Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Sanctuary in Ethiopia

Melodie Monberg recently returned from Ethiopia with a Children's HopeChest vision team.  During that trip, her team visited several new CarePoints who are just developing sponsor programs and they also visited Trees of Glory to see an established CarePoint.  Below is Melodie's recap of their visit to Trees of Glory!!


The first few days of our trip were spent in Awasso, visiting potential CarePoints for CHC Ethiopia.  The need seemed overwhelming; from the simple buildings and inadequate latrines to the amount of children desperate for an education and care.

On Day 4 of our trip, we visited Trees of Glory CarePoint.  What a transformed community! This place stood in stark contrast to the places we had just left.   It was evident from the moment we stepped off the bus that this community has been blessed by God.  The children politely greeted us with huge smiles.  As we toured the facility, the joy and pride on the faces of the staff was contagious. 

 

We saw the chickens, carefully wiping off our feet to get rid of our human scent as we toured the egg house.  The fields were filled with vegetables springing up through the rich soil.  In the kitchen, we met the women preparing the noon meal.  The water flowed beautifully through the faucets, clean and cold.  Bright paint welcomed us in the dorm rooms.  Our team exclaimed with glee how clean the bathrooms were. 



 
We gathered the children together in the main room, teaching them songs and sharing the story of the Good Samaritan.  What joy to hear them singing loudly with us, “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” in their beautiful voices.  The rains began and we quickly dispersed into various classrooms.

 
The rain continued and our best laid plans were quickly tucked aside.  We happened to have balloons and started making balloon hats for the kids.  I remember looking over the classroom filled with children in multi colored balloons and laughing out loud.  The joy a balloon brought each of these children was so refreshing.  Here, in Africa, the small things matter. Something as simple as a tied up balloon on the head of a child brought such delight. 


I came away from that experience with this thought, “Don’t forget to take joy in the simple things.”  It’s so easy living here in the US to focus on all the things I need and want; the things that will make my life easier and better.  I too quickly forget that stopping and taking a moment to appreciate the simple beauty at hand is often all I need to remember that I am a child of God, loved and cared for.  

Our team loved our time at Trees of Glory. The children are happy, healthy and thriving.  There is God’s love in that place and it was an encouragement to help make all the CarePoints succeed as TOG has.  Thank you for all your work to help make that place a sanctuary. 

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