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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

He saw a helpless little girl who was alone ...

The quarterly newsletter from Kind Hearts CarePoint featured the story of one particular little girl who is attending the CarePoint.  Here is an excerpt from that newsletter ...

"Bethelhem Tamirat is one of the new children who joined the Kind Hearts School this year. Her father passed away when she was an infant. Her mother was mentally sick. Although Bethelhem’s mother was mentally ill, she continued to raise her. Her mother moved to the city (from the countryside) and lived on the streets near a dumpster.

According to Bethelhem’s guardian, it was a miserable life for both Bethelhem and her mother. As an infant, her mother always kept her close to the dumpster daily, while she left to beg for food.

Bethelhem’s guardian’s son worked in the city (Addis Ababa), as a daily laborer. He spent his day in the city and traveled back to his home at nightfall to the town called, Sebeta. One evening he passed by the dumpster and saw a helpless little girl who was alone. He realized that her mother was not near to care for her, and he took her to his own mother. His mother received her and became Bethelhem’s guardian. When Bethelhem’s mother came back and found her daughter gone, the people in the community informed her where her child was. However, she never returned to her daughter, and after some time, passed away.

Bethelhem’s guardian is a widow, and sells firewood to provide for herself.  She helps Bethelhem from what little she earns. Before Kind Hearts enrolled Bethelhem, it was impossible for her guardian to fully provide for her needs or send her to school. Her meager income would not pay for a school uniform and school supplies. Thankfully she heard about Kind Hearts School from a neighbor, received an approval letter from the local government office, and enrolled Bethelhem into Kind Hearts School.

Now Bethelhem is one of the most active and competitive students at Kind Hearts. And it is easy for her to make friends."


When our team of volunteers arrived in Ethiopia in November, Bethelhem had just been enrolled and had been attending for just a few weeks.  We immediately noticed her  - she had a spunky and spirited personality and even though she is just a tiny little girl (she is 4-5 years old), she could stand her ground with the bigger kids!

When we arrived, there were about 10 newly enrolled children that had not yet been matched with a sponsor family.  Bethelhem was one of those kids.  

One of our volunteers, Brook Moberly, came to me on the day we were handing out care-packages, with Bethelhem firmly holding her hand.  "Does this little girl have a sponsor yet?" she asked me.  I asked the staff if she was new and checked my records, and verified that Bethlehem was still in need of a sponsor.  Brook announced, "I want to be her sponsor!"

Brook and her husband Ryan are now sponsoring Bethlehem - praying for her and providing for her so she can attend Kind Hearts to receive nutritious food, clean water, clothing, medical care, education and Christian discipleship.

Later - I asked Brook what it was about Bethelhem that had so captured her heart.

"She is a very strong-spirited little girl just like my own two daughters.  I noticed right away that she could hold her own when one of the other students tried to take her little satchel and she whopped him on the head!  Other than being so darn cute and ornery, I gravitated to her because of her rambunctious, joyful spirit.  She's very independent but also enjoyed being loved on. Every time I think of her, I smile and laugh. And I can't wait to see and hug her again!"

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