I have been blessed by taking two trips to Zeway, Ethiopia. The first one was almost 2 years ago in June 2009, when a team from Grace went to explore the possibilities of serving the Zeway church, Food for the Hungry and specifically, orphans who were heading their own households after their parents' deaths.
On this first trip, the team was broken by a despair and by a lack of light in childrens' eyes. We were broken by the poverty, but also by the lack of future these children had on their own. Their daily necessities, food, clothing and shelter, were ongoing struggles. A concern for the emotional and spiritual conditions were difficult to address because their physical conditions were so dire.
There was hope in Zeway at that time because of the desire for the staff of Food for the Hungry and the local churches to care for these orphans physical, spiritual and emotional needs, but the orphans did not know that yet. Their futures were bleak without intervention.
But all of that, the bleakness, the despair, the lack of light in children's eyes, we did not see that on our trip to Zeway in March 2011. That is something we did not see.
So what did we see? We saw light in childrens' eyes that were previously dulled. We saw orphans and widows who were bedridden before, greet us at their doors. We heard orphans, who were once choosing between work and school, now tell us that they were passing their college entrance exams. We heard AIDS widows tell us that they have peace because they know the partnership will help their children. All the glory goes to God as our eyes would not have been opened to this great need without Him and our resources would not have been used for this if it wasn't for His love.
With all the praise and glory going to God, He is using this partnership between the Austin church, Food for the Hungry and the Zeway church to intervene for these children. To provide them with their physical needs, to address their emotional needs, and to share with them the love of Christ and the hope that He can provide for their futures.
We saw joy, hope, community, and great futures ahead of these children. But our prayers and support cannot fall short as these children are some of the most vulnerable in the world and their situations can change overnight. Please continue praying for and sharing the stories of the orphans and widows of Zeway!