Archive for April 2010
Wow what a slacker I have been in communicating. Oops. As was to be expected, the amount of work behind building this project for the boys has increased immensely. I get frozen in writing because there is too much to address.
Meet The Team:
I thought it would be a good idea to tell you about the awesome people God has put in these boys lives. Though our team is small and we need more people, the people we have are just amazing.
Birukti: She started this project about a year and half ago. She was obedient to the will of God and it is blossoming into something amazing. She leaves for Chicago at the end of May and will be greatly missed. Muleken: About two months ago he agreed to help and move into the house until he leaves for school in New York in January. This guy is as perfect of a person needed to help this project succeed. I couldn’t have asked for a better person.Camden: A fellow American from the L.A. She is a recent graduate, been here for over a year, a tenacious servant, and full of good experience. She is passionate about our boys. A great resource and strong women. Bete: She is a brilliant young woman in the process of becoming a social worker. She will act as ours. A bright spirit and a generous soul. Abe: He is a maturing young man. He seeks to serve his country and the less fortunate. He has been with the project since the beginning. He will act as an example and help with miscellaneous things at the house and project. Anna: From Omaha, she is the outreach coordinator at Beza and has worked with the Entoto outreach for a couple years now. She has an education background and is a huge resource in developing curriculum, testing, and program ideas.
Eden: She has sacrificed herself completely for the Entoto outreach project since day one of its existence. She is the program director’s(Elias) right hand woman. She juggles the Entoto project, helping our project immensely, and a masters education in theology. She humbly will perform any task that leads to the beneficiaries being helped. Ermias and Koni: The leaders of Impact Youth who have sacrificed time, they really don’t have, to help our project. I have spoke of them in previous blogs and it would take a large book to explain their ridiculously huge hearts.
So this is the team so far. An amazing, glass always full, down to earth, passionate, committed, fun group of people.
The assessment of our boys continues as we wrestle with a vast array of issues on the operational end. The raised intimacy level in our relationships with the boys has been the most fun and rewarding piece of all this work. We here amazing stories, watch unexpected growth, and receive confirmation that there is no better joy then seeking the betterment of these boys lives. With the good comes the bad. We got one of our boys out of jail last week, waiting a trial for another boy. One of our favorites recently stabbed someone along with lying to us to get money. I also had the most difficult conversation of my life with another boy. This young man has a harder exterior then I have ever seen. Never have I sensed a more hopelessness in my life. It was heart crushing. Finally, me and Muleken spent last Saturday night with the boys. This is the time they are working and hanging out the most and we wanted to get an up close look at their real lives. It was a fun, relatively peaceful night. Unfortunately we saw the horrible examples of life they are in the middle of every night(and day). Stumbling drunks, beating threats, regular and often insults, widespread drug use, and the non- stimulating monotonous boredom.
We have budget concerns coupled with a slow learning process of the new NGO. We also have recently looked into partnering with the police and community for identifying opportunities to partner for eradicating the street children issue. That progress is new and slow. We will stay committed to community development and cultural appreciation. We have had two volunteer trainings. Our team has put on impressive events communicating well our expectations for mentoring, volunteering, legalities and more. It looks like we have some real potential quality servants. Our programs for when some boys move in are flexibly planned. We are ready(HAHA yeah right, I will never be). We are far behind in furnishing the house and prepping it for the arrival. The aforementioned struggles have pushed back the goal date.
Thanks again to all. I will get back to my weekly habit of blogging.
I am really struggling with the words to write lately. I like to put a positive spin on what I share while maintaining transparency. It is hard to do right now. I just got back from Mumbassa, Kenya so sorry for not writing.
Each of the 7 people helping out/leading has continued to meet with their specific 4-5 boys. It has been the most rewarding time getting to really know these boys. Some of them seem so unbelievable open and genuine. I really think our boys are very unique, there is something really special about them. They even brag about that fact that they are “Bole Street Boys”. Bole is kebele(town) they hang out in. They brag that they are changing their habits while still on the street while most wait to change when they get help from organizations. The arrests and beatings are increasing at an alarming rate. The place they hung out for so long is now completely “clean” of all street people. It is 100% different then what it was a couple months ago. Just guess how that happened!
Sorry to my family, but this was the best Easter to date. With all the tough stuff swirling around I was able to be so thankful for the sacrifice that Jesus made for our lives. Also was able to understand(almost) the power of his rising from the dead and conquering death. We had a great celebration with about 27 well behaved boys. We didn’t have to tell them once to teregagu(relax plural). We ate, played games, danced and watched an Amharic Jesus story movie. It ended with four of the older boys having a tough conversation with us. I asked them all to be open about the abuse that’s going on in their daily lives. They were young adults. Though the conversation SUCKED big time, I felt like a proud father or something looking at these four guys. This wasn’t the best end to a great day, but just being able to talk to them about what is actually happening was an amazing experience. We need miracles here big time.
Things are moving slowly. A couple of our timing goals probably won’t be met. I am doing my best to add and communicate a sense of urgency but there are things holding us back. I don’t want to get into details. Things are swirling a bit after Kenya. Trying to fasten my head on and tackle the problems as they come. I can say that I have experienced the sit back and “um I have NO idea what or how to do this” more times in the last couple months then in my entire life. It’s interesting how many options we have to problem solve in the US and how that makes us detrimentally very independent. I find my neck sore from looking up for answers so much.
Wow, Mumbassa Kenya was unreal. My first tropical paradise. I could write a book about the sites. Our resort was beautiful(only went cause it was free too) with its own playful monkeys, 3-4 foot lizards, edgeless pool that blended into the view of the beautiful ocean, air conditioning(its awful how much I miss that), great service, daily activities and more. Me, Anna, and Eden got around A LOT. We traveled up and down the coast ascending on multiple beaches. These are the white beach, amazing blue water beaches I always saw on commercials. We did some snorkeling, visited some historic sites, hung out with Anna’s local friend, got some sun burn, ate good sea food and more. It was shocking to me to see the “Americanness” of Kenya like huge Wal-Mart type stores and more. Colonization was quite evident and the negative affects outweighed the positive. Traveling Africa is awesome, it stinks the flights are so expensive!