Monday, September 7, 2015

This was our first day at Operation Rescue Ethiopia(ORE) in Adwa with the seventy five children who are a part of the program there. I found out today that 90% of them are true orphans who have lost at least one parent to HIV. They are beautiful children who are attending school and then half days with the ORE program where they receive tutoring, food and medical care. It is a great program. They welcomed us with flower leis and songs. We gave them lots of balls to play with. It was a fun day and we get to go back for the next 4 days. I will try to load photos but the internet service is poor so it may not work.

Today when we returned to Axum I had the joy and pleasure to buy my friend, Filimon, his school uniform and school books for his classes that will start in 10 days. Filimon lives at home with his mother, but they are very very poor. There are many children in Axum that look to the foreigners/tourists to make their living. They are very aware that Americans are compassionate and will often buy trinkets from them. If they are really lucky they can find one who will "sponsor" them and purchase some things that they need. These are not homeless grown ups....these are children. Filimon is twelve years old and going into the 8th grade. Today before he knew that I was going to buy him anything he brought me 2 postcards with messages written on the back.
 To: Mom Jacky From: Filimon
Call me a "sucker", but I just want to do all I can to help him succeed. He is just a boy and I believe it is my calling as a Christian to meet his physical needs and hopefully have the chance to speak to him of Christ's love. Only God knows but that this was the very purpose He allowed me to come on this trip. I pray He is pleased because it gives me great joy to share what I have with Filimon. I may even get to meet his mother this week. Please pray that he will understand when I tell him that I am giving to him because God has given to me and because God loves him. I can't do for all the children, but I can do for this one and hopefully for him it will make a difference.

Did you know that Ethiopia has it's own calendar? I am like 8 years younger here! They also have their own time. Their days begin at 6am instead of midnight like ours. All this stuff kind of blows my mind. I honestly can't wrap my little American mind around it.

Today at ORE they had the coffee ceremony for us. They roast the coffee over an open fire, hand grind it and boil it and then serve it with freshly popped popcorn. It's so fun! I think I should learn to do this for family and friends! It is quite a process though they make it look easy. Needless to say I am loving being here. Jack and Pam (our team leaders) have done a great job and we are all working well together. Thank you for praying for us. Please don't stop. We have 5 days to go!
Much love,

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