Thursday, June 08, 2006

Cool day!

So today I was asked to come give a presentation/talk about Ethiopia, our trip, etc. to the 6th grade class at Creston Elementary School (my dad's the teacher.) The background is that this year my dad started Project Kenya, a pen-pal/sponsorship program with a school in Kisumu, Kenya. In addition to corresponding with these kids from across the world, my dad's class brings in money to sponsor an orphan over in Kenya, they bring in money to buy kids bicycles over there so they can get to school, and they also bring in money to pay for some of the orphans' lunches. Not bad for a bunch of 11 year olds in a not-particularly-high-income area! (As a result my dad was asked to design/build the website for the national Kenyan Drama Festivals. Go Dad!)

ANYWAY, these kids have developed some seriously awesome compassion, care and concern for their Kenyan friends. The class has also kind of followed our adoption (the day I called my dad in his classroom to tell him we got the call to go to Ethiopia, the whole class clapped and cheered.) Tomorrow's the last day of school before summer, so today I headed in with some video we took while in Ethiopia and some Ethiopian souvenirs. (I found out yesterday that the school principal and another teacher were going to come and watch as well--scary!)

Well, God totally blessed the whole thing. The kids ROCKED--they'd written down questions ahead of time for me to answer. Many of them very deep questions, many of them fun questions. They had such a genuine interest and concern for the people I was describing. I've talked to a lot of people about our time in Ethiopia, about the people there, etc. but these kids were something else. Their genuine enthusiasm and raw compassion was something beautiful to behold. (And these kids are SMART! I was blown away!)

While I was talking about the widespread poverty there, one boy raised his hand and asked "Do the other people in Ethiopia look down on the poor people there, like they do here?" These kids are thinkers! Another student asked why AIDS is so prevalent in Africa, as compared to the United States. They wanted to know the life expectancy of a child born with HIV, if we saw any homeless children, if we want to return someday with the boys (ABSOLUTELY I said), if they wear seatbelts, how long it takes to adopt, and the list goes on. I felt totally humbled to be "representing" Ethiopia to these kids.

So, an awesome day. My prayer is that God will continue to open doors for me to advocate on behalf of the beautiful people of Ethiopia.


Bek said...

How cool!! I am going to Kenya next week w/ a charity that I volunteer for....and I want to do a simliar thing for our kids in the local school. Did your dad just find a class on his own? How did he go about doing that? I think that it is a wonderful thing to do.

I have been reading your blog for awhile. BTW..the charity that I help is called Stay Alive...we teach 8-12 yr olds about HIV and how to live a long healthy life. There are some work books that we give the kids and it only costs 25C per child to give it to them. I am so glad that there are people on this side like your dad that are teaching compassion, etc. It needs to happen on BOTH sides. I love it.

If you/he want any more info I am happy to help out. I am going to take pictures and video there this week and would be happy to send copies to your he can show his kids what life is like over there....

Your family is very sweet. We are hoping to bring our next child home from Ethiopia next year!!

chris ewing said...

Love it when students can see a glimpse of the world. You showed them the heart of Ethiopia when books can not give you that part. It is great when they can connect with God's people all over the world. Today is our court date for our 6 mo son and we hope to travel with Shelley W. next month.

I've shared in a classroom about a trip to Tanzania I took in college. It's great to be the good news educator of our friends around the world and how we may have wonderful differences and many similarities. We can learn so much from each other and our cultures.

Thanks for sharing your classroom experience and I can tell it really charged you!

Avery said...


This is where I lived in Kenya, worked with the PEFA Church.

This is where I became blood brothers with the Masai as well.

Very Cool!!!

It's cool to see your dad doing something so world vision oriented with the kids, cool.

Anonymous said...

You made a difference for these kids! And some day they will make a difference for the world! wonder how many will adopt from Africa? And it is so great to see your dad doing this for these kids. Watch what some of them do with this compassion and care for those who are in need. Isn't it exciting!!!!!! Tell your dad thank you for being such a great teacher!

Rachel said...

Were you able to bring your kids with you? I imagine it would really impower the students.

Kids are amazing, after 9.11, kids at my school were bringing in all of there money and asking us to help them find away to get it to New York. These kids truly had nothing, coming to school in dirty clothes, and still wanting to help.

How fun that you got to share your story and your heart!

wendy said...

That is wonderful. Who knows if you have changed the future for one of those kids...maybe adoption or humanitarian work? It's awesome!


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