The four wheel drive car turned right off the pavement and began to wend it’s way through people, donkeys and occasionally dogs. Dust swirled around the tires as we began our decent into the valley. Everywhere there are small farm plots being prepared for the rains which (hopefully) soon are to come. We crossed the “river” which is little more than a ditch and drove across the valley.
Wheat, teff, peas and beans are the main crops here. They can all be harvested and stored. There is no electricity hence no refrigeration.
Finally we arrive at Gurane Village Ethiopia, on one of the many small hills scattered across the valley. At the foot of the hill the ground is level and flat enough for farmers to do their threshing. Animals walk in a circle, their hooves crush the seed heads and separate the grain from the stalk. I am reminded of King David and the threshing floor he bought thousands of years ago. The technology hasn’t changed here.
A few months prior Charlie had visited and asked Zerihun, older brother of adopted granddaughter Fetlework: “How can we help?” Three boys and the youngest child, a girl, became orphans years ago when both parents had died. The girl, Fetlweork, was deaf and went to an orphanage and eventually to our family. The boys stayed in the village.
Zerihun’s priorities had changed from a year before. Then he wanted “seed” money to open a small shop. Now his responsibilities have grown from himself and a younger brother. He has taken a wife.
We had told him “we don’t give money.” Now he would like to rent more land for farming and buy a second ox which means he would no longer need to rent someone else’s. He needed a team for plowing. He may even be able to rent out his team instead.
We decided Zerihun is a responsible young man and, contrary to our word, gave him the needed funds with one stipulation: “God has blessed you with this. When your next harvest is complete and you have made a profit you must help someone else.” We shook hands and it was done.
Now we have returned for, among other purposes, to see his ox. He was proud as he opened the gate and showed us. It is big, black, healthy and strong looking. He did well. So well, he had purchased the ox for less then market price. There was “Extra” money.
Zerihun is not one to waste an opportunity. Their house is made of sticks and mud.
The straw roof and walls are deteriorating. It is where they were born.
He can gather the needed poles and when the rains come he can make mud but really, a tin roof is better. With the additional funds he purchased the tin. The tin is in the house for safe keeping, leaning against the wall.
Now he can take down the old one and build a nice new, dry house for his bride.
There are other orphans in Gurane. As we identify them and determine their needs maybe you will help us help them?
Ain’t God Good!!!!!!!!!!!!!