OH Team 3 visited Korah, the trash dump community on our second day in Ethiopia.
The kids in this community are so full of love that it just melts the hearts of all our team members.
We found this community through Project 61 in 2010 and helped get many of the children sponsored for boarding school. There are many who sponsor the children and then travel with OH to meet them.
Joel and Kim loved meeting their sponsored child, Fikkiridis. They sponsored her last August and have been sending packages and letters to her. They got to go see her home which was a one room shack made of sticks and mud with a dirt floor. Everything they owned was laying on top of the one bed in the home. One neat thing that happened was that Fikki looked at her mother and said "photo" and the mother pulled the photo album out that Kim and Joel had sent Fikki and showed her that they keep it with them in their home. It is always so awesome to see how much you mean to your sponsored child and their family.
Some of our team got to help with some construction needs around the new feeding hall they are building.
Deborah took her daughter and her nephew to her sponsored child, "Winker's" home.
The most amazing thing happened. They gave her some birr to help with home expenses and when they handed to the mother she just started sobbing. Then Winker started sobbing and the translator told Deborah that the night before the landlord had come and told her to be out by the next evening because she was so behind on rent. (Yes, she has to pay rent in this one room shack.) This mother was so burdened and had no idea what she was going to do. Then by God's great and mighty grace, Deborah knocks on her door the morning that she would have been kicked out by that night and offers her support. This is a true testimony of the miracles that take place when we decide to GO. It might stretch you out of your comfort zone but there are always blessings on the other side and those who God has waiting for you to bless. AMAZING!!
During one of our home visits I looked over and saw a crowd around Tabitha. You would have thought that she had some treats or something for them but when I walked over and got closer, she was handing them cleansing wipes. These children have no running water, therefore do not know what it is like to feel clean. They just loved the feeling of wiping the dirt off of their faces and the smell of them that made them feel clean.
Many of the men in our group were such a blessing to the construction crew!
Ashli was translating a letter with a package for a sponsored child from her sponsor, Leanne, from last year's team. Leanne sent a letter asking about how she was and how her mother was because her mother had been ill. She also sent some money and put in the bottom of the note that she wanted her to use the money for anything that she wanted. When Ashli translated this to the young girl and asked her what she wanted, she said the only thing she wanted was to see Leanne, her sponsor.
It just shows you how much love and relationships and knowing someone cares for them means to these kids, even above material things when they have nothing.
It's always very humbling to see the dump with women and children covering it, digging through the trash to find anything they can to survive off of. It is truly unimaginable. To see our sponsored children and the love that shines from them toward us and us to them and to think this is where they are from just totally mind blowing. We are all so thankful to know these children and make the hope for thier future a reality.
Everyone on this team is really bonding and having the best time. LOTS of late night talks, laughs and tears between everyone.
One last funny story is this little guy named John pointing to the basketball. Lauren has been in Ethiopia with the past teams and met this little boy outside the guest home. She told me he REALLY wanted a basketball so I told her I would bring one. Before I got here I received a facebook message from this boy that he managed to do by going to an internet cafe and paying 1 birr. It said " Hello, it is your friend from the guest house. Do you remember me? Laury said you could bring me a ball. It's name is Spalding. Please, please, this is my dream. I can't sleep. I think about it. Please in the name of God. Thank you."
Guess who I saw first the day I stepped off the van. this boy was all smiles and I have never seen anyone more excited over a basketball in my life. He wanted to take a picture and just point to it and show everyone.
I LOVE AFRICA!!