After picking up the team and taking them to the bank, we are off to do our first home visits with the team. We purchase 6 bags of food to bring to the homes we are visiting. I could see by looking into the team’s eyes that they are very excited to go, but they have anxiety because of the unknowns. No matter how much you prepare someone, it is impossible to be ready for what you are about to experience.
These homes are made of sticks with mud and straw mixed and spread on the walls, tin or a tarp covers as a roof, a door is made from sticks and metal nailed to the sticks, dirt makes for a floor and one light bulb hangs from a single wire off the ceiling for light. You will not find running water or sewers in these homes. The average size of a home is 9 feet by 6 feet.
This is just what you see with your eyes. Then you have to deal with all of the smells, which are horrendous! All of these homes are very close to the garbage dump. It is just sickening. It is sensory overload for most people who visit for the first time.
We arrive in the Korah area, park the taxi and start walking to the first home. The team is very quiet and just taking everything in. Children around us stop to watch us walk by, because we are all white! Adults are starring at us wondering what these foreinges (that is what they call us in Ethiopia) are doing now.
We make it to the first house and we are welcomed Ethiopian style (3 kisses and hugs). The team of seven can barely squeeze into the home. The mom quickly grabs more stools from her neighbors so they can all sit down. It is very tight, but they make it in. The mom and children are happy to see everyone and offer the team some coffee she has prepared for them.
The team is a little quiet. They will be asking all of the questions for the profiles of the children as we visit each home. The team will be making 14 home visits during their stay in Addis Ababa. Transformation Love is challenging all 7 of them to try to get 2 children sponsored each, when they return home. We are praying they will work hard to get these 14 kids sponsored, so the love can transform their lives too.
We visit Eman’s home in the afternoon. She is waiting for us and greets us with smiles at the gate of the compound. Eman is the Muslim woman with the blood cancer. I wrote about earlier in our blog. The team squeezes into her home and the women immediately ask to hold, Amar, her son. Eman picks him up and puts him into loving arms and smiles. He looks at all of the white people visiting his home in amazement, but doesn’t cry! The team starts asking questions for the profile and Eman tells her story about her blood cancer that she has had for three years now. Eman is so ill; she can barely take care of her son. She is in need of sponsorship for her little baby boy, so he can have formula to drink. She has been giving him mashed food instead and he is breaking out in a rash. The team is touched by her story and some of them have tears in their eyes. They pray over Eman and ask God to heal her and that God would love and protect both her and her baby. I am praying that someone from the team will sponsor this baby boy.
We finish the home visits for the day and take the team out for dinner. Most of the conversation at dinner is about digesting everything that they have seen today. It is a lot to take in, but they handle it very well. They did an excellent job for their first day of work in Transformation Love. Praying God will help them to be strong and will be able to endure the rest of their time here. May give them a good night rest and keep them in good health.