I am now 4 days back from Ethiopia and my head is still spinning. I feel like there will never be enough blog posts, hours, words or pictures to capture all that I experienced in 10 days. I thought I should just begin writing. Story by story. God is moving so mightily in Zeway that it feels impossible to encapsulate it all.
But not every story was 'happy'.
That is why I am starting with Eden. I felt God pressing on my heart about Eden before I left. She was heavy on my heart. I know now why.
When we pulled up to the Food for the Hungry building, I was not anticipating seeing her. On the bottom floor, there is a Hair dressing school. As I got out of the car, I looked into the school...again, not expecting to see her. Eden has epilepsy and previously was not able to attend the school because of her seizures. Then I saw her. And she saw me. She had been waiting. The social workers told her I was coming. It was an incredibly joyful reunion. And she looked AMAZING!
I visited with her briefly and had to leave to attend a meeting with the new Director, Samson. It was during the meeting that I found out that Eden had been taken in by a wonderful social worker named Tilahun. My heart leapt. Tilahun has an amazing heart for orphans and took in his first orphan while he was single and the child was just 3. That child is now 16. Tilahun loves the Lord with everything he has and loves these children with his heart and soul.
But the situation is not good. Eden has been struggling. Since I saw her last, she has lived in 4 homes. She quarreled with all her neighbors and they came to FH begging them to remove her. Finally Tilahun offered her his home. Tilahun asked me to speak to Eden "as a mother" and I honored his request. I spent an extended amount of time with her and shared Jesus with her.
Eden has deep pains and hurts. Can you imagine the pain she feels having been told that she is the reason her parents have died? That burden is too much for anyone to carry....let alone a child. Her soul aches and you can see it in her face. I loved on her as much as I could. I shared Jesus with her. When I would show her pictures and talk with her about John and the kids, she would smile as bright as the sun. But when I talked to her about Jesus, a sadness would overcome her.
My heart hurts for Eden. But my job now is to pray for her. I hope you will too. Pray that she can come to know Jesus as her personal savior. Pray that the Lord can break the ties she feels to this world. And pray that she can begin to accept the love from the One who loves her more than anything. Jesus.