I spent time with a sweet family in Hossanna. Ethiopia. This family has four children, and have accepted one more, a nephew, who is an orphan. The three times I have visited Hossana I had the privilege of visiting with these precious kids- Sara, Samuel, Immanuel. They find out we are in town and come visit us at our hotel-waiting patiently outside the gate early each morning for someone from our team to invite them in for breakfast or just a photo or visit. This trip we actually went to their home and met the mother and father, along with their youngest sister. Their old home was taken by the government and they have a very difficult time caring for their family, yet still took in an additional child with a very sparse living situation. They have a deep faith and instill values in their children of hard work and study. I asked Immanuel what book he wanted and he said English dictionary. Samuel wants the study guide for the SAT. Sarah wants a music book. Their clothes are torn hand-me-downs, they live in a mud home with a dirt floor yet they laugh and smile, entertaining us all morning. We drive-then walk (because we fear our vehicle may get stuck in the deep mud) to their home to visit their parents and give them gifts. When we arrive their mother practically bows to us-ashamed of her meager home, yet she smiles and hugs us saying thank you over and over again for coming to visit them. She has coffee prepared for us. I shed a few tears as I see a loving mother and father so proud of their children-showing such great courage in the face of obvious hardship. On their walls hang the cross and the English alphabet. They hope for a better life for their children-who speak excellent english and are all top in their classes in school. They look at us as a possible hope for their young ones-maybe a sponsor for their children to come to "the promise land" America! We give them money-each of us individually, one on our team says-"only for Samuel's SAT book, one for food, one for application to a school Samuel dreams of attending in USA. They want us to stay longer but we must leave- and we part-reluctantly. They follow us out and down the road smiling, and waving all the time. I walk down that road and have a difficult time comprehending such joy in the face of such suffering. What am I missing? I pray, I hope. One day this poverty will end. Until then, I know as a follower of Christ he calls me to enter others pain, even if to only bring a small amount of hope to them, a hug, a word of encouragement. I only wish I had power to do more. Samuel, Sara, and Immanuel think we helped them, but it is actually the other way around. This family has taught me great things about courage, hope, strength, and faith.
|Ermais Family-smiling for us|
|Neighborhood kids at play|