Monday, January 31, 2011

Little Girl from Korah

Near the Korah Dump, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia...
She sees me in the church after I sit down. She's a few rows ahead of me, and turns around, looking in my direction. No sooner have I taken my place, than she crawls down from her chair, and walks with a quiet dignity down the middle of the church to sit next to me, snuggling up close. She opens her Amharic Bible on her lap and sits upright, looking straight ahead. I have a friend. We sit together on this old, wooden bench in a skeletal warehouse with broken, plastic windows.
Later, she notices a flea on my shirt, and flicks it off, saying “dat dat ta" (flea?) in her own language. She looks up at me and smiles, her bright eyes gazing. Most of the time though, she only looks straight ahead, paying close attention during the church service, with an occasional glance up at me. Her smile melts my heart. I cannot resist hugging her. Her skin has a grayish hue to it, as her head and hair reveal the need of washing. Her clothes smell old and musky. She hasn't had a how long? Ever? More hugs. Caring about the smell would be the height of arrogance. This little one is extra precious.
I remember Tewabech Eristue. She's eight years old and has HIV. Her mommy has HIV, too. Her daddy is a security guard, earning 300 birr per month. She lives in a small home made of wood and mud, with a dirt floor near the dump. The home does not have a kitchen; it does not have a bathroom; it does not have plumbing. Tewabech is a Christian and attends Addis Kidan church; she wants to be a doctor some day...
According to Save the Children, only 18% of children in Ethiopia reach grade 5. If you would like to sponsor Tewabech, go to Transformation Love and find out how to give her food, medicine, clothing, and education. Perhaps she could be a doctor some day. Her profile should be up in a few days. When you see her picture, you will know where the phrase, "cute as a button" comes from! I wonder if she remembers me? I wonder if I will see her next time?

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