Friday, July 15, 2011

Team 1, Day 5 in Ethiopia....Korah and Sheep

SHEEP!!
Some laugh that we actually sell sheep in our OH Store, but these sheep are a prized possession in ET. They are like giving someone Christmas dinner. When given many sheep you can literally pull someone out of poverty to live a comfortable life for generations, as they can then sustain themselves.
We had 3 top sheep sellers on this trip. LeAnne and Ali from Hopkinsville, Ky and Rachel from Morton, IL sold a great number of sheep in our past grant contests and were able to really come to ET to bless some folks with some sheep. 


Everyone got a kick out of the sheep. 
It was great to know that we were getting ready to bless so many families with a bunch of sheep.....but kind of sick to think about them as dinner :)


How do you transport that many sheep? Throw them on top of the bus, of course ;)
We ended up blessing 4 families in the Korah area with 10 sheep each in order to change their lives for generations. Just these sheep will guarantee that the next generation will not live in poverty as this one has. It really is unbelievable to think about. Many thanks go out to all of you who have purchased sheep through our OH store. It really does make a drastic difference here in Ethiopia.

Fancy running across you here :)  I just so happened to run right into Heidi Weimer and Elle Mihnovich in Korah. They are both from my TN area at home. Heidi brought her oldest son from Ethiopia back to see his birth country. She has 10 children with lots of them adopted from ET. Young Elle is here on a mission for the summer. Great seeing you guys!

We got into Korah after delivering the sheep to some of the families. Of course my whole team loved Korah. The children here are just so sweet and full of love in the midst of living in a trash dump community.

It was great to see some of the kids we have helped get sponsored to go to the Shashemene boarding school, back home for the summer. I remember those sweet faces we had just met last  year, and now it is so great to know that they have an education and their lives will be changed forever, thanks to all you sponsors.
It was so great getting to see Summer with Project 61 and Ashli, her main sidekick. These women have laid their lives down to help the least of these. They both are from my area in TN and now live full time in Ethiopia to help the children.




A few of us drove through the dump. They don't let big teams in there anymore because they don't want the families who live and work in there to feel like a spectacle....understandably. It is always so sad and humbling to see these little lives and these hard working mothers dig through trash to find their only means of surviving.

Amy from TN had sponsored a boy from Korah to go to Shashemene boarding school. He got into school and decided he couldn't stick it out and came back. Amy got to literally go into the dump and find him and tell him she still loved him and that he shouldn't give up hope for a bright future. This young boy that most would give up on because of his age came walking up from the dump with torn clothes and a sweet spirit that could barely look her in the eye. He knew exactly who she was because Sumer said he talked about his sponsor, Amy and her family, even though he had given up on school, all the time. I can't tell you how much it means to these kids to think that they have a sponsor and someone who cares about them. I'm sure since he quit school that he never expected to hear from her again but now here they were face to face and Amy got to share her love and hope for him along with give him a backpack filled with new clothes, shoes, a soccer ball and basic necessities that showed how much she cared for him.




She sat with him in a mud shack and shared a photo album of her family and told him how he was a part of it. She encouraged this sweet boy to get back in school and she told him she was proud of him no matter what and that she believed in him.

Our time was over and we walked with him back out to the edge of the dump where our van was waiting. She gave him one last hug before he turned and left us with his great big smile while he then turned and walked back to his life in the dump. It was all Amy could do to get back to the van before she burst into tears. "It's one thing to see a picture of him from so far away and consider him family, but to come here and see it for myself....My heart can hardly stand it." she said.


Several on the team found children that have yet to be sponsored, that they made a connection with and are now going to sponsor them. 

There is still a need for about 50 children to be sponsored back at Shashemene and there is now a need for sponsors for those children left behind to go to the local school. Those children break my heart. They saw the others get sponsored and go off to school for the year. That school filled up which left them behind. P61 is now offering sponsorships for the children in the local school, which are many. I got a lot of video and pictures of children locally that need sponsors. They just kept coming up to me one after another. There is a need for about 100 of those kids to be sponsored. If you would like to sponsor a local child to go to school it is around 30 something dollars a month. If you are interested in sponsoring a child locally or to Shashemene, contact Erin@p61.org.


I can't stress enough what kind of relationships are made just through sponsorship. There were several on our trip who got to meet their sponsored child and their families. Your sponsored child becomes family to you and they consider you that as well. Deborah and her daughter Kenya, from Utah, got to meet "Winker" and his mom on this trip. Winker was a boy that stole all our hearts last year and Deborah and her family stepped up to sponsor him. They joined us on our OH trip this year and not only met Winker but got to go to his house in Korah and meet his mother. It really puts into reality the importance of a sponsor when you see the mud shacks they live in, trying to be raised by a single mother in a leprous community with health issues herself.

Last year, Winker (we nicknamed him that because he winked at everyone all the time) really hit it off with my son, Collin. Collin was sad he couldn't join us this year but when I walked into Winker's home I saw the photo album we had sent him with Collin's picture in it, sitting on the little table inside the front door. He had asked for Collin as soon as we saw him. Collin plans on coming back soon to visit him. You end up making impacting relationships for life in this community.



We then took the team over to the Leprous Hospital where we were able to go into the outside area and meet some of the ladies and men who make things to sell in order to survive. It was amazing to see them spinning cotton and making the most beautiful things with hands eaten up with leprosy. They had the most beautiful spirits.


I bought one of these mats made by this sweet man that I will take home and cherish, knowing who made it.

I bought my sponsored child a new hat that he loved putting on my and Ashli's head for a picture. I just love this kid, and he sooooo loved spending the day with us!

There were some on our team that made some amazing new friends that they will end up sponsoring, like Leanne, below.
By the time she left this young girl seemed like her daughter. She will immediately come home and sponsor her.
Winker, doing what he does best :)
It was very sweet, at the end of the day we went to a restaurant and Maste, our guide told us that it was Rachel's bday. We all had no idea. He said he saw it on facebook. He went out and bought her a cake and we all sang Happy Bday to her.
She was as shocked as we were....especially since her Bday is in May ;)  But we all went along with it because Maste was so excited to surprise her. We sang Happy Bday, they had Bday music playing in the restaurant for her, and we all had some great cake.

She gave him a big hug and he was so proud that he remembered her Bday :)

Next blog post to come as we all head North outside Addis to the mountains....life changing moments ahead. 

No comments:

Post a Comment