Monday, June 6, 2011

Smiling Faces

That's the difference this time. The first time I visited Trees of Glory, the kids were initially hesitant and shy around us (the came out of their shells, but it took a while). This time, you could see the recognition in their smiles. It is a great thing to know that even a short day trip can have an impact on the life of a child--it makes it all worth it. This time, the kids we'd met before came running and you could tell that relationships had begun to grow.

As with our first trip, the delivery of hand written letters and pictures from sponsor families was the highlight.

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.

Cute siblings.

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

And one of my favorite little boys. His name is Muse which is translated Moses. He was "found" and taken in by Simret as a baby. He's got the greatest personality and the most precious smile and is also sponsored by friends of ours. Love him!

That's what it is all about--building relationships--even if it's just over a few days or via online letters and pictures--because those relationships matter. Ever wonder if that $34 really makes a difference? Well, I'm here to tell you that it does. The love that can be sent across the world through prayer and petition is priceless. I am so grateful to have been able to witness it first hand and to be able to share it with those of you who have yet to go. I would encourage everyone to go at least once.

If you're interested in sponsoring a child specifically at Trees of Glory, contact the sponsorship coordinator Karen Wistrom at

She'll add you to her list so that when children are added to this care point, they won't have to wait for sponsorship.

More to come.......


  1. LOVE hearing all about your time at TOG! I don't think I have seen "our" Tigist yet, but I'll keep looking :O).

  2. Thanks so much for sharing all the pictures from TOG! AND the pictures of our little GIRL with her crown were so appreciated by our entire house! So glad to see you are home and doing well with all of your children and that you had a wonderful trip!

  3. Love your updates Jessica! When you have time, I would love to hear about your trip to Lalibela. Thanks for all the wonderful pictures! I'm so glad you were there and could let these kids know how much we all love them! Karen Wistrom ;)

  4. Can't wait to see Daniel :) Thanks for loving these kids on your visit to TOG!