I don't really even know how to start this post. We had the opportunity to visit a part of Addis called Korah or Kore. You know the commercials on television where they show the children who are dirty and wearing ragged clothing and covered in flies? Have you ever been tempted to wonder if it was a reality or just a tactic to tug at your heartstrings so that you'll send money?
Korah is located at the edge of a city dump.
It has also previously been the location of a leper colony. It's a place of extreme poverty.
Jerry and Christy came to Ethiopia several years ago to adopt their daughter. A couple of years ago they came back to live among the poorest of the poor in Korah. They have opened a child care center where mothers can bring their children so that they can work without having to wear them on their backs. The Shannon's depend on God providing the funds they need to run this daycare through family sponsorships. It works much like World Vision or Compassion International. They are currently turning away around 10 mothers and children a week. After they find sponsors for all 30 of their current children, they will be able to add 20 more.
Being there and seeing the level of poverty has the ability to leave you with a sense of overwhelming hopelessness. But that's not the effect God intends for it to have, I know. That's why it's so great to know a specific way that we can be Christ to the people of Korah. The Shannon's are his physical presence there. Can you support them by committing to one of these children?
Please visit the Embracing Hope Ethiopia website. It's something you can do. I am also packing a bag to send to the childcare center in a week or so. They need size 12 month - 3T clothing and infant vitamin drops. If you would like to help fill the bag, please let me know! I am sending it with the Dreyfus family who will be leaving soon!
Our friends, Evan and Stacey Snyder, are sponsoring Firtuna. Firtuna has Down Syndrome and a heart defect that needs surgery. You can read about her here.
Noah with 2 of the Shannon children.
We also had the opportunity to visit some ladies who make jewelry for Mission Ethiopia. It was a very humbling experience to sit and listen to these ladies brag on God and how He was providing for them through this opportunity. The opportunity that they speak of is a chance to sit in a circle in a dark, concrete room sanding or rolling bead hour after hour just so that they can afford to put enough food on the table. But in their world, they are among the fortunate. And Mission Ethiopia has provided them with the opportunity to provide for their family. Some of the women were getting food and clothing from the dump before this opportunity came along. Their necklaces are beautiful and they are so proud of their work.
I'm still processing all that I saw in Korah and praying that God continues to open my eyes and my heart.