Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I have a friend in Ethiopia whom I've not met. Yet.

I spent a day in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, while en route to Djibouti for work.  I took a walk and met a young fellow shining shoes.  He asked if he could walk along with me and practice his English.  We made a few blocks, passed by Haile Salassie's palace, and came to the little community where he lives.  He asked if I wanted to meet his mom, so we made our way down the rough path to the little shanty he calls home where I met his dear mother and sister.  Mom is blind; the kids take care of her.  Dad was a soldier; died some years ago.

We talked for awhile; the kids made me coffee on a little charcoal stove.  They had me sit in the only chair.  When it came time to leave, mom took my hand and blessed me.  They hadn't asked for anything, but I gave them what I had.  The young fellow walked with me back to the hotel, and promised to pray for me.  I left him a business card because he asked if he might email me.  He doesn't have a computer or anything for that matter, but his older brother is a student in college some 400 miles away and has occasional access to the web..

A few weeks later, I get a gracious email from the brother.  We've been corresponding for awhile now.  He's finished his sophomore year in college and doing well.  We trade stories and thoughts.  We hope to meet sometime soon; he's home for the summer with his mom and siblings, and I may have a trip through Ethiopia in July or August.

So, I have a friend in Ethiopia that I've not met, but he and his family pray for me and mine.  What a wonderful world.

UPDATE: JUL '13 - Older brother graduated from college last summer and is now employed in the telecommunications industry; entry level stuff, but exciting.  Little brother has graduated from trade school just a few weeks ago; looking for employment.  Sweet folks.