Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Precious Gift ...

Grace Dahlgren just returned from Ethiopia with Joey Austin's team from Missouri.  Last year, Grace visited Kind Hearts and Trees of Glory CarePoints for the first time and she met Meseret, who had just started attending the CarePoint.  When she returned from Ethiopia, she emailed me about the little girl she had met and who she was hoping to sponsor.

As soon as Meseret's profile arrived, I matched her with the Dahlgren family.  Grace has been looking forward to her return trip to Ethiopia all year long so she could again spend time with Meseret!  Here are Grace's words about her visit to Trees of Glory ...





My excitement was beginning to get the best of me!  This day, was the day!   The day I would get to see Meseret again, our sponsored child at Trees of Glory CarePoint in Ethiopia (through Children's HopeChest).  

Our van was the first to come to a stop. I opened the van door, scanning the faces of the children standing there on the playground!

Then… there she was! Coming down those steps you see in the picture!  Wearing a little, white dress. 


                                                                       

And finally, she is standing, so, so sweetly before me.  She is taller than last year.  Her innocent smile, still the same.  She has an energetic sparkle in her eyes, and a sweet spirit.  I sense she is eager to show me her school, her friends, her momma, her life!     


                                                                     

In a second, I remind myself, that I am half way around the world, looking into the face of a little girl God knit my heart to, one year ago.  A gift, that words cannot truly express.  Few moments in my life, have filled my heart that full!

Every child enjoys receiving gifts, and Meseret is no exception!  With great delight, and item by item, I took each gift out of that ziplock bag and placed it in her hands. I’m not sure who was more blessed in those moments…her or me. She smiled at the pictures of our family and our three sons.   



                                        

Our oldest son, Matt, met Meseret last year.  She was thrilled to know that he was her big brother and didn’t let him out of her sight!  Our other 2 sons, Caleb & Ben, will meet Meseret soon, too!

The table beside me is being set up with the care packages sent by all the sponsor families!  Fikre (who works for Children's HopeChest) does an amazing job overseeing this important task!  Imagine being the one responsible for handing out gifts to 120+ children, making sure the right child gets the right care package, determining which chldren did not receive a care package and quickly coming up with something to give that, would be, sad child.  Fikre, does it all with great joy, love and compassion!

Soon, we were with Meseret’s momma.  She is the cook at Trees of Glory. I’m not sure of the circumstances that brought them to live at Trees of Glory, but they both seem grateful, content and joyful to be there. 




This picture was taken in “Meseret’s room”. She immediately had her momma untie her little, white dress so she could put on her new clothes!  She was very pleased with her outfit and quickly ran to show her friends! Those precious moments, made both mommas smile!

Please join me in praying for Meseret’s mother’s health. She has a rather large goiter on her thyroid and has not yet had any medical treatment. This humble woman, spoke words of blessing to me and gave me the one material possession she had: a handmade, cloth bowl that she worked on each night in her dimly lit little room.  Never have I received a more beautiful gift.  It now holds a place of great prominence in my home.

The day went by much too quickly.  Meseret was with me everywhere I went that last hour.  Did I mention that the day went by much too quickly?  I did not want to leave her.                                         

I had to remind myself that she is in the hands of our heavenly Father and that He would care for her always.  I told her I would pray for her and her momma.  I told her I would see her again next year and that I would bring my son Caleb, to meet her.  I told her I loved her.  She gave me one last hug and put her sweet little cheek, right against my lips….oh, that moment…yet, another precious gift!




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Currently, we have nearly 300 children being served at Trees of Glory and Kind Hearts CarePoints in Ethiopia.  Children who attend the CarePoints are either orphaned or from very destitute families who cannot provide for their children.  Sponsorship is $34 per month and provides nutritious food, clean water, clothing, medical care, education and Christian discipleship for one child.  Sponsor families exchange letters throughout the year and whenever we have volunteer teams in Ethiopia, sponsors also have the opportunity to send a care-package.  


Every child at the CarePoints is currently sponsored and we are now enrolling more children at our Trees of Glory CarePoint!  If you are interested in sponsoring a child, please email me at kjwistrom@yahoo.com to be added to the waiting list.  As soon as we have biographical information and photos of each of the children, I will contact you to match you with a child!

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