A few weeks ago I walked into a room of Ethiopians in Assela. Every single eye was upon me. It didn't help we were late and had just spent the past week in intense situations beyond our control. We walked in, sat down and looked back at the people and what they represented in the room. Not gonna lie...I struggled to find one person I could make eye contact with while I spoke that didn't scare me. I listened to the "authority" in the room. Before things went further I offered an explanation of our tardiness. -We are a team. I had a member of our team that needed us....bottom line...we chose to serve our team member and thus we were late. -If you know me...I am NEVER late. After my explanation, we sat through an intense session. I have never before been privileged to be part of such an amazing group of brilliant women. Each momma had an agenda, a plan, a dream, a vision, a personal experience of why a momma's program is essential to developing Ethiopia into a country that overcomes the statistic of 1 in 11 women dying due to pregnancy related causes. We listened to a committee of mommas...who poured their heart out...their vision out...all asking for the same thing. A way to empower the least of the least. Their plan..brilliant. Their motives pure...Then, they looked at us and asked....
Are you going to be like the rest? Are you going to come and see...take pictures for your church...then forget? I personally looked in every momma's eye and said one by one, "Dear sister, it is not about funding or developing a plan...it is about you. How are you? What can I do for you today? Are you hungry?
My heart was broken. I did not have the $ to fund their vision or program...not yet, anyway:)
What I do have is this moment and what is on my heart. As uncomfortable as it was, not being able to meet the committee needs at that moment was a gift....I looked around the room, did what I could and said my peace. Oh my gosh...even after they knew I didn't hold the magic check they thought I did...We spent the rest of the night sharing laughter and love. I want to hold the magic check. I want to finally be the person in the the room that shouts, "YES". I don't want to be the other "committee" that comes then leaves. I want BEMM to be the ones that actually listen.
So....I'm going to work with MOPS International to get a program started in Ethiopia
More info coming