To Help a Friend

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Last night I stayed up until 3:30 (this is a big deal for me as I usually go to bed by 10:30 or 11). At 8:30 this morning I woke up and realized I couldn’t sleep anymore. I have something on my mind and heart that has been pressing on me, and I feel like I need to write this blog post now. Right now, while Chaela, Autumn, and Katelyn are peacefully sleeping in the next room.

I know I’m making no sense right now. I apologize for that. Let me tell you about my friend Henok and perhaps it will start to make sense:

I have never actually met my friend Henok. He’s from Ethiopia, and I have never been to Ethiopia before. The only “out of country” experiences I’ve ever had has been on the multiple cruises I have taken with my family.

I know Henok through facebook.

You see I am one of those people who will accept friend requests from others if they have enough friends in common and don’t look like they’re total creepers. Henok’s request met those requirements.

How come I have friends in common with some guy from Ethiopia? Well, the campus ministry I’m in (RUF at Clemson) went to Ethiopia one summer, and some of my friends met Henok there.

You can imagine I was a little wary when I first got a facebook message from Henok. Being the vain girl that I am, I thought he might be some boy who just wanted a flirt or wanted attention (not the kind of thing I like to cater to). But do you know one of the first things Henok said to me? “i think u r the follower of christ. am i right?”, and then we proceeded to talk about Jesus, and about our cultures, and about our life stories. I’ve been talking to Henok for a little over a year now.

I can’t pretend like I know much about Ethiopia. As I said, I’ve never been there. But talking to Henok has given me a perspective on just how rich I am and on how many luxeries I have. One month’s rent for me is the equivalent of a semester of  a semester of college for him (he is studying theology). It is very difficult for him to get enough money to go to school, but by God’s grace he has made ends meet so far, and is doing well.

Why am I telling you all about my friend Henok? Because his mother is sick. She has been diagnosed with bone tuberculosis of her foot. She lives in a house with mud floors, holes in the roof, and no clean water source.

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This is Henok’s mother Gete in front of her house

They need to raise around 8,000-9,000 U.S. dollars in order to get her treatment, and provide her with a clean and safe house for her to heal in.

I hate asking people for things. It makes me feel sick. When I graduated high school, I didn’t go sending out pictures of myself (announcements), because I knew that would mean a bunch of people would send me money (and I’d have to write thank-you cards). I don’t like inviting people to like facebook pages, or anything like that. One of the reason’s I haven’t gone on a mission trip yet is because it would require me to ask people to sponsor me, and I don’t want to do that.

I’m not bragging about this as a good thing, in a lot of ways I think it is a flaw.

Anyways, knowing all this, you can guess that I cringed when Henok asked if I would invite people to like the facebook page he made in order to raise money for his mom. Or when he asked me to share the link to the Fundrazr account where people could donate. Or when he asked me to present his case to my church, or ask Vilai to write a song about it for one of his concerts.

All these things are very much out of my comfort zone. What if people feel like I’m spamming them. What if people think I’m trying to guilt them into something. What if people are uncomfortable seeing the graphic pictures of Gete’s infected foot?

It’s out of my comfort zone to even know that needs like this exist. That people live in these sorts of conditions. Ignorance is bliss am I right?

But you guys, Henok and his mother matter to me. I care about them. And she is a real person, who is in real pain, and needs real help.  He is brave enough to ask for help, and I can be brave enough to care for him and tell his story and pray that people will be compelled to give, (and to give myself of course. And I promise it is a very legitimite site.)

He is my brother in Christ, and I want to do all I can to help him.

And you don’t have to give. I understand if you do not have the money, or if there are other causes you are giving to, or if you just don’t care to, or you are skeptical. I understand.

But I have to be willing to offer people the opportunity to give, and to look into this further if they would like to, and to know about them so they can be prayed for!

So here is the link to the facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/A-House-for-Gete/566831980067330

And here is the link to the Fundrazr campaign (where you  can donate as little or as much as you’d like): http://fundrazr.com/campaigns/dgK09?psid=191f6318c46c43a382eea3ebfbccb096&fb_ref=share__52dEyd

If you don’t want to donate, you can just look at this as a little post where you get to see a glimpse of my heart and what I am passionate for.

If you don’t have the money to donate but your heart is crying out for him and his sweet mother, then just pray for them because prayer is the most powerful thing.

And if you’re really feeling like a go-doer, then you can spread the word. Share the links. Share the blogpost even, if you want to.

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