Bindu Balan went on the two week MC trip to Ethiopia in August 2010. Here she shares a bit of her experience there.
“We don’t want money or things…We just want to be loved.” That is what two of the street boys, Danny and Gautar told Beth and Anna Marie at dinner one night. All of us within earshot immediately turned our attention to the conversation and started to tear up at what we heard. The boys said that they felt forgotten and that these were the cards that they were dealt.
The conversation started because Beth had asked what Danny wanted to be when he grows up, he first response was that he wanted to help people, but he did not know how he could ever help anyone because he is no one. God definitely used Beth, Anna Marie and our translator Sammy to speak encouragement and truth into these boys’ hearts. They reminded them that God can take terrible circumstances and make them into something beautiful and that they are loved. The boys words from that night and our time spent with them echo inside my heart and the hearts of my teammates.
Our time with the street boys had such an impact on each of us. I am pretty sure they impacted us more than we could ever impact them. My friend Beth referred to them as Ambo’s version of Peter Pan’s Lost Boys, these boys are ages 8-19 living on the streets for various reasons (orphaned, abuse, etc.). When you first meet them you see rough and tough boys who’ve lived hard lives and look much older than they are. But once you spend some time with them you see boys who still have a child like quality to them. They are boys who desperately want to change their situation get to school and get off the streets.
Our time with the boys was short but we were able to teach an English lesson, play some soccer with them and feed them lunch. God is constantly teaching me the about the impact spending time with other people– it encourages those who feel as if no one cares and they do not matter, even if to me it seems I should be able to do so much more.
So many memories made while we were with them. It makes sense why our team leader Geoffrey said that our time with the street boys would impact us so greatly. We had the chance to spend time with four of the boys, Danny, Gautar, Turo and Birahnu. Some of the funniest moments from our trip and heartbreaking moments happened with these boys. I can still see them watching as our bus pulled away with tears in their eyes.
I ask you all to join me in praying for the street boys of Ambo…pray for the Mocha Club project being developed to provide the boys school fees and places to live…pray for Darob, who we had a chance to meet while in Ambo, he is an amazing man with a huge heart for the street boys and this project..pray that God continues to raise up people in the Kale Haywet Church and in the city of Ambo to work and encourage these boys. ..pray that people do not see a stereotype when they look at these boys but they see boys who need to be loved and cared for.
Of all the posts I have written or intend to write about Ethiopia this is the hardest one for me. Even while sitting at my computer my eyes are welling up with tears remembering those boys and their stories. I carry them with me and I promise to keep telling their stories and to fight for them so that they never feel that they have been forgotten.
Danny was wrong when he said they could never change or help anyone… because there are ten Americans who are forever changed for knowing them…
Bindu did an awesome job of describing the minds and hearts of the boys in Ambo. You can be a part of supporting these boys, and many more, by joining our Education project.