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October 7, 2015

The Day Obama Showed Up for School

Praising God for this update from our friends in Ethiopia …

Registration day, which was held August 17 at the Nursery school, has evolved from utter to controlled chaos. The lines of families hoping to enroll their young child into one of the 70 spots available begin in the pre-dawn hours.  Over the years, registering new students has developed into such a repetitive process that if we’re not careful we can make judgements about the next person in line without even really looking at the face of the Ethiopian standing in front of us.  But we always remind ourselves that each child is unique, designed and created by God. 

When he heard an elderly woman state her boy’s name as Obama, Gary looked up into the tired grandmother’s face and realized this was an opportunity to see the fruit of our labors from several years before.

Ethiopia Obama

It really wasn’t that long ago that Sofie [name changed], Obama’s mother, was our fifth grade student at the Primary School. Like most other young Ethiopian girls, Sofie was robbed of the usual carefree childhood life that is the norm in the West. Sofie was assaulted by a drunk man at her mother’s business, and became pregnant. She, too, had clutched her mother’s hand while registering, walked through our school gates, and studied in our classrooms.

Sofie’s family tried to convince her to abort the baby.  Although we felt deep empathy for the situation that Sofie and her mother faced, an unborn child conceived in any circumstances is a miraculous creation deserving of a chance at life. We were able to convince Sofie’s family that an abortion was not a good option for them. We took Sofie to doctor’s appointments and focused on helping in any way we could to ensure the baby arrived safely into the world. During her pregnancy and afterwards, we invested in Sofie and her baby’s care.

Sincerely thankful for the support, Sofie stated that she planned to show their appreciation for Peggy’s help by naming the baby in her honor. We were very curious what the baby’s name would be. When the baby was born, Sofie named him Obama after the Americans who had helped her.

It’s hard to believe four years have passed so quickly, and it’s hard to believe this little boy’s safe arrival was so divinely orchestrated. We enrolled little Obama in our school and now will watch eagerly how God orchestrates his life. 

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We invite you to share a word of encouragement to our staff in Ethiopia. To do so, please comment below or leave a note on our Facebook wall and it will be forwarded to our staff. Thank you in advance for your kind words of support!

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