December 16, 2010

Trees of Glory Stole My Heart

Have you ever been to a place that has a tangible enchanting quality? Maybe a church--busy doing God's work. Maybe even your home--a haven from the chaos of the world. At Trees of Glory the pace is slow and the children slightly reserved. I felt like we stepped into the middle of something very special. Maybe it was the exhausting drive from Addis. Once we arrived I couldn't have been more thrilled with getting out of the van with my limbs intact.
Maybe it was Simret and Girma, who run the care point. I couldn't resist Simret, she is an Ethiopian version of my own mother. She enfolded us in hugs as we arrived, thanking us for coming. She grabbed my mom's arm as we trudged up the path from the river and assisted her in the climb. I think she enjoyed seeing an older woman on the trip (don't tell my mom I called her 'older').They are working hard to make a difference in the lives of children who have little hope in their lives. The property itself is incredible with breathtaking views and several buildings. They were built by a Japanese construction company while they worked on the winding road we took from Addis.

There is so much potential for an even more amazing work, but they truly need help. The government requires that they utilize the land or they will reclaim it. A stable is in mid-construction and awaits animals to fill it. A well that was used by the construction crew has long been abandoned and is filled with debris from vandals. There are many opportunities to be a help and blessing. Right now, a family who sponsors a child at Trees of Glory is doing a fundraiser to finish the stable and buy livestock. This would be one way to use the land that they have, ensuring that they don't lose it. One family who sponsors a little girl at Trees of Glory has taken the initiative and I'm sorry I didn't hear about them earlier to pass their fundraiser along. For just two more days you can purchase a "tree" to help Trees of Glory finish their stable and buy the cattle they need to finally utilize all of the land they have. Such a small thing from us will make a huge difference for Simret, Girma, the teachers, and so many children.

Karen has children who need sponsors here also. The difference of sponsorship in the lives of these children is apparent in a post Karen wrote a few days ago. I did not recognize any of the children from their 'before' pictures. I scrolled down, saw the 'after' and had to go back, astounded. It's absolutely breathtaking. If that doesn't convince you that sponsorship works, then I give up.

I had the wonderful opportunity to deliver a care package from my in laws to their sponsor child, Edelam. She was so shy that she wouldn't meet my eyes as I shared her new gifts. Edelam reaped the benefits of my mother-in-law's shopping skills--several clothing items, sunglasses, hair bows... The next day she was at the playground with her grandmother. She smiled brilliantly at me as she proudly showed off her newly braided hair adorned with bows, sunglasses in her pocket, and each set of clothes on her body.


Becky said...

Like I'm not going to read your blog and see that you called me "older". Simret is an amazing person and I loved her hugs - I'm honored to be compared to her.

your mom

Greta said...

You are a great writer and captured the days so well with your words. It is really fun to read what we were really all feeling and what we processed after the trip. I think about you often and so admire all that you stand for. Keep the blogs coming!

Carpenters said...

That looks like such an amazing trip. Trees of Glory really does sound like one of those enchanting places. Your mom's comment gave me a chuckle too.