As we walked down the hill to the river, Girma stopped to show us the well. He explained that the entire property used to have running water, not just a pump, but faucets, showers, even a pool! When the Japanese construction crew finished their work and left, the property was sorely vandalized and the well was destroyed.
As time passes and volunteer teams come; windows are replaced and walls are painted. Buildings that have sat in disrepair are being used. Simret, the director, has high hopes for the property. Her dreams are big and it seems they all hinge on getting that well repaired and functioning again. As it stands now, the staff has to fill jugs in the village spigot to provide water for 100 children during the day.
The bids for the project came in a few months ago. I sat at the computer overwhelmed by the cost. Then I thought about how overwhelming it would be to Simret. I'm sitting at my breakfast table, with one of our three laptops open, sipping a cup of coffee, enjoying the cool temperatures inside my house while it begins to heat up outside. I am the picture of middle class America. In all of my affluence, a price that is staggering to me must be completely incomprehensible to a woman standing in the middle of Ethiopia, without electricity or running water. The staff at Trees of Glory don't have access to the internet to let the rest of the world know about their plight. They are counting on us. Jessica Irvin shot a video of Simret and Girma talking about their need for the well to be repaired. Specifically, they thank US for partnering with them in their efforts. What a humbling thought! I'm overwhelmed and thinking that we cannot possibly raise the funds in a timely manner, but they are relying on God to provide the funding through us. Stressing that their ability to care for these children is made possible by our prayers and support.
Since I began this post several days ago, the situation has become dire. Karen emailed last night with an urgent request. She cited news reports that are calling this the most severe drought in 60 years. As the drought continues, the price of food goes higher and malnutrition quickly becomes starvation. From Karen's message:
This fresh-water well project is more urgent than ever for Trees of Glory. The well will be drilled deep enough to reach aquifers that are not readily affected by cyclical droughts or rainfall - and part of the plans for the well include irrigation systems for the fields and gardens at TOG.
Please consider funding this project - and please spread the word. This is something we can do right now to make a tangible difference for the kids and staff at TOG - AND in the surrounding villages! And please pray for Ethiopia and the entire horn of Africa as they once again weather drought and famine.
To make a donation:
Go to www.hopechest.org, click on GIVE
Click on DESIGNATED GIFT and specify a $ amount
In the Reference Number, specify ET2119000
In the Notes area, specify TOG WELL