Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ethiopia 2014 - day four - Hope For the Hopeless - CountrySide

Today we had a plan. Our plan was to go visit a new daycare in Shiro Meda which is at the base of Entoto Mountain, then head up the mountain and spend the remainder of the day there. However, God had other plans. We awoke to rain - heavy downpours so we had to ditch those plans and reorganize our entire day. This led us out to Hope for the Hopeless in Salulta. This town is out in the countryside of Ethiopia and takes about an hour or more to get to. Of course, as we were loading the vans to go, the sun began peeking through and I wondered to myself "why, God?" But the reason would be revealed the following day...

Once we arrived in the countryside, we were met at the vans by the children who reside at H4H. Our little girl from last year who we bonded with so easily was there and we recognized each other so quickly and easily! I nearly killed myself trying to get off the van to get to her. Ha!

Queen, me and my girl! She drew this picture for me before I left... love this sweet child!

At this location, our plan was simply to play with the kids, give them love, attention, leave some craft supplies, soccer balls, nail polish, etc... We wanted to just pour into them and leave them knowing that they are loved, wanted, worth something, and needed.
We also planned to wash, dress, and love on the children who live outside of the H4H gates and line up outside of them reaching through when we show up. They are extremely poverty ridden and are begging for something...anything from us. So after spending time with the H4H kids, we opened the gates to the orphanage and the country kids came pouring in!

After getting them in some sort of line, we started the organized chaos of getting the kids cleaned up and re-dressed in a new outfit and new shoes. It was one of the most amazing and humbling experiences I have ever had. These children were so excited and grateful for everything. The one girl I will never forget came in with tears streaming and I figured out that she was terrified that there was going to be nothing left for her...that she was not going to have anything and going to have to continue wearing the same clothes that she had been wearing for yet another year. Once I reassured her that there was plenty for her and that we could even choose between several different bags, the relief was evident and a huge smile crossed her face. I just hugged her frail body and was so thankful that we didn't have to turn her away.

lined up and getting ready to bless these kids with blessing bags

here I go scrubbing my first little girl down. Bless her heart she was precious 
and sweet and LOVED getting cleaned up. She even handed me more 
wipes as I needed them.

fresh and clean getting those new clothes on!

Cheyenne looking for some 4T clothes for her little guy there! Isn't he adorable?

And this! I didn't have the heart to tell sweet girl she was sporting
 Chloe's shirt backwards. She was so so proud of her new t-shirt!

Christine with her little munchkin!

Megan working hard to get this little guy settled.

Shelly was in charge of getting all of us the right sized blessing bags as we 
called out the sizes we needed and what gender we needed. Hard job!!! She was awesome!

Connie working hard with kids looking at her through the window
 wondering when it would be their turn.


And this girl right here?!? Well, she may not have smiled for the camera, but you couldn't wipe the smile off of her face as soon as the camera was down! Isn't she lovely?

David and I looking for the little girl above a jacket to cover her arms as it is cool in 
the countryside right now. See her between the two of us?! Ha! She is helping us look.

David out doing crowd control by passing out blow-pops. It may or may not
 have caused a little more chaos. Hahaha!!! These kids love their "caramella!"

Chasing him down for candy

Cheyenne putting her brother's favorite outfit on this handsome dude! Precious!!!

This (and the next 2 photos) is the little girl who thought we had 
run out of clothes! Look at that sweet face!

Hope Boyd! There are no words for this girl - a true servant of Christ and it shows in every single way. She bears much fruit and I am so happy and blessed that she was on our team.

I could seriously kiss those little cheeks all day long!

Hope working hard again getting this little girl cleaned up so she can get dressed in her new clothes

searching for the right size

Hope loving on this sweet little girl

Cheyenne dressed this girl in an outfit that Chloe gave! 

Ken was so intently focused and intuned with each child that my 
heart was full watching this take place

Megan giving kisses to this little one. 

A pair of Chloe's shoes that she donated.

Christine and this handsome dude are cheesing for the camera!

Michelle with one of our last kids of the day. 

Shelly loving on a mom who came 

Myself and Alison with this little princess. She was thrilled that we happened to find one pair of pants in the whole stack to fit her! Yay!!!

Once we were finished, we came outside to spend more time with the kids from H4H and this is what we saw! Our hearts sank as we realized that we had only made a dent in the need of the children in the country. Look at how they are lined up outside the gate...more children wanting, no NEEDING, to come in and be lavished with love, care, compassion, physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Thankfully our Savior sees them all and knows each name, each need, and loves them deeper than any of us ever could.  That is the only thing that comforted this heart of mine.

As we got ready to leave, the children of Hope for the Hopeless circled up with us. Kenny, from our team, and a teenage boy from H4H each prayed. It was beautiful and perfect to hear the prayers in each respective language. When it was done, the children asked us to stand in the middle of the circle and they blessed our team with an Ahmaric blessing. Tears welled and I was left speechless as I hugged my little girl and had to find the words to tell her goodbye. 

Today was perfect. It wasn't what I had planned, but goodness knows I wouldn't have wanted it any other way!

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