As we drove farther into the African jungle, now 3 hours into what was supposed to be a 1.5-hour drive I said aloud “this has to be it.” The girls laughed, as this was the third time I had said it. Myself, and three of my teammates were on our way to meet Lalise, my sponsored Compassion International child. Another half-hour on mud trails and we arrived in GoJo. Countless cows, sheep, goats, dogs, and baboons later we pulled into a place I pray we never forget.
Once we reached the Compassion site, I met Lalise (6 yrs), as well as her parents and other compassion staff members. After discussing what the program providers her and the family with we went through a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony. This included them giving me the honor of cutting into the largest loaf of bread I have ever seen. Which I of course did incorrectly…several times giving all the Ethiopians a good laugh 😉
Following the ceremony we toured the church where the children prayed and sang together. I watched them sing and dance. Their love for Jesus and each other so evident, it was impossible not to smile ear to ear. They love the God with absolute abandon. In a place where people have so little, I have learned so much. Everyone we meet here has been so wonderful and just radiates joy. I’m forever thankful for such an amazing and supportive team to be here with. We’ve been embraced freely, without any reservation or skepticism. I am so thankful for the experience of being a sponsor, and that God provided me with the opportunity of meeting Lalise, her family, and her village. I pray that I carry with me all that these amazing people have taught me. They love God and people, and that is what really matters.
Sending lots of love and hugs!