Kylan (Team Member) - God is so AMAZING! The morning we were traveling to orphanage #2 and #3. I was not planning on visiting orphanage #3, but God had other plans. As we were given the grand tour of Orphanage #3, we were shown the special needs room. We honestly had no idea that there was a specific room for special needs. Our AW guide came up to me and asked me if I had a special way with special needs kids. I was so in awe at her question that I was speechless. The only words that could come out were “yes, I’d love to go and work with the kids.”
When I walked in, I was amazed at how well taken care of these precious kids were. The nannies fed the children from individual bowls and spoons, wore gloves while changing their diapers (in a separate room) and LOVED on the kids like they were their own. It was obvious that the children were happy and well taken care of! Seeing this filled my heart with JOY!
Throughout this trip, God has really been working on my heart! He has shown me that I am supposed to run either a house or orphanage for special needs children, while adopting my own kiddos. It has been AMAZING watching God orchestrate everything! I have been in awe at the way my heart has been broken, but yet encouraged. God also has laid Korah on my heart, which is a community filled with extreme poverty. I am hoping and praying to be able to come back with a group from my college to work and minister to more of God’s precious people. Today we visited Beza International Church. WOW!! What an AMAZING experience! God’s presence was definitely felt! He has shown me that He is ALL I need, every hour of every day. I am beyond excited to see all the plans that God is already putting together right at this very minute! He is my Daddy, and I give Him my life to do whatever He wants to do with it. Thank you Father for loving me and blessing me with the heart You have given me.
Corrin and Liz (Team Members)-We want to share with you the amazing experience of meeting the nanny who cared for G (Corrin’s Ethiopian brother and Liz’s grandson). It is unusual for the nannies to hear about the children in their care after they leave, so this was very special. His nanny, T, gave up part of her vacation day to come to the Transition Home to meet us. She greeted us warmly and Corrin gave her a picture of G. She looked at it a long time, made a comment about how much he had grown, and gave the picture a tender kiss. G had been shy and withdrawn when he was at the transition house, but he bonded closely with nanny. It touched us deeply to see T’s reaction to the picture. She said she would like to see him again, and Corrin told her that her whole family plans to return in 3-5 years. We hugged again and the short time together was over. What an amazing God we have, to bring us together, so we can thank T for caring for G, and so we can hug her and share with her. My heart was swelling with love for T. Her gentle, loving spirit was very obvious to us. There were others who worked at the Transition House who remember G., isn’t that amazing! Even after 2 years, he is remembered.
Ryan (Co-Team Leader) – Saturday night we took an opportunity to sample some Ethiopian cuisine and culture. Team member Rodney's dancing alone made the night memorable. We saw dancing from several of the different people groups in Ethiopia. It was amazing! This morning, we visited Beza International Church. We arrived early, which proved to be a blessing. Karmyn and I met another couple that is adopting through our agency. We also met the daughter of fellow ACT Mission trip team leaders that we had met at our leader training in Virginia. She is serving with Project 61. Look it up if you get a chance. We attended the English speaking service with our new friends Baruk, Abenezer, and Tilahun. The service was amazing. It is amazing how God leads us to Ethiopia on a mission trip to hear a sermon about missions. After an emotional week serving, we really needed this morning’s service. It was great to see people worshipping uninhibited. My favorite quote from this morning’s service: “(God) did not say he would fulfill the picture in your mind, but He will fulfill his word.”
If you’re interested in going on future trips to Ethiopia please give us a call or check out our ACT webpage. You can apply online here. We look forward to serving with you!