As we made our long journey to Ethiopia I could hardly contain my enthusiasm. After a couple of days in the bustling city of Addis Ababa we would head south toward Awassa and then on to the small village of Chapa. It had been a year since visiting Chapa for the first time and the beauty I saw then in the faces of the children and the people of the Chapa community was enough to make me long to return with others to share in the wonder and joy I saw.
We traveled in vans, luggage piled on top, looking as conspicuous as ever as we turned down the narrow side road that would lead to the Chapa school. The area was a tropical paradise.
The children began running alongside, chanting, cheering and smiling from ear to ear. Those who were walking, working outside or peeking out from their home would stop to wave and even bow with gratitude. Their joyous welcome was contagious and the drive toward the school was one we won’t soon forget.
As we entered the Chapa compound we were greeted with a warm welcome of kisses, hugs and songs from the children. I stood for a moment feeling as I did last year, thinking that only God could have delivered me to such a stunning place. It is true. God will deliver and use you if you are willing to say YES. He is the creator of healing and maker of dreams and He uses everyday people to be His hands and feet if you are willing. There is so much to share about the days we spent soaking up the children of Chapa that it will likely take some time to process and share. Often we GO believing we will be ministering to the destitute and the broken, but without a doubt it was the community of Chapa that ministered to each of us. Their needs are great. The village is rural and very poor. Children’s Hopechest discovered Chapa a few years back and came alongside the community church to create a school. The Chapa Carepoint was born. From there a sponsorship program was created. Sponsoring a child at Chapa means that the children have access to discipleship, healthcare, uniforms, school supplies and monthly food to share with family. Sponsorship works and from what I witnessed during this visit the entire school is starting to do more than just survive. I saw children who look healthier and more full of life. I witnessed HOPE.
The Chapa community is so worthy of His great love and support. In one year sponsorship has grown but we are not done yet. Now it is very personal and we are on a mission to share the vision we saw for the children of the Chapa village. Even with language as a barrier, it was clear that the children have BIG dreams and we feel convicted about coming alongside them, community to community, in order for them to become the children God intends. Their future is bright! Join me in spreading the word about the faith and hope we witnessed at Chapa. Sponsor a child or share this link with others who might. God delivered us to the small remote village of Chapa so that we might see Him more clearly through the eyes of His children and I already yearn to return.
Stay tuned for more updates on our visit to Chapa.There is much more beauty to share.
Peace and Grace,