Friday, August 30, 2013

Memories from Merkato - Part One

We asked the team who traveled to Merkato to share a story about their time with the children that particularly impacted them. Here is what Dana had to say about a moment that she will never forget:

Dana with one of the kids that she sponsors at Merkato

It took about 15 minutes to get to Merkato from the Wellspring Guest Home where we were staying. First we went into the town hall where the kids would be coming later that week, and we went to the church to see the office. We saw a chart on the wall that showed the tremendous growth of the church since the sponsorship program began. 

Team meeting at the Wellspring Guest Home
Chart on the wall of the church office at Merkato
showing the growth of the sponsorship program
(Note: 2005 in Ethiopia is 2012 in America)

After that we went in to see the children. They were lined up around the inside walls. As we walked in, they began clapping and cheering for us. It was such a touching moment – several us had tears welling up. It was a moment I will never forget! 

Merkato kids at the town hall

God is certainly working there among the church leaders, HopeChest staff, and Merkato. We feel God has placed us there to partner with them. We had confirmation with all the clapping and cheers from the children - they all wanted to hug, shake hands, and get to know us right away. You could see and feel joy in them. It was impressive to see how hard the staff of the church and HopeChest are all working to help the people there.

The streets outside the church in the Merkato neighborhood

Handsome boys - don't you love the ski suit? :)