Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Monday, June 27, 2011
Lots of our friends have big pools at their houses and we've been doing some swimming there, but in our own back yard, we've rigged this up. Two blow up pools side by side on our deck (yes, I know it's rather tacky and borders on "you might be a red neck if...."--but the fun factor and ability to cool off is worth it).
Rahel's getting brave and going all the way under!
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Check out those holes!
And these happy faces (well except for Caroline-Ethiopian food is not her favorite, but she's learning to like it). Before we left Ethiopia, we had lunch with our driver and he told Rahel she may as well order pizza (instead of the traditional Ethiopian food) because there's no injera in America. She was very happy to see this coming right out of her new mom's kitchen. We've had Ethiopian food 5 or 6 times now since she's been home.
Now I'm just waiting for my injera pan to arrive so I can make them full size.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Friday, June 10, 2011
How long would it be ok for your family to depend on jugs of water to bathe, drink, cook with, wash your hands, clean dishes and wash clothes.....and not in a "we're on a fun family camping trip way" (does that actually exist?--I'm not much of a camper :-)....but in a "we don't have any other option way?
How long would you wait before you reached out for help if you suddenly didn't have a clean source of water?
How long would you allow your kids to drink water that you knew could be contaminated?
I'm thinking that we wouldn't stand for it for very long at all.
In fact, I'm sure we'd seek help immediately.
We are so fortunate to live in a place where CLEAN FRESH WATER is EASILY and READILY available.
For so many-nearly 40% of the world's population-clean water is not an option.
While we were at Trees of Glory, we happened to be there when the water donkey came to deliver the water for the day. Of course I'd seen pictures of the water donkey on Karen's blog, but seeing it in person really hit home.
The kids at TOG depend on a donkey to deliver containers of water each day, or they would simply not have any water. No water to drink, no water to wash hands with, no water to cook with, NO WATER.
It is hard to imagine a life without running water. I venture to say that we wouldn't stand for it.
So why then should the staff and children at Trees of Glory have to go on hauling water for their basic daily care needs?
When I was there, the staff mentioned the need for water many times. IT IS THEIR GREATEST NEED.
They hope to be able to more easily care for the 100 children that are currently being served there and to be able to have water for their cows and crops. The bigger picture though is that they ultimately hope to double or even triple the number of kids that can be served at TOG once they are finally able to have a readily available source of clean fresh water.
SO IT'S TIME ONCE AGAIN TO BAND TOGETHER
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. Ecclesiastes 4:9
Go to www.hopechest.org, click on GIVE.
Select DESIGNATED GIFT and enter your donation $ amount
For Reference Number, specify ET2119000
In the Notes area, specify WELL
Monday, June 6, 2011
We got to check in on sweet Webit. She was tiny and frail, but her face glowed as she received the letter and gifts from her sponsor family. Her coloring and strength have improved and her smile lit up the room as she saw pictures that her sponsor family sent. What a blessing to be able to meet this child that we all prayed for. Please continue to pray for her complete healing.
The paper airplanes were a big hit again.
My friend Heidi's little girl Tigist. She totally recognized me this time. It was great to see her again. Isn't she the cutest?
This is Hiwot, another one of my friend's little girl. She's being raised at TOG by Simret. You can really tell how much Simret loves these kids.
And now the princess has a crown--sweetest little GIRL.
Another friend of mine sponsors this girl-also named Meseret. The teacher was quick to tell me that she is an excellent student!
We had to show her what to do with chap stick and some of the other items that she received. That's how outlying this region is from the city. Common things to us have never been seen or used by most of these kids. She got the hang of it :-)
Meseret with her little brother--just beautiful!
My mother-in-law meeting Mitiku
My mom with her child-Zewditu
More to come.......
Sunday, June 5, 2011
The tribe had been fighting for survival against another more aggressive and violent tribe. One night, after many of their men had been killed in battle, it became clear to them that they must move on and seek safety or their women and children would surely be killed along with the rest of the warriors at day break.
The problem was that in order for them to escape, they would have to cross the river that was nearing flood levels-a task that had never been successfully accomplished with the waters running so high. With no other choice, the warriors made the decision to attempt to cross the river that night. Knowing that not even the strongest man had ever made it across, they knew that it would be impossible for the women and children. So, the warriors decided to carry them on their shoulders hoping to be able to carry them to safety and find refuge from their enemy on the other side.
An amazing thing happened.
Because the men were carrying an extra load, their feet became firmly planted on the ground. Because of the weight from the women and children on their shoulders, the warriors were able to solidly step across the river bed to dry land.
This illustration immediately stuck with me and I've gone back to the imagery and the message of this story many times over the past few weeks. It is such a good description of what carrying the burden of others does for us. When we are willing to be "burdened" or to have a heart for others in need, it helps to plant our feet on solid ground.
I've returned from my trip to Ethiopia with a renewed burden for the people there and particularly for my friends at Trees of Glory. There is much to be done there and I look forward to working to help kids like Meseret, our sponsor child, have a brighter future and know that they are loved by God and his followers.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
I'll post more about our time there and about raising funds for their greatest need-a fresh water well soon.