"But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled.
If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day." Habakkuk 2:3

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

MEMORIES FROM OUR ETHIOPIA TRIP TO MEET OUR NEW KIDS-

Here we are packing up all of the donations for the orphanage-


Our family ~ minus 2

My mom packs light LOL :-)

Here we are at our Guest House-


I didn't have time to write much the week we were in Ethiopia-and our internet was pretty scetchy.  I really had hoped that each day I could reflect on the things I was seeing and experiencing, but I did write down some notes so that I could remember the things that I really wanted to write about, so here goes:I already wrote about going back to see the place that our daughter, Seble was found.  Here is the link if you want to read that story: http://adamandamberstutzman.blogspot.com/2012/06/we-are-here-we-met-our-kids-but-need.html
Here are the pictures of the place that she was found-and our lives were changed forever!
The road leading down to the road she was found on

The road -looking to the left-that she was found on

The Road looking to the right-that she was found on-down this road.....

The Cemetary that is inside the wall that she was found outside of

The gate to the Cemetary and small gazeebo like building which is
"St Gabriel's Church"

St. Gabriels Church-in the cemetary

Just down the wall from where she was found

Here is the place she was found-up against the wall

It is a fairly busy road, here is Zach leaving walking back up the road to the connecting road.
That was very emotional and hard, but also good-all rolled into one.
During this day, we also reconnected to our old friends The Michaels.  Solom, their dad, was one of the drivers that we used for Seble's adoption and we got to go back to his house and visit his family.  They are precious and live in a 2 room tiny house-the kids and parents sleep in one room and then the main living area is only a few feet wide and long-it is so small.  But they have joy and the boys connected and visited.  They performed a traditional coffee ceremony for us-which was so giving and sweet.  We love seeing them.  The one thing he asked that we could bring him back, when we kept questioning him, was shoes for his boys.  We have the sizes and are going to try and get these before our trip if we can.  His two boys are in the navy and blue striped shirt and the one that is furthest away from Zach on the left also in stripes.



But we also had many other experiences and things that I wanted to share that occured that week.
As I reflect, one of the words that kept coming to mind was "Poverty"  it was all around-no matter where you looked.  Unlike here in the US, it was in our faces all the time, and there was NO way to pretend it didn't exist, like is so easy to do here at home.
The Webster Dictionary defines poverty as: "The state of being poor; lack of the means of providing material needs or comforts".
This was one of the two words that defined our time in Ethiopia-the EXTREME poverty was overwhelming. I think that when we went before to adopt Seble, it was total culture shock.
This time, however, knowing what to expect, I was ready to experience it all again. But, really, how can you prepare for the things that you will see-that you should never have to see?! How can you prepare for the things I am going to describe that will be forever etched on my heart because they are so out of the normal world that I live in and feel "safe" in?!
The second word that ran through my mind all week was HOPE. What hope, without the love of Jesus and intervention from their extreme poverty, do these millions of people have?
 
As I looked at a mother on a cold night, sitting on the street with her two toddlers sitting right next to her, in the dark, and I watched as they begged for food and I saw the lack of hope in their eyes, how do you put words to this?
As I looked on, one of the toddlers leaned over and kissed the other one on the cheek-as he wrapped his arm around his brother.  THIS my friends, was hope!  It was love and gentleness in the midst of the sheer horror around them.


Or the other mother out begging in the dark night, with her preschooler on her back in a sling-asking us at our van window for food. We gave her all we had-a baggie of fruit snacks and two granola bars. When I turned back a couple moments later, she was thaking us and the little boy was devouring those fruit snacks with the brightest smile of "hope" on his face-my emotions broke. This isn't right, it isn't fair-how around 10 gummy fruit snacks can make a starving child so happy when he should be at home in a warm bed, with a full belly like our American children are each night.
As a mom, how can I not become totally broken by these things-can my mind even imagine what it would be like to hear my kids cry in hunger-real hunger, and know that I can't provide any food to fill their aching bellies?


Oh Jesus, there has to be an answer and I beileve that it is found in the church-if we call ourselves Christians, we have to do something, to act, to not just sit complacently by and wait for others to act, or not think that these "people half a world away" are our problem. They are our problem-if we want to obey Jesus and His word!
Going to Ethiopia twice when we adopted Seble completely and 100% rocked our world upside down. We will never be the same! Our eyes were opened and we can never go back!
David Platt, one of my all-time favorite authors and pastors says it best: “The price is certainly high for people who don’t know Christ and who live in a world where Christians shrink back from self-denying faith and settle into self-indulging faith. While Christians choose to spend their lives fulfilling the American dream instead of giving their lives to proclaiming the kingdom of God, literally billions in need of the Gospel remain in the dark”
In essence, they have NO HOPE without the God of this universe and how will they see the Lord if we are doing nothing about it and if their basic needs-hunger, shelter and clothing, are not being met?



THESE ARE PEOPLE'S HOUSES....MAKES ME REALIZE THAT WE DON'T NEED "BIGGER AND BETTER"!






Women hauling dirt and rocks for about $1-2 a DAY!!

 DOES ANYONE EVEN KNOW IF THESE PEOPLE ARE ALIVE....DOES ANYONE EVEN CARE?!

This guy did this day in and day out each day we passed him, he was there breaking up rock.
Getting Water for the day-



One of the biggest memories of my time in Ethiopia, was visiting Entoto Mountain.  Here you can get an awesome view of Addis as well as visit a church that is several hundred years old.  It was really neat.  About half-way up this huge mountain in our van, we started noticing women-most in their 50-60s or older and they were carying things down.  We had heard of these women and asked Abel, our guide about them.  He said that EACH day, these women climb to the top of Entoto Mountain, pick Eucalyptis tree branches, wrap them up and strap them onto their backs and spend hours walking down the mountain, into town, where they try and sell the brundles for fire wood.  They hardly make anything a day-maybe a few bir (17 bir is equal to ONE US DOLLAR!).  These women were old-my grandmother's age.  These packs of branches weigh over 70 POUNDS EACH!!!!  This killed me, I couldn't beleive that they did this each and every day!  I noticed that most of them either had on a thin soled shoe-that was almost worn through to the ground, or NO shoes at all! 





But on our way back down the mountain, a precious thing happened.  We saw a car with a lady sticking her head out of the window and she would go up to each lady and hand them some bir.  Right then an overwhelming urge came to me.  I decided that one of the things that I must do on our court trip is to drive to the top of Entoto Mountain, and I want to go down and hand EACH woman I see 100 bir (that is around $6 each) but it is several months of their salary.  This would bless them so and since there are maybe 50 or so women that we saw on that day, I figure that $300 isn't too bad to change these women's lives, if only for a few months-so that's my dream and I am going to do it!  They are precious women, and I want to be Jesus to them.


 



 I have always wanted to go with some people that I know and visit their ministry-Project 61-which ministers to the people of Korah.  If you don't know what Korah is, check out their link here: http://p61.org/
Korah is the city dump in Addis Ababa, but it is also where thousands of people call there home, because they have no where else to go.  We may get to visit there on our return trip to Ethiopia, but we were able to at least drive by it and here is what we saw.....
 



It looks like just a normal dump, but I know the truth-that so many, many people call it their home-hundreds of thousands!  How is it possible-how can this be ok with everyone back here in America as we sit down to our wonderful meals each day.  How can we let other human beings suffer so?  I had to ask myself these things as we drove by.  These questions are so hard to process and yet so easy for us just to brush them away and be thankful that we are here-but is that Jesus.  Is that what he would want us to do?  I feel that we can't ignore what is going on-even if it is in another land, and not right in front of us.  It is still our responsibility to act.  We may not be able to save the world, but I feel that we can save one at a time.

"When you harvest the crops of your land, do not harvest the grain along the edges of your fields, and do not pick up what the harvesters drop. Leave it for the poor and the foreigners living among you. I am the LORD your God." Leviticus 23:22

Here is a video that shows Korah:

We had some cheerful moments during our stay, but we knew that all around us, people were crying out, trying to find the hope to go on, and needing to find Christ.  It is such and oxymornon to be in a place with so much pain and poverty, and yet see the smiles on their faces, hear the joy in the kids voices, and watch as they reach out to you for just a kind word or touch.
Before we left, our adoption agency put us through some cultural training.  Here we are trying to learn how to make the biggest staple food in Ethiopia-Injera.  It is like a spongy bread that they use to eat most everything with, instead of utensils.

They also took us to a cultural dinner and dance show so that we could get a taste of our children's culture.

Then came the day to say "good-bye" to our kids-Our last day to visit with the kids was hard.  At that point, we didn't know if or when we would pass court and if we would be able to come back and take them home with us.  What do you say to the expectant faces when you don't really know?!  They hadn't found the father's death certificate at that point, so there was just a lot of uncertainty about the future and what the outcome would be.  We trusted that God knew what He was doing and that he had gotten us this far-we have to just keep walking like we had all along.  We went back to the orphanage and played for an hour, and then said our good-byes.  I didn't tear up until we were in the car and then it hit me.  Looking back though, I know that IF the courts hadn't requested the father's death certificate, we would have NEVER had a picture of him to give to the kids.  Since they had to investigate, they actually were able to track down a picture of him and so now we have it-a blessing for sure!
This is the orphanage our kids are at-
The first day we saw them, we asked the translator to ask them some questions-what their favorite colors were, etc. After seeing Adam and I in front of a Silverton fire work truck, he had asked if he did that for a job. We explained that no, he has a normal job, and that he does this for volunteer if there is a fire. We then asked if they had any questions, they at first said no, but later said they did have a question.  Haile wanted to know if there was any way that when we go to America, can we ride on the fire truck?!  So cute and totally a boy! :-)  We assure him that YES he can!

They were really excited to see us and came right up for big hugs to everyone.  So precious!

 THESE PICTURES OF THE BOYS ARE PRICELESS!!
One precious memory that I have is arriving on day 2 to the orphanage.  Haile came up and hugged me and then Adam walked around the corner and he exclaimed very happily, "DAAAAAD"!!!!  It was WAY precious!!!
He had made pictures for each of us and was so proud to show them to us!

This is their snack time.  A bunch of kids crowded into this tiny room-sat in a circle and patiently waited their turn-no fighting, pushing, whining, etc.  They just waited-it was amazing and something that in America we wouldn't see much!  They each got ONE slice of a LIME!!!  Plus, we had brought some bite-size candy bars, so they each got one of those.
No wonder they are so skinny!

Having a laugh-so cute!

Boys will be boys!  They instantly made guns out of the Lego's!
He will fit right in with our kids! :-)
 Then it was time to say good-bye.  So hard as we prayed that we would be able to come back and bring them home soon!
Bye Sweet Girl!............SHE WISPERED IN MY EAR, "BYE MOM" AND MY HEART ONCE AGAIN MELTED!

The last highlight of our time in Ethiopia, was stopping by Hannah's Hope and seeing Seble's special mother there.  This was the "Nanny" that took care of her, nursed her back to health when she arrived and was near death, and whoose heart broke when we took her.  She took one look at us, ran up and grabbed me and wouldn't let me go.  It was so precious and I feel like we are family and know her.  I think of her constantly, probably since we don't know who Seble's biological mother is-Sara is the closest thing to this.  I am SO thankful we got to see her.  She kept begging us in Amharic to please bring Seble back with us on our return trip-so sweet and so sad-I would like MORE than anything to be able to show her Seble now.  We took pictures and stuff, but I wish I could give her that gift-but the thought of a 20+ hour plane ride with crazy and active Seble took that thought from me pretty quickly! :-)

So this was our time in Ethiopia in a quick nut-shell.  We did a lot and saw a lot and they kept us really busy.  We really didn't have hardly any "down-time" but it was great.  The people are great, giving and caring.  They have servant's hearts and Americans could learn so much from them.  My heart already misses Africa-I feel like each time I go, I leave a piece of it there.  I think this is how it will always be, with kids from Ethiopia-part of our hearts will be there. 
We just want to encourage anyone that is wanting to get involved in anything to do with orphans, widows or the poor, to please take that step of faith.  Whether it is adoption, or just caring for or visiting orphans, just do it.  It will change your life and give you way more than you could have ever imagined.  It is truly life-changing and is what Jesus has created us for, to serve others, to be Him to the world.  How will others really see Him if not through us?  We need to reach out and be the light to this world and do all we can to exemplify Him.  We know it isn't anything we are doing, but it is ALL HIM.  He brought us to this place, He changed our hearts and our lives and He can change yours too.  We pray that others will join us on this journey to reach out and change a life for the better.
“But God doesn't call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn't come through.”Francis Chan

Our Airport Homecoming for our 2nd Adoption~

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Our Journey up to our Referral

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Seble's Referral Video

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"Although it may not always be obvious to us, there seems to be one distinct moment when God begins a new story in each of our lives. He writes words on our hearts that long to be spoken and strain to be lived out. Then with His own great hand, He begins to write the script. Experience by experience through seemingly ordinary days, He supernaturally orders our lives. Only when we look back and reflect on what appeared to have been the ordinary events of life does it become clear what a miracle the Lord has performed." Jan Beazely

LUCY LANE-AGCI-ADOPTION VIDEO! This inspired us to follow our dream!

WHY WOULDN'T I....WHY WOULDN'T YOU?

What Adoption is About! What a Testimony! Lundy's Adoption

We Love this family and this video is inspiring!

HANNAH'S HOPE ETHIOPIA

FATHER, BREAK OUR HEARTS FOR WHAT BREAKS YOURS~

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