No One Could Do That

By Sandy Burton

Most would say parenting is challenging.  The rest just haven’t been parents yet.  Reflect for a moment on how much of your life is spent doing “parenting things”.  Really reflect.  If you have more than one child, think of how you handle each child differently, because each is unique.  Maybe you have a special needs child.  What thoughts come to mind?  Overwhelming? Tiring?  Rewarding?

Now, imagine if you had 30 or 40 children, in different houses, in different towns.  And your children had all been through trauma after trauma.   You found them alone with no parents, the older ones caring for the younger ones, literally just trying not to die.  Some are ill. All are afraid.  Many of them have watched as their parents suffered and died.  And now they are all yours.  What thoughts come to mind?  No one could do that!  Impossible?    Rewarding?

Tilahun, Abduerhman, Tsehaye, Beza, Abdulfeta are those people for our orphans. That is their life and ministry with Hope in Ethiopia.  As an answer to prayer, members from the Zeway area churches now help when they can. These precious people are literally the on-site, 24-7-365 caregivers for the children and HIV+ widows in these places where God has brought our attention.  And, they have their own families and lives!  What thoughts come to mind?  Painful?  Exhausting?  Rewarding?

When Grace goes to walk alongside the caretakers in Zeway, we bring construction paper photo pages to give to the kids – as encouragement and so they know what our families look like.  This is our way of giving faces to those who pray for them, just as we have the faces and stories of them in our prayer books that we distribute.

I made some from my son and I, but felt strongly about creating pages to give as encouragement for the staff and workers.  They were made with Hebrews 12:1-3 in English and Amharic, the Ethiopian language.  I wanted these “parents” to know God and many cheer them on in His mighty power.  However, in handing them out on the last day, after all we had seen, it felt like offering an umbrella in a hurricane.  I had seen their exhaustion, felt their pain as they hurt with the kids, and cried at the explosive joy and enormous hugs that came from the kids when the staff and we visited.  Tilahun said to me, “You see?  It’s all worth it and God is happy.”   God’s word does NOT return void.
I came home with a deep passion to pray and encourage you to pray for these “parents”. Would you please join me?  Join me in praying and giving of your heart of prayer and resources to keep these precious people able to continue this work.   God uses whatever you give to make the impossible possible and I pray with all my heart that you feel the deep reward.   I pray for you, that God open His storehouses for you that you may see His heart doing the impossible.  Thank you!


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