Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What a Difference a Year Makes!

Linda Hegdal has been sponsoring Tadesse at Kind Hearts for a few years and last year she was able to join me in Ethiopia to personally work with the kids.  As a teacher, Linda was able to bring her teaching experiences to work in Ethiopia, not only as she lead a teaching team for the kids, but also to share ideas with the teaching staff at the CarePoints.

I was thankful when Linda confirmed with me that she would be joining our 2012 volunteer team as well!!  She is not only great with kids, but always has solid ideas for future trips and effective interaction with the kids.  Below is a guest post from Linda ...


Last year, November 2011, I was so excited to meet my sponsor child Tadesse.  When we were first introduced, he was very shy and apprehensive.  He was hesitant to smile but slowly he started figuring out that I was his “person” .  We even completed a project together.  He enjoyed showing me how he could write his letters and his name.

 
As we became more familiar with each other over the next few days, Tadesse really enjoyed opening the care package and he especially liked the number book that my students had made for him with Amharic numbers. 
 
 
Here is Tadesse sporting his new shirt with one of his buddies…almost smiling.
 
November 2012
It is a year later and I have returned to Kind Hearts.  I wonder if Tadesse will remember me.  He left an impression on my heart last year and I am very excited to see him again.  He immediately sees me and even though he is supposed to be standing in the line with his classmates, he takes a very small step to the side out of the line to wave to me.  Oh, melt my heart!  Once we are able to visit with the children he ran right up to me.  

 
Look at that handsome boy with the big smile and the school uniform!  Tadesse had so much personality and he was so animated, it was wonderful to see how confident he had become in just one year. 

Tadesse had an extra big smile because he knew that we were going to visit his home. I love the way that Children’s Hopechest connects the families with the sponsors.  I don’t know who was more excited as we made our way to Tadesse’s home.  We had to ride in the van to get to his home, he travels a quite a distance to attend Kind Hearts.  Look at his expression as we rode in the van to his home. 


 
He proudly led our group to his home We were trying to keep up with him as we tried to navigate the rough terrain.  We arrived at his home and were graciously greeted by Tadesse’s family.


The couple in the picture are not biologically related to Tadesse but took him in when his father couldn’t care for him.  They receive no support from his father so the support from my sponsorship through Children’s HopeChest has allowed him to go to school at Kind Hearts (and receive nutritious food, clean water, clothing, medical care and Christian discipleship at school). 

I shared with them that I had seen such a change in him in just a year’s time and they both said the same thing.  They were grateful for the opportunities that Tadesse was receiving through sponsorship. 

I felt so honored to be in their home and to meet the people that take care of Tadesse.  Through the support of these wonderful people and my continued support through Children’s HopeChest I know that Tadesse has a bright future.  The visit ended all too quickly and I said a prayer of blessing for Tadesse and his family.  I look forward to watching Tadesse grow over the years. 

 
Please consider sponsoring a child, I have seen firsthand the benefits and the impact sponsorship has on a child and a family.
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Just before our trip to Ethiopia in November, we enrolled 60 new children at Kind Hearts and some of those kids are still waiting to be matched with a sponsor family.  $34 per month provides nutritious meals, clean water, clothing, medical care, education and Christian discipleship.  Our team of volunteers travels to Ethiopia each November to personally work with  and spend time with the kids.  If you are interested in sponsorship, please contact me at kjwistrom@yahoo.com.

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