects, fitness activities and more.  Most importantly they are experiencing the love of Christ and being challenged to trust and follow Him in eternity.

 During the first few years of remodeling their Charlotte house and starting MYM, Trent and Carmen went on a few short-term mission trips to Ethiopia with their local church.  It was there God stirred in their hearts a passion for the homeless, orphaned street kids of Addis Ababa. After a couple of years of meeting and serving these street kids, the Posts adopted a three year old girl named Kalkidan. 

 On the last day of his last mission trip, he walked the streets with his adopted daughter’s birth mom who had run away from home at the age of seven to live on the streets because her parents were drunkards and they would beat her severely.  She became pregnant at the age of thirteen and lived in a plastic house with mud floors. As Trent stood where their house used to be, the mother pointed at the street where he was standing and said, “That is where I gave birth to Kalkidan.”  He wept as he realized that his daughter was born on a filthy street and grew up there the first nine months of her life.  He calls this moment in time his “Burning Bush Moment” where God said, “This is the plans I have for you; you will move your family here to get kids off the streets and prevent it from happening!”

 In 2011, MYM expanded its efforts from Charlotte to the streets of Ethiopia, to get kids off the streets and into families, preventing kids from ever getting to the streets through a families empowerment program and educating and empowering the local church to rise up and be the solution. 

 MYM has also just expanded to the Bronx in NYC.  The family God hand-picked to lead that ministry have just left Charlotte and are settling in to their new location this summer. The Ethiopia, Charlotte and the newly formed Bronx locations will continue to work tirelessly to help impoverished and struggling children and families and live out the MYM vision to Love, Serve and Build.

 Trent is married to Carmen Post, who co-founded Make Your Mark, have three children and live in Addis Ababa with 7 other adopted Ethiopian children.

 

CARMEN POST -  Founder and Executive Director

Make Your Mark International

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

CARMEN POST

Carmen Post is founder and executive director of Make Your Mark Charlotte/Ethiopia, which she and her husband Trent, officially started in 2007, and expanded to Ethiopia in 2011.  The Posts now live in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and rescue homeless, orphaned street boys who live in filth and poverty protected only by wild street dogs.  They provide a day center to give the boys meals, arts and crafts, education and love.  They help the boys transition from the streets back into their own families or foster/adoptive care families. 

 Carmen grew up in Charlotte and graduated from Independence High School 1997 and from Cosmetology School in 1999.  She’s been a stylist ever since which empowered her to recently open their training salon in Addis Ababa where a single mom is training to do foreigners’ hair.  In a few years, the plan is for that single mom to take over and train others. 

Carmen endured an abusive childhood, watching her father try to kill her mom when Carmen was only 8 years old, and being sexually abused by people she should have been able to trust. Those experiences caused her to struggle with her identity in her teen and early twenties, which led to drug using because being high was easier than living with her reality. 

 She met Trent when the “rave” scene was in Charlotte at a night club.   She knew the night she met him she would spend the rest of her life with him.  In her mid-twenties, they married and through her husband’s leadership, she began a relationship with Jesus. God began to reveal so much to her heart about forgiveness and how having a heavenly Father would change every part of her life.  For the first time in her life, she was finally set free from all the baggage she carried from her childhood and knew she had to share this news with others. Carmen has dedicated her life to loving the unlovable, reaching people whom others wouldn't dare, and being hope to those struggling just as she did as a child.  She had allowed her horrific childhood story to be told to many to help them know they are not alone. 

 After Carmen and Trent married, they moved into Charlotte’s west side in 2006 to fix up a house and resell it at a profit.  As they worked on the house, they witnessed drug deals, prostitution, addicts smoking crack, gun shots at night and other illegal activities.  They remember hearing that small, still voice saying, “What are you going to do about it?” They thought to themselves, “What can we do to make a difference here, how can we help these kids break the cycles of destruction in their lives?” At that point, Make Your Mark was born.

 They decided to use their community center once a month and just show the kids of the neighborhood that they are loved and not forgotten. They fed them pancakes, played games and just began to build trust. Still today MYM serves these same kids, their families and others whom God has brought by meeting basic needs such as power bills, rent, food, relationship, mentoring, service projects, fitness activities and more.  Most importantly they are experiencing the love of Christ and being challenged to trust and follow Him in eternity.

 During the first few years of remodeling their Charlotte house and starting MYM, Trent and Carmen went on a few short-term mission trips to Ethiopia with their local church.  It was there God stirred in their hearts a passion for the homeless, orphaned street kids of Addis Ababa. After a couple of years of meeting and serving these street kids, the Posts adopted a three year old girl named Kalkidan.  Carmen returned to Ethiopia in the summer of 2008 to be a team leader at the sports youth camp. While she was there she was given five boys to love on throughout the whole week.  All five of her boys were from an orphanage near Addis Ababa.  From this experience she learned more about the growing need for the street kids and orphans of Ethiopia.  It was on this trip that God revealed his desire for her to serve them.  

Her husband Trent also experienced a revelation from God on one of his last mission trips when he stood with the mother of his adopted Ethiopian daughter Kalkidan, and she pointed at the street where he was standing and said, “That is where I gave birth to Kalkidan.”  He wept as he realized that his daughter was born on a filthy street and grew up there the first nine months of her life.  He calls this moment in time his “Burning Bush Moment” where God said, “This is the plans I have for you; you will move your family here to get kids off the streets and prevent it from happening!”

 In 2011 Carmen, Trent and their children moved to Addis Ababa Ethiopia expanding MYM from neighbors to nations. They rescue boys that are literally living and sleeping on the streets and are abused sexually by predators of the same sex, their bodies bug infested and filthy. They are the ones people ignore, seen as less worthy than even a street dog. They bring these kids off the streets and reunify them with their families or create local families for them to live and become family. Many start school for the first time in their lives.  MYM also helps prevent kids from ever getting to the streets through a families empowerment program and educating and empowering the local church to rise up and be the solution. 

 MYM has also just expanded to the Bronx in NYC.  The family God hand-picked to lead that ministry have just left Charlotte and are settling in to their new location this summer.

  The Ethiopia, Charlotte and the newly formed Bronx locations will continue to work tirelessly to help impoverished and struggling children and families and live out the MYM vision to Love, Serve and Build.  As for Carmen, she is dedicated to spending the rest of her life loving those who need to be loved the most--the forgotten of the world.

 

MYM HISTORY

 

 

In the summer of 2006, Trent and Carmen Post decided to move from their suburbia area into the Wilmore community in Charlotte, NC.  At that time, Trent was in construction and they bought an old house to fix up.  Their intentions were to make this house into a financial investment for the future, but little did they know that it wasn’t going to be that kind of investment.  As they worked on the house, they witnessed drug deals, prostitution, addicts smoking crack, gun shots at night and other illegal activities.  Trent would invite the addicts and neighborhood homeless to help him work on the house, with the purpose of building relationships.

 

Suburbia to Surrendered

When their first child was born, Carmen would walk him in the mornings and stop at the bus stops to talk with all the neighborhood kids.  One day, Trent and Carmen began to ask the question of where is the hope for these kids?  All these kids see is drugs, prostitution and fatherless homes. They remember hearing that small, still voice saying, “What are you going to do about it?” They thought to themselves, “What can we do to make a difference here, how can we help these kids break the cycles of destruction in their lives.” Thus, Make Your Mark was born.

They decided that they would use their community center once a month and just show the kids of the neighborhood that they are loved and not forgotten. They fed them pancakes, played games and just began to build trust. Still today MYM serves these same kids, their families and others whom God has brought by meeting basic needs such as power bills, rent, food, relationship and more. Most importantly they are experiencing the love of Christ and being challenged to trust and follow Him in eternity.

MYM Charlotte currently conducts at-risk youth mentoring, both in weekly group sessions and on a one-on-one basis and give children opportunities to participate in fitness activities and service projects to cultivate a sense of ownership in their communities.  Twice a year MYM conducts a “Just Stuff It” program, providing to the community over 700 stuffed stockings at Christmas and stuffed book bags in Augustto kids headed back to school.  It also hosts events such as Yard Sale giveaways each April and October where donated items are given away for free.  About 40 youths consistently attend Make Your Mark activities each year, but hundreds have been served and loved on through the ministry’s various activities. 

 

 Ethiopia Calls

At the beginning of 2006, Trent and Carmen went to Ethiopia with their church for a short 10 day mission trip. On the last night, they spent time with 31 teenage girls who had formally lived on the streets.  They recall this night as the time when God opened their eyes to the future He had planned for them. There was a three year old girl who was the daughter of one of the young girls. God spoke into their hearts that they would adopt her and through this little girl, He would use them for greater things.

In February of 2007, Trent was a part of a construction team going to Ethiopia to build the first youth camp in the country. One night in the city of Addis Ababa, he was riding in a taxi and when it stopped at a light, he looked out the window and saw a plastic trap over the mud ground. At first he thought nothing of it until it began to move around, he became more curious and watch intently. Then the trap rolled back and five childrens’ heads popped up and looked out. He asked his Ethiopian friend with him what they were doing and the friend replied, ”That’s their house, they sleep there.”  Trent couldn’t believe what he just heard or saw.  The passion was being stirred.

Carmen returned to Ethiopia in the summer of 2008 to be a team leader at the sports youth camp. While she was there she was given five boys to love on throughout the whole week.  All five of her boys where from an orphanage near Addis Ababa.  From this experience she learned more about the growing need for the street kids and orphans of Ethiopia. It was on this trip that God revealed his desire for her to serve them.

 

The Burning Bush Moment

The next summer Trent returned to the Ethiopia to lead another team to the camp. On the last day of his trip he walked the streets with his adopted daughter’s birth mom. He found out that she had run away from home at the age of seven because her parents were drunkards and would beat her severely, so her best option was the streets. She became pregnant at the age of thirteen and lived in a plastic house with mud floors.  As Trent stood where their house used to be, the mother pointed at the street where he was standing and said, “That is where I gave birth to Kalkidan.”  He wept as he realized that his daughter was born on a filthy street and grew up there the first nine months of her life.  He calls this moment in time his “Burning Bush Moment” where God said, “This is the plans I have for you; you will move your family here to get kids off the streets and prevent it from happening!”

In 2011, the Posts moved their family to Ethiopia to get kids off the streets and into families, prevent kids from ever getting to the streets through a families empowerment program and to educate and empower the local church to rise up and be the solution. 

Rick and Ginger Pearson, who now live in the house vacated by the Posts when they moved to Ethiopia, continue the Post’s work in the Wilmore and surrounding communities as Directors of Make Your Mark Charlotte   And recently, MYM has expanded to its third location in Bronx, NY where a family God hand-picked to lead that ministry have just left Charlotte and are settling in to their new location this summer. 

The leaders in Ethiopia, Charlotte and the newly formed Bronx locations, will continue to work tirelessly to help impoverished and struggling children and families and live out the MYM vision to Love, Serve and Build.


 

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