Written by Jeff Wills, Center Manager at Lexington Beaumont
On the first Saturday of our recent adoption trip to Ethiopia, my family and I accompanied the Ordinary Hero in-country worker, Lincoln, up Entoto Mountain for their Saturday feeding program. Every Saturday around 100-150 children from the community gather for a brief respite from their lives. A chance to kick a soccer ball. Simple repeating word games. A few traditional Ethiopian dances. A time of play. A scripture tale followed more importantly by a meal.
For some it may be the only meal for days. And it’s not much. On good weeks there is injera, traditional Ethiopian spongy bread, some carrots and rice. Not much by our standards, but a feast for them. Lincoln wanders past me and mumbles under his breath that “these kids need more.” I don’t think he knew that I heard him. My heart breaks.
The children gather on the front porch to listen to the scripture or bible verse before lunch. Not long, about 5 minutes. Lincoln explains that their attention spans aren’t that long. But you can’t blame them, their bellies are hungry.
The older kids form a line and pass the plates person to person down to a newer cinder block building, The Endihnew Hope Center. We stood in that line to pass the plates. Sadly, getting tried from twisting back and forth over 100 times. We heard our kids complain from their place next to us in line. But there are empty bellies of hungry kids at the end of the line. Turn and pass. Turn and pass.
And soon it is over. We are escorted back to the van by a few of the kids. “You have chocolate?” “Water please?” accompanying every stride. And off we go. Back to the guest house and 3 meals per day.
The following Saturday, Entoto Mountain calls to our hearts again, “Please. Come help. It’s just a few hours.” We load the kids up into the Ordinary Hero Guest House van for the drive up to the mountain. The kids don’t want to go. They feel awkward and out of place.
Back on Entoto Mountain, the air is a little crisper. Our daughter, Becca, complains that she is cold. A little Ethiopia girl offers Becca her jacket. This little girl has nothing and she is trying to help our daughter. My heart breaks again. Our daughter accepts and off they go. Side by side. Holding hands at times. “Can I braid your hair,” she asks Becca.
Some time on this second Saturday, I meet Endihnew. He tells the story of founding this ministry to help the approximately 5,000 families that live on Entoto. Often outcast from the capital, Addis Ababa, due to tuberculosis or HIV. Coming to Entoto in hopes that the “healing water” will help them. It doesn’t. It’s probably not safe to drink, but they do anyways.
He is proud of the newest building, the Endihnew Hope Center. He hopes someday that it will be their medical clinic. Currently, it sits empty. Doors locked. Nothing inside but hope.
I ask a simple question, “How much would it take to buy the necessary supplies?’ The answer shock me. “$3,000,” he answers. He knows. He’s heard that number from the government before. “Really? That’s it,” I think.
That number hasn’t been far from my mind since. $3000. We can do that.
This past week I heard back from the staff at Ordinary Hero, a non-profit organization out of Tennessee. They are ready to begin taking donations for the Entoto Mountain Medical Clinic.
Would you consider coming along side us to help fund this clinic?
All donations are tax deductible with year-end donation receipts provided by Ordinary Hero. No gift is too small as we strive to reach the goal of $5,000. Three thousand dollars to provide the initial startup medical supplies and an additional $2,000 for replenishing used supplies and medications.
Donations can be made online at: http://weblink.donorperfect.com/endihnewhopesupport
Or, by check made out to Ordinary Hero that we can batch mail on a weekly basis.
Please include: Drayer – Entoto Clinic on the memo line, so that they can keep track of the funds raised.
Thank you for considering this cause.
Jeff Wills and the Lexington Beaumont Staff