Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 2 - El Olam Orphanage

We had an amazing first day on the ground in ET. We all went over to El Olam orphanage where we were greeted by 40-50 very excited and loving children. They were all just adorable and sweet and SO glad to see us. They had a whole room full of babies and many toddlers up to age 12. We walked in and immediately the guys struck up a game of soccer with all the older boys. I was so impressed with how Collin and Robby, our two 14 year olds on the trip, jumped right in and became great friends with all these boys.

I made my way up stairs where I walked into the baby room. There were several babies just laying in their bed crying with not enough room mothers to help them so I immediately went over and picked one up and she immediately stopped crying and just stared at me. I noticed how many others were crying so I walked out on the balcony holding the one little treasure yelled down to the group and asked "who would like to come up and help with the babies" and they all looked up at me and then bee lined it right up. Several of them started crying. I have to admit that I got a little teary eyed myself. These babies were just so precious and to think that they are orphaned is just too much.

After we said our hellos we divided up and Dana and some others took the toddler bunch and headed up some great crafts. Clay and Blake and the guys headed up an older boys soccer group and Lauren and Terri and some others headed up some soccer fun with the girls. We also had some face painting, fingernail painting, and we passed out some adorable flip flops from the vacation bible school kids in America among others. We gave them new clothes and shoes and soccer balls and toys. We also arranged to feed them a special lunch. So we paid for their staff to cook them a lunch that would be a special blessing to them. They had so much food, like injera with a special meat sauce, fruit, some kind of vegetable, bananas, and cookies from us at the end. One little boy looked shocked as they handed him the plate and looked up at Ashli and asked her if it would be ok to eat it. She said it was heart breaking that he didn't even know what to do with so much food. When I asked what they normally would have had to eat they said BREAD......that's it!

Are you kidding me?

I also wanted to leave them with something beneficial for them once we are gone. When I asked them what they needed most they said a washing machine for their clothes. So.....a guy named Takebeh, along with the orphanage director and myself and Carol jumped in the bus and headed downtown to find and purchase a washing machine. We battled the traffic (and the goats) and found the perfect washer for their orphanage. We loaded it up and took it back to the orphanage. They were so thrilled and thankful.
Once it was time to leave they all wanted us to gather in a circle so that they could thank us in prayer. We all held hands and shane prayed and thanked God for them and the children and us being privileged to meet them and then the orphanage director prayed along with the children quoting something with him which was precious. Then he prayed in English and thanked God for sending all of us to them and for giving them such a wonderful day. He ended by saying that they had NEVER had a group show up to help them before. the little 12 year old girl squeezed my hand standing beside me in prayer, while wiping her tears, I couldn't hold back my own. They squeezed us soooo tight and gave us the biggest, longest kisses you have ever seen when we were saying our goodbyes. These kids were so thankful and they were so sad to see us go, not knowing if they would ever see us again. Of course we left with them heavy on our hearts and minds and now I am determined to not only see them again but help get those that are available.....adopted :) Sue with Celebrate Children met us there and helped me target the ones that were adoptable and she told me their stories. They are absolutely precious and I can't blog about them specifically on the blog and point out their pictures but you are welcome to email me and ask about them and you can bet we will be posting up some Speak Up emails when I get back. There is a precious sibling group of 2 absolutely sweet girls ages 10 and 7, and there is a sibling group of 4 with the oldest being a girl around the age of 15 with three brothers all younger. There are two other single little boys as well, that are just precious!! You can bet that I will be advocating for them very soon.

Tomorrow will probably be the most emotional day for all of us as we head down to the Korah dump and see the children who live there and also visit my friend, Sumer's amazing ministry down there as we watch her pull these kids literally out of the trash and get them sponsored and send them to school for the first time. She actually just moved her whole family with her husband and three children to Ethiopia to live indefinitely until God tells them otherwise. She is amazing and we will all see it first hand tomorrow as we wade through the trash to get to these kids and then hold a soccer camp and lunch and love on them.

Stay tuned. God is Good!!


  1. oh, hurt my heart they are all so beautiful..I want them all..I can't wait to adopt more post reading about it all, kj

  2. Ok... please help me out. The little girl in the denim jacket with the big beautiful eyes (about 5 pics down) stole my heart! How would my family go about adopting her and also another girl? What agency does this orphanage work with? Would we have to personally go to Ethiopia or could have an escort bring a child/ren back to us. I couldn't think of leaving our two adopted boys home. We'll be prayin' for all of you! Blessings, D & S

  3. what an amazing journey! I have been following your blog for awhile, you and your team of volunteers are so great!! Many prayers are being sent your way. Kiss all those sweet faces for us! E-mail me when you get home, I would like to join your team, Ordinary Hero needs someone from Michigan :) Hugs, michele

  4. Praying for all of you daily. Much love to Dana :).

  5. Scott and Angela Van NesteJuly 23, 2010 at 1:59 PM

    Thank you so much for this post! We just accepted a referral to adopt 2 sweet little twin babies from this very orphanage! It's amazing to think that God used you all to help provide clean clothes for our precious children until we can bring them home! Thank you!!

  6. Thanks for putting photos of this orphanage. I was pleased to see that children are well and happy. I hope to travel soon to find our second child.
    Best regards