Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I Get to be the Arms that Hug Them!!

In about 2 months, I'll leave home once again to fly to Ethiopia.  A country and a people that I have not been able to forget since we first laid eyes on our sons there almost 2 years ago.  This will be my 3rd trip to Ethiopia in about 2 years, and in a way, each trip is somewhat of a homecoming - familiar places and familiar faces. 

This time I will be returning with 17 people from across the United States  17 people who I cannot wait to introduce to the kids at Kind Hearts and Trees of Glory.  Most of us have never met face-to-face and yet we share the same heart when it comes to these kids!

Last year, I returned to Ethiopia with Children's Hopechest, and met the kids at "Kind Hearts" care-point for the first time.  I'll be returning to see my friends there - 68 sweet kids who have come to know the comfort of food in their tummies, the sustenance of learning for their minds, and the knowledge of the Gospel for their hearts. 

Last year, these kids could barely raise their heads from their desks when we arrived.  They were starving.  The care-point could only feed them one cup of rice, ONE DAY each week. 

Oh what a difference their sponsor families have made for them.  Not only in the physical needs of their bodies, but in their sweet, lonely, despairing hearts where they have since learned that ... They. Are. Loved!

At "Trees of Glory" care-point, which is 2 hours North of Addis Ababa, and rarely seen by Americans, travellers and tourists, there are 84 orphaned children living in desperate poverty.  That is until sponsor families in the United States came alongside them to love them, protect them, and provide for them.

Tummies are satisfied now, and young minds are hungering for education!  With the generous giving of several sponsor families, salaries have been secured for 2 teachers and a school will be opened at the care-point this fall.

One of the things I am looking forward to the most with this upcoming trip, is that I will have the honor of personally delivering a care-package to each and every child at Kind Hearts and Trees of Glory, from their sponsor family - all 152 kids! 


Care-packages are starting to arrive at our front door for the kids at the
care-points in Ethiopia!  My luggage will be filled with these care-packages
when I travel to Ethiopia in November.



Many of the kids have already received letters and words of encouragement from their sponsor family, and I am looking forward to having them snuggle into my lap, as we go through their package, and watching their eyebrows lift in question as they look at the gifts that were brought over the ocean, just for them.  Little gifts that were lovingly and carefully selected just for them.  And then seeing that shy smile as it flits across their face and the wonder in their eyes when they ask, "For me?" and I can say, "Yes, for you, because your family in America LOVES YOU!" 

I get to be the arms that hug these precious kids, for families here, that love them and pray for them from the other side of the world!


Every child at Trees of Glory and Kind Hearts is sponsored, and every sponsor family is sending a care-package for their sponsor child.  If YOU are interested in sponsoring a child, please contact me at kjwistrom@yahoo.com.  As soon as we have more children enrolling at the care-points, I will contact you to match you with a child.  If you are interested in sending a financial donation for emergency needs for the kids while we are in Ethiopia, please contact me.

4 comments:

chapinamom said...

Sooo excited about putting together a care-package for Webitu G!! Waiting for this weekend's craft fair to buy her the brightest tie-dyed T-shirt I can find! Thanks so much for all you're doing for these kids and for the hug you'll be giving Webitu from us!!

Angela said...

This is so great! Definetly interested!

autumn's dizzy thoughts said...

Karen- can you please email me your address to send a carepackage to? We are trying to put it together this weekend/week. My email is autumnperkins@gmail.com

Thanks so much fdor what you are doing...its amazing

alisa said...

Our package for T is headed your way next week! About the 'over-stuffing'...um...well... ;)
Seriously, thank you for taking packages for all the kids!!!