Guest Blog :: Patty Shropshire, Ordinary Hero June 2014 Team Member
If you drop a pebble in a still pond, you will see the ripple travel across the water in an expanding ring. One small pebble can change the look and feel of a large body of water. The same is true of one person’s life. God will use the words and actions of one heart to touch the lives of many more. This is what I call the ripple effect, and I saw it happen first-hand during our missions trip to Ethiopia with Ordinary Hero this past June.
There are approximately 5 million orphans currently living in Ethiopia. How can we possibly make a difference? The answer is: by changing the world for ONE. We started sponsoring an eleven year old boy named Bati from Hope for the Hopeless (H4H) back in October through Ordinary Hero. Hope 4 the Hopeless rescues and rehabilitates street children, while pouring the love and truth of Jesus into their lives. We had never met Bati, and we didn’t know his story. But, during our time in Ethiopia, God showed us how one life – even the life of a small hurting child- can affect the lives of so many others.
Throughout our families trip with OH, Bati was able to spend the week with us visiting different ministries and getting to know one another. On the first full day of our trip, we had an unexpected change of plans and ended up going to Entoto Mountain. While we were there listening to the director share his story, a group of boys came running up to us shouting, “Bati!” At first I was confused. Who were these children? How did they know Bati? And then it dawned on me: Bati used to live there. The compound where he had lived with his aunt and cousin was a five minute walk from where we were standing. Unbelievable. Bati led us down a dirt path to his aunt’s hut while a group of excited children followed close behind us. As we walked, Bati talked to some of the boys. He told them how God had changed his life and that He had a plan for them too. Their smiles were genuine and you could tell that Bati’s words gave them renewed hope. If God could change Bati’s life, He could change theirs too. One unexpected turn of events. One small conversation. Many lives touched.
But, the story gets even better. A few days later, Bati took a group of us to Arat Kilo –the place where he had lived on the streets before H4H rescued him. It was a metal bridge stretched across a busy intersection. A plastic tarp used for a bed was hidden under a rock. As I stood there motionless staring at the cold concrete, tears streamed down my face. Just then, two small boys about Bati’s age covered with dirt and dressed in rags emerged from under the dark bridge. They had been there sleeping. “Bati!” they called with big smiles on their faces. “Bati knew them too?” I wondered. As it turned out, he did. With the help of Kelly Putty, founder of Ordinary Hero, we were able to rescue them from the streets and take them back to H4H. We gave them showers, clean clothes, dinner, and a bed. They were welcomed with smiles, hugs, and love. Bati told them that they would now be safe and that God would take care of them. Two more lives were saved…and all because Ordinary Hero and H4H had first changed Bati’s life.
A few days later, our team went back to the old drop in center at H4H –the place where Bati now lives. Some of the boys who live there were asked to share their stories with our team. Each one of them mentioned Bati. Bati had helped them. Bati had led them to H4H. It was because of Bati that their lives were changed. It was amazing to see how one small orphan boy who had lived such a hard life could change the future of so many others. Someone gave him hope. And now he is spreading that hope to those around him. God changed his life, and now in return God is using him to change the lives of others. It’s that powerful!
Drop a pebble in the water and watch the ripples grow. See what happens when you set out to change one life. The big picture may look hopeless and overwhelming, but just think what will happen if each one of us changes the world for one. Your pebble WILL make a huge difference! Let it ripple!
If you are interested in sponsoring a child from H4H , please visit their website www.hope4hopeless.org.