My parents had been to Africa a few times and I wanted to go so bad. I wanted to meet the children in the pictures and see for myself what my parents had fallen in love with. After two years of saving every penny I earned and every one I was given, sending lots of support letters and praying hard, I was finally able to go.
I went to several team meetings and met all my team members. Finally it was time to go and we were all packed. We stayed in Washington for one night then the next morning we were off to Addis. After a long flight, we arrived in Addis, put our bags in the van and headed to the guest home. While we were at the guest home, we met some very nice people who I will not soon forget. Everyone at the guest home and our translators were wonderful to me. I felt very comfortable with them and loved spending time with them.
My favorite part of the entire trip was Korah. The people in Korah are the most precious people I have ever met. These people have almost nothing, but without me even asking they would give it all away. On Sunday we went to a funeral in Korah. At the funeral, we played with the children and it amazed me when someone on our team got their hand dirty all of the children rushed to clean it. These people may be poor on this earth, but they probably have more riches stored up in heaven than anyone. We held a VBS while in Korah. We worshiped all together in the morning and then went to our different classes. In our classes we made crafts and taught lessons on English and Jesus. One day we made bandannas and the kids drew on them the story of creation. After we did lessons and crafts, we served lunch. Serving lunch and hanging out with the kids was my favorite part of every day! That was the time to really hang out with them and get to know them and become their friend.
We also got to visit the home of sponsored children. The families were so grateful when we brought them food. I loved playing with the young children and having them show me around their tiny home. The hardest thing for me was seeing those families and knowing that what they were wearing was probably the only outfit they had. Also just seeing their houses and how small they were. There was one little girl’s house that was about 8ft. by 8ft. and she has two brothers herself and her mom. These home visits changed the way I look at – well everything.
My favorite day was taking our sponsor children to lunch. Our family sponsors a young girl, Selam, and a boy my age, Yonas. Selam did not leave my side for most of the trip and Yonas started calling me sister right away. One day everyone on our team was able to take our sponsored kids to lunch. Our translator helped us find a great pizza place with arcade games in the city. When we got there Yonas and two of his friends ate with us. The three of them ate a whole pizza, two chickens, and lots of ingera with beef (ingera is a kind of bread). It amazed me how hungry they were. Once we were done with lunch we all hung out in the small barely working arcade. You could tell they had never been in a restaurant like this. Even the teenage boys wanted to ride the little kiddie rides. It was so much fun to hang out and play with my sister and brother.
God changed me in so many ways on this trip. He changed my heart for people. I now know that not everyone has as much as we do in America. I learned that having stuff doesn’t really matter. The people of Korah are rich in faith. This trip gave me a desire to love people everywhere and pray for them to know Jesus, not just in Korah. God has given me the desire to one day be a missionary and make sure others in places like Korah have the same opportunity to know God and have an education. I am very thankful for my opportunity and I pray I can return to Korah one day soon.
Maggie and Yonas