Best Day Yet!

Another busy day in Warancha and the surrounding area of Awassa.

The children greeted us with a song and game as we walked onto the field. They were so excited to see us again. We taught them songs and in return, they sang for us. We played “Minute to Win It,” passed life savers on spaghetti noodles, and balanced 5 die on popsicle sticks. Our team performed two skits: birth of Christ with shepherds and then birth of Christ with wise men. Then the children re-enacted both skits. They are stars in the making and really played their parts well…even down to the expressions on their faces when the host of angels came to proclaim Christ’s birth. We ended our morning with another soccer game while the little ones played other games.

We left Warancha at noon, ate lunch and then visited Shalom Orphanage just down the street. This is the orphanage from where Doug (our team leader from Riverside) adopted his son Zebene, 7 months ago. Arrangements had been made prior to the trip for Zebene’s birth mother to come into town to meet with Doug. What an exciting and emotional experience to witness. We all cried as Doug presented the 19-year-old mom with a photo album of Zebene and his new family. He introduced her to his other children through the pictures. She later went through the album a second time and kissed each picture of her son. The translator read a letter to The mom from Doug’s wife. The mom shared her story with us through both interpreters.

While Doug and the mom continued to visit, the rest of the team visited the babies at this orphanage. Shalom has 40 babies right now and about 20 toddlers at another location. These children are totally abandoned. The policemen bring most of the babies to Shalom. They find them on the streets or at the police station. Adoption from this facility usually goes quickly as there is no tracing down the parents. Of all the beautiful children, there were twin boys (9 months old) and a tiny little one-year-old girl who walked through the hall saying SEAT DOWN (remember the coffee house story?) We were all taken with this little one…cute, cute…as they all were. We thought Marie was ready to grab this little one and run for the states.

When we left Shalom, we returned to Warancha and made four house visits of children who were sponsored through Doug and others at Riverside. One hut held not only a family of six, but also goats and cows. At another home, we found a family of five children, dad and his 2nd wife (1st wife had died) and grandma. The 8-year old boy here had a greatly extended stomach. One of the church elders explained that the boy had experienced many bouts of malaria that has done irreversible damage to his intestines and liver. We prayed with the family. It was a precious time. I had the chance to meet up with Marta again (I thought her name was Lange—remember the hugging on the first day?) I found out that Marta is Pastor John’s mother, and I was able to have a picture taken with her (see above). Of course, we hugged a lot again! She and I agreed that we would pray for each other.

I close with another funny story. This morning, we stopped at a tiny shop on our way to Warancha to get cookies, yarn, and spaghetti noodles for our games. The shopkeeper didn’t have yarn, so he took off running across the street to see if that shopkeeper had some. All of the other team members had stayed in the van. One translator took off down the street looking for yarn in another store and our second translator said to me, “You stay here and mind the store. We will be right back” and she took off in the other direction. So there I stood “minding the store.” Good thing no customers came in or I would have been in big trouble! So I say good night…it was a good day, for me, the best day yet because we actually got to interact with the village.

Tomorrow is the longest day, since we will be feeding the children and then meeting with the pastor and the elders to see how Riverside and Hillside can build relationships in Warancha. What a great work God is doing here in Awassa and the village of Warancha.

Categories Ethiopia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Posted on October 17, 2012

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  1. by Wanda Littles

    On October 17, 2012

    Judy what marvelous stories! I am so glad that God has given you and your team so much favor from the villagers you’ve met. I told your story at CWG last night, yep I went . They got a kick out of the hugging and Sedo stories. Must have been a touching and longing moment for the mother. But I know she wants her son to have a better life and who know’s maybe they’ll see each again.

    Can you imagine if we all did what you and your team are doing in and out of our own countries how different the landscape would look?

  2. by Judy Watters

    On October 17, 2012

    I agree, Wanda. this has been an eye-opener as to how people in extreme poverty can live in abundant joy. And a good ole heart-felt hug can bridge any and all gaps in society.

  3. by Kim Villalva

    On October 17, 2012

    Such beautiful stories Judy! I am so happy for you that you have such a wonderful opportunity to teach, display and see God\\\’s love in action! Please keep sharing as much and as often as you can! I keep checking back to see what else you\\\’ve posted!! 🙂

  4. by Wanda Littles

    On October 17, 2012

    Certainly if no one else has a message of hope, we Christians do. That’s why I love my calling to write. If everyone used there gifts and talents to deliver this message could we not, like the disciples, turn the world upside down?

  5. by Wanda Littles

    On October 17, 2012

    Oops! I spelled ‘their’ wrong. But you will forgive I’m sure

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