Finding Holy Ground in a City Dump
One of the holiest places I’ve ever been is a two room home located at the Korah garbage dump. Hope for Korah is an amazing organization we visited while in Addis Ababa. We were allowed a first-hand look at many of their programs – including their Elders Home for Lepers. To this day people infected with leprosy continue to flee to Korah for treatment and join others living off of the city’s garbage dump. Hope for Korah found elderly lepers living in horrendous conditions and set about housing them and treating them with love and dignity.
You may think that a small home housing several men who’ve lost limbs, eyesight, and have other physical afflictions due to leprosy may be a depressing place to visit. I honestly didn’t know what to expect. What I found was beautiful.
We walked into a bright, simple room with three beds. Each bed held a gentleman with limited mobility. It adjoined another room with more beds, and those men present came out to the main room. The men were very pleased to have visitors, and as we sat with them, another gentleman – the oldest of the elders – returned home from an appointment to join us.
The men in the Elders Home exuded spirits filled with love, praise, and gratitude. They continually praised God in word and song throughout our time with them. After we learned some of their stories, we were asked if we had any questions for these men. I could have stayed all day and asked a million questions! I settled on just one: Please share with us some of the wisdom you’ve learned in your life.
The eldest man among them – who had a gorgeous head of snow-frosted hair to prove it – began to speak life into me and my Habesha Momma sisters. He spoke of praising God in all situations, of persevering in the most difficult situations, of loving the people God places into your path, and that to lift up others more than worrying about your own needs. As he spoke, what I heard deep in my heart were the words of Jesus:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:34-40
I left the Elders Home with such peace in my heart. I knew I’d been on holy ground as every moment spent with these gentlemen was Spirit-filled. I often meditate on the lessons learned from the elders, and am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to spend some time with them. This is definitely a cherished memory of my Fall 2015 trip with Habesha Momma.
We still have openings on our team for June 2016, click here for more information.
Written by Linda Spagnotti, board member with Habesha Momma
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