Friday, May 31, 2013

{Ethiopia: Monday, May 13th, 2013} {market. nail polish. lunch. home visits. hope. the Yod.}

 Morning walk after breakfast...I always love the smell, heat, sights that we experience in ET!!
Another great breakfast of french toast, eggs & fruit to start off our day!! Our team left for Jemo around 9 am!! Once we arrived & were once again greeted so warmly & welcoming, the guys started working alongside the Ethiopian men on the fence project!! It was a joy to witness (no, I did not help in the building of this fence! Not sure I could've kept up with all of that power & speed they had!! Wow, are they hard, hard workers!!) our guys from the team & the men at Jemo working so tirelessly & together on this project! I have to mention a pretty funny moment from this day...The fence they were building will replace an already existing fence that was right behind the bathroom... (photo below is the site where the new fence was being built to replace the metal fence behind the guys...The bathroom is the small tin building in upper corner of pic!) Anyhow, I really had to use the bathroom, but there were men everywhere!! One man was standing right behind the tin bathroom (which had spaces all over that you could see through into the bathroom!!) I didn't know how to convey to him that I would prefer he walk away for a, I kindly pointed at him & then made a kind gesture with my hand hoping he would understand to scoot over a bit!! He totally got it & giggled!! I came out, he looked at me, giggled & then I gave him a thumbs up!! ( which, as I'm writing this, I'm thinking he probably thought it was even funnier that I gave him a thumbs up as I came out of the bathroom!!ha!!) 
  hard working, tough guys!!!
 You go buddy!!!
While the men were working on the fence, us gals & Grant went with Hilena to the market to buy a few things to take on our home visits! Coffee, rice & cooking oil were on our list!! Not a quick task in Ethiopia! And, I'm not complaining about that either...I love driving around, seeing new sights, visiting with people, going into new places!! 

After our shopping excursion, we returned to Jemo in time to play with the children, paint lots of fingernails & have a nice lunch!

 Sweet, sweet Sara & me:)

When starting out on this particular morning, I remember feeling a bit overwhelmed about doing the home visits with a sprinkle of anticipation too. We were each given the opportunity to go along on one home visit... our first home visit was Hermela & her family!! Hermela is sponsored by the Childrens Ministry at our church!! It just so happened that we had to walk along to her home on the way to my dads sponsor son...I wasn't in the actual home visit, but was able to see where Hermela lives along with her mother & little cat:)

  Sweet Adanech( social worker at Jemo & almost 7 months pregnant!!) & Hermela!!
 Ashlee, our Childrens Ministries director & Grant along with Hermela!!
After our first home visit was finished, Hermela was asked if she would like to go back to school for the rest of the day or come back with us...she didn't hesitate, her almost immediate response was to stay with all of us!! She is such a sweet, gentle, kind, thoughtful little girl! On the walk from Hermela's home to Abenet's home, we picked Abenet up at his school and we were also invited in to say hi to the kids!! They greeted us so sweetly! They all said their names and what grade they are in...all in english:) 

 I was really looking forward to being along with my dad & Grant when we went on my parents' sponsor son home visit!! I had so many thoughts, feelings running through my head as we walked in the direction of his is little Abenet feeling as we are walking with him, is this making him nervous, excited, overwhelmed too?? How does his mother feel about us coming? What I did know & felt so deeply, was that God was guiding us each step of the way!!

Adanech, Abenet, my dad & Grant

 {My dad with Abenet & his mother}
 Our family!
 It was such a special time for me to see my dad & Abenet walking together, hand in hand, feeling more comfortable with one another as the week went on! His mother was sweet as can be & seemed genuinely glad we were there. Their home had a bed to the left of where my dad is standing, a few chairs, a small table & some posters on the walls. In the area where Abenet & his mother live, there were also a handful of other small homes that people looked as if there were a few mothers & their children..they all seemed to look out after one another & it really felt like a nice place to be for them.

As we walked out of the house, I noticed a beautiful woman and her beautiful baby girl...
 I had no idea how overwhelmed, sad & frustrated I could be, until this moment. As my eyes met hers, she started talking to me...I was able to understand very little of what she was saying..."my baby, no husband..." as she was trying to hand me her daughter...I then began to feel very unsettled & brought my camera over my arm & offered to take a picture of them. (normally, they love seeing their faces on a camera screen.) At that point, I asked Hilena to join me & she knew exactly what this woman was asking...Hilena & the woman exchanged a few sentences & then we went on our way. Once out of the gate, I quietly leaned over to Hilena & asked her if she'd mind sharing with me what the woman was trying to communicate. Hilena said, "she wanted you to take her baby, her husband died & she says she can't take care of her." I asked her how she responded. "I (Hilena) told her that wasn't an option & that she would be able to get help through Jemo." Hilena then looked at me & said, "Thats good, right? Thats a much better thing, don't you think?" YES, Hilena. YES!! Absolutely!!
As hard of a situation as that was on me emotionally, It didn't even compare to how that woman was feeling. She was feeling so desperate that she offered to give her precious daughter to a complete stranger. Literally made my heart ache. I like to think of that time as this...she traded her despair in for hope. Hilena offered her hope that beautiful, sunny afternoon. Hope for her life. Hope for her daughter.
 The Biblical definition of "hope" is "confident expectation." Hope is a firm assurance regarding things that are unclear and unknown (Romans 8:24-25; Hebrews 11:1,7). Hope is a fundamental component of the life of the righteous (Proverbs 23:18). Without hope, life loses its meaning (Lamentations 3:18, Job 7:6) and in death there is no hope (Isaiah 38:18, Job 17:15).

On our walk back.. my dad, Grant & Abenet walked hand in hand until it was time for Abenet to go back to school!! He is such a sweet boy & enjoys school!!


We wrapped up our day at Jemo & headed to the market for a little shopping and then off to dinner at The Yod Abyssinia, an Ethiopian cultural restaurant!! 
Our delicious dinner...yum!!!

Hope you enjoyed day 3 at Jemo!!