She loved Ethiopia trip

Indhu Mathew poses with one of the many people she met while in Ethiopia.

Indhu Mathew poses with one of the many people she met while in Ethiopia.

A TRIP to Ethiopia to repair a school and share her faith proved more inspiring than a local woman imagined. Indhu Mathew spent two weeks in the African country to help the local people – she feels blessed to live here with all she and her husband have and wanted to share her blessings with others living in poverty. The group she travelled with, Hosanna Broadcasting Foundation, stayed in an orphanage in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa and spend time with 19 children who came there after getting off the street. She and the others ate, slept and danced with them and “they were so happy to have us,” she said. Four young women prepared food in the small kitchen and kept the orphanage clean while the girls went to school, said Mathew. “They were very well taken care of,” she said. All the clothes and shoes the girls had came from North America, she added. Although their hosts didn’t have a vehicle, one was rented for the group, who then drove to the village of Gunchre, about three-and-a-half hours south of Addis Ababa, with a medical team of five nurses, a medical officer and a photographer to run a medical clinic for two days, said Mathew. The group stayed in a little hotel outside the village, as it didn’t have water or facilities, and every day drove there and back, she said. The got up at 5 a.m., left at 6:30 a.m. and returned late at night, she said. The village school house was a broken building with a clay floor that needed to be replaced. Without the use of tools, the group helped the people break up the clay floor, break big stones into smaller pieces and mix sand with cement, the only thing that was bought, by hand to make a solid, smooth floor for the building, she said. “Everything was done by hand,” she said, adding the floor took a long time to do and everyone showed real teamwork. The children even helped out as much as they could, she said. The group held a crusade to minster to the people, who came in throngs pushing and shoving to hear what they had to say, said Mathew. “I opened my mouth and started to sing,” she said. “All the pushing stopped and they sat beside me on the grass.” The crusade was held in a large hall with little windows and the people who came to hear them sat on cinder blocks as there were no chairs, said Mathew. “All along we kept ministering to these people, the love of Christ, the same love we want to give each other.” she said. The people had bright eyes and beautiful faces, she added. “The main thing for me is I loved being with them,” she said. She even preached and says, even though sometimes an interpreter wasn’t available, the Holy Spirit ministered to the people. Lunch was provided for them which consisted of a large round loaf of bread, called enjai, and lamb. And the group returned the favour, bringing big bags of wheat to the people, who came running for it. The people didn’t have any bags to fill with wheat so the people just used their shirts or shawls to gather and carry what they could, said Mathew. When the group returned to the capital city before coming home, they got to shop, sightsee and even go to a resort and spa.