I will be a Father to you, and you will be sons and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty.
- 2 Corinthians 6:18

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Living Sent, Ethiopia: Day One

 Friday, June 20th

 Well, now I have officially joined my heart on this beautiful African soil. Most of the day was spent viewing it from the window of a bus, but I am so so so glad to just be here. But there is an element of shock and heartbreak, as the contrast of poverty and beauty is overwhelming.  As is the contrast of the poverty from what I consider 'normal'. I wake up from sleeping in a king-sized bed in an air-conditioned room, load up my suitcase full of clean clothes, and get on a bus to ride in comfort. On the other hand people are trying to find a way into our bus, standing at the windows in tattered clothing, begging for money or food. Then there are business men walking out of their big, tall office buildings while just a couple blocks away a child sleeps soundly in an alley, using a plastic bag as a blanket.
{Mama donkey and her baby on our way to Awassa! The little things excite me..}
 It is a country rich in culture and hospitality, offering smiles and handshakes and the best coffee. In the Compassion office for Ethiopia the hospitality abounds, as does love for Lord. The people are passionate about their work and the children whom they are working to release from poverty. They have a hope that they love to pass on to the children through the sponsors and the local church. And every Tuesday, they join together joyfully in prayer for us, the sponsors of the Ethiopian children. It was humbling and eye-opening.

{Letter-writing room, so cool! Very thankful for each and every one of the Compassion employees.}
 I always knew that Compassion thrived in working through the local church and the sponsors, but I didn't realize just how crucial they were. Every single Compassion project is established through a local church. Compassion is not the focus of their ministry, Jesus is the focus, shown to the children through the church. Some of the children may not know their Compassion center number, but they for sure know the name of their church and the name of Jesus. And the sponsors... To Compassion, sponsorship isn't about the $38 a month, it's about having someone that they can know personally, someone to speak truth into their lives. 

 And that is what we get to do this week. We get to represent each and every sponsor. We get the opportunity to speak a message of hope into the lives of these children at the Meserete Kristos Church. In sharing with them and playing with them we get to show the children that we believe in and love them, just as their sponsors do.

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