Saturday, July 16, 2011

Team 1, Day 6 in Ethiopia......headed North

 Day 6 and headed North to the mountains. The scenery is amazing out in the country like this. We stopped on the side of the road to ask directions for a minute when we saw this farmer plowing the field as if it were the early 1900's. Kristi, from North Carolina, didn't waste an opportunity to get out and make a friend. She gave him some snacks which lit up his day.
 What amazes me is that they plow this field barefoot. The field is full of rocks too. I'm sure the last thing this man expected when he went to plow his field that day was a Fringe to walk up to him and give him some snacks :) God bless that man and all his HARD labor. I think Kristi made his day :)
 Our plans didn't exactly work out to go to the orphanage like we wanted to so we took that opportunity to give things to the children we saw on the side of the road. It was awesome to be able to just pull over and bless people.
 Children who walked their daily route found that this was not their normal day.  They were stopped by three vans full of crazy people giving stuff out right and left. You should have seen their faces light up over a simple shirt or shoes.

Some children just weren't so sure of us. They couldn't quite figure out what we were doing. This little girl below just stared so intently at Kristi and Leanne while they washed off her feet. She was dirty from head to toe and came walking by us completely by herself. 

 The girls washed her off while she sat quietly and let them, gripping her goody bag the whole time.
She had a brand new pair of aqua shoes.

 We then gave her a new long sleeve tshirt thanks to Vanessa Bonner, from Brentwood, organizing the tshirts made by kids associated with her VBS.

As quickly as this little girl had come she was gone, but this time with a great big, clean, smile on her face, new shoes, shirt and goody bag. I just wonder what her mother will think when she walks in her little hut. 

 The longer we sat on the side of the road the more kids would come walking by that we could bless.

 We handed out Amharic bibles that some of our team pitched in to get for the kids. What a great idea!

This little guy was so sweet. He wasn't quite sure of us at first. 
 When we started giving him clothes and goodies, I saw his mom smiling from behind her scarf.

 We found that the adults were just as interested in the Amharic bibles as the kids were.

 We continued to clothe and pass out goodies until we moved on further up the mountain.
 We found another spot up on top of the mountain and the children came running.

 Our guide Bisrat told us about a place that breaks his heart every time he sees it. He told us that women carry loads of wood on their backs up and down the mountain for miles and miles just to get to the bottom to sell it. He said that they do it up to three times a day. He said we could go look for some of them to help carry their burden. We went on a search for some of these women and sure enough, we found them. We ran across 4 women that had loads so big I didn't even know how they were standing. Not to mention that they were doing all of this BAREFOOT.
 We stopped and asked if we could give them a ride down the mountain. They were soooo thankful. I was blown away when I saw that it took 2 grown men to load what one woman carries on her back for miles. When she got in she told us that she is 60 years old and that she had 4 children. She cuts the Eucalyptus branches at the top of the mountain and carries them down to the bottom to sell it. People use it to make Injera.
 We gave her a bible and told her that we were sent to help her. She said "Only Jesus would send you to carry my burden like you have done." She said the exact same thing Bisrat had said. If I ever felt used by God it was in that moment.
 These women were thrilled and blessed that we took the time to stop and help them. I just couldn't help but think "Why don't others help these women?" as I watched the cars pass by. By the time we got to the bottom of the hill, four of us were barefoot and these women were barefoot no longer. They each had a pair of tennis shoes to make their burden a little lighter tomorrow.  We plan on sending team 2 to actually give some of these women donkeys to keep to help lighten their load up and down the hill. Some of the folks in team 1 were so moved by these women that they left money behind to help get them a donkey. I can't wait.

 It was a great day in the North on our wild roadside adventures. Next blogpost, we are headed South again.

1 comment:

  1. I love reading your posts. I am headed over there Tuesday (7/19) with the One Child Campaign. Anything you wish your group had brought along? Trying to think of everything to take with us!