The government official assigned to our case couldn't stop staring at all of us standing next to his tiny desk. He had made a few changes to the proposal and said that as long as we went and made the corrections, he would sign the approval. We raced to an Internet cafe, corrected the documents and were back to his office within the hour. As he promised, there was a paperwork. Signed. Sealed. Delivered. This is what one of my LoPa partners posted on our facebook page when I told her the news.
Isaiah 45:2-3: "I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name."
Amen Sister! We were so excited and everyone was in tears. Well, every one but our Ethiopian official. He really was ready for us to leave. We headed out for a celebratory lunch. We called all of our cooks and security guard at the center and made sure they knew to stoke up the fires and bring on the kids because feeding would begin IN THE MORNING!!!!!
Hugging it out:
We headed back to the center after lunch to finish profiling all of our kids and make sure that we were apprised of needs of each child.
I fell in love with this girl. She was so shy and never really wanted to smile, but when she did, she blew the lens off my camera.
As we neared the end of the day, the last kids to be profiled were the boys from the dump. They had waited patiently for three days while everyone else went before them, as they waited their turn. We were through about four of them, asking each one what grade they would be in school, when Yemamu stopped in the middle of translating. He didn't say anything for a moment. He asked the same question again. He and the boy we were interviewing seemed to disagree. Yemamu asked some follow up questions. Then Yemamu got real quiet. Then he got teary.
He looked at me.
"this boy. Samuel. He is in school."
I was shocked. "How?" "I thought he lived at the dump?"
Now I was floored. "Who pays his school fees?" "School is not free in Ethiopia."
Yemamu pointed to the group of boys from the dump.
"They pool their money from selling scrap so that at least he can go to school."
My small feeble mind still couldn't comprehend. "Why?"
Yemamu just smiled. "Because they are family and they love him."
Samuel wants to be a teacher. With supporting LoPa art sales, you are sending him to school, along with all the other boys who sacrificed to see their friend succeed.
Our team was exhausted but The Hero and I only had two more days on the ground and I wanted to breath every last breath of African air I could squeeze into my lungs. Cherinet, the LoPa artist I met a few days earlier, had invited us to a jazz club that evening, so we went for a few hours.
As we were leaving to take Tom to the airport, Sisay grabbed The Hero and asked me to take picture of he and his American brother together. My heart has never been so full. Full of a day of provision, love, grace and knowing that for the first time in a long time, I was living in the center of who He had made me to be and He was receiving the glory.As I lay in bed, I let the tears roll. "Tomorrow. Tomorrow feeding would begin. Our 60 kids would be starving no more. Jesus, 'every good and perfect gift'". This day was definitely a good and perfect gift.