Friday, September 17, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
I wanted to write and share a post with all of you from Andrea while she was in Ethiopia. You may remember from a previous post I talked about two little girls who had lost both of their parents to AIDS and were living all alone in their little hut. They had come to our orphanage Adama the day that Pete & Andrea were visiting "Adama." One of the little girls they found out was in fact their sponsor child. Below is the post Andrea wrote about their visit to these little girls home and what they learned about their situation.
Our first day at our sponsor community called Look Development was amazing. We spent the time handing out care packages from all the families back home who treasure these kids. We, of course could not wait to meet our sponsor children in person. As Isabelle's firend walked through the door, her older sister was holding her hand. This was our introduction to Selem (10) and her sister Abeba (13). As we said hello and began giving Selam her candy and clothes and goodies, we learned what she needed was bigger than anything we could have put in that zip lock bag. They had just lost their only living parent to AIDS, and were living all alone! The 13 year old sister was taking care of them. The look of pain and fear and despair on their faces was indescribable. We knew we would be back in a week, and asked Look Development to help us help them. We left in tears that day hugging the girls and telling them we would see them in 7 days. They asked us to visit their house when we returned.
We learned later in the week that their house was in shambles and was not safe. They had no mattress, no blankets and no food. The window and door to their hut was broken, we agreed to pay for all these things and would deliver them when we returned. Prayers and prayers were lifted up for them and for our hearts to be prepared for what we would see. Nothing could have prepared us, and only Jesus, holding all our hands and holding me up could have gotten us through our next meeting.
At Look, we were shown all the supplies that had been purchaased for Selma and Abeba, but there was a problem, anything that had been given to them was stolen. We could not even bring them the basic things they needed, because what they needed was even more basic! PROTECTION.
We left to go see them and where they lived. We drove and drove, down long muddy rodes, until we were told we had to start walking. We walked down a thick path that led to their hut. They came running out and I saw smiles from both of them for the first time. You could see they could not believe we had come. Walking up to their house was sureal, part of my mind begged to not have to enter the door, to run away and to never look back. My flesh screamed..... my spirit walked me throug their door reassuring me that this was part of our purpose and God was with us.
We stepped into a dark square of a mud hut. All that we could see was an old wire bed frame, covered in clothing.......the clothing of their deceased father and mother. This is what they slept on. Did it bring them comfort? Could they still smell their parents when they selpt? On the wall, was a poster of Jesus, and there was a Mesobi (for eating and coking) in the corner. Also a very dirty yellow jug for water.....where did they even get water.....how far did they need to walk.....was it even clean? My mind was racing as the sweat began to drip down my forhead, and I watched a huge spider crawling inches from my face. I glanced at my 2 oldest, for a brief moment wandering if they were o.k......they were, but the looks on their faces I will never forget, as a work was being done right in front of my eyes.
Our representatives from Look were talking with Abeba and asking them how they were. I went weak as they described the nightly scene of drunk men coming to their house and banging on the window to get in. I pictured these 2 beautiful girls huddled together fearing that these men would break in and steal the only things they had, or even worse, steal from their innocent bodies. We told them we would pay for them to move into a new place closer to the Look Development office so they could be safe. They did not want to give up their house, it is the only memory and only thing left from their mother and father. They feared the gov't. would take it away from them. We told them we would fix their window and door and gate, so they would be more protected......I could see Abeba's face changing, she was mustering up courage, she was so sweet and so quiet, but her face told me something was coming........I knew in my heart what is was, and I was paralyzed. She looked at us and asked to be adopted. They want a FAMILY and to bbe ptrotected and loved. Pete and I barely caught each others eyes, as we had no idea how to respond. Both of us wanted to grab them and run and bring them home and never look back. Pete only said it was a very difficult and long process, and we would do what we could to help them.
We stood outside their house and hugged and prayed over them. I held each of them tight until they cried. They needed a mother's love and protection and the feel of safet, if only for a moment. I kissed them all over their faces and told them I loved them and we would see them again, and help them in the meantime. Isabelle and Johnny begged to give them all the food we had in the van, so we asked them to walk back with us. We walked down that path to the van, praying the whole way. I didn't know until later that night after looking at the pictures that we were all holding hands. Isabelle and Johnny love these girls too, and their hearts were broken and changed that day too.
As we said goodbye and drove away, I prayed to God to show me waht to do. It was no accident that we were led here, that we were to see these girls and to learn their story. As I licked my lips I could taste Selam and Abeba. Anyone who has visited orphans knows that salty, dirty smell that the kids have. You look past it, because you care more about giving them love than the dirt or smell they carry. For the first time that taste was so sweet and I didn't want it to go away.
My prayer, is that these girsl will be protected, that YOU will be touched by this story, moved to action of some sort, that SOMEONE may see their daughters in these two girls. Last night God told me to write this story and to share it, I pray that I was sent to these two for one of you.
Thank you for reading, looking into the dark and hard places that Jesus sees and begs us to walk with him. I thank you for passing this along to anyone and everyone, and for any step you take to help us help these girls.I am uploading an album called" Selam and Abeba", please look at their faces and pray for them, and pass this along.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Andrea email with great news! They have passed court in Ethiopia and will be brining their new son Endale home on 8/22. They will arrive at Dulles Airport but I don't have any of their particulars. I will be traveling on Wed for a family vacation to California and won't be home until 8/31. The pictures above are some that Andrea sent. The little boy in the orange jacket is the Thomas family's sponsor child and the little boy seen kissing his care package is the Reilly's sponosr child. Andrea reported that Pete has been working on a video for all of you of the children and each one receiving their care package.
Friday, August 6, 2010
I just received an email from Andrea with pictures of some of our kids at Adama. It is so fun to see the joy and excitement on each of their faces as they are receiving their gift bags. The lady that you see Andrea hugging is Yesemvich. (not sure of the spelling) She is the precious soul who loves on and cares for these littles daily! I looked at each picture and tried to match families with pictures. These are the ones I could match! Tesfahun (McGowan family), Enat (Carreras Family), Edelewezk (Cokefair Family), Lidiya (Ditthardt family). Enjoy the photos.. more to come
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Hi Everyone, Just received an email this morning from Andrea & Pete with some details about their first visit to Adama and wanted to share it with you.
I don't even know where to begin.....Adama/Look was AMAZING!!!!! I can't wait for you and everyone else to go experience the love, the action, the Holy Spirit that exudes from this place. The children were incredible....singing and clapping as we eneterd. They had been waiting for 6 hours for us! All smiles and wanted to touch and shake each of our hands. They wanted to be SEEN and felt. Recogning their face from the profiles immediately brought me to tears. They look SOOOOO much better. They are dirty and are in rags, but they look fuller and more fed. Praise God for our sponsor community feedingthese kids.
We got to go and spend individual time with each of the first 40 (sponsor names A-M). Words can barely do justice to the excitment and joy as they saw the pictures of their familes and learned that they are loved and prayed for every day. They lit up like nothinhg I have ever seen. THEN, handing them their treat bags.......truly faces of shock and disbelief. They did not understand it could all be for them. Had to teach many about lotion and hair care, as they had never seen it before. We wanted to make sure they didn't eat it. They were in heaven. Some of their care givers were there, and came to hug us and thank us. they are SOOOOOOO grateful and sooooooo need our help. They are the happiest kids despite their obvious need. I can't get their smiling faces out of my head as they ran after our bus when we left.
I want every family to know that these kids were seen out in the courtyard KISSING the pictures of their sponsor families. You all mean the world to these children. We have special one-on-one pictures and video of each child gettingtheir things, we will breakingthis up and givingto each family to treasure and these children treasure you!
A story of a NEED: We kept hearing about 2 girls who were very sad, they had lost their last family member to AIDS, and were all alone. It turns out the younger girl, is our sponsor child (isabelle's girl, her age). The older sister is also sponsored by a family, but I have not looked her up yet. Anyway, she came in and we learneds the story/. A 10 and 13 yearl old sisters, who just lost their mom and are living ALL alopne!!!! The 13 yr. old is taking care ofthe house and the 10 yr. old. They just wanted to be held and hugged. We gave them all the food we had brought and are going to see where they live next Tuesday....oh my. They are being given extra care by Look, and are now in legal custody of Look Development. But there is nowhere for Look to have kids stay, so they go home all alone at night. Too much to take, they are so beauitioful and so sweet, but so broken and so in need. We continue to ask God how we can help these girls make it. PLEASE pray with us as we learn more next week. The younger one is Selam.
I will update more, we miss you and appreciate your prayers daily!
Monday, July 26, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Above is a picture of the Kidd Family at church when they had Gigi dedicated. I received two texts's from Andrea in Ethiopia and I wanted to share her words:
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Tomorrow Pete and Andrea Kidd will be leaving for Ethiopia. Stefan and I along with the family visited them on Saturday and took all of the care packages that were put together. We brought extra bags and rubbermaid bins in hopes of getting all of them ready to travel all the way to Ethiopia. We never dreamed we would have this many and also underestimated how many containers we would need to store them in. The great news is that we got them all put together and we are praying that Ethiopian air allows them to bring the 7 extra bins! Andrea and Pete have promised to send lots of pictures, video footage and details about their visit so please check the blog for regular updates.
Friday, July 9, 2010
We have spent the last month compiling lists, double checking those lists and putting together care packages for all of our 88 kids at Adama Orphanage in Ethiopia. A BIG THANKS to our sponsorship community who made it all happen. I have attached a picture showing the Mandanis Kids and the Greason kids with many of the bags. It was fun to watch them be so excited and talk with them about what it will mean to their sponsor child to receive such a special gift. Thank you for caring about these sweet little ones. I know many of you have been busy with kids home, vacation, work and it will mean the world to these little ones to receive this very special package from their sponsor family. Many of you not only sent packages to your sponsor children but did extra bags for me for those children who have not been sponsored. Thanks to Barbara Hardy who went out and shopped and brought me a huge shopping bag full of goodies to help pack extra bags. We know there will be children at the orphanage that are new that we don't even know about. We wanted to make sure these children received something as well.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Well, this is my first post in two years! Some how adopting our third child from Ethiopia has kept me fairly busy. Lots of challenges, transition and growing for the Mandanis family and me personally. As I sit back and take stock of my life I am amazed at the beautiful tapestry that God has woven in my life. If you had asked me 10 years ago what my family would look like I would have never envisioned it as it is today. I am so thankful that God holds the master plan and I can relax and trust that he has plans to give this family a hope and a future. All I have to do is be willing to be "radically obedient and then I can enjoy the ride" as my friend Lysa Terukurst says.
My journey outside my nice little life began when I attended a leadership conference for my church at Willow Creek Church in Chicago. In addition to the many seminars they featured a segment called "What One Woman can do." They highlighted three women who had heard God speak to their heart about the compelling issues going on around the world and decided to do something. I was so touched and moved by all of these women. After these women spoke they had exhibits outside from organizations around the country that are making a difference. I grabbed books, pamphlets, brochures and started reading. All at once my eyes were opened to the stark realities and hopelessness of the majority of our world.
I noticed article after article in magazines and newspapers about the plight of orphans in Africa. I began a personal journey to learn what was happening and began educating myself on these serious and compelling issues. The numbers were staggering. I learned that there were 45 million orphans in Africa and 5 million in Ethiopia alone mainly due to the AIDS pandemic. Young children were watching both parents die and often caring for them throughout their illness. In some cases they were left to care for their younger siblings all alone. As I evaluated my own very blessed life, I felt compelled to make a difference in some small way. Although there are many serious and challenging issues in Africa, which can sometimes be viewed as overwhelming, I firmly believe that each of us can make a difference one life at a time.I felt that God was asking me to go and see for myself. I spent ten days in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia visiting orphanages and seeing first hand so many children who have been orphaned by AIDs. The numbers were staggering but the children and their faces would haunt me for the next 10 months. I spent many sleepless nights sifting and processing what I had seen. Our family talked for hours about our responsibility to help others and what kind of response God was asking from us. My husband and I both agreed that after seeing the desperate needs first hand we could not look the other way. We could not look the other way and could never forget! And so began our journey to bring our son, Tam home.Our trip to Ethiopia to bring Tam home reminded us again of the plight of these children. We knew we were being asked to never forget, to never walk away, and to never stop caring. After much research we decided to partner with Children's Hope Chest and the Kidd Family to reach out to our networks to help children. Andrea's husband, Pete took one more trip to Ethiopia on a "vision trip" and hand picked an orphanage/community center to come along side of and help. We have 88 children who are in desperate circumstances. We are currently working on sponsorship for these children, raising capital to help with improvements at the orphanage and I am hoping to lead a mission trip with our sponsorship community next summer to let these children know they are precious and dearly loved by the Lord. Your can also write to these children via letters or email and attach pictures of your family.