Monday, June 13, 2011
Finding the words to share with you is difficult. We have been in Addis Ababa for 48 hours and I think it is safe to say that all of us are feeling completely ruined-- so much we can't even comprehend it all. YET!
Today was our first official day at the drop-in center. Our morning began with greeting the children, taking a quick tour, and an exciting game of "soccer"! Afterwards, we, as a team, were greeted by the staff of Onesimus with a tea ceremony. Along with tea, they served us some of the best popcorn I have ever eaten. Then, it was time for VBS!
Michelle taught a great lesson about Jacob and she shared with the children how each one of them is so special and unique. The kids listened so attentively and it was so special for all of us to see them soaking up the Lord. We taught them "Hallelujah" and they really got into it!
After VBS, we went back outside to play some games. We introduced the children to 4-corners and the egg relay and they truly enjoyed both! It was so much fun to just love on the children and let them be children and just play.
A very special moment for all of us was when we asked the children to sing us a song in Amharic. They gladly stood before us and in the most beautiful voices sang us the most beautiful song. When they finished, they immediately began singing "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus", in English. It was one of most amazing sounds I have ever heard. (Video to share when we get back )
After lunch, Kelly D. did a hygiene lesson and the kids were so excited to brush their teeth. TO BRUSH THEIR TEETH! Seriously?!? My mom had to force me to do this when I was a child and these kids can't wait. Afterwards, Michelle taught her lesson again to this new group before the rain started falling.
When the rain started, we piled forty to fifty kids in a 10x10 room indoors and we tried to entertain them. We pulled out every trick we knew! Songs, stories, crafts, etc. Britainy did a great rendition of "The Three Little Pigs". But, even in all of that chaos, we could all feel God surrounding us, surrounding the children.
God is moving in a mighty way.
Please pray for all of us.
The end of the day was probably the toughest for most of us. Saying good-bye to these precious children who you have formed an immediate connection with is tough. The thought of coming home is already overwhelming.
Kelly (McGoo) has shared with us that Nega (Onesimus Director) often says that each one of these kids has a story. Learning their story is difficult. Learning about each child is like peeling back the layers of an onion. But, we want to paint you a picture. Imagine a child with ripped up clothing, shoes that are so worn they constantly fall apart, fingernails covered in grime, and bodies covered in dirt.
Imagine this child who says, "To pass breakfast, I talk. To pass lunch, I smile. To pass dinner, I sleep." Imagine this child looking up at you. With big, beautiful brown eyes an without saying a word, telling you that all he needs is hope and love. These are the children we are loving each day. Loving the best way we know how and hoping they see God through us. Our prayer is that they will each see their future with God and God alone.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
Love, Team Ethiopia (Nicci)
P.S. We would love to hear from all of you! Your comments truly lift us!
Thank you for your prayers for Michelle.
While Satan is doing his best to attack her diabetes, she had a much better day today!
Please continue praying for her.