Saturday, July 27, 2013

Starvation on Entoto Mountain....Let's Help Lift Their Burden...For Good!

CATCH A GLIMPSE OF HOPE IN THIS 1 MINUTE VIDEO!


NOW PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO READ THE INCREDIBLE STORY BEHIND THE REALITY OF OUR EXPERIENCE WITH THE PEOPLE OF ENTOTO MOUNTAIN. 

Starvation To Endihnew's Hope! 

All of our OH Ethiopia trips consist of visiting Entoto Mountain to help "lift the burden" of the many woman who struggle each day to provide for their children. It is heart breaking to watch as we see woman of all ages, bent over, carrying bundles of wood on their backs for miles upon miles down a steep mountain, for what amounts to not quite $2 per day. 





We have seen and tried to help young women, like this woman below who is 6 months pregnant,  carrying loads that can easily weigh over 100 lbs. 
 And we have helped her by offering her a ride and carrying her load for her, while washing her feet and giving her new shoes and basic necessities to show her God's love. 





 It has been the delight of our teams to help the women by helping to lift their burdens and carry them down the mountainside, relieving them of an entire day's labor. 


 For what seems like such a small act of service on our part, the women are always so thankful.


Why do they do this? Because they must feed their children. 
They are desperate for income and they muster up shear will power and divine strength to carry these loads for so many miles. It truly is unbelievable and heartbreaking to watch! We have struggled with trying to provide a way to get these women off the mountain 
and provide them with sustainable income. 

Just when we thought seeing the 
women in these conditions was bad, 

this summer, during the visit of my last team, we were introduced to something much more heart-wrenching
 than any of us expected....
their children!
We met a wonderful man named Mesfin who introduced our team to his feeding program that he has started on Saturdays for the children of Entoto Mountain.  
It's called Endihnew's Hope
We had never been before and were excited to show up and help! 
What we found was heartbreaking and something that shook our team for the rest of the week! 

What we found were starving children! 

Mesfin pulled out the bag of food and our team did the best they could to keep things in an orderly fashion. You could definitely see the look of panic rush across their faces as they knew that if they did not get this food they didn't know when they would eat again. 












 This level of starvation and hoarding was new to our team. We have seen some dire circumstances but nothing ever this bad. We could see that they did not know when they would eat again. The look of starvation washed over these little one's faces in the form of  lifelessness and desperation, as pictured in this little girl's eyes below. 
 The worst part about all of it was the fact that we came to help this ministry with their feeding program.  What we were not expecting AT ALL was that 
THEY RAN OUT OF FOOD FOR THESE CHILDREN! 
We discovered that Mesfin tries to feed 160 children on his own every single Saturday, and he simply does not have the funds to bring enough food for everyone. 

We all desperately started tearing through our backpacks for crackers, power bars, granola, whatever we had for ourselves, we started dividing it up between the children that were left as fast as we could. 
I stepped out of the building where we were preparing shoes to pass out, and saw Colleen just holding this baby girl as tears streamed down Colleen's face. I asked someone what was wrong and they told me that they had just run out of food and this little girl did not get any. It was just too much to bear! 
Colleen, being a mother herself, was seeing what it felt like, for the first time, not to be able to feed a child when she saw that she was in desperate need. 

 Thankfully, someone saw what was happening and shared some of their food with this little girl. 
 Look at what an unbelievable transformation she had, simply by getting food in her stomach!  She regained something that had been lost.....her smile, her hope.  To top it off, Colleen found a little stuffed bear to give this child joy that every child should experience....that of a child. She deserves that. 


18 yr old, Madison, shared her heart on one of her blog posts....


HOPE AND HEARTBREAK
"Most of their faces had the response of serious hunger. I was handed wet wipes, so I thought it best to wipe these precious survivors faces, hands and feet. 


I wiped the mud off their bodies, and sent them in. Every time I bent down and looked a child in the eyes, my heart got a little heavier. As I bent down to the next precious little girl, she looked up at me and smiled and God brought to memory the scripture, Psalm 34:18,

"The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

These sweet, young spirits had been crushed by poverty and hunger and God brought us to them, as His hands and His feet, to wash the mud off their sweet faces, to calm their hearts when they yelled for shoes or food, to assure them that we would get them in that room, that they would be seen, that they would be taken care of. Two or three times in the beginning, I just stood in that door way with tears running down my face, torn up for these precious children." 


Kelly Blevins also shares her heart from this day in the mountainside in her words from her blog...


"I experienced the cliche' of "starving children in Africa" today and it became very personal. Tears welled in my eyes as we began passing food to starving children...As the kids were waiting in line, I locked eyes with a sweet girl who was worried that we would run out before it was her turn. I learned how to tell her "it's okay" in Ahmeric and just kept holding her hand. As she inched closer and closer to the door she laid her head on my chest and I could feel her release a sigh of relief."

Bottom Line....THESE KIDS NEED OUR HELP! 

Another thing that this ministry can provide, with our help, is a WAY OUT for these mothers. 

We are so thrilled to help pull each of these mothers off the mountain!
No longer a life of heavy burden! She can go from carrying heavy loads for miles a day....
to laying that load down to do clay pottery work and weaving instead! 


Mesfin has prepared a rented space for them to work in. 






Our hearts were torn apart on this day, but we were not left without hope! 
We see the beginnings of what could be life changing for these women and children 
with our help! 

The sad part is that he really can feed all 160 children each Saturday for $1 a day. 

THIS IS WHERE YOU CAN HELP! 

We have set up a giving page through Ordinary Hero and are partnering with Endihnew's Hope to  bring more hope to these sweet mothers and their children and provide an escape from hunger and the destruction that dire poverty can bring. 

A $160 donation will feed all 160 children every Saturday in the feeding program and ensure that EVERY CHILD will get something to eat. 
If we can get $30 monthly givers for all 160 children then we could feed all 160 children a meal EVERY DAY! That is only $4800 a month. 
You are welcome to give toward a month's supply of food as well. 

ALSO, you may sponsor a mother for $50 per month. That will pull her off of the mountainside from carrying wood, and give her a job of clay work and weaving. It will pay her a salary to feed her children with and pay her rent for the month. You can literally change a family's life for $50 per month.
We also hope to be able to help with the sale of the clay work 
and weaving through our team visits.

Lastly there is a need for new traditional looms and materials. A $1000 donation would provide the resources to purchase more materials to be able to hire more women to work on weaving. 

These are the direct needs and ways you can give. A donation of any size is appreciated and will all be applied toward this great need. If you have sponsorship questions, please contact Kimberly@ordinaryhero.org

After feeding the children and then spending some time with them, their precious spirits came bubbling to the surface. This showed us the hope and promise of the future for each and every precious mother and child on Entoto Mountain. 

Starvation and a life of severe poverty does not have to be their destiny. 

CAN YOU HELP? 

CLICK HERE to donate today. Thank you!!!





















 THANK YOU, MESFIN, FOR SEEING A NEED, AND GIVING EVERYTHING YOU HAVE TO FILL IT! WE ARE PROUD TO PARTNER WITH YOU!
Questions? Please contact Kimberly@ordinaryhero.org

No comments:

Post a Comment