Tuesday, April 23, 2013

"My heart is encouraged and challenged ..."

Tobi Wright recently travelled to Ethiopia for her adoption and she was able to visit Trees of Glory CarePoint and spend time with the staff and kids.  Here is her update from her recent trip ...
My husband David and I were in Addis a few weeks ago to meet the son we are adopting. We planned a visit to Trees of Glory as part of our time in Ethiopia. We took lots of pencils for the kids (for their schoolwork) and with Hilena's (HopeChest staff member) assistance we also bought 2 lambs and 2 bags of bananas and mangoes for the children.

I've been following Karen Wistrom’s blog, Family From Afar, for several months and wanted to do something to bless Simret because of her service to the precious children in her care.
The drive through the countryside was beautiful. We chatted with Hilena about Simret and the ministry. We saw men farming rocky fields and young children herding sheep and goats.  

Simret and Hilena gave us a tour of Trees of Glory. We were amazed by all God has done! 

This building housed water storage tanks to provide clean water for the children of Trees of Glory and the surrounding community.
This is the spacious library.  Simret is praying for chairs to fill this room and school books.
The church building where Simret teaches the children about Jesus and leads them in worship.
Precious children walked toward us as they made their way to school.
Many chickens provide fresh eggs for the children each morning. Several cows are on site to provide the children with fresh milk.
As we walked, Simret reached out her hand to steady me on the rocky path. There are many words that describe Simret; compassionate, loving, selfless, joyful, gentle, beautiful inside and out.

The Lord truly shines through these obedient women. God has given them their hopes and dreams for the TOG children. They desire to seek out His plans for these precious little ones.

We met a few cooks and teachers. It was a privilege to see them lovingly serve the children, each of them doing their job so well. The children were calm and happy, a picture of well-loved children whose needs are being met. 

Although we had packed a lunch, we were served a delicious traditional meal with injera and enjoyed visiting with Simret and Hilena more as we ate. Several children sat in the dining area to eat their lunch. The children are fed in shifts.
This little darling quietly walked in and stayed with us for awhile. So sweet! We also saw some older girls moving around tending to their responsibilities. Simret acknowledged each child with love and acceptance.
After lunch we were given the treat of Ethiopian coffee with fresh cow's milk, yummy Macchiato.
Many of the children were attending school. They were delightful! They were attentive to their teacher and were obviously happy to be there. The teacher was a kind man and led them in a song for us. It was so nice to see them enjoying their time in school.
My heart is encouraged and challenged by Simret’s willingness to serve selflessly, to pray faithfully, to believe fully and to obey without hesitation. It was a privilege to spend time at Trees of Glory and see how God is pouring out His love and healing power on the children from the community. He is making Himself known to their families. God is using the lives of Simret, Hilena, the staff of TOG and HopeChest, the sponsors and volunteers to see that His children are cared for.

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