Sunday, September 9, 2012

Hello again from the Kidan Guest House

Hello again from the Kidan Guest House! Today we are much more rested and all set up with awesome new hair-dos thanks to the Bright Future girls (minus Todd and Brandon, of course). Our day started at 9:30 when we set out to pick up supplies to finish the painting around the school. I don't think we got to the school until around 12:30. Lets just say the service at "Home Depot" in Addis Ababa (there really is one) is quite a bit slower than it is in the States. After around 45 minutes Binyam, Danielle and Sabrina walked out of Home Depot with no paint. Onto the next Home Depot it was, where this time while waiting Kate almost got to fulfill her dream of playing with a chicken. I'm not quite sure how this started but I think it was sparked by constantly seeing people walking around Addis carrying chickens. Anyways, this time we had more success and got every color of paint. We also stopped at Kaldi's, which is essentially the Starbucks of Ethiopia. Jolene and I got great drinks but after trying to order a black coffee, and subsequently almost being served ice cream instead, followed by a cold coffee with ice (where Jolene intervened since we cannot have the ice here), Brandon said he's not sure exactly what he ended up with for a drink, but whatever it was he would not be getting it ever again. (If he can help it)

We got to Bright Future and filled our van up with a bunch of the kids who were so excited to come to the school and help. Tonight during debriefing we all shared stories and favorite moments of ours from today and one thing that stands out to all of us is how helpful all of these children are. They are always there, holding a ladder or cutting tape or cleaning your paint brushes or getting you whatever it is you need at that moment. Yesterday as I sat outside pulling weeds from around the garden, a young girl came and sat right beside me and began helping me pull weeds. I smiled at her and said, "thank you," and she giggled a little bit and responded, "no problem!" They are always there at every moment helping. 

While the more business-like job of the day was working on the school, painting and setting up, our real mission is being a presence in these children's lives. I would say that was definitely accomplished today. Whether it was Sabrina teaching her (amazing) dance moves to a large group of children, or hearing everyone sing the 'chicken dance' song louder than I've ever heard, there was so much joy today. After all of the kickballs got inflated there was a big soccer game outside. There were also a lot of moments of reading stories, putting puzzles together, and learning different handshakes. As someone said tonight during debriefing, "everyone was giggling all day." 

Of course, mixed in with the laughter were a lot of the first big cries of the trip. There were definitely some emotional moments. Before we were leaving we went outside the gate to paint the nails of all the children outside of the gate. Slowly the group begin to grow and even some of the mothers in the community came over. One of the women, holding onto her young daughter's hand, explained to Jolene how her husband had just passed away. At first she was a bit shy and declined the offer to have her nails painted, but after a few minutes she softened up and got her nails painted too. I'll never forget the look on her face while she was getting them painted and how incredibly happy she looked afterwards. And isn't that the main purpose of Project Presence? To be a light during the dark times, to let these women and children know how loved they are at all times? And if they can feel our love, maybe they will grasp how immensely big the love of our Savior is for them every day of the year. 

Today's devotional spoke of how we should consider it a joy when we are enveloped in various trials; that they are gifts from Him, reminding us to rely on Him alone. There was a lot of reliance on Him today, in those difficult moments. Like the moment where we left and one of the children cried as she had to be peeled out of Paige's arms. He is there, in the midst of it, reminding us to rely on Him. Reminding us that even when we cannot be a presence here, He is here, every day, loving each one of the individuals in Kechene more than we could 
ever imagine.


1 comment:

Joyful said...

Enjoyed reading of your experiences there with Home Depot and Kaldi's. It has more services than I would have expected. God bless. xx