Where Stories Collide...That is the motto for One Orphan Storyteller trips, and I can tell you, there's been a lot of colliding today! There has been so much deep emotion and so much connection, and all of the team members are a little (or more than a little) overwhelmed.
The verse that I think of is "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18. We are seeing, and even experiencing, brokenness but we are also witnessing the nearness and provision of God.
We spent our day in Korah, a very poor part of the city adjacent to the garbage dump. We visited several ministries that are empowering and serving--focusing on people's value and offering them opportunity to help themselves. It was inspiring! So many lessons for us to take home.
Some details from Ben's perspective...
Today was a very busy day. This morning we helped feed the kids and some of the moms in Korah through the organization "Hope for Korah". All the people who come get a cup of tea and a berta pancake (a bread full of nutrition). It was very fun to serve and interact with the kids. After that we went and had pop with the elders [older men who have significant deformities from leprosy]. They were very nice and one even sang us a song. I thought that the song was very good. The translator told us the song was about how the Lord is good and puts us in the place meant for us. We went to a place where they were teaching moms to be self-sufficient and start their own artisan businesses. I thought it was incredible how the ladies could make beads out of paper and glue. I thought it was nice that the organization didn't give them money but helped them make it themselves. There was a very similar thing we also saw that gave women the chance to make bags and other cloth products to be sold so they can raise their children. You can tell that they are very proud of their work.
Now from Jadyn...
If anyone were to ask me how today went, I would say that I left my heart at Korah. I truly love interacting with all ages--from baby to elder. Today I was able to interact with every age. There were two organizations, "Hope For Korah" and "Carry 117"--coming from Isaiah 1:17. "Hope for Korah" truly impacted me, (please go follow them both on Facebook and check out their websites). They both have a hand-up mentality rather than a hand-out, trying to help these significantly poor families who most are without fathers and caring for multiple children all while trying to attend to daily needs. "Hope for Korah" is much larger, and was truly inspiring and overwhelming all at the same time. These families are really striving to work and earn money. The products we all purchased today were products that were made by the women in the compounds and the money raised goes to their bank accounts to help build their future and develop skills to go out on their own. They forever have my heart, what beautiful programs and mindsets these people have all while incorporating our "Good, Good Father" into their ministry.
You can join us on a Storyteller trip to share the love and hope of Christ in Ethiopia, China, Uganda and other places around the world, then return home and be a Storyteller for those have need their story told!