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Thursday, October 28, 2010

How do you fit LOVE in a Ziplock?

We leave in two weeks for Ethiopia - to see the kids that I first met last year, and whose lives have been completely transformed in the last year.  So many hungry and lonely children at these two care-points, who were so weak with hunger last year they could barely react to our arrival.  Children without a mommy or daddy to care for them and provide for them.

During the last year, every single child was matched with a sponsor family ... all 152 children!!!  Not only have they learned to trust and rely on having their tummies filled each day with nutritous food and clean water, but they have come to know the love and provision of a family in America.  And through them and the ministry of the care-point, they have come to know the love and provision of their heavenly Father.

All of the sponsor families have witnessed the transformation ... from hopeless and weak, to hopeful and full of joy and energy.

Last year at Kind Hearts care-point.

The same little girl (lower left corner) as she tries on
her new school uniform for the first time!

For many of these kids, they cannot fully comprehend that a family in America loves them and prays for them every day.  Yes - they have gotten letters filled with encouraging words.  Yes - they know that those families are providing for their basic needs and education.  But it's so hard for them to fully understand and believe that these families find them so love-able and so worthy.

When we travel to Ethiopia in two weeks, I am bringing a care-package from each sponsor family to every single child at the care-points.  I asked each family to limit their care-package to fit within a gallon ziplock bag and I too struggled with that limitation. 

As I stood there in Target with my kids, picking out a shirt for Mulunesh, the little girl my family sponsors, I wondered ...  "Would she like purple or pink?  What about these pencils - should we get the ones with hearts or balloons?  I know how precious paper is, so we need to find a pretty notebook that will fit in the bag.  Don't you think she would love these little hair ribbons?"  And then sitting down to write her a letter.  How do you fit love into a gallon ziplock bag?

I wish you all could be there to see the looks on their faces as they pour through the gifts and absorb every word from their letter and every detail in the photos of the family in America that they have never met.  My luggage is more than overflowing with care-packages, and I have loved seeing the special gifts that were so thoughtfully chosen, and the photos and letters written with such love.  I can't wait to sit with each child and tell them about their sponsor family, and read them their letter, and watch their face as they realize ... that these gifts are for them.  As their little fingers explore the treasures that were carefully and lovingly picked just for them.  It's going to be a very special day at the care-point! 

In just a few weeks - each family will see the gifts they carefully pondered and selected in their local Target or Walmart ... in the hands of a special little girl or boy on the other side of the world.  And suddenly ... it won't feel like they are so very far away.

1 comment:

Debb said...

Karen! What a blessing you have been to these children, allowing God to use you to help bring them sponsors! I cannot imagine the wonderful feeling you will be experiencing, going back to see them a year after meeting them. A year after being a huge advocate for them! Truly amazing what a huge difference you make in others' lives.....including mine! Giving God the glory as you do it! Bless you, my friend! *HUGS*