Tuesday, July 26, 2011

God's Plan Wednesday

The vans headed North on this day. There was more beautiful African countryside to be seen along the way.
We were scheduled to visit a privately run orphanage but, when our guide Bizzy called to confirm directions, we were told not to come. Apparently, the bags and bags of donations that we had for the orphanage weren't what they had in mind; they wanted a monetary donation (which OH had previously made to this orphanage).

At one point after finding out that plans weren't going to go as originally intended, we pulled our three vans off the side of the highway and had the opportunity to hand out clothes, shoes, candy and Amharic children's Bibles to some locals on the roadside.

It also gave our driver, Hoptamu, a chance to try his hand at plowing.
It never gets old seeing God do His work. We began our stop on the roadside by handing out a few items to a few children and the next thing we knew, people were piling off of the hillside. We jokingly wondered who "tweeted" that the white people were roadside...and they had Dum Dums. Who were we kidding? God did that.

Next, we stopped to eat our boxed lunch and were able, once again, to begin handing out clothes and shoes to children on the street. (The picture below is of one of the boys streetside with our guide/translator, Maste). We also gave them some of our leftover pasta and it was fun watching them, first, decide what it was and if they wanted to eat it and, next, witness them scarfing it down.

From there, we headed up Entoto Mountain for a quick game of soccer and distribution of the clothes, etc. that we'd packed up that morning. I left Entoto Mountain in sock feet as this boy needed my shoes more than I did.

It was here that I was able to hand out a couple of special quilts that had been sent with me by a group called More Than Warmth. We placed 2 of these quilts at Woliso Orphanage and 3 at El Olam Orphanage but I had kept out 2 that I wanted to place in the arms of mommies with little ones.

It is 6 miles from the top of this mountain to the bottom and there are women who, 3 times each day, carry a load of eucalyptus branches down the mountain. That's 3 trips UP and 3 trips DOWN for a total of 36 miles each day. These women, some well into their 60's (and beyond) are mostly barefooted. Our guide, Bizrat, had shared that he is brought to tears each time that he sees these women and the grueling work they are forced to do. He wanted to be able to lighten their load in some way. Carry their burdens, if you will....if only for a little while.

So.....two of our vans stopped (I was unfortunately in the third van that didn't realize we were supposed to stop), picked up their load (it took 2-3 of our men to carry), tossed it onto the top of our van and let the women ride inside. When they got to the bottom, two of our team members took off their own shoes and placed them on the feet of these women.

God's plans, not ours, prevailed on this day and what a blessing that was.

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