Oct 21, 2011

Ethiopia Trip Recap Day 7: Every Good Gift

Last full day in Ethiopia. The Hero and I wanted to pack it as full as possible. We got our wish. We drove early to the center to start preparing the afternoon meal. The thought of our first official meal being served this day was almost more than my heart could bear. What an amazing gift that God would allow The Hero and I to be here: for such a time as this.
As we arrived at the center, we looked out of Korah to the dump and saw a line of people. The Hero asked Sisay what they were all doing. He explained that the truck from the Sheraton hotel arrived and the people were waiting to go through it because the Sheraton always throws away the best trash.
My heart melted, but knowing that our kids in our program would not have to ever stand in line for garbage just spurred me to continue giving thanks.
If you look really closely, you can see the line of people and the white trash truck.

Our cooks prepared the meal and our team began sorting clothes we had brought, serving up plates of food and playing games with our kids.

Seeing all that food was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.

We gave thanks and the kids sang praise songs while our team served the food. Glorious is one of the only words I can think of to describe those moments. Watching those babies eat was truly a prelude to heaven. Wow how our Father is Glorious!

Each kiddo received a full plate and a whole loaf of bread.

When each belly was full, our team decided that we needed to get the boys from the dump some clothes and some decent shoes to wear. Our team had been specifically praying on how to use the funds that were sent with us and we were burdened to care for the boys who live at the trash dump. So we loaded close to 20 people in a bus and went on a shopping trip.

The sales clerks at the shoe store were so appalled by the boys' appearances, they required the boys to put plastic bags on their feet instead of socks to try on shoes.

I've been shopping a lot but this blew all the others away. It was the first time ANY of our boys were bought anything new. You would have thought we had given them a million dollars.

I am convinced that there are necessities in life and their are pure gifts. Instead of feeling guilty about what we have, I think we are to gift to others. We had asked Yemamu and Sisay if any of the boys had ever been out to eat. They both laughed and said "never". Our team wanted very much to treat these boys to a restaurant and share a meal with them. Our team had treated ourselves the day before by a good meal and we wanted to pass it on.

So after HOURS of shopping (fitting 12 teenage boys is no easy task), we had socks, underwear, pants, shoes and shirts for each one of them, we headed to a restaurant. We ate outside so that our boys felt a little bit more comfortable. Since all Ethiopian food is eaten with your hands, Sisay explained and demonstrated to each of them the revolution of hand sanitizer.
The term "breaking bread together" had never had a more beautiful meaning for me.

I'd have these boys over for dinner every night of the week. Bilielu has my scarf because he earlier had argued with The Hero that The Hero may well be my husband, but B was my new boyfriend. :)

The cost of our shopping trip:

Twelve pair of leather shoes: $191.04

Socks and underwear: $11.47

12 pair of Pants: $140.00

Dinner for 18 people: $23.50

Twelve months rent for a house in Korah for the boys to leave the dump: $176.00

Total: $542.01

We drank Coke, stuffed our faces, danced and laughed until our bellies and our faces hurt. To say that our last day in Ethiopia was perfect would be too plain, too boring to describe it. It truly was a foreshadowing of what God means when He said He went to prepare a place for us. I've never longed for Heaven like I did that night when I crawled into bed.

While today was amazing, tomorrow would be heartbreaking. Every night, K had asked "I see you tomorrow" and every night I was able to say yes. Tomorrow my answer would be different and all the laughter from tonight would never be able to quench out the tears of tomorrow. As he crawled into the van to be driven home, I gave it my all, slathered him with Momma kisses and as he wrinkled his nose, he tried to tell me he was sad.

I kissed his cheek one last time and whispered "Tomorrow my son. Tomorrow will be our day to be sad. But tonight, let's choose to be happy."

He didn't approve, but he understood.

My prayer that night was simple:

"God please come back. Right now. I cannot face tomorrow.


Jenn and Ryan Tupps said...

Oh my goodness. I am crying for those little boys - crying for what good you did - crying for those you weren't able to help - just wow. Is there a place I can donate money ~ I'm shocked at how cheap a place to live is, and would love to contribute if you have a way for me to. :)

Gayla said...

This story is both breaking my heart and making my heart.