Day 3 in Warancha: All Wrapped Up

Day 3 in Warancha.

We knew this would be our longest day with the children, so we were prepared with games, skits and songs. Again, the children greeted us with songs. We performed two skits: The Good Samaritan and Jesus calling His disciples. Once again, the children’s re-enactment outdid ours. Then, while the boys played soccer, grade one girls did the everlasting story bead bracelets with me. Neda did bubbles and balloons with the three-and-four-year-olds, while Marie did nail polish for grade three girls. Jaimie did pipe cleaner crowns with grade two. Tomorrow, I will do the bead bracelets with the other girls (grade 2 and 3). And Sue did what Sue does best: floated from classroom to classroom taking pictures.

At 12:30, we served the children their lunch which was provided by Riverside Church and brought into the school grounds by taxi (see picture). These children normally go home between 12 and 2 PM to usually no lunch at all. After lunch, at 2:30, the children went home for the day and we went to lunch at our hotel. At 4:00, we were invited to Pastor John’s house to meet with him and his overseers, and a social worker. Pastor John’s wife served us coffee, popcorn, and cookies.

These godly men told us of their needs for this community. The school belongs to the church; however, the government can shut them down at anytime if they do not meet certain criteria. Because of money issues, that could happen at any time. They need a playground and fencing around the school property. They are not supposed to teach Bible; however, they can teach morals and they fudge on that quite a bit. The three-five-year-olds sit on mats on a dirt floor.

Another issue for the whole community is clean water. It would be very expensive to drill a well and the water in the ground is not good, so they have to hook into city water. That is expensive to do. Also, they have seven classrooms and next year, the third grade will go into fourth and they don’t have a room for them. So a new building is another huge need. Basic school supplies, desks and chairs are badly needed. The students in first through third grades sit on benches.

They have profiled 201 students within the Warancha community who have either one parent or no parents at all. These children can attend this school; however only 68 of these students are sponsored. That means that the money that comes in from these sponsors pays for everything at the school and they can’t stretch it anymore. The need is great and if they could get more children sponsored it would ease the situation.

Before we prayed with the overseers and pastor, they presented us with official Awassa hats and scarves. There is a great community symbolism to their hat and scarf, but I’m not sure I can explain it right, so will save that for another time.

When we went outside, I had a great surprise. Marta was there and invited us to have dinner with her at her house. (Remember she is my newest dearest friend.) We had to decline since we had already eaten and were on our way back to hotel. We hugged again, and I know someone got a great picture of it, but it was one of the overseers and I will try to get that tomorrow. However, Marta told me through and interpreter that from the first day she saw me in the church, she was drawn to me as a long-lost sister. She asked me to write to her and send me a picture of her family and she would do the same.

So day three is all wrapped up. Tomorrow we spend only two hours at the school before we take off for Addis Ababa, five hours away. I hope to blog again tomorrow night, but we will be in a different guesthouse and I’m not sure of internet access.

According to the 2007 statistics, Ethiopia has more than five million orphans. Compared to the 123,000 orphans in the United States, Ethiopia is one country with the highest number of orphans.

Good Night…Shalom. And please pray for the orphans of Ethiopia.

Categories Ethiopia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Posted on October 18, 2012

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