Monday, April 18, 2011

But I Know NOW

Once upon a time....I didn't know that Ethiopia, a country that's smaller than twice the size the state of Texas, was home to 5,000,000 orphans. FIVE MILLION.

But I know now.

Once upon a time....I didn't know that, in Ethiopia, one in ten children will die before their first birthday; one in six before they're 5.

But I know now.

Once upon a time....I didn't know that the average life expectancy in Ethiopia is 49 years old.

But I know now.

Once upon a time....I didn't know that, due to malnutrition, 50% of Ethiopian children have stunted growth; malnutrition is the underlying cause of more than half of all child deaths.

But I know now.

Once upon a time....I didn't know that, in Ethiopia, there is 1 physician for every 34,988 people.

But I know now.

Once upon a time....I didn't know that the literacy rate in Ethiopia was 36%.

But I know now.

Once upon a time....I didn't know that only 22% of Ethiopians have access to safe water.

But I know now.

Once upon a time....I didn't know that the average ANNUAL income in Ethiopia was $180.00; I didn't know that the country ranks in the bottom 7% globally in annual per capita income.

But I know now.

Once upon a time....I didn't know that only 26% of Ethiopian children will ever go to secondary school. Actually, only half will ever attend school at all.

But I know now.

Once upon a time....I didn't know that over 575,000 children have been orphaned due to the AIDS-related deaths of one or both of their parents.

But I know now.

Once upon a time....I didn't know that there are as many as 150,000 orphaned children living on the streets in Ethiopia.

But I know now.

I didn't know that there were people, like those in Korah, who live in and out of a trash dump. I didn't know that they were shoeless, diaperless and hungry. But I know now. And now that I know, I have a responsibility. What does that look like? I'm not 100% certain. We do everything that we can. To start, we make prayer for the people of Ethiopia a priority. We keep our eyes, our ears and our hearts open to what He would have us to do. It means that we do things to assist (financially and otherwise); whether it be through an organization like Ordinary Hero, Project 61, Compassion International or a family who is in the process of adopting; it means that we make others aware so that they too become responsible to do something. We hope, we pray, we encourage, we help.

I suspect that God will throw some doors WIDE OPEN for us on my upcoming trip. I look forward with hopeful anticipation and complete awe to having my heart broken a little (or A LOT) more for what breaks His.

ONCE OUR EYES ARE OPENED, WE CANNOT PRETEND WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO. GOD, WHO WEIGHS OUR HEARTS AND KEEPS OUR SOULS KNOWS AND HOLDS US RESPONSIBLE TO ACT. Proverbs 24:12

1 comment:

The Hulshofs - Chris, Valerie and the Kids said...

What a beautiful and heartbreaking post. To think one of our daughters could have been the 1 in 6 children who die before age 5. Praise the Lord that He's kept them safe and hopefully will continue to do so until they are home. Oh, the mama tears are flowing this morning :-) Some sad tears that there are still SO many left there who NEED help but happy tears that there are now 2 less.

Love,
Val