A long way home {the journey to Chapa}

We drove out of Awassa toward the community of Chapa. As we neared the small road that would lead us to the school and the church we began to notice how close the homes were to the narrow road. The lushness of banana leaves surrounded mud huts… We had passed many miles of dry dusty plains so it was a welcome site to see green. We made the winding turns toward the church/school compound. The Chapa community rarely sees visitors and the response from children as we have traveled around the rural areas has been the same. First there is the stop and stare, next you see the children process and then they break into a full on run chasing our van in bare feet on rocky roads/ Their smiles are contagious and in some ares the children yell, money money or give me. In Chapa they were so eager to follow us…

Getting out of the van felt so surreal… the beauty of the land, the classroom up on stilts, the unsure faces of children I had only seen in profile pictures on sponsorship cards, it was all right in front of me and I held back powerful tears of thanksgiving. You see this journey has been all about trust. Trust me to use you in the way I see fit. Trust me in the connecting your heart to children in Ethiopia who need a voice. That is what God has been whispering to my heart from the very moment I came face to face with the needs here in Ethiopia. So there I was in front of the very lives God has called me to advocate for. It was awesome and I am humbled that God chose me!

How can I go back to life as usual and how can I return to who I once was? Being here in Ethiopia I have seen what it means to love and certainly what it means to worship and look up to God even in the most horrific conditions. The street children who have been befriended and redeemed, the woman who now has a job making scarves or beads to make a fair wage. I have watched them give all the glory and honor directly back to God and it is encouraging beyond words. This place has once again stolen a large piece of my heart. There are many beautiful images and stories to share in the days ahead. The words are so clear. Help me God to live and share loud enough for others to hear.