Kim Koogler and I are in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This is Kim's ninth trip, my third. This trip is very different than the other two- no team, no structured outreach groups, or feeding programs, but none the less, very impacting. Today we spent most of the day with the girls in ICA's SAFE homes, with the intent of learning more, seeing how the girls are doing and how the programs are making a profound impact on so many lives. We enjoyed seeing the girls, interacting, exchanging gifts, and sharing laughter over video of the girls we took from our last trip in January. The highlight of the day for me was to see Nordas. Nordas is the girl many of you have seen in photos or heard me speak about that we met in the red light district last January. Her photo has hung above my desk everyday as a reminder to keep pressing on in our campaign to raise money to see girls like Nordas free from sexual slavery. Today I saw her- and her baby, living happily in one of ICA's four SAFE homes. I did not know- and I was thrilled. She smiled and sang with the other girls. Her daughter is living safe, happy and healthy- away from the shanty she used to live in with her mother. I was able to show Nordas photos and video I had of her when we visited she and her daughter in her shanty- she looked down, with tears, still bearing the shame of her past life. But as I watched her laughing and interacting with the other girls, I realized, they will show her the way. She may bear scars, but she will heal too and learn to step away from the shame an guilt of the past.
hope this post makes a little sense.. except for 5 hours in three days, I haven't slept!! Pray Kim and I will sleep, as tomorrow we travel to visit our young friends in Hossanna- a four hour drive form here.