Ruth Clemmens spent two months in Ethiopia, during which she had the opportunity to work alongside the Onesimus team ministering to the incredible children they serve. Here is a brief snapshot of her experience at Onesimus. What a beautiful blessing to have been able to serve at Onesimus. Of the nine African countries I have served in as a missionary, they have all had extremely poor populations in their midst - Ethiopia was no different.
Praise God for Onesimus! This organization strives to care for the forsaken street children of Addis Ababa. These children are so loving, and the warmth of their hugs that greeted me in the morning and throughout the day couldn't have been sweeter. As I spent time with them, I heard about their backgrounds and why they were on the street. Many of their stories were heart-wrenching. Sure, a few were on the streets by choice, but most were there through no fault of their own.
Onesimus tries to find the children's families they left or find loving families for them to become a part of. Whether reunited with their original families or adopted into new families, both situations give the children the opportunities to go to school and to have a future apart from the street.
For the most part, the children at Onesimus actually seem cheerful and happy. I came to the conclusion that, with few exceptions, they love Jesus. It is their faith in Him that carries them through each day and gives them hope for the future. Onesimus strengthens this hope by offering the children programs to meet not only their physical and emotional needs but their spiritual needs as well. Through these programs I saw the children's will to learn. They anticipate the full day of programs at Onesimus, not to mention breakfast and a great injera lunch with lentils and vegetables. I was privileged to add to the programs, teaching English, leading story and library time, and, of course, singing and exercising. The children were always eager to learn, and, amazingly, discipline was never a problem.
I truly loved all I did at Onesimus. Working with the wonderful co-founder and director, Nega, and his fabulous staff was pure joy!