I love this time of year as everything is blooming and waking up from a cold, damp, dark winter. I love to point out God’s beautiful work in the blooming trees to my kids and find such joy when they excitedly point out the one they find especially pretty.

2010 - summer - Hiawatha, roller rink and MISC other 416

Last week I had the privilege of attending a DHI Childbirth Education graduation ceremony at a school in Addis that works with children who are born with disabilities.

This precious school is one of only a couple in the entire city with a population of over 5 million people.

Ponder that last sentence….only two or three of these schools exist in this enormous capital city! It is a life center for these families providing physical therapy, education, support, and training for moms and dads to raise their children who have special needs and physical disabilities, many of which would break your heart.


Gathered in the physical therapy room were 15-20 moms who were there to receive their certificate of completion for attending Delivering Hope’s childbirth education class. (I was told there were about 10-15 more graduates but it was also an Orthodox holiday so many couldn’t make it to the ceremony.)


As with all proper Ethiopian celebrations, there was a coffee ceremony prepared complete with cut grass on the floor and a large “loaf” of bread served only for special events. The guest of honor always cuts the bread. Our director, Ruth, was the very special honored guest at this event. After she cut the bread each of the women stood up in turn and expressed how much the training provided by Ruth had meant to them.


To these women who struggle daily, hourly, moment by moment in their situations, the hope they received through the training felt like a new beginning, a new season….it was their personal blossoming spring tree, signifying new beginnings. I relished listening to them give praise to God for what they had been taught and the empowerment that came with it. I got to see through their eyes the beauty they were experiencing, how their eyes and minds were opened to new amazing truth.


Isaiah 61:11

 For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,
    and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up,
so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise
    to sprout up before all the nations.