We woke up on our final day in Gondar acutely aware that we’d once again be leaving this place we all love so much. We had the privilege of staying at the orphanage this time which allowed us extra time with the kids who live there and a peek into their daily lives. It is an experience we will never forget.
We witnessed how well the nannies and staff love these children. They care for them in family groups and live as one big extended family. It is a beautiful picture. We all left with a desire to love our friends and family at home more like they do, with gentleness and lots of hugs and smiles.
We spent time with each of our community kids, passing out letters from their sponsors and photo albums for them to store their treasured pictures. It’s so fun to see how relationships are being built through letter writing. We encourage all of our sponsors to take the time to write these letters when requested. The children truly cherish hearing from you.
While in Gondar, 9 new children were admitted from the war affected areas of Ethiopia. All of them had lost their fathers in the conflict. The acting father of the orphanage, Chire, is charged with overseeing day to day life activities as the father figure for all of the children who live at BOH. As the children unloaded from the van, he lined them up, stooped down to ask each one their name, told each of them that he loved them and embraced them. He kept them close throughout the day and you could see how everyone gave them special attention and care to make sure they felt safe and welcomed.
The staff are heroes to us. Many of the nannies have worked for years living at BOH, raising children as their own. Each child has a story of unimaginable loss, yet they are thriving under the loving care at BOH. The staff expressed their deep gratitude over and over again for the provisions Haddis is able to provide for them. One nanny shared, “Once we did not have even the basic needs of formula and diapers for our babies. Now, we have everything we need thanks to Haddis Ministries.” She is 67 years old and has served the children here for almost 20 years.
We thank each of our sponsors and donors, but most of all God for making this all possible.
And then it was time to head to the airport to continue the adventure in Addis.