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.|
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!!|
|This guy did this day in and day out each day we passed him, he was there breaking up rock.|
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.
|This is the orphanage our kids are at-|
|He had made pictures for each of us and was so proud to show them to us!|
|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! :-)