I am looking at a list of people with numbers by their names. Its a list of guesses and hopes for blankets they think they will be able to gather up for our trip to Ethiopia. My growing circle of people has been so generous.
Then another list of names with numbers. The people on the travel team who can help get the blankets to Ethiopia. They are so willing to give up space for themselves to help in this effort. But the blankets seem so big; the suitcases so small.
In my living room my mom and I fill a gigantic suitcase. We are counting the blankets as we cram them in and soon realize that this suitcase just isn't big enough. We need 15, but thought it would fit more like 20. Each blanket rolled up on the sofa, bags full of blankets laying around on the floor, look forlorn. I feel overwhelmed at the thought of having only two pieces of luggage with which to fill. My mom looks at me as I say, "I think we could get one more in to make it 15."
She shakes her head in wonder and says what I am afraid to mention, "But what about the rest?"
We have help in the other travelers, but will it be enough? Each blanket has a face for me. The face of my two year old nephew, smiling as he holds it up. My friend who gathered a group to make blankets on a living room floor. Ladies at church and many, many people I will never personally meet. They chose these fabrics and handled each blanket with care. Then the faces of the children in Ethiopia flood my mind. Most of them smiling, with runny noses and tattered clothes. They will be thrilled beyond words to get such a special gift from so far away.
I thought I should share our progress in getting together blankets for the Hopechest care points.
I thought about it.
Then I thought about it some more. I really wanted to wait until I could give you a solid number of how many blankets I have in my basement. But, I kept waiting knowing so many people that have blankets they are giving me in the next few weeks or people (like me) who are having parties in the next few weeks.
Today my sister called and said fleece is on sale, but..."do you still need blankets?"
Did I mention that the goal of 300 has kind of become 400 hoping to bring blankets to the children at Kechene, a recently sponsored Care Point in the center of Addis?
It's so easy to be overwhelmed when looking around a living room scattered with fleece, a bulging suitcase, a duffle bag, a rubbermaid and this is only the beginning. I tell my mom, "We are just trusting God for this to work."
Then I sit on the edge of the suitcase and we slide one more blanket onto the top.