Amisegigala, which means thank you in amharic, is something that the woman at risk says constantly.. They are the most welcoming, loving, and encouraging group of woman I've ever met. I was so nervous coming to the woman at risk place because it is a place where prostitutes get out of that type of trafficing and go through counseling and schooling. I've never met anyone that has been a victim of something like that and the thought that I would meet them was really scary.. SO let me back up and talk about my day :)
We woke up early this morning and attended a christian amharic speaking church. it was amazing to say the least. it is so convicting to hear that there church services can last up to FIVE HOURS. five. i struggle with going to church that lasts more than an hour and a half. they had a thirty minute time in the beginning where they just prayed. then worship for another hour. and then preaching, which broke out into random song and worship. we were packed into the bottom of an old building, and there was over 1000 people there. so many people who were so vulerable infront of the Lord and they didn't care what other people thought. They were going to praise and worship the king that created them. and even though we didn't understand a word they said, it was so moving.
Afterwards, we went to the Woman at Risk where we gave them a spa day. I did manicures on all of the ladies, and they were giggling and excited for the day. It also made me feel convicted because I've gotten my nails and toes done more times than I can remember.. and they were overjoyed with ME (i cant really even paint nails well at all) painting them. The women have been through so much in their lives.. and hearing some of their testimonies yesterday broke my heart. some of the women were sold into prostitution because of a step father or an uncle who wanted to make money..... at the age 13. i told them my testimony and i was more nervous than i ever expected. but i know that the Lord was shining through me and i continually pray that they don't see my kindness but the kindness and love of the Lord.
so the spa was great. afterwards, the woman who runs the place, Abrahett, graduated from college! so we threw a celebration in her name where they got a cake and some cokes (we were soooooooo excited). they started playing ethiopian music and we all stood up in a circle and began to run around and dance. they showed us a little bit of their moves and they laughed as we tried to mimic them. the woman at risk place allows the woman to let their kids stay with themw hile they are provided free child care.. the kids are the most excited and enthusiastic children i've ever met. i painted some of the little girls nails today and you would have thought it was christmas by the way they were reacting.
everytime a little boy or girl looks at me here in ethiopia they wave and smile. i think that kids in the U.S. are so precious and sweet but you just don't see little kids being overjoyed by seeing new people and new faces. (this may be because i'm the only white blonde haired girl here... but still!) the kids are amazing and such an example of the way we should live ourlives. they don't care about materialistic things and they don't care that they have 2 outfits of clothes in their name. they love life and being with other people.
the ethiopian culture is amazing. they are so welcoming and its so humbling how we've come here to serve them.. yet they are continually trying in ways to serve us. the Lord is so faithful in teaching us exactly what we need to know through life experiences and i am SO thankful for this.
tomorrow.. we're going back to the woman at risk and teaching them how to bake and sew.. i'm sad because its our last day with them and we probably won't be seeing them again. but i am so thankful for them. for a long time today i completely forgot that they were ever prostitutes. they were just woman who loved the Lord and I KNOW he would have wanted us to see them through his eyes in that exact way.
the next day, we are headed back to addis, where we will leave soon for Ambo to see the streetboys and the school house of kids. it's very different and hard here. but just pray for our team.. and the people here. i hope that their eyes and ears are willing and open to hear the gospel because we are trying to hard to spread it to them.