Nobody is more surprised than I am that God is allowing me to return to Zeway, Ethiopia. Even as I sit here and begin to type this post, I feel the emotions well up inside of me. Although I felt God telling me I would be returning to Ethiopia, it just didn't seem like it was going to happen. I resolved to just pray and turn it completely over to Him. I felt an overwhelming peace that if I was meant to return, He would make it known. Well, He did and in just 6 weeks, I will be going to Ethiopia with an amazing team with Hope in Ethiopia.
Lord willing, I will get to see our "spiritual son" Johannes. To make a really long story as short as possible...(or you can read the whole story here) on our very first trip to Ethiopia (July 2010), Johannes and his father accepted Christ. It was a moment I will never, ever forget. Negatu, Johannes' father is an HIV+ widow. After we left, they discovered Johannes was HIV+ too.
In March 2011, I was able to see Johannes again. During that visit, God showed me my capacity to love a child in a maternal way that did not come from my body. You can read about that visit here. During that visit, we found out that Negatu was extremely ill with TB.....they feared he would not survive. John and I prayed every single day that the Lord would heal Negatu.
In June 2011, my husband was able to visit Johannes and Negatu. Fearing the worst, they headed to their home. Negatu greeted my husband at the door!! He was well! John shared with Negatu that we had prayed for him every single day and Negatu got up, wrapped his arms around John and wept. Oh, what I would have given to witness that moment.
In June 2012, another team visit Johannes and Negatu. They had made this beautiful hat out of old calling cards for John and I. A sweet friend brought it home for us and and we look at it every single day. It is one of my most treasured gifts.
I have always had an ache in my heart for Johannes. I love him dearly. I can not wait to see his beautiful face again. The beautiful thing about the Hope in Ethiopia partnership is how it is caring for the child BEFORE they become an orphan. When it was discovered how many HIV+ widows were caring for their children, the partnership decided to start caring for the widow and the child. When a HIV+ parent can get proper nutrition and access to the medication they need, their children have such a better chance of not becoming orphaned. While I have been blessed with a son through adoption....and I believe adoption is a wonderful thing....family preservation is a REALLY wonderful thing.
This is just one story from my personal experience. This ministry serves over 150 orphans and widows in Zeway, Ethiopia and each person has a story. I encourage you to visit the Hope in Ethiopia blog. This ministry is a community to community partnership and when you read the stories you will see how lives are being transformed there and here. There are so many stories of God's beautiful redemption in the lives of our precious friends in Ethiopia
To God be the glory.....always,