I know, for myself, I've read about and sought out information about Korah for the past year. I've read stories, viewed videos and looked at pictures. I had reached the point where nothing, really, would do until I saw it with my own eyes. Or should I say, experienced it with my own heart.
I've written about Korah here in the past (here and here and here).
Statistics show that more than 130,000 people live in Korah; a community that was started 75 years ago....where people who had leprosy and were considered to be cursed were sent to live. Korah is adjacent to a landfill and the people who live here dig in the trash for the necessities in life (including their food).
In the last few years, following a trip not unlike the one I just took, Summer Yates and her family sold their belongings in Tennessee and moved to Ethiopia in order to begin a program called Project 61 which would (and DOES) help the children of Korah to attend school through sponsorship.
I have a Korah sponsorship story myself but it deserves a post of its own and is next on my list. However, I do want to share with you some of my memories (and pictures) of Korah.
(I glanced over out in the church yard one day and spotted this site; the little boy rubbing on Tucker's head was too cute.)
On our way to Korah, we stopped by the sheep market. Basically, this is an open field/area on the side of the road where farmers bring their sheep during the day to be sold. Our goal for the day was to purchase 45 sheep; 5 to be slaughtered and served to the children on Friday and 40 to be gifted to 8 families in Korah who could then begin flocks of their own which, we were told, could change the course of this family's lives for generations to come. The sheep were purchased and loaded onto the tops of our 4 vans to make the final trek to Korah.
We arrived with much anticipation and all of our expectations were met (and, I'd say exceeded). The children are precious and loving; they were thrilled to see us. We broke into groups and began to practice conversational English with the school children. (This is the group of girls that Brooklyn and I were blessed to work with.)
We helped to serve lunch and just spent time making some new friends. Many of us found children to sponsor and many others who we promised to seek sponsors for once we arrived home.....these kids "get" that education is important and they know that, without a sponsor, they will be unable to attend school.
Time seemed to fly by in Korah and soon it was time to leave but we had the promise of one last visit there just before our flight out on Friday. I'm not sure who was most excited....us or the kids.
Before we loaded the vans, we left the children to walk deep into Korah to the Alert Hospital (for Lepers). There is an area outside of the hospital where people with leprosy make items to be sold in a gift shop there. I think we all bought rugs from this man who worked with such a sweet spirit weaving these rugs/mats; he loved having us watch him work and found so much joy in us all wanting pictures with him. There were also ladies doing embroidery work and spinning.