Dancing and Donkeys and Really Sweet Kids

With court completed, our agency treated us to a celebratory Ethiopian cultural dinner yesterday evening. Injera plus all the fixings.

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And dancing too. The cultural dance is something like tribal stomp plus hip hop with serious skill. Totally fun. They made Mitch give it a shot. Well, it was a good try.

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This morning we visited Make Your Mark Ministries, an organization that was started by some mutual American friends. They provide loving environments for kids living on the streets of Addis, work to prevent children in extreme poverty from ending up on the streets, and strive to reintegrate street kids into families. They also work to raise awareness about the need for adoption in local Ethiopian communities.

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With 5.5 million orphans living in Ethiopia, international adoption could never solve the predicament at hand. Make Your Mark is diving deep into the root of the orphan crisis which is quite simply poverty. They are creating local awareness and challenging Ethiopians to think about their own personal responsibility to care for vulnerable children.

These boys at the MYM center were just the sweetest, greeting us like they had known us forever. Catching them during soccer practice was a special treat.

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Roaming donkey servants, please try not to disrupt the soccer game.

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The gut-wrenching stories we heard during our visit to Make Your Mark Ministries opened our eyes and troubled our hearts. I’m so thankful for people like the leaders at Make Your Mark who are willing to sacrifice themselves and devote their lives to serve the least of these.

For four short days, we have lived amongst such a beautiful community of people; yet we are burdened and sickened by the social injustice we have witnessed. Poverty, oppression, disease, prostitution, rape. I flip and flop between feeling incredibly compelled to do something about it and completely overwhelmed that the problem is too gigantic to ever be solved. I will not be ignorant. I will not be indifferent. Yet, I have no answers. Lord Jesus, come quickly and redeem a broken world.

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