Today, at Children’s Home Ethiopia’s Drop-In Center for street children, we celebrated a very special birthday – Nega Meaza’s, Director and Co-Founder of CHE.
It started with the staff and children secretly preparing a special breakfast of difo dabo (a cultural bread that Nega loves), along with cookies, tea, and a coffee ceremony (which includes popcorn!).
Nega was brought into the classroom and surprised with 20 children singing (actually it was more like screaming :-) ) “Happy Birthday to You!” over and over again.
Two candles graced the top of the difo dabo revealing Nega’s young age of only 35.
It was truly a heartwarming experience to witness this celebration as most of these children look to Nega as a father figure. Imagine 20 children honoring you with their songs, attention, and obvious affection – what an incredibly special birthday gift!
As I think of Nega, I am so truly honored to be his friend and co-worker. His dedication to the children under his care is second to none - completely unlike anything I have ever experienced.
And despite the overwhelming numbers of children before us, tinish (little) funding, and exhaustive needs that are ever-present, Nega perseveres – not for himself and not for his reputation, but solely for his love for children and his obedience to God.
Today I am struck with the realization that Nega is a profound part of the answer to my prayer for the street children of Ethiopia (click here to see last week's post).
It's funny. Last week I was wondering how street children would experience the God-intended parental love they deserve. And now here he is right under my nose.
So now I revise my prayer and ask…
God please provide more Negas for Ethiopia!