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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Ethiopia In My Soul

Homecomings can be bittersweet. 

We landed in Minneapolis on Monday after 36+ hours of travel from Ethiopia ...
feeling tired ...
feeling fulfilled ...
thankful to be home ...
but missing our dear friends (Children's HopeChest staff), kids and care-point staff who we will not see again for perhaps 12 months. 

After a quick day back in the office with too many emails to sift through, we headed to Iowa to spend a restful Thanksgiving with family.  A sweet homecoming, with everyone wanting to hear about the trip and the kids they sponsor and love.

But my mind keeps straying back to Ethiopia. 

Specific kids who have forever imprinted on my heart.  The tragic stories of families torn apart by poverty.  Kids without a mom or without a dad.  And the incredible redemption visible at Kind Hearts and Trees of Glory as these same kids see and feel HOPE and love. 

I can see it in their eyes, and in their smiles as their hands grip mine, and their little arms slip around my waist and pull me down for a kiss and a hug.  I can see it in their healthy little bodies that have filled out from good nutrition and medical care - and I can see it in their intense prayers as their hands cover their eyes and they pray with furrowed brows, eyes squeezed shut and a ferocity and intensity in their voices as they raise them to heaven.

I smiled as I put my tennis shoes on this morning.  Dirt from Ethiopia is still deeply embedded in the soles of my shoes.  And Ethiopia (and the kids) are deeply embedded in my soul.

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