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Sunday, December 6, 2009

more pictures

One thing I will comment on after posting these pictures of children.  Their beautiful faces and smiles and eyes shine through in the photos, but to meet them in real life and hear their stories is heart-breaking.  And all the filth and dirt and harsh reality kind of sneaks up on you in weak moments of tiredness and it overwhelms,and I find myself suddenly crying about the children and their individual stories. 

The reality that you don't see in the pictures is this ... the kids are filthy dirty and they stink.  Who knows how long it has been since they have had a bath, if ever.  We get back in the vehicles after interacting with them and we have the luxury of wet wipes and anti-bacterial gels, and a hot shower to wash away the filth and the smells.  My clothes stink, but I have the luxury of dropping them off at the front desk and they come back freshly laundered and folded the next day.  These kids have nothing .... NOTHING.  They wear the same clothes day after day and they are tattered, torn and filthy and they stink.  And yet their eyes shine with hope and they soak up every ounce of praise and attention we can give.

As I type this on the computer, Candy, John and David are going through our supplies and packing personal care packages for some specific kids we are going to re-connect with today.  A bag of new socks for Robel's street kids, and a large bag full of school supplies - notebooks, pencils, pens, etc. 

They are also packing a specific bag for a girl we met yesterday, Meseret.  We met her at the "Promising" care-point.  She is a 16 year old girl that stood up and spoke to the group in English (what a scary moment for her - her voice was shaking but she spoke clearly and with an underlying confidence).  She wants to be a doctor and she is a very bright student.

Her parents are older (65) and they tried to force her to marry an old man, so she ran away.  She now lives with her brother and takes care of his two children.  Her brother is unemployed and they are extremely poor.  She takes care of his children all night and in the morning.  She goes to school and then tries to go to the library after school in the hopes that the book she needs will be there. She is smart but cannot advance in school because you have to pay money to take a test to go to the next level.  No money, no test, no advancement ... and she is stuck. 

She's beautiful - and filthy dirty and has nothing ... not a toothbrush, no clothing other than what she was wearing, no feminine products, broken shoes ... nothing.  She will now have every opportunity to take those tests, and advance through school because John and David and their church family will be providing for these children who have NOTHING.  We are putting a package together for her - including a scarf, lotion, soap, underwear, feminine products, a toothbrush and toothpaste for her - and two for the nephews she cares for so they dont all have to share the same toothbrush.

It's going to be another great day today!  I'm looking forward to seeing the children's faces today when we give them their packages.  They will be overjoyed but they have no idea what is in store for them going forward ...

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1 comment:

Christa Bertram said...

I just caught up on you trip and am in awe! My God continue to use you to share His love!!