On December 29th, right between Christmas and the New Year, I was blessed with the opportunity to travel with Mai-Lynn and five other people to Ethiopia. Amidst a time of celebration and abundance in our country I experienced and participated in the daily lives of people living in one of the poorest countries in the world. The highlight of the trip was staying at the Injibara Children’s Home (ICH) for four days. We arrived at ICH on the day that the new buildings were dedicated. This was truly a day of celebration! The excitement of the children and staff, the presence of representatives from the village of Injibara, the ribbon-cutting ceremony and the attendance of the regional Bishop who blessed every room was moving. The new buildings are well-constructed, bright, and large enough that the children will have plenty of room for furniture, their belongings, and space for studying and recreation.
Injibara Children’s Home is a family filled with warmth and hope. The sisters who oversee ICH are full of smiles and love for the children. The house mothers and other staff devote their time and energy to ensuring the children are well fed and happy. During our time in Injibara preparations were being made to take in 23 additional orphaned children, the oldest being only 18 months of age! What a blessing to now have the additional beautiful buildings to safely house the young children! The timing of the building completion and the notification of the orphaned children were ideal, and certainly caused me to reflect on the guiding hands of a loving God. The sisters are ready to embrace these orphaned children with open, loving arms. They referred to these new children as a Christmas blessing since they received notice of the intended placement of the children at ICH on Christmas Day.
Ethiopia is a poor country. Yet, in most people I met there was an unmistakable feeling of hope. This was certainly true at ICH, where the children rejoiced over gifts from the sponsors. They were particularly fond of the photos and letters that their sponsor families sent. To know they are loved by a family halfway around the world away gives these children hope and motivation. I had heard Mai-Lynn say this before, but experienced this first-hand in Injibara. ICH is an amazing place overflowing with blessings and hope. I am blessed to have visited ICH first-hand, and it changed me. I can’t wait to see the children again, and am looking forward to holding the new babies!