Every team that visits the Spring of Hope CarePoint remembers the joyful welcome we receive on that first day! The children, along with the staff and many of their guardians, greet us at the gates with flowers and songs. After applauding their beautiful voices, we pass out hugs, kisses, handshakes, and shoulder bumps with the small crowd as we head inside for a special coffee ceremony with the staff. But this year was different. This year, the children took things to a whole new level! As we entered through the gates, we immediately noticed this crowd was much larger than any previous year! Children, guardians, siblings, staff, volunteers, and church leaders packed the small compound. So many beaming faces! So many voices raised in song!
The four of us quickly found our sponsored children at the front of the crowd, bearing synthetic flowers for each of us. Handing us our flowers and giving us tight hugs, they led us around the building to special seats of honor. That’s when we realized we were in for a big treat!
CarePoint social worker Daniel commenced their parade of creativity and talent. Derartu (Prince) opened with a passionate prayer. Then, one by one, several children got to showcase their gifts in front of all their peers, families, and special guests!
First up was Kena (Thomas) and Kuma (Stamp) as they battled it out at a game of table tennis! Their peers watched and cheered from the edges of the table. It was a close game, but I believe Kuma was victorious!
Kena, Gutu (PromiseLand), and Argitu (DeAnda) took turns sharing the Word of God to everyone present. Kena spoke in English, Gutu in Amharic (national language), and Argitu in Afaan Oromo (regional language). Then Argitu led us all in worship (singing in all three languages!) while Kena accompanied her on the keyboard.
Little Yerosan (Fahlgren) was next. Several children had submitted works of poetry through their tutorial program, and Yerosan’s poem won first place! She was so proud to recite it for everyone!
Several students in our program have notable artistic skills. During the week, our team would see works of art from Atinaf (Brown), Bontu (Hunt), and Nugusu (unsponsored) that truly impressed us! On this special day, Bedada (Bailo) was chosen to display his artistic giftedness. He showed us pictures he had drawn of his home and of different people in his life.
Next up were the “engineers of innovation!” Three students were chosen to present their battery-operated inventions which they created as a Science Club activity. Using only recycled materials and two D batteries, these boys created working machines! Soresa (Howarth) constructed a moving toy car and an electric coffee grinder with rotating blades. Abraham (McNeil) also created a moving toy car, but he upscaled his invention into a mobile greenhouse. And Gutu, using recycled wood, wire, and paper, fashioned himself a working fan.
Finally, the CarePoint staff took the opportunity to recognize four outstanding students who have developed into student leaders in the program. Chosen for their godly character, strong work ethic in school, and exemplary participation in the CarePoint activities, these students received a small gift from Pastor Ron in front of their peers and families.
Overall, it was a beautiful parade of talent and passion! These kids are growing up so fast, becoming their own persons as they develop new interests and skills. We’re so thankful for the CarePoint staff, tutors, and volunteers who invest so much in the children every week. These wonderful leaders make the most of their limited resources to encourage and equip the students in every area.
As we watched all the smiling faces that happy day, we knew we were looking at Ethiopia’s future musicians, poets, artists, mechanical engineers, inventors, teachers, doctors, and church and political leaders. Each child has a dream for their future, and we are all eager to see them succeed!