Monday, December 3, 2012

Ethiopia Day #2 and meeting Christian!

So day #2 in Ethiopia, we woke up feeling much better than the day before. Little did we know that was probably the best night's sleep we got while we were there. We got to spend a little time at the transition home before we headed out for the morning.
Jacob and his sister spent a little time playing and we were able to see what the children's morning routine was.

The other two families would be visiting their child's orphanages and going on a day field trip. We opted out of that trip because we had another great opportunity! We were going to get to meet the child we sponsor through Compassion International. We were so excited that this worked out even with the travel details having to be fairly last minute. We were so impressed with the staff at Compassion and their willingness to help this happen!
We have sponsored Christian for several years and correspond with letters but were unsure if we would ever get to meet this child. We had a little surprise. We had originally been told our sponsor child was a GIRL! (just a small clerical error at the very beginning of our sponsorship) Just as we walked up the staff liaison and translated said, "he is just over here." We had a second to back pedal and he assured us that a few pink items like this backpack were fine, color was not as gender specific in Africa. We did breathe easier when he walked up holding pink sunglasses! There was several gender non specific items in the backpack we brought and he was able to take the barbie doll to his sister:)

Christian & the translator in the background. We really enjoyed getting to meet the staff as well. This particular man had been sponsored through Compassion starting at a young age. It was so neat to hear his story.

Jacob & Christian hit it off. They are both 7.

Christian's father was able to make the trip, he is to the side in the black jacket and purple shirt.
It was incredible to meet him and hear about his family. He is planting churches in very rural areas in Africa. We were able to talk with the translator about how we are partners for the gospel across the world. Another treat was Christian's mom was able to call while we were all together. 
His parents shared that Christian was born 2 months early and is truly a miracle. The mother baby nurse in me asked how much had he weighed. His dad answered that he was never even weighed, they sent him home believing he would die. I told his dad that I knew the Lord had blessed them by sparing Christian's life and that He had great plans for Christian & that he and his wife has taken excellent care of him for him to do so well. His dad was very gracious and said they could not do what they do without the sponsorship.


We met Christian and his father and the staff at an amusement park (I know...who knew there would be an amusement park in Ethiopia?!) It was a weekday and we had the whole place to ourselves!

Jacob and Christian had a great time together! At one point they were playing ball and of course, two 7 year old boys and a ball & there is no language barrier. 
This was an once in a lifetime opportunity. We were so thankful we were able to meet this sweet boy and his family. We are grateful Jacob had this chance at such a young age to actually meet Christian and this turned into so much more than a quarterly letter but became very real for him.
We can not say enough about Compassion International. If you have never sponsored a child before, consider this! Particularly this season, what a way to honor someone by sponsoring a child in their name!
Check out Compassion!

Back to the transition house...this is the front of the building. The bottom floor is the living area, where we ate, and administrative offices. The second floor is where the children eat meals and have some learning time. The third floor is guest rooms and where we slept. I forgot to get a picture before our luggage filled the room.

Living Room
The wall behind the sofa has pictures of all the children who are already home. We are looking forward to adding a picture to that collage!

  Looking out from our window

 Looking out over the court yard and where the children play, you can also see laundry hung to dry

We had a lot of fun with a color wonder book and colored the whole thing that week! We will need to grab another one for the flight home!

We got tickled because every time she finished, every marker had to be returned to the perfect place. She kept all plastic to wrap everything back up just so. 

Showing her new backpack with a couple of her new things
Can't wait until that is a headed to school picture! Doesn't she look ready?:)
Aunt can see she still had the cross necklace on. We told her over and over that Jesus loved her so!

This is love!

Next up on the blog catch up...court day!

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