Thursday, February 24, 2011

Don't Forget Me

Those were some of the last words that the director at Trees of Glory, Simret, said to me as we were leaving Trees of Glory. I'd like to think that she shouldn't have to say those words, but the fact is, it is very easy to get swept up in our daily routines (even after being in Ethiopia and seeing it all first hand) of taking care of our own kids, cleaning our own houses, carting kids around to sports practices, schooling, grocery shopping, laundry, bible studies, birthday parties, holidays.........And before you know it, the reality that across the world so many are suffering, so many are in need, and so many are working so hard to beat the odds starts to fade. I pray that I will never forget her or any of the other wonderful people that we've met in Ethiopia-IT IS SO VITAL THAT WE REMEMBER.

Not only did she say, "don't forget me." She more importantly said, "don't forget to pray for me." Simret is an amazing person. She has given up a relatively good life and easy existence in Addis for a much less comfortable one in the mountain side (how many of us would give up a good job and a decent living to live modestly-I'd actually say it's roughing it-and devote our lives to caring for orphaned and destitute children?).

Trees of Glory is located in a rural outlying area (beautiful area-but definitely like travelling back in time) about 2 hours outside of Addis Ababa.

As we travelled there, the sites were amazing-donkeys and people alike hauling huge loads on their backs down the mountain to sell. .

Little children (I mean little like 6 or 7 year olds) herding large herds of livestock in the big open hillsides. Poverty of course and very few resources.

Simret now lives on a compound were there is no electricity and no running water. They make DAILY trips up the mountain to retrieve water which they carry back down by mule

Although this is a difficult life, she has chosen it because she saw a need and decided to act. She now has 11 children living full time in her care at Trees of Glory who would otherwise not have a home along with 88 other kids that "drop in" at the care point. She radiates joy and is such an inspiration. She is doing God's work first hand and we have the privilege of partnering with her to make her job easier and to provide her with the resources that she and the other staff members need to continue doing this great work.

I want us all to remember Simret's words and not forget these precious people-in our prayers, in our giving, in the way we spend "our" time and resources. Please, let us not forget.

More to come........

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