Day 3 we went to the trashdump in Ethiopia to serve the children that live here. Yes, you read that right... they LIVE here. It was the hardest day and the most meaningful day of our trip. This colony started over 75 years ago, when the King moved a "Leprous Colony" next to the landfill to keep them away from the rest of the population. With them being so far from work they asked the King how they were to feed their families? He replied that they may work at the dump, digging through the trash finding items they may sell, so that they may eat. This is a true story that happend 75 years ago and is still happening today.
I didn't know what to expect as we entered the trashdump/landfill. Only half of our group went in because there was some type of "trouble" brewing. I was quite nervous, but knew I NEEDED to see this. I have some pictures, but once we came over the hill we were no longer allowed to photograph. Holy Moly, I wish I could show you what was on the other side of that hill. Mountains of rubbish and more people that I could count digging through the trash. For most, this is ALL they know. This was the LEGACY they were born into. This is the ONLY way they know to survive. There were dogs, pigs and cattle sleeping, wallowing, and grazing in the dump. I assume it was all they knew as well. This was the ONLY place I saw heavy equipment in all of Ethiopia. There were backhoes, tractors and cranes moving trash, bringing more trash in and it was a site to see. I was very saddened by everything I saw here. What kind of life is this? This is just so wrong on so many levels. Today this community is still a leprous and very poor community. This village is a "forgotten" village that means "cursed people." I have been asked not to share the name of this village for their safety. I can tell you that the name of their village needs to be changed. In the bible, names were changed all the time due to the signifgance that a name carried. "Cursed People" is the name translated of this community. This place needs a name change in the worst way. These adults and children believe they are "cursed", after all that is what they have always been told. \
I can tell you that these were the most beautiful people that I saw in all of Africa. They were the most appreciative of all the people we met. There is a church ministry in the village adjoining the dump that ministers the children. There are small children "on their own" in the village all day, while their parents are in the dump looking for food, clothes and any scrap metal that they may be able to sell for their family's survival. The parents knew that we were coming to play with the kids, to watch over the kids for the day and they were so thankful. You could see their appreciation in their eyes. They waved and smiled at us. You see, today they knew someone would be looking after their children. There is a new ministry that was recently formed from a mission trip, just like ours, in this community. An "Angel" from Thomspson Station and her family sold ALL of their possessions and moved half way around the world to help this community. I saw how the village people interacted with her. They love her and they believe she IS an angel. She is helping find ways to send their children to school and change their family legacy forever. You see, the ONLY way to CHANGE this community is to get an education for these children, so they can leave this community or better yet obtain knowledge on how to BUILD THIS COMMUNITY UP and change the fate of this forgotten, cursed village.
There is a boarding school that the children can go to that is extraordinary and Far away from the dump that they live in. There they are provided an education, 3 meals a day, uniforms and school supplies. There are 70 additional spots available at this school. School starts in September: this is the end of July. Currently, there are 120 kids already sponsored to go to this school and this opportunity will change their family tree. These kids want a CHANCE to do what our chilren do for FREE. We are provided a top notch education and we take for GRANTED how amazing that opportunity truly is. You see, in Africa very few are educated. Education is costly and only those who can afford it get to go. This is one of the poorest villages in Ethiopia, the fogotten village, so you do the math. This is why 75 years ago this communitly looks exactly the same. If YOU are interested in learning more about how to sponsor one of these remaining 70 children please let me know. It will cost you approximately $60 a month, and let me warn you that they will want to know YOU. They will want a photo of your family. They will want to write you. They will call you mother and father. They will talk about their American brothers and sisters. They will LOVE you and I believe one day you may possibly meet them. It would FOREVER CHANGE THE LIFE FOR ONE!. Interested?
These children are so poor, so desiring of love, so beautiful. They saw our bus pull in to the community and quite quickly, we had a large swarm of kids chasing our bus. You see, this is the forgotten community who has few, if any visitors. You see when their people get sick no ambulance comes. It comes to other villages, but not this one. They are truly all on their own. Consider that for a moment. This is why we were welcomed. Recently, this ministry that has been witnessing to them is trying to help. They are telling them that they ARE worthy of love and that they are beatiful- qonjo. They are telling them that are NOT cur-sed. They have some of their own children helping with this ministry and DRIVING this ministry towards their needs. You see, some of these little chilren here got the chance to go to boarding school (provided by someone who cared for them- LIKE YOU) and they are now coming back to HELP their people. One man didn't get the chance to go to school, but trusted the Lord to help him. He is changing this place because he knows their needs, wants, and desires more than anyone. He has dreamed of his plan of help in his mind for years. The angel from Tennesee showed up and he is laying out his plan for his people. It is really moving stuff going on in this village and we knew immediately as a team, that we wanted to know how we could help this beautiful, trashfilled community. We weren't interested in going home and forgetting this place. God's work is truly present here and we wanted to know their short term goals as well as their long term goals (wishes, desires and dreams) for this community. You will be seeing more info regarding their long term goals in the near future and I am happy to be a part of this amazing dream.
In the short term, there are 70 kids that will have the opportunity to go to school THIS SEPTEMBER and become a strong part of the CHANGE here in this community with their education. You will be getting a child OUT OF THE DUMP, the only life they have ever known. You will show them by your actions that they are special, that they are important and that they are not cursed. You will adopt a child into your family without all of the expense. You won't disrupt your children's birth order. You will be providing food, shelter and an education to your child in Africa. You will show them love from a stranger and they will call you mom and dad. Your children will have a brother or sister in Africa and maybe they will learn a little geography. You will teach your family how you gave to someone less fortunate and how YOU changed the life for ONE. You can send them care packages or letters. You will build up a child who has been BROKEN, WORRIED and HUNGRY their ENTIRE life. Most of these children have one parent. Some have none. Some live with relatives. Some live with neighbors. Some are on their own. Can you imagine? This was a hard post to put into words. I have barely grazed the surface of what I saw and felt here. I always had one on my hip and 3 or 4 draping off of my arms. I got more kisses and hugs here than any place we visited. They did all of this, not because we gave them anything; we only gave them lunch the first day. There were TOO MANY to break out the candies, dolls and shoes. TOO MANY. We fed them and played with them. We hugged them, kissed them and loved them. It was the most selfless love I have ever felt. Their hearts were bursting and overflowing with love. Or maybe that was mine.
Feel free to use anything that you find useful on this blog. We are all in this together, all trying to advocate for the orphan and raise awareness of the need to ADOPT. I am not trying to attach my name to anything, just trying to bring attention to the fatherless.
We are a family that has truly been blessed! Phil and I were married 9 years ago and we NOW have 3 amazing children! Robby is 15 and Caitlin is age 13, and Mamo age 5. God sent Robby and Caitlin into our lives shortly after we were married and each moment has been a joyous one! In December 2010, we adopted our youngest from Ethiopia, Africa. We are a family who has been created by adoption and have been blessed beyond measure! I have the most amazing husband in the world...Philip you are my ROCK and my BEST friend! :)
July 20 Met Daniel Mamo in Ethiopia on Mission Trip with Ordianry Hero
July 21 Phil says YES and schedules Homestudy AppointmentJuly 24-Robby and I Return Home from Ethiopia
Jul 29 FIRST Homestudy Visit
July 29 Sue with CCI agrees that we may pursue Mamo!
Sept 8 Dossier completed and submitted
Sept 9 I-600a completed and sumbitted
Sept 20 - Daniel receives care package from us and learns he we are coming to him to be his FOREVER family!!
Sept 28 Ethiopian Courts RE-OPEN!!
Sept 28 Payne/Mamo case submitted to the ET courts Oct 12 Received FIRST Court Date of Nov 10th! Travel booked! Woo hoo!
Oct 19th Fingerprinting Appointment for I600-A Nov 4 Begin Journey to Ethiopia Nov 10 Court Date in Ethiopia - WE PASSED!!!!
Nov 12 Come home! Praying to go back SOON to bring him home FOREVER!! Nov 22 Mamo's Birth Certificate issued!
Nov 29th Mamo's Medical Clearance and Passport Issued Dec 8 Receive email that we have been cleared for travel for Embassy appt Dec 16 Dec 13 Begin Journey back to Ethiopia Dec 16 US Embassy Appointment Dec 19 Return HOME as a family of 5 Forever!!!