Sunday, March 14, 2010

Visiting Korah -The Leper Colony

Wednesday Afternoon
As we drove passed Strong Hearts, we soon entered the area known as “Korah.” Sammy took us to the Great Hope Church for our first stop. The first thing that caught our attention was seeing some of the children that we worked with at Strong Hearts. We were warmly greeted as it seems like that’s all you receive in Ethiopia is warm greetings. We visited the sanctuary and when they told us that they seated around 300 here I thought that we could get about 3000 in our church if people would just scorch together a little. This is one of those things that we as Americans could learn from the Ethiopians. We need to remember why we enter the sanctuary. It is not about comfort zones, personal space bubbles, but about worshiping the Lord!
After leaving the church, we walked the streets and had the privilege to meet some of the “Forgotten People.” Just as in biblical times, these people have been isolated from the rest of the masses. What joy came across their faces as we entered what they called their home. I had the opportunity to be able to pray for several of them and was blessed by the chance to do so.
From shanty to shanty, face to face, I prayed that we were bringing some hope and encouragement to them even if just for this day. We stepped into structures that that these people born in the image of God were living in that we wouldn’t put animals in at home. Pieces of steel and plastic salvaged from the landfill just like some of their meals. How sad!
I think of how our worst hardened criminals in America are treated like royalty compared to these forgotten ones who are living like rats or moles in their dark, damp shanties. One thought just keeps repeating itself, over and over; IT’S JUST NOT RIGHT! IT’S JUST NOT RIGHT!
We must ask what we can do to help. How can we help, How can we help??????
We spent time at the Alert Hospital Rehab Center, where people were embroidering, crocheting, weaving, and spinning cotton. Cotton????? Yes cotton! We brought a spinning wheel with us to teach them how to spin wool, to replace their method of using drop spindles, or at least help them to do it more efficiently; but Anna had never spun cotton.
It was great to see the expressions on their faces as we entered the dimly lit room; Some of excitement, some of wonder, and those of skepticism. As Anna tried to spin the cotton, she quickly had an Ethiopian woman trying her hand at. After a few fail attempts, it looked like it might catch on. [Upon returning the next day, the one woman seemed to be able to spin on her own! How exciting!]
The Rehab center has a store where the beautiful products they produce can be purchased for a tiny amount of money compared to all the work and time that goes into them. If you are ever in Ethiopia, you must visit the rehab center and Korah!