Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ethiopia: Kuribel

a.k.a the boy that changed everything....
This is Kuribel (Pronounced: Crew-bill).
He is 10 years old.
He says he wants to be a pilot when he grows up, "but not for the military, because war is bad".
and he has been living on the streets for a long time.
He had no money, begged for food, lived on the streets and no family to take care of him.
Can you believe that?
a ten year old completely and 100% taking care of himself in one of the most dangerous cities in the World.

this was our journey with Kuribel...

when we first met him it was shortly after we arrived in Addis Ababa. Our leader brought him and one of his friends to our home. She had met him at a church service the night before (I was sick and unable to attend), and they stayed the whole day with us. It was nice. They were the street kids, we were the missionaries. We put on our smiles and gave them food but... our hearts weren't there... We were doing what we were suppose to do. It wasn't until a few days later when everything changed..

Kuribel got his shoes stolen and was walking around barefoot & we gave him shoes, it also rained all night and being aware that they were outside sleeping in the storm it became very aware to all of us we weren't doing enough.
Our leaders brought the idea that they can stay with us... and then all of our selfishness was revealed.
Here we were on outreach and as we discussed them living with us all we talked about was how uncomfortable it was for us, not seeing our selfishness
These two boys were living on the streets!!!! and all we could talk about is our own feelings.. and when as a team we realized it we cried in shock at our own actions, and willingly opened our door and our hearts to these boys.

a few days later they left, and stole some money.
We were left confused, shocked and hurt.
While everyone said they were just street boys, and this was typical for them we knew this wasn't true and we missed them. We didn't care about the money we just wanted to see them and make sure they were alright! For the first time in my life, my walls didn't go up when I was hurt. I truly forgave and forgot. I never experienced that kind of love toward someone before and I knew it was from God.
Kuribel ran, but the other old boy, Shimalice we were able to find easily and find out what happened.
A few days before we were talking to a man about getting them into an orphanage but the man wanted to have an interview with them. Our leaders made it clear to the man that they didn't want him to be open about the orphanage in case it didn't work out. Ethiopians often take things as promises and we didn't want them to get disappointed.
During the interview the man talked to the boys in Amharic, to were our leaders did not know what he was saying and he did not translate.
The man told the boy's in Amharic about the orphanage and that in order to get into the orphanage they would find their parents or family in order to okay it with them.
This was a problem.
When I say these boy's come from rough pasts, I am not over exaggerating!
Their families, from the stories we've been told by the boys and people around town, are not people you would want to spend a day with.. or even a minute.
They boy's knew at that moment they had to run, before they were put back in the protection of their families.
So they stole enough money for food and a taxi and ditched.
This made a lot of sense to us.
Shimalice started getting help from a church and our focus immediately switched to finding Kuribel! If only to tell him we weren't mad at him, our team was on a mission... after a few weeks and many prayer meetings about him... We found him, living in the WORST part of Addis.
He had lost so much weight and his entire head was scabbed, for what reason we still aren't sure (the hospital in Addis wasn't very informative) but suddenly the World was okay again. We met with him daily.
We continued to try to get him help.
We were leaving and none of us could think of getting on that plane and leaving him on the streets.
We kept hitting walls.
Every school said the same thing, "but.. he's a street boy."
He wasn't just a street boy.
That is his condition, not who he is.
He is bright boy, who is extremely smooth and smart, who learns English super fast and loves peanut butter, and a boy who we knew God had something for.
Then we found someone who wanted to help! We found a school who would take him.
We went on debrief the last few days in Ethiopia, which was basically like a little vacation and decided to take him with us.
On the last night there our leaders told him that he could go to school, to a boy's academy. One of the best in Ethiopia.
We were all eating as he came up to the table. "what happened Kuribel?" we asked. "what did they say!?" knowing exactly what they had said to him but wanting to hear what he had to say about it.
He stood at the end of the table with all our eyes on him he started to talk as tears fell down his eyes.
"I have the opportunity to go to school" he said.
"I love you guys so much" he continued.
That made everything worth it.
All the long days in Ethiopia, the two months away from my family, the amount of times I was sick because of the food and the conditions. Life was complete, Kuribel was getting what he deserved, the best.
With the extra money our team had left over we were able to pay for one year of school and we know have friends there to look after him.

this is the story about how Kuribel the street boy, became Kuribel the school boy...
but more importantly how Kuribel taught an entire team of adult missionaries what love is.
What its like to give up your comforts, your walls, and to look past hurt and whatever one else says and just love

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