Saturday, 26 March 2011

Day Four, Part I

You know, each time I write about a day, I want to say, "Now, this day was my favorite!" But then I start writing the next day and I realize that one is truly my favorite. Until I start the next day...

Alright, so day four was definitely my favorite. Just like day three, and day two, and day one. Day Four I finally got to see my sponsors girls. Last year, our team interviewed over fifty kids in two communities and then came back to the states to find sponsors for them. I fell in love with Mekdes, one of the first girls I interviewed. Unlike all the other little kids, Mekdes was the only one not completely terrified of me. She looked me in the eyes, laughed at my lame jokes, and answered my questions herself. I came back to America completely taken with Mekdes and started sponsoring her. It was really neat because at the time, I didn't have a job so I was kind of worried about paying each month without draining my savings account. However, each month, God gave me some weird opportunity like babysitting, taking care of dogs, or working outside. He kept that up until I got a job, so I've been sponsoring her for a year. My family is sponsoring another girl named Fikre Addis. She is the cutest, sweetest, prettiest little girl I've ever met (besides Mekdes of course) but what really sealed the deal was her name, of all things. Before we changed her name, Sadie's original Ethiopian name was Fikre. Weird right? But there's more. Addis is the name of the girl who inspired our family to adopt (for more about that story, visited In honor of her, Sadie's middle name is Addis. I think that was a pretty clear sign that our family was supposed to sponsor her. When my mom went to Ethiopia to pick up the girls, she was able to visit Fikre Addis' home and buy her groceries. Fikre Addis was wearing the same coat when my mom saw her and when I saw her. I blogged from Ethiopia about Fikre Addis here but I didn't get a chance to blog about Mekdes.
{I'm just going to copy this more or less right from my journal}
It took us about thirty minutes to get from MAKBC to Gulele after teaching the childrens' "Saturday" school. When we pulled up, we were greeted by yet another crowd of children. A quick glance revealed no Mekdes among the crowd. I absentmindedly shook hands with some of the kids, but there was no Mekdes and I was tired of getting excited to meet my girls only to find out they weren't really there. I had some shred of hope that maybe all the sponsor kids were somewhere else, so I asked Derege, the coordinator. "Is Mekdes Reta here?" He grinned, "Yeah of course! All the kids sponsored by Bethlehem are here!" I'm pretty sure I squealed at that point. We all followed Derege behind the church and entered a dark room in their offices. Before my eyes had time to adjust to the dark, I heard Derege ask, "Mekdes Reta?" Immediately, a little voice answered, "Yes?" and all of a sudden - there was my Mekdes. Unlike Fikre Addis, there was no shyness. I enveloped her tiny frame into a ginormous bear hug and said hi. After the whole team came in, we all sat down while Derege explained the sponsorship program. I was half-listening because every thirty seconds, Mekdes would glance up at me and just beam. Just a little distracting. :) After the overview, I gave Mekdes a plastic bag filled with presents. For Christmas, Leeann Chin gave all its servers $120 giftcards to Target. I felt like I should use it for something significant, so I used a big chunk of it for Fikre Addis and Mekdes. Mekdes loved the presents and positively gloated over showing it to her friends (I had to force her to share her tic tacs). Although that part was fun, by far the best part was something she said during our videotaped interview.
Last year, as we interviewed each kid, we asked what religion they were. Most said Orthodox, some said Christian, and a few said Muslim. Mekdes was one of those few. I was a little disappointed that she wasn't a Christian, but I started being really intentional about talking about Jesus  in a couple of the notes and letters I sent. For the first few months after being home, I prayed for her a lot too. This year, Dave taped us being interviewed again and this time when we asked Mekdes what religion she was, she replied, "Christian." I glanced at her in surprise. "Wait, ask her if she loves Jesus," I told our translator. He conversed with her and then looked back at me. "Yes, she says she loves Jesus." I'm getting shivers just typing it. Although, I must admit that I do feel a little ashamed because of how little I pursued her faith. During the summer, I basically just sent in the check without much more thought. I guess it just goes to show how much God can do even when I'm not doing anything. Still, I should have been more involved.
After our interview, all the sponsor kids went home while our team met with Derege again. Mekdes and I were still having a grand time with her friends though, so I dragged her into the meeting where the social workers very graciously let her stay and gave her Fanta and cookies. When it was time for our team to leave, Mekdes and I hugged about three times and waved until she was out of sight.
I am sure that I'll see her again - my dream is to bring her and Fikre Addis to the States for a couple weeks when they get older. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, don't even get me started.
Pictures coming soon.

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