On Ethiopian Christmas (January 7) we had the privilege to visit one of Drawn from Water‘s sites. It was incredibly kind of them to let us come. Another group had visited in the morning, it was Christmas, and one of the couples that leads the organization had literally just gotten off the plane to move to Ethiopia that day. If you don’t know about Drawn from Water, they are an amazing organization that rescues infants from infanticide in remote areas of Ethiopia (the tribes believe that the children are cursed in some way and will bring bad things to their group – read more about all of this here). We only had a few hours with them, which was a little sad, but understandable given the circumstances. Given their mission, it was the one organization I was most excited to visit. And, unlike a lot of the places we visited, they had a lot of really little kids (like, mostly under 5 years-old). And, bless my baby-fever heart, they had infants.
We got to hold the babies for a long time. It was amazing. These babies were literally in the hands of death a month or so before we got to wrap arms of love around them. One of the little guys I held was only three weeks old. He had gone through a traumatic birth (to summarize and spare some awful details). As I held him, I was amazed by the faithfulness of God. It was the first time I really saw what the enemy tried to steal, kill, and destroy, God purposed for good. He was so present in that room, with those little ones. It was simply amazing to witness the faithfulness of God so tangibly, in the form of children.
And although I hate taking Jeremiah 29:11 out of context, it was abundantly clear to see God’s future and hope in the eyes and smile of these children. It was likely that they wouldn’t have had even a breath if not for God, but now they have life. I had downloaded the Come Away Jesus Culture album before I left and the title track had felt like a theme for the trip (with every child that we met), but when I held those little ones (specifically), I heard that song again…
Come away with me, Come away with me
It’s never too late, it’s not too late
It’s not too late for you
I have a plan for you
I have a plan for you
It’s gonna be wild
It’s gonna be great
It’s gonna be full of me
[Listen to it here – sorry about the advertisement]
God spoke so much about His faithfulness and compassion as I held those babies. He saved even those without a voice, without hope. I so often worry about silly little things, yet God is His great faithfulness hasn’t let even the least of these fall. He cares for them so much that He moved two couples to Ethiopia to ensure that even they would be cared for. My earthly mind fails to comprehend His goodness so often. He is faithful because He simply is.
Needless to say, I loved this ministry. You can just feel the presence of God as you are with the kids – all of them. Our God is love and He values life. It doesn’t have to be as complicated as we make it.
It was holding those little guys, it was feeding them, and see their little smiles, holding their hands, that I knew in my heart that God’s heart beats for the orphan. I want to be closer to that – to hear it every day. I can’t wait to see how it unfolds as Isaiah 1:17 continues to get under my skin. I know a few things deep in my heart, but I am eager to know (and see) more in my life.