On our third day, after we served the needy children at the local Primary school, we headed up Entoto Mountain. This trip up the mountain is always heartbreaking for our teams because you witness very young, to very old women carry loads of wood on their backs down a mountain for miles and miles. These loads are so heavy that it takes up to four grown men to lift one. They walk miles only to make what would equal one American dollar per day.
We were able to stop to meet some of the women on the way up the mountain and bless them with some Birr in order to take away some of their trips up and down the mountain. They were SO grateful for our visit.
Once we arrived at the top of the mountain, we found a beautiful clearing to eat lunch. Jodi, an animal lover, even managed to feed and make a new friend.
We also met the man in the red, below, named Mike. He lives in a home nearby and said he is an athlete and runs in Ethiopia, winning competitions. He and his buddies joined us for lunch as well, telling us about the community. He was very nice.
Some of the team played with and fed the children that had gathered in our little area. They were so sweet.
On our way down the mountain we stopped to help four women carry these unbelievable burdens. This is always very impactful for our team because they actually get to feel how heavy this load is. We loaded their bundles on top of our van and bus and gave them a ride down the mountain. The teams got to talk with them and pray with them on the way down the mountain.
Seeing them turn from sad and burdened to smiling is priceless.
The women were blessed by our team. Their sweet smiles say it all.
Our team was blessed by these precious young girls who should never have to carry such burdens.
It was an honor to meet them.
We stopped at an outreach started by Beza church that helps pull many of the women just like who we met off the mountain and gives them employment making beautiful jewelry made of scrap metals and coffee beans. Most of the women are HIV +. Their lives have been turned around, given hope, and forever changed by this awesome ministry. Our team got to meet the women and see how they make the beautiful jewelry.
And then of course they got to shop! When this jewelry is purchased it helps this ministry be able to bring in more women from the mountain for more employment. The director told us they are getting ready to add 25 more women! It is a beautiful ministry to see with beautiful women, and beautiful jewelry to wear to remind us of them.
At the end of the day, we were blessed with a beautiful rainbow that just confirmed to our team what an amazing, miraculous country, filled with blessings, we are in! We thank you for your prayers and God is making it evident everyday that He is right alongside us.