It is hard to go to Zeway and not want to make promises to fix many of their problems. What makes this especially difficult is that in Zeway, an amazing cappuccino costs less than a quarter, a hotel costs $5 a night and an good salary can be about $50 a month. How far our money can go in the Ethiopian economy.
So when a child asks for something or when the physical need is obvious, it is hard to not promise these kids that we will fulfill that need.
Especially when they ask for a bottle of water, a Bible, a stable home, school supplies, new clothes.
And while a big part of this partnership is supplying physical needs, when a team goes to Ethiopia, it is not our place to be the givers of these needs. We don't want to be viewed as
"Santa Claus". It is the role of FH and the local churches to deliver these things. People who are there everyday to mentor, follow-up, and be the daily support for these children.
So what is it that we can promise these kids? There is one thing that I have said to every kid that I have visited in Zeway. A promise I have made to each of them.
"I promise that I will ask about you. You are remembered. I may live across an ocean, but I want to know how you are -your health, your education, your siblings, your relationships, your soul. I will think about you and I will ask about you."
Mother Theresa wrote in her memoirs, "There are poor people everyone, but the deepest poverty is not being loved."
Dr. Karyn Purvis, a leading adoption psychologist, says that a basic need a child has is to know he is precious.
So how do we get these children out of some the deepest places of poverty? How do we fulfill their basic needs? We let them know they are loved. That they are remembered. That they are precious.
So that is one problem they have that I can promise to do something about. I promise to ask about them and to think of them and to remember who they are as children of God.
Can you make this promise to the orphans of Zeway too?
Soon we'll be publishing a photo book of the names and faces of all the Zeway orphans. With this, people will be able to know these children and pray for them. Others can promise to remember these precious and loved children.
It is the one promise we can make.