I saw her come up to stand next to us. We were all waiting for the van to our hotel. Boarding the plane to Ethiopia in the morning the airlines house you in D.C. for the night. I nervously spoke her name, "Kelly.... Kelly Putty?" as if it was a question..... I knew it was her from the moment I first glanced in her direction. That is how I met Kelly, one of my ordinary heros and the founder of the organization with the same name. (The name might sound familiar because we did fundraising with them for our adoption and won a grant.)
A few days later in Ethiopia we got to join Kelly on a trip to Korah where Ordinary Hero does amazing work. We also went with Carlos and Amanda Vargas who are the hands and feet of Ordinary Hero in Ethiopia for the next few years.
After meeting up with them at their new Guest House (which is AMAZING) our first stop was a new coffee roastery that they are helping start. Since mama Kelly was there we were treated like kings and queens and got to watch them sort beans, roast the coffee and give us a traditional coffee ceremony. It was quite a treat. The coffee was delicious and I really loved seeing the roasters light up as they were doing a great job.
After our coffee treat we meet up with a young teen who is in Ordinary Hero's sponsorship program. As we sat in his small 10 x 10 house with his mom we listened to Kelly tell us that because he is now sponsored he doesn't have to dig through trash anymore.
I don't quite know how to continue..... because the thought of having my kids dig through trash so we can eat has me in tears. This is what this sweet boy did for years, so that his little family could survive. Thankfully he no longer has to wake up and do this, thankfully he gets to now go to school and has a chance at a good education. Because of Ordinary Hero's sponsorship program this boy DOESN'T HAVE TO DIG THROUGH TRASH TO LIVE!!! That is huge.
On the way to another boys house I met a man in the street. Amanda greeted him first and I followed. I don't know his story but he was either blind or near there. He walked with a cane and a big limp and his hands were so crippled that when I shook them I didn't quite know how to grip. I don't have any idea what he said to me as it was in Amharic but I said a quiet prayer for him that day. I hope God can grant him comfort and that he knows the Fathers love. I pray that in heaven I will see him fully healed.
We went to two more boys houses that morning. The first little boy lived with his Aunt. He was the smartest young Ethiopian and spoke English so well. He loved to play soccer and hoped to come to America for education. He had recently gotten a Bible as a gift from the sponsorship program and he said proudly, "I read every day so I have Jesus in my heart". There is no doubt in my mind that this little boy will grow up to do great big things for the Lord. No doubt at all.
And what a reminder to me. That I need to read every single day to have Jesus in my heart. How often do we take our many Bibles for granted? How many times do I disregard the fact that I could be drawing the Lord closer, yet I choose to do other less important things. This boy has read his bible Every Single Day that he has had it. Praise Jesus for his faith - it will move mountains!
The second little boy lived with his grandparents, his uncle, and the family cow. I wish I was joking about the farm animal but there was a huge cow living in their house with them. I still am not sure how to process the fact that there is a cow in their house. However on the other side of things Aaron has reminded me a couple of times that it is good the family has the cow as a source of income, which is so true. However coming from a sanitary point of view his bedroom wall had a cow on the other side!
Our time in Korah was eye-opening. I have since then thought many times of that day. I love how Kelly was not afraid to ask the hard questions when we were there. I am grateful that we got to go with them that day and witness what the program was doing first hand. I am also thankful that Ordinary Hero is doing such amazing work in such a poor area of this beautiful city.
Thank you Kelly, Amanda, and Carlos for stepping out and doing what God has asked you to do. God is doing great and mighty works through you all and it is beautiful.