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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Language doesn't matter during sacred moments ...

Over the past few weeks, we've had 3 different teams or individuals visit Trees of Glory CarePoint in Ethiopia.  Of course the kids LOVE having visitors - they spend time in the classrooms learning new things and they get lots of love and attention!

Jenn Cleary and her husband took a vacation in Ethiopia and made a special trip to Trees of Glory to meet their sponsor kids!

Matt Monberg with Children's HopeChest lead a vision team to Ethiopia to visit CarePoints that are just getting started.  Spending a day at Trees of Glory shows the team what can be - when a CarePoint is fully sponsored, children are being fed and cared for and capital projects are starting to generate income and self-sufficiency. 
Matt commented to me that the difference is huge between a new CarePoint and an established one.  The sense of desperation among the kids is not evident at Trees of Glory and instead the kids are full of hope and excitement for their future!!
Rachel Andrews is also with Children's HopeChest and she emailed me some photos and commented, "I absolutely LOVED TOG. Simret is top notch and reminds me of some of our best staff in Russia. She is so proud (as she should be!) of all that is happening there and the difference from 2009 to now.
The garden is blooming, the cows were producing milk like crazy and the chickens are producing better! I could see a difference in the kids there vs. kids at new CarePoints who aren't yet sponsored, or who aren't used to the benefits of sponsorship yet. TOG kids were so polite and mindful of their manners.  It was one of my favorite visits and I would love to go back! (Not to mention how incredibly beautiful it is!)
During their visit, a large truck dropped off a 3 month supply of tef for making injera.
The third visit was Joey Austin's team from St Joseph, MO.  Many sponsors sent a care-package with her team who worked with the kids at Trees of Glory AND Kind Hearts!! 

Joey with her Kind Hearts sponsor child, Hyder!
From Joey's blog ... So many wonderful things happened at Trees of Glory that it's hard to write them all down, but here it is in a nutshell:  we were able to hand out care-packages to the children from their sponsors in the US and take in their joy at a kind written word, encouragement, prayer or gift; play with the kids in the (hot!) sunshine; tour the amazing grounds and marvel at the new chicken coop, clean water well and best of all, the new mud hut that is now their chapel!!
Here we gathered as a group with some of the TOG staff members, prayed and sang "Amazing Grace" and "Shout to the Lord".  Many of the staff members did not know the words but knew how to praise.  Language doesnt matter at a sacred moment like that. 
A few of us took Simret aside and laid hands on her and prayed for her.  Her shoulders shook and she cried as Cindy Richardson spoke one of the most beautiful prayers I've ever heard lifted to heaven.  Simret is an indescribable forces for the school and a visionary leader.  What a huge impact she has made not only for the children, but also for the community surrounding Trees of Glory CarePoint.

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