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Sunday, July 21, 2013

I couldn't have been more proud of my son ...

There are nearly 400 children attending Trees of Glory and Kind Hearts now in Ethiopia!!  Nearly 4 years ago, we started with 68 children at Kind Hearts and that has now grown to 400 between the two CarePoints. 

FOUR HUNDRED KIDS who are now having their basic needs met, are getting an education and know the love, care and concern of their sponsor family here in America.

I know it's hard to truly see the difference your $34 per month makes for a child - a child you have never met face to face.  But every year, more and more people are meeting their sponsor child and spending time with ALL of the kids.  And if you never get the chance to meet your sponsor child face to face, I hope these stories and experiences from those who have show you the impact your provision and your love, prayers and concern make for each child ... 

A few years ago, Lindsey Kerby travelled with me to Ethiopia.  She has been dreaming and planning on returning ever since and in June, she led a team of her own to Ethiopia!  Megan Holt was on that team and these are Megan's words about her trip ...

This is Endalem's profile photo, Megan's sponsor child at Trees of Glory.

AFRICA.  A big, scary dream that I never dreamt would come to fruition.  A "Bucket List" item that was a far off, possibly unattainable dream that I couldn't imagine becoming a reality.  Yet, I wanted it to so bad.

A couple of years ago a friend of my sister's, Lindsey Kerby, started discussing leading a trip with Children's HopeChest & I could be a part of it with my sister.  My big-scary-far off-possibly unattainable dream seemed that it might just be within my grasp. 

Fast forward to June 14, 2013 when our team of 19 departed from Washington D.C. for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on an adventure of a lifetime.  Much anticipation centered around our first day as I was going to meet our sponsor child, Endalem.  I attempted to minimize my expectations as I had no idea how he or his mother, "Bizu" would react to meeting me.  

But, the Lord knew.  He knew that every time he made eye contact with me after the initial meeting, he would smile & wave. The Lord knew that he would say only one phrase to me in English during my time at "Trees of Glory" & that phrase would be "I love you."  

The Lord knew that my expectations would not only be met, but exceeded when I met his mother & visited their home.  She said to me, "Do you love my son?" & also, "He is not just my son, he's your son, too." I had a difficult time holding it together during this conversation, as you can imagine. 

My family talks about & prays for Endalem on a very regular basis.  My son, Reddington, constantly asks when he is going to get to travel to Ethiopia & meet Endalem.  Even before this trip we embraced Endalem as a member of our family...I already considered him to be my son.  I couldn't wait to embark on this journey of officially meeting him & embracing him.  Every expectation I had of meeting the children at "Kind Hearts" & "Trees of Glory" including Endalem were surpassed... & I will never be the same.  

On our final day & during our tearful good-bye's I told Endalem that I would be bringing my husband back to meet him in a couple of years & that it was an absolute pleasure to meet him.  He is a very polite young man & I couldn't have been more proud of my son.     

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