by Joy Casey
In April I wrote about a unique adoption – a very poor couple adopting an orphan from our orphanage and taking in a little girl from the streets. If ever you need a heart-warming, God-honoring story read this one.
Despite hearts bursting with thanksgiving for the gift of children, the day-to-day life of Teshale and Selam is hard. Their living conditions are bare-bones and the tiny coffee shop in front of their house barely brings in enough for food. If you read the story I invited you into, you’ll know that Teshale, the adoptive father, used to sell khat (a hallucinatory drug that is chewed and highly addictive) and made a fine living. But when he became a Christ-follower, he could no longer contribute to the demise of others and started selling coffee instead of drugs. Coffee, as you may surmise, is not as lucrative as drugs.
When I returned home from Ethiopia in April, I shared their problem with a couple of people who immediately stepped forward expressing their willingness to help Teshale and Selam expand their coffee business to bring in more income. YAY for generous people!
Some money was donated along with NLE’s contribution and now this adoptive couple can sell more coffee to more people sitting on comfortable stools under an awning. They even gave their shop a fresh coat of paint.
Their son Ebeneezer is the darling of the community, and customers look forward to his big smile and outgoing personality while his mom pours them a dark, rich cup of buna (coffee).
Teshale and Selam are over the moon to have this hand-up! Their neighborhood customers have expressed satisfaction and happiness for their friends’ “new” business and have made it their regular meeting place throughout the day.
Buna, the Amharic word for coffee, is central to almost every Ethiopian’s day. Small kiosks such as Teshale and Selam’s are dotted along the streets of every town and village, and it never ceases to amaze me how full they all are. Coffee and the tiny shops that serve it connect people and is the go-to place to share life.