I am going to try to get caught up on our many adventures with our teams in Ethiopia. Lack of internet left us with a whole teams worth of life changing adventures to get caught up on. All of us who have traveled there this summer, and have now returned, are left with images replaying in our minds that are hard to process. I want to recount a joyous day for the Hope 4 The Hopeless Drop in center kids, and the last day for our Team 3. Thanks to a family of donors who saw the need last December on an Ordinary Hero trip, Ordinary Hero was able to help move them into a much needed, brand new home. It was an exciting day, yet a day that these kids said goodbye to the place they have called home for 12 years. They were busting at the seems in the old building, with no room left to take in any more street children. H4H is a ministry that pulls street children in off the streets and gives them a future and a hope. They transform these children unlike anything I have ever seen. They are the most amazing ministry to partner with!
We arrived to help them gather the last of their belongings and say goodbye to their old home.
It was bittersweet.
While there, the staff arranged for Nicole to meet her sponsored child. One thing that H4H also does is help find sponsors for children in the community. At any time they can arrange for you to meet your sponsored child on one of our trips. They are still in great need of child sponsors for their program. Please consider sponsoring a child through H4H. Visit the H4H website to see pictures of children waiting for sponsorship and for more information. Sponsorship truly changes lives!
It was amazing to help all the kids get moved from their old building......
....to their new building!!
...to see them go from very cramped quarters with no room left for any more children....
...to now plenty of room and space to add more children from the streets.
The team really helped get the place prepared for the children.
We decorated it and made it feel like home for them. It was so much fun to get it ready and surprise them with it!
When we brought the kids in they were running through the building and laughing with joy! They were so surprised to see their new building, their new beds, and their new home! It was such a joyous day!
We celebrated by having a sheep slaughter and great big meal for the kids in their new home.
As excited as the kids were to have sheep, I'm not sure how much you can prepare an American team to witness it. It is all a part of their culture, but very eye opening for ours, ha!
(her hands are red from scarf dye from another ministry...fyi :-)
Sheep is always a blessing and joyous meal for them to eat. They do not get it very often.
It brought lots of smiles! It was a great first meal for their new home.
At the end of the day it was time to say goodbye to the kids that many on our team have bonded with in such love. For some, these are their sponsors that they consider like family, and for some these are their special friends that they consider like family. As this team had to say goodbye on their final day in Ethiopia, it did not come without some tears.
The hardest part is having to say goodbye, not knowing how long it will be until you see each other again.
We all joined together in a circle for one last prayer and blessing. It touched all our hearts how they asked us all to go to the middle while they prayed for us and gave us a blessing when we traveled all that way to bless them.
Our time with these kids and this ministry is always a treasure! We hated to say goodbye!
What an awesome TEAM 3 we had in Ethiopia this June!
Many hearts were changed, many friendships made, and many lives touched forever!
I have a feeling we will be seeing many of these same faces on our teams in the future. There is a reason our teams double each year. Once these kids of Africa get into your heart, there is no getting them out and you can't wait to get back! There are 11 states represented in this team of thirty. Nine people from this team returned from last year. :-)
We will be adding an October and a December team to our site later today.
Visit our missions page for more info if you would like to join a team.
Please consider partnering with Hope For The Hopeless! They are transforming lives and could really use the extra financial support to care for the needs of these children. We can guarantee your money is going to an unbelievable, life changing cause.