by Lincoln Vallett
They greeted us with big hugs before all of us headed to the orphanage together. A few of us even rode the program bus over with all the kids. They were thrilled to have us on board and I quickly made friends with my seat buddies Eeinook and Beirut. We shared stories and jokes as we made the hour drive to the countryside.
After a quick stop to see the church that all the kids attend, we arrived at the orphanage. Here we were greeted by new boys and girls, but with the same warm welcome that we had received at the walk in clinic. Being able to see how meaningful our presence was to them alone was enough to make my day. As they showed us around the grounds it didn’t take long for all of us to have a kid or two holding our hands.
After we enjoyed our lunch in the van thanks to a light drizzle it was finally time for what I had been looking forward too all day, the soccer game. As our make shift team of OH members, kids, and Hope for the Hopeless staff were making our game plan the orphanage team strutted out in full uniform.
We started with Cassie ___, Sarah Williams, Lauren Putty, and myself representing the Ordinary Hero team. Even though we were able to score the first goal we quickly found that we were out matched. One by one we dropped like flies, running to the sideline to call in our 4-foot tall substitutes. Cassie was the exception as she shocked the whole group juking the teenagers left and right all game in her rain boots. Even though we made a valiant effort we fell short by the score of 5-1.
We all exchanged sweaty handshakes and hugs after the game and soon it was time to leave. We had a group prayer and worship song before the goodbye hugs began. This took longer then expected because there wasn’t a single child that was going to let you leave without a hug from them.
Seeing how much the day had meant to them brought the team great joy, but soon the day turned bitter sweet as it was time to say goodbye to both the kids and Ethiopia.
Before we knew it we were at the Airport where Lauren and myself had to say our goodbyes as the rest of the team began their journey back to the States.
Many memories made, many lives changed, and new friendships have come from this amazing OH Team in Ethiopia. Many of these little faces will be in the hearts, minds, and prayers of our team members as they return to their lives in the States, yet leave their hearts in Ethiopia. Thank you for your prayers for Team 1 this past week.
THANK YOU to one awesome team of ORDINARY HEROES who changed the world for so many!
One of the many things that are left behind from this team that they brought to everyone they came in contact with...
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
The week was a great start to the summer program and we are excited to see what is in store for
TEAM 2 arriving Wednesday.