I am so glad that today is my day to blog because I couldn’t have asked for a better experience to share with y’all! The Lord put someone in our path yesterday that we could have never expected or planned for, Addis Adam. He has been a huge blessing to our team, and I get to share his story with you!
Yesterday was a beautiful blue bird day. Our whole team went to lunch in the city together and invited some locals that we met on the street to come share the meal with us. Picture this: When we walked up to the restaurant, there was a huge skinned animal hanging in the front window with a butcherman grinning and hacking at some raw meat. It didn’t exactly make my mouth water.. We ordered tibs and angera (a local favorite) with our beloved translators and the locals. Despite my picky eating habits, tibs and angera is actually pretty basic food (beef strips and spongy type bread) and I really enjoyed it. Although, the best part of lunch would have to be the local people that ate with us; it was really neat to share a meal with them and hear each of their stories.
After lunch we headed out of the downtown area of the city toward a woman’s home that we heard from one of our translators needed prayer. I found out later that as our team was walking through the city, Kate and one of our translators, Aki, were praying that the Lord would put someone in our path today that needed our help. All of the sudden as we walked along a main highway, we encountered someone crumpled in the middle of the sidewalk with their entire body shaking. As we came closer to them, it looked like it was an old man in his 60’s or 70’s. Our translator, Yosi, went to him to see what was wrong and when he turned him over on his back it caught me completely of guard to see that whom we thought was an old man was actually a young boy. He was unconscious and looked like he was seizing. Our translators quickly carried him off of the sidewalk unto a patch of grass and began to help him regain consciousness and gave him water.
Locals began to crowd around and help as much as they could; I remained in the back of the crowd trying to remain composed and just pray that God would help us help this young boy. As I stood there in shock of everything going on around me, I became overwhelmed with emotion and heartache for this boy. I have two younger brothers and to think that someone around their age could be in that state brought me so much overwhelming sadness and anger that something like this is so common here.
After the boy had gained consciousness and stopped shaking, Kate told us that she and Yosi were going to take him to the hospital and asked if anyone would like to come along. I really didn’t want to leave him so I decided to go with them along with my teammates Eddie and Leslie. We walked to a clinic that Kate and Yosi were familiar with located in the same area as Amazing Grace Guest House. Along our walk to the clinic, Kate and Yosi found out that this young boy is named Addis Adam and he is 14 years old. They also tried to find out how he came to be on the streets and why he collapsed but struggled to find out exactly what had happened. Though, it was evident that Addis had been on the streets for some time now and didn’t know where to go next.
At the hospital Addis got different tests and and an xray of his arm that we later found out had been broken a couple of years ago and had healed the wrong way. While everyone waited in the clinic for results, Kate and I went and picked out some pants and a shirt for Addis. It felt so good to know that we were able to just do something for him even if it was something small like that. After we came back from shopping, we sat in the clinic for a while longer waiting on the test results. I got to sit by Addis while we waited, and we all finally got him to smile. He has the biggest dimples and one of the most beautiful smiles I have ever seen.
After the results came back, the doctor explained that Addis had collapsed because of dehydration and malnutrition and that he also had a bladder infection. It was a relief to know that we could cure both of those things with medicine, food, and water. After we got Addis his medicine we asked him if he would like to join us for dinner tonight and come stay at our house and he said “yes.”
That night was amazing. Addis put on his new clothes and shoes once we got to the guest house and literally looked like a different person. He just seemed so incredibly happy and his joy seemed to spread throughout our entire team. Before dinner we played games with all of the kids in the neighborhood and Addis showed off his soccer skills. I sat watching him for a while thinking to myself, “I wander when the last time was that he felt safe and was just able to play and be a kid.” Probably 10 times throughout the night I went up to him and smiled and gave him an awkward side hug. He probably thinks I am a complete weirdo, but I just can’t help but love on this kid!
The Lord is blessing our team in incredible ways. We have only been in Ethiopia for two full days, and I feel like we have experienced so much and are already making a difference in this city! Our prayer is that God will continue to lead us to the people that he wants us to serve. Will you please join us in that prayer?
Much love from Ethiopia!
PS Today is my birthday.. and I have a feeling it is going to be one I will never forget EVER. Can’t wait to see what is in store!