Monday, June 3, 2013

Working through sadness

I have been putting off this entry for a very long time. This has to be the saddest entry I have made since finding the children at Kechene in Nov. 2010. However, I have to start responding outwardly other than just inside or in just answering questions of our sponsors.

About 3 months ago, one of the sponsors for Kechene visited the children and the staff. He went to spend a week with the school in order to help the staff, pass out care packages from sponsors, and just share the gospel  with the kids in different ways. He was able to do that, but while there, the American visitors discovered things that did not add up. Something was "fishy." It turned out there was another volunteer there helping the staff with funds and with their school. This could have been an amazing partnership since the other volunteer had a HUGE heart for those kids! The children were getting their meals, uniforms, shoes, health care needs, everything that our organization had communicated with the sponsors that they were providing for. Unfortunately, there was an overlapping of funds and thus, misused. 

What did this mean for Kechene? Well, it meant there was some extra money that was not going to the kids. So, after the sponsor got back to the States, Children's Hopechest  was informed and an investigation was pursued. As goes in Ethiopia, this took a LONG LONG LONG time. Meanwhile, we waited silently, praying, and hoping that it was not true. If we shared any of this information prior to the facts, we risked a lot; sponsors quitting prematurely, rumors, etc. So, we waited.

Three months later, the investigation was complete (with audit) and the man accused, not employed by CH,  was found to have indeed misused funds. Because he was not employed by CH, the non-profit organization was not able to fire him or ask him to leave. Unfortunately, he will not leave so we had to pull out of the sponsorship program temporarily. If the authorities in ET find this man to be guilty and act on it, perhaps we will get our children back to Kechene Care Point.

Where are we at now? Sadly, the children had no food to eat at Kechene since all funds had to be stopped, so they are now back in the Kechene neighborhood with nothing for them at the school. There is no food, no teachers to teach them, and no sponsorship program. We could not keep sending money to a place where this was happening. Now, the children suffer. This makes me so so sad.

I have asked God in my prayers, "WHY?" Why does this have to happen once we had almost all the children sponsored? Why did He bring us this far with prayers, money, and the love people had for these children to have them all go back to where they came from, literally? WHY?

My teenage son tried recently to help me with this empty question. We are working this out together, but he told me to stop asking, "Why?" It is the same question that the people in Oklahoma are asking, "Why, God? Why did you send another tornado? You could make it stop, but it didn't." It is the same question that a mother asks God about her child being hit by a drunk driver. It is the same question we ask for a loved one who is sick and not being healed. Why?

I obviously can't answer this question, or any other question from a painful experience, but I think my son was onto something when he was trying to console me. I told him that I feel so helpless. Here we were going along so well, getting people to see what we saw with these children and getting them lined up to change their stories. Then, something totally out of my control comes along and puts us in a helpless situation. Our hands are tied, just helpless. He looked at me as if he was the parent and I the child and said, "...and isn't that the best place to be, mom?"

He's right. We NEED God now like we did before there was even one sponsor. I didn't get this school sponsored, God did. I didn't get the uniforms paid for, God made it happen. I didn't get shoes purchased, God brought us a little girl from Missouri and worked through her. God may have used us all as vessels, but He is the one true Savior. Yes, He could have stopped this man from stealing or had him leave the school, but something has to grow, something has to change in someone else before that happens.

"God won't protect you from what he'll perfect you with." This quote I heard in the car the other day was just what I needed as I fought back tears thinking about this helpless situation right now.  Maybe there is something we all need to learn from this. I don't know what it is for you, but for me, it's what my son may have pointed out.

I am helpless, God. Take this over. I surrender Kechene and the children to you to care for them and protect them from life. I can't do anything about it and it makes me sad, but please watch over them and take this from me. We love those kids. If it be your will that the children come back to the school, please make that happen somehow, but you've got this. AMEN.

Matthew 6:33-34  33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

                                       Kechene children playing while having a sponsor visit in Feb.

Kechene student so happy for the visit and care packages.

Injera served to the kids at Kechene during the Feb. visit.

Children receive much needed supplies.

One of the children getting his care package from his sponsor.

1 comment:

  1. Greta,
    Still reeling from this! When I heard at first, I just couldn't believe it! Kechene?! Been praying for a few weeks now that God will make a way for CHC to begin sponsorship program. My heart aches for you, as I can only imagine the burden you have been carrying since Feb.