Here are the next two pages of my Ethiopian experiences, entitled Waiting and Hoping:
On another day while in Ethiopia, our Ordinary Hero team visited a Catholic Orphanage. The sweet children flocked around our young team members as they played basketball, blew bubbles, and handed out suckers. I loved seeing Bink and Emmy walk into this place completely unihibited by the poverty all around them. They both loved the children so completely, so beautifully.
Upstairs in the orphanage, I found a small room of disabled children. There, laying on thin flimsy mats, were two young girls with what I assume was muscular dystrophy. One girl's skin was so cold and damp, and she was so motionless except for her eyes, I had a sad sensation that she was dying. The other girl could only move her stiff arms in quick back and forth motions; she also could make a sputtering noise with her lips when she was happy. I sat beside these girls and held their hands, rubbed their forearms, and...prayed: Please sweet Jesus, heal these girls. I know You can...please do this for them...nothing is impossible with You...You are the healer...do something!!!! I waited...and nothing. What did I expect, that they were going to get up, take up their mats and walk? Well this very thing happened in Jesus' day, and He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, isn't He? Yes, I know and believe He is. But at this moment in time, as I sat with these crippled girls, I had to just trust in the Lord and His ways. These girls are waiting... waiting for this world to pass...waiting for a future hope and a future home. I prayed for them as they lay there: that Jesus would come to them as their Savior, that He would comfort them in ways that I cannot understand, that He would speak to them somehow in the long days and nights, that He would someday dance with them in heaven. My heart, once again, broke. After a while, it was time to go; I gently kissed them on the cheek, got up and left these sweet girls, with Jesus, in the room. They will wait together. Yet those who wait upon the Lord will gain new strength...they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:31
One more place we visited was called Hope 4 the Hopeless. This ministry's goal is to pull the suffering children off the streets and give them a place of refuge. I embraced this ministry 100% because their desire is to give these homeless kids a bed for their weary bodies, food for their hungry bellies, and the word of God to their lonely hearts. The two Ethiopian leaders are mighty men with a divine call, and I was so thankful to support them through funds from a generous friend back home who asked me to meet a need wherever the Lords leads me. I loved to see evidences of God's word impacting the children who had been living in this shelter 2 weeks, 2 month, 2 years...
The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure; making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgements of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether; they are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them your servant is warned; in keeping them, there is great reward. Psalm 19: 7-8
I pray that God will continue to bless these children both now, and those who are rescued from the streets in the future, with the living hope, Jesus Christ.
And having disarmed powers and authorities, he (Christ) made a public spectacle of them triumphing over them by the cross. Colossians 2:15
Dear Lord Jesus,
There is no greater power than your own. All other authority and every stronghold has been overcome by your personal sacrifice on the cross. You took these to the grave and came out victorious. In the messiness of this life, as we live between the "now and not yet", help us to hold fast to this truth. Amen.