by Joy Casey in Ethiopia
Today I visited two children who, technically, are full orphans. Their father died of AIDS seven years ago and their mother very recently died of HIV complications. Ben* is 14 and Betty* is 12. They greeted me in perfect English and Ben, who is in the eighth grade, said he loves studying chemistry and biology. Wonder what the future holds for this bright young man? Betty is #1 in her fifth grade class and has taken the award for being first in her whole school two years in a row. I wanted to see them to express my sadness at hearing about their mother’s death and to bring them a picture I had of her. I also wanted to meet their new family and to see where they lived.
Fikrte and her husband, Tenaye, were friends of the children’s parents and when their mother suddenly died they did not hesitate to envelope Ben and Betty with love and comfort. There was no question as to where they would live. Fikrte and Tenaye have 2 ½-year-old Emmanuel and adding these two children to their family seemed natural and easy. It was quite obvious that Ben and Betty felt comfortable in their surroundings and Emmanuel is soaking up all the attention from his new brother and sister. Ben, Betty and their mother were part of our AM 1:27 program and that same support will follow them to help Fikrte and Tenaye feed and clothe two more children and see that they lack for nothing, especially educationally.
Full orphans, yes. But God provided a second family for them full of joy and love, a family who loves the Lord and counts it a privilege to raise these pretty incredible kids. I was so happy to see good come from a very tragic situation.
*not their real names