Saturday, July 23, 2011

Meeting our Sponsored Child

 Last Friday, we had the opportunity to meet our sponsored child. We began sponsoring Tariku last summer through Compassion International.  He's between 8 and 10 years old. Birthdates are not generally kept up with in Ethiopia, so we don't know for sure. He was wearing a sharp looking suit.  We complemented him on it, and he told us that he got it with the money we sent him for his birthday. (Which was only $30.)  When we began sponsoring him, he was unable to attended school because of the financial strain that his family was under at the time.  In his first letter to us, he asked up to pray for him to be able to go to school. So we did. And he attends school now. He told us that English is his favorite subject, and he likes math too.  He looked so much different from the boy we saw in the first pictures from Compassion last year:
Here he is being instructed on how to operate a hand-crank flashlight that we gave him.
We gave him a backpack full of school supplies and other items.  His favorite gifts were a soccer ball and a calculator.
Tariku was escorted by two Compassion personnel. They brought him to the guest house we were staying at.  After we gave him his gifts, we had to wait for a little while for a car to pick us up and take up to an amusement park. While we waited, I showed Tariku how to play Angry Birds on my phone. He caught on very quickly.

Tariku had a lot of fun at Bora Amusement park. He wanted to play air hockey with both of us.

He won tickets at some of the games.  Here he is counting the tickets with a park employee.
He chose to get a package of colored pencils and a bouncy ball with his tickets.
Next, we rode the swing ride. I was pretty nervous about getting on this dang ride. James has gotten sick on these kinds of rides before. I mean we were in a country that probably doesn't have any sort of safety regulations, and I doubt that this ride had been serviced in the last decade.  But, we rode it & we lived to tell about it.

We had lunch at the amusement park, and this was the only meal I had all week that I did not like. We all ordered hamburgers.  There was a lot of seasonings in the meat that I did not care for at all. I'm not ever sure that they were made out of beef. It could have been goat meat for all I know.  Tariku wanted to pray in English before we ate, and he did a good job!  He fed both James and I a bite of his food. This is an Ethiopian tradition called "gursha." We both returned the gesture.

During lunch Tariku told us a little more about himself. We learned that he plays the drums for the younger children at his church. He told us that this was his first trip to the city and he rode a bus from his village to the city.  It was his first time to ride a bus.

This was by far the best day we had on the trip. I'm really thankful to Compassion for setting this visit up!


  1. I am so glad ya'll got to meet him! We would love to meet our sponsored child in India one day! Stephanie, I just read your previous post and I am just heartbroken for ya'll. Truly. I really don't even know what to say. I am so, so sorry. I know that God has great plans for ya'll but I can't imagine how difficult this would be. I will be praying for ya'll!

  2. I cried reading this. He is a blessed little boy and you are both blessed to know him and actually get to be around him!