Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Bringing them home!
A couple weeks short of a year ago in October, we went to Ethiopia. Katie and De joined us along with our friends, Kevin and Denise. We had asked if any of our friends would like to join us on that trip and Kevin and Denise were the only ones who took the bait! Having been to Ethiopia twice before, we want so desperately for our friends and family to get a glimpse of the place that has captured our hearts completely and changed our priorities. Well, Kevin and Denise weren't just 'willing' to go but were very excited and enthusiastic!
If you've been following this blog for a while you will remember the pictures and experiences I shared last year after we returned. We had a BLAST serving the people of Korah and helping out with the medical mission group there. We loved visiting Sheshemene and the boarding school kids. We'll never forget visiting the kids we sponsor through Compassion International in Hossana and also visiting with our kids families.
Truth be told, I did have a teensy little agenda in some of my visits. I really wanted to visit Layla House (orphanage where Aliya lived). I believe every person should visit an orphanage...at least once in their life. Just look into those kids' eyes, see them run and play and realize they are 'real' children, not a pretty face in a photo, who will not be tucked in by a parent that night. It will profoundly effect you. Well did just that...visited Layla House to deliver a letter to a little boy who was waiting to join his family (he just got home a couple weeks ago-YEA!!). I wanted Kevin and Denise to visit the orphanage.
Today, October 3rd 2012 Kevin and Denise find themselves once again at an orphanage in Ethiopia. This time it is for the farewell ceremony for the 3 children they are bringing home on Saturday! Yes less than a year ago they first stepped foot in Ethiopia and they've been back twice since (once for court and again now)...3 times in just one year!! Not fair:)
God got to their hearts in a major way. Why? They saw, they smelled, they touched, they loved, they served, they shared, they laughed with, they cried with, they got into life with REAL Ethiopian people and they fell in love. They knew that because of what they experienced, God would require something of them. Because they saw they were responsible before God. And they obeyed joyfully.
I'm reading Jen Hatmaker's book called "7". I like the quote, "I had come to see that the great tragedy in the church is not that rich Christians do not care about the poor but that rich Christians do not KNOW the poor...I long for the Calcutta (or Addis Ababa, my input) slums to meet the Chicago suburbs, for lepers to meet landowners and for each to see God's image in the other...I truly believe that when the poor MEET the rich, riches will have no meaning. And when the rich MEET the poor, we will see poverty come to an end."
Hmmm....think about that one for a day of two. There is action in that statement. But who has to do the acting? The rich! The poor can't afford to come meet you. We must go to them. Action. It takes action on our part.
Anyway, Kevin and Denise took action. Boy did they ever. I like to think they are "crazier" than we are! 3 kids AT ONE TIME???? Who does that? Crazy, obedient Christians who have taken action and had their hearts broken and have the desire to be the hands and feet of Jesus. And they couldn't be HAPPIER!!!
On Saturday at 1:00 we will go to the airport to meet our new friends, Tigist age almost 13, Melkamu age 9 and little Besu Isaac age 4:) I giggle at the thought of my friends having a child younger than my youngest. Girl, boy, boy...just like our kids from Ethiopia. Do you think God had any thing to do with this?
It won't be easy. They know full well the struggles we've had along the way. They know that bringing a teenage girl to a new culture is an enormous undertaking. Everyone knows that adding 3 children to your family who only had 2 grown ones is no small feat. None of this is for the faint of heart. But thankfully they are not the faint of heart type. They will learn to rely on God in ways they never had to before. And He will never leave us. I am so thankful, SO THANKFUL to now be joined in our nuttiness by our great friends. We can't wait to walk every new step of this journey with them!
We are not alone!