“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.”
– Colossians 3:23
In the words of Chuck, “What we are doing is only a small drop in a large ocean” so why are we doing this? There is so much more that can be done here to help those in need, yet we are only doing one thing. But what gives me hope in this is that I know we may only be making a small impact, but by helping these children, they can grow up to be who they want to be. Enguday can grow up to be a doctor and help so many people around her, while Seble can help fight for people’s rights as she is a lawyer. These children’s dreams are no different than mine or any other young adults. Heck, they will have a more demanding and time consuming career than I will. I have hope in myself that I can become what I want to be, but for the wrong reasons. The Bring Love In kids know that they can grow up to be whatever they want because God is guiding them. They do not worry about the finances of college, rather, they put their hope in God and know that he will provide. They know that they can become doctors, lawyers, pilots or teachers because they have faith. A ten year old told me here that he is going to be a pilot because God has told him to be one, and I don’t think anything is going to stop him from doing that.
The dreams that these kids have and how we have impacted them was truly apparent when said our goodbyes on Friday. Seeing the younger kids again was so amazing. They hosted a ceremony for us, which was filled with cookies, coffee, thank you cards, pictures, and lots of hugs and kisses. In many cards I received they would say, “don’t forget me, ok.” I know that I will never forget the memories with them, and I hope that they will never forget those memories as well. Saying goodbye to the children was both hard and also a proud moment.
On Saturday, we visited a couple lakes as well as hike/walked around one of them. It took us around two hours and was like no other hike I’ve ever been on. Cactus filled the sides of the trails and we spent a bit of the time crouched over, walking through thick brush. A few of us tasted the cactus plant and it was quite sweet, surprisingly.
On Sunday we attended church, went to our new favorite place, “Cupcakes Delight”, then packed, relaxed, got one more macchiato (so we don’t forget how great Ethiopian coffee is), and headed to the airport. We are currently sitting in the Germany airport, reflecting on all the things we are thankful for:
- Flushing toilet paper
- Clean air
- Time to decompress
- Safe tap water
- Anti-itch cream
- Clean streets
- Common language
- Being closer to home
Even though there were some political demonstrations going on in Addis, we all felt safe with our host and drivers.
I am very ready to be home, but I know I will truly miss it here. The impact that the people, children, and our team has had on me will never be forgotten and has definitely changed my life.
See you back in the States!