the best gift

I thought nothing could be more incredible than meeting the kids I sponsor through Food for the Hungry.

In July, I had the incredible privilege of traveling to Ethiopia with FH to see firsthand the work they are doing there. The whole trip was amazing and insightful — truly mind-blowing to see the depth and breadth of the transformative work FH is engaged in.

And the icing on the cake was getting to meet my kidlets.

Chaltu was so shy. I think the barrage of “whiteys” intimidated her a bit — understandably.

But she warmed up when se opened the small gifts I brought her. Nothing like Lip Smackers and pink sunglasses to get a girl to open up.

Chaltu’s mom was overjoyed by the visit, and continually expressed how thankful she is for the support of Food for the Hungry.

Nathinael was playing in the street when I met him. After quick, tight hugs, he led me inside his home. He showed me which bed mat was his and which was his grandma’s.

Nathinael was vibrant and engaging — he has such a sweet and joyful disposition, which stood in stark contrast to the drab one-room mud hut he calls home. Our visit went by far too quickly. I could’ve talked with that kid for ages.

And then there was Akliku.

I had chosen to sponsor him because of his cautious smile and inquisitive eyes — and also because of his age. At 16, I figured he was typically overlooked for younger, “cuter” kids. He had already been waiting for sponsorship for almost 2 years.

Because of his education level, Akliku’s English allowed us to fully engage in conversation in a way I hadn’t been able to with my younger kids. He told me about his love of soccer, his favorite subject at school (math), and about the impact FH is having in his life. It was my favorite visit simply because of how easily, naturally, and comfortably we were able to interact.

Fast forward 5 months.

I got Christmas cards from each of my sponsored kids. And when I read Akliku’s, my breath caught in my throat.

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Did you catch that? “I learned about Jesus in Bible.”

My heart was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude, and I was more humbled and proud than ever to support the work of Food for the Hungry.

They gave me the best gift I could imagine by sharing Jesus with my sweet Ethiopian kidlets… And Aklilu got to hear the Good News before he aged out of sponsorship eligibility. My heart is full!

Join me in sponsoring a child >>

What’s the best gift you’ve received lately?

{All photos by David Molnar}

Comments

6 Responses to “the best gift”
  1. Mark Allman
    @
    says:

    I think that is great Alece that you got to meet them.

  2. Heather says:

    These photos are AMAZING. And that word doesn’t even do justice.

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