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Through Christy’s Eyes……

Not only is Christy Reppe one of my closest friends, she also serves on our ETS board as well as travels to Ethiopia with ETS multiple times. She shares some awesome words here. Please take a look….

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Our last day in Ethiopia was spent saying lots of goodbyes, to the women at the Keziah House as well as the kids at 10cDabo. It is an Ethiopian tradition to have a coffee ceremony, where we share bread, popcorn, and coffee, songs, and some final words with each other. We also had a chance on our last day to visit the cooking/food preparation school that many of the current women attend. Just have to say, I kind of wish I could attend there for just a week or two, I think I’d come back with a lot of new cooking skills! They were working on soups the day we were there and they were delicious.
This trip hit me in a different way than any of the others have. I definitely saw the poverty on a level I’d never quite seen before, but I think what really hit me this time is the difference we can make. In many ways I’m naturally a skeptic when it comes to believing in the difference I can make as one person, or more accurately, what amazing things God can do with my obedience to care for those in need. I continued to feel throughout my trip that I was there as a witness. I felt like God just wanted me to sit back and see what He was up to with these 24 women and 110 kids. It was really a neat perspective to have, and I felt like after realizing that, all pressures that I may have put on myself were completely gone and it was more like God was walking me around, showing off to me what He’s been up to since the last time I was there a little over a year ago. Yep, that’s pretty cool.
And part of my purpose in being back here is to pass on to you what I witnessed. 10cDabo. They feed 110 children. Those children go to school. They drink clean water. They play. They receive love from a staff that cares about them immensely. Their parents feel peace about their children’s futures. The children have hopes and dreams. We are always passing children in the streets who are begging, selling gum, shining shoes. They are missing out on play, on connecting with caring adults, and on their education. For $25/month we can provide this to a child. The program is located in one of the poorest areas of Addis, yet theirs is the only sponsor program in the area. There are other areas, thankfully, where if a child isn’t sponsored by one program, they might have the opportunity to be sponsored by one of numerous other organizations working in the area. That’s not the case right now in this neighborhood. Eyes That See is the only one there. The need is huge, and we can sponsor one child at a time. Also, I feel the need to let you in on the fact that 100% of that $25 goes to the child’s needs. Eyes That See doesn’t take a single bit out of that for administrative costs. They are awesome like that. Seriously, you don’t find that.
There’s seven kids pictured on the website right now. There’s many more not pictured there yet who are also in need of a sponsor, but what if we sponsored these 7? Assiya, a sweet girl who quietly slipped me a note on our last day there. Those older boys, the ones often overlooked but with the need to be seen as if they were the adorable 3 year old. Every child sponsored makes it possible for Eyes That See to bring more children in to the program. We really can make a difference. If you’d like to be a part of what I got to witness in Addis, you can. It’s so tangible.
Sponsoring isn’t the only way. I know many of you are already involved in seeing those who are in need. But if not, and your heart is beating to get involved…some of you might have a small group that would like to “see” the Keziah House graduates by praying for each group of 24 by name as they journey through their 9 months in the residential program. Maybe your heart is for the class that just graduated, maybe your heart is for the battery that keeps the clean water pumping through the sites, maybe it is for one new outfit or makeover for each graduate, maybe it is to gather a team that needs to see and visit for yourself, it might be something that is unique to you and I would never be able to think of myself. It would be a shame if I didn’t encourage you to look into Eyes That See as an opportunity for you to “see”. They are exceptional. They are not focused on becoming the biggest or best known organization out there. They are seeing the people in front of them one person at a time, and investing in them deeply. I absolutely can not say enough good things about their organization.
And I can’t say goodbye without reminding you all that the same God who is seeing the beautiful people of Ethiopia through the staff and resources we support there, sees us too, in all our shambles and messes and chains. His heart beats for us in the same way to be free, to see beyond our circumstances, walk out of our sin, and trust in His goodness. We are both the healed and the healers. How crazy is that? I love our God.
Christy