Guest post by Nakisha, Ethiopia Team Member
As I return to my lifestyle after spending seven days in Ethiopia, I jumped back into my routine a bit. As I’m driving around in my oversized SUV heading to pay top dollar for some Espresso & baked goods, my thoughts travel back to the tiny village of Korah. It is not tiny in population at all. There are over 100,000 people living in this village. I say tiny because these 100,000 people are living within a one and a half mile radius. I am blessed to be living in the one of the richest counties in America, and yet I felt richer in Ethiopia. How can this be you might ask?
While the villages, orphanages, and areas that I visited were filled with poverty and great physical need, I found great joy and richness in the faith that is spilling over throughout this country. I found inspiration and healing with the great love from my team members and from the beautiful people of Ethiopia.
My short term mission experience has yes, “opened my eyes” and yes, “they (the people of Ethiopia) blessed me more than I blessed them” and for this I am forever grateful. I don’t want to stop there though. I want to encapsulate these feelings and turn them into something bigger, something that has eternal value. I want to be a blessing because I AM blessed. I want to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a very tangible way. If you haven’t been on a mission trip, I would highly encourage you to do so. Just “SIGN UP”. It will be the best thing you could do for your life this year!
As I press forward with prayer and excitement in my heart, I will leave you with the picture and story of a beautiful woman I met in the village of Korah.
She sits gracefully while hanging her head in shame. She humbled us with her story. She is a mother of two teen boys, living without a husband, in a mud shack. Her body is overtaken with Leprosy. Her fingers are gone. Her toes and feet are gone. When she slowly removed her shoes to show us what this treatable disease had done to her body, it took all the power within me to not burst into tears. I felt her pain in this moment. If she were disabled like this while living in America she would have a means through our government system to at least survive and possibly thrive. There is no such system that exists for her in Ethiopia, and definitely not in Korah. She is left to beg on the streets for her survival. She slowly lifts her head garment to reveal an impression on her head where she was hit by a vehicle while trying to survive by begging on the street. She has constant migraines because of it. She has no relief, no Advil, no Tylenol…nothing. She can’t run to the local store for pain meds. She can’t go to her medical doctor for help. She has to suffer. Unfortunately, she is not a minority in Korah. She is a part of the majority of women living in such inhumane circumstances.
I will not leave you…I will come to you John 14:18
Through OH and the team members of the January 2014 trip, she was able to see that God heard her prayers and fulfilled HIS promise to come to her. In this moment, as we tangibly lived out the mission to be the hands and feet of Jesus, we stepped up to change the world for this one. I was able to see just how powerful and important missions can be for the masses but mostly for the one. We had a team member that advocated on her behalf and this beautiful woman now has a sponsor. I saw first hand that all the things that break my heart, break God’s heart as well. What a blessing to be able to help change the world for this beautiful woman. God knew exactly where she lived and what she needed and we just “happened” to step right into her path.
Are you confused about how you fit into God’s plan? Are you unsure of what purpose you can serve to make a difference in the world? Sign up for a mission trip, and you will be so glad you did! Search yourself and be a part of “Changing the world for one”!