by: Joe Bridges, director of The Forsaken Children
Aster stepped through the doorway of the restaurant with her head to the floor so I could just barely see her timid grin. As is her tendency, she didn’t look directly my way, so I stared her down until I got her attention. She looked, and we both smiled our biggest smiles. She must have known that while happy to see her, my uncontainable joy was in response to her new life.
You see, immediately behind Aster was a very special lady, Aster’s foster mom. I was glad to be in Ethiopia where it is not always rude to stare, because I had to see who this woman was. I was brimming with questions… Why had she agreed to foster a former street girl? What was in it for her and her family? Was she the real deal?
As I watched Aster’s new mom, many of my questions faded. She was kind, smiling a lot, especially when speaking about or interacting with Aster. I made sure to glance over at Aster often, pleased to see similar expressions of happiness and contentment.
I found out so much that night through just watching and listening:
- As it turned out, Aster’s new foster mom’s name is also Aster (I’ll call her Momma A. to avoid confusion)
- Momma A. is married and has 3 biological children.
- Momma A. decided to take Aster into her home simply because she felt the Lord leading her family to care for the orphaned and abandoned children of her country.
- Momma A. and her husband want no compensation for their care of Aster.
- Momma A. wants to do more for Onesimus to care for her countries’ children at risk.
What an amazing woman and family.
I left Ethiopia for home that very night feeling encouraged and motivated by the prospect of real Ethiopian families for all of Onesimus’s beneficiaries.
A Little About Aster
For Aster, Onesimus was a Godsend when she suddenly lost her mother on the streets of Addis Ababa. Nega* had to intervene as Aster’s mother had no one to handle the arrangements of her burial. During this process the Lord made it clear to Nega and the Onesimus staff that Aster should be welcomed into the halfway home** where she lived for approximately 9 months. For her, that was a time for healing and preparation for what God had in store, the hope and fulfillment of a family.
*Nega – Director of the Onesimus Children Development Association
**While the halfway homes are wonderful places, they are only intended as temporary homes for the children who require them. The looming question, will foster families work for these children, is starting to be answered by Aster’s new family.
Prayer Points –
- Pray that God will bring more Ethiopian families to Onesimus, who are willing to be a part of restoring orphaned and abandoned children to where they belong.
- Pray for Aster, Momma A., and the rest of the family as they grow in love and acceptance for each other.