Posted January 21, 2014 by & filed under Country Projects & Missions.

The team is back in Addis Ababa now. I can’t believe it’s getting so close to their departure. It’s been a very busy few days so I wanted to take a moment to recap how our week of service in Mekele ended. During our final days in Mekele we picked up a couple of “extra” team members. Chad and Nate arrived on Thursday to help begin filming the many different areas of orphan care work that AGCI does in Ethiopia, particularly in the northern region.  They have been getting incredible shots and I am so excited for the light they will be able to shed on the many lives the sponsorship program and other AGCI programs have touched.  You can follow along and see their video updates by joining their Facebook page

On Thursday the team was back at the school, hanging out with familiar friends and working hard getting paint on the walls of the classrooms and finishing up the flooring for the front walkway in front of the classrooms.  With the help of local painters the team switched gears and successfully painted multiple coats on 2 classrooms before the day’s end.  The rooms looked great by the end of the day and it was fun to see so many community members and local officials show up to see the work that had been accomplished. To complete the project fully we have opted to add some simple stairs up to the classrooms and finish painting the outside of the school which our local friends and work crew will do in our absence. This was a very ambitious project for a week of service, but it has been wonderful to see the appreciation of the community for all the hard work and the transformation that’s happened in such a short time.

Friday was a BIG day for the whole team and our film crew.  We loaded up into a couple of vehicles to make the two and a half hour trek out to Samre for our AGCI sponsorship distribution day.  While there we hosted over 90 guardians and children who came to collect their quarterly funds so their children can go to school, pay for school uniforms, books and meals during their school day.  It was awesome to have the team there and we were able to serve a simple meal of hibist (local bread), bananas and soda to all the sponsorship guardians and children who were there that day.  We also spent some good time doing simple interviews with several of the children there and had a blast getting them to light up as they told us how they celebrated the Christmas holiday on January 7th in Ethiopia.  Lots of animals were slaughtered that day, but sounds like it was a fun celebration for most of the kids. :)  Most of these children have very little meat on a regular basis so that is definitely a highlight of their holiday.

After the distribution Chad, Nate and I spent some time visiting a few homes of our sponsorship guardians and students in the town of Samre.   It was so humbling to hear their stories and how the sponsorship program has transformed their day to day life, making education possible for their children. So humbling.

It will be sad to see the team leave today.  They have poured their hearts into their time in Ethiopia and I can’t wait to see how they decide to continue advocating for the needs they have seen when they get home. Please continue to pray for safe travels for the team as they fly out today.

Until next post…..

Kiersten

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