Thursday, March 25, 2010

DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE???

When I was in Ethiopia 3 months ago, spending time with the kids at Kind Hearts, we all noticed how weak and lethargic the kids were. The director explained that Kind Hearts only had enough funding to provide food ONE DAY EACH WEEK. He commented that when the children are hungry, and their tummies are hurting, and they are weak from lack of food - it is very difficult for them to concentrate and learn in school. Our team immediately sent a group to the market to buy nutritious food - rice, spices, onions, carrots, bananas, and oranges, and we left them with enough food to get by for a month or so - until we could develop a sponsor program for each child so that they could count on nutritious food EVERY DAY!

Within about 22 days, every child at Kind Hearts was matched with a sponsor!! What a difference it has made in the lives of these kids!!! Not only in the food and nutrition they have every day - but also in the relationships they are building with their sponsors. The children LOVE getting letters from their sponsor families - knowing that somebody loves them and cares for them - enough to send a letter just for them and to make sure they have food and clothing. That they don't wake up hungry ... and go to bed hungry every day.

A friend of mine, Joey Austin, just returned from Ethiopia last week. Her team spent a day with the kids at Kind Hearts and she emailed me hundreds of photos. Looking at the photos - I can't help but smile and my eyes fill with happy tears as I see physical proof of the difference the sponsors have made for these kids.

When I compare these most recent photos to the photos I took in December - I see children radiating joy, throwing their arms around Joey and her team without a hint of shyness. I see children that are not grabbing desperately at food - but calmly and confidently waiting in line and savoring their food, knowing that there will be more food tomorrow. I see energy and laughter now - where 3 months ago I saw children trying hard to muster a smile because their empty tummies hurt and their lonely, hopeless hearts hurt even more. They say a picture speaks a thousand words ...look at the pictures ... DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE??

There will be more chidren enrolling at Kind Hearts soon - AND we are currently developing another location with nearly 100 children that will need sponsors! If you would like to sponsor a child, please contact me at kjwistrom@yahoo.com.

I will be going back to Ethiopia in November and I would love for you to join me. Send me an email if you are interested at kjwistrom@yahoo.com


Lunch time!!



Delicious and nutritous injera and wat (injera is a pancake-like bread and wat is a stew made with vegetables, chicken or beef, and savory spices).
















3 comments:

Robin said...

These pictures make my heart so happy!

Rob and Candy said...

What a difference sponsorship can make!
Candy

The Adventures of Caleb, Becca and Sakari David... said...

I can tell a HUGE difference in their countenance...they have HOPE!!!!