I hadn't visited Ethiopia for more than seven years and much had changed. Modernized buildings and roads in Addis Ababa impressed me and so did the many trendy coffee shops. Stopping for machiatto became the norm of every day. That alone might be enough to compel me to come back!
Since my last visit, my parents have founded Misgana Ministries. The ministry's first project in Ziway produced a bridge that villagers now walk across everyday to access the school and market. Before the bridge, they had to balance across logs or wade through muddy swift flowing water to get across.
Hundreds of students now receive an outstanding education at three school campuses. While at school, each student receives breakfast and lunch. The school buildings are clean and bright. When I visited a government run school, the contrast of dark dusty rooms with broken desks shocked me.
The stories of children who don't have a mom, dad, or both would break your heart into tiny pieces if you could handle listening to them all. Some are cared for by family friends or grandparents, but many live on streets selling gum, shining shoes, or simply begging as a way to survive. With the desire to do something to help as many children as they could, my parents began a group home. Orphaned boys and girls now have a home with houseparents who love and care for them.
My mind boggled as I saw the construction projects underway as well as the sites where current dreams will one day become reality. Additional school sites, expansions, vocational programs...wouldn't you love to meet every one's need?
Many outstanding Ethiopians who also have big hearts to serve God assist with managing daily operations. They work hard, my parents work hard, teams work hard, and yet much more waits to be done.
Lives are being changed every day because of opportunities that weren't available to them before. I wish you could see it. I wish we could snap our fingers together and start the programs and open enough classrooms for everyone who wants to attend.
It was good for me to go and I hope to do more.