first of all- Sorry that for the past 2 weeks i have not been able to give you updates. The limited email that we had in Addis Ababa was not reliable, and would not allow me to log on to the blogspot. i will give you the short story, and let the pictures tell the rest.
I have been all over the world, and have never seen poverty at this level. People literally starving to death, living in 2 foot x 2 foot x 5 foot sheet metal cubes, ...it seems nearly hopeless, but there is hope- 3000 kids have a brighter tomorrow because of sponsorship. these kids are getting food, clothing, education, and get to know Jesus(hope for tomorrow) ...
we went to construct classrooms for the preschool and kindergarten, task nearly completed.
we went to host vbs for 3 different groups of kids- amazing
we went to have our hearts broken, and to search after His... accomplished
we went as 20 strangers and became family
the kids LOVED their faces painted, and instead of just small pictures on their cheeks, they wanted glasses and beards!... we also got to meet Mahlet- our sponsored girl for 5 years, she is itty bitty, especially for a 14 year old. But-she is VERY smart, and speaks english(a bit anyway-enough to visit with her without an interpretor. Her mom said that they desperately wanted running water closer than 1/2 mile away-we felt horrible, and will try to help)--i also had an incredible opportunity to meet with the President of Ethiopia- WOW, we shared what and why we are doing what we are doing there, and then prayed with him!
the children are beautiful, the staff is dedicated and loves these kids-they are the true missionaries, day in and out they are there to hold, teach and love the children.
The trip was made especially special, as my mom was there. We have always been close, but this really knit our hearts together. All are very emotional as they arrive home. Lack of sleep is to blame for part of it, but the rest is the stark reality of what was seen, and how to process that when we come back to a land of plenty.
I have what may seem to be an unpopular opinion about foreign missions. Many ask me "Thats great that you are doing all of this overseas, but what about the people here at home?"... my response (in love as best as i can) is that here at home we have a social system. if someone is homeless, or hungry, there are systems in place to get back on your feet, get a job, and there is always a shelter with a warm meal. The poorest of the poor in america have it better off than 90% of the rest of the world.