Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sharing Some Stories and Some Needs

Over the many months in country, we met so many people. We developed friendships and learned their needs. Our hearts were incredibly touched with compassion. One of these dear friends is Hymanot, our driver. Our last week there, our team (Lynn, Ruby, Natalia, David and I) enjoyed a meal in his home and he shared his story with us. After that meal, Ruby posted her journal with his story and his need. I wanted to share her journal entry with you.

Here is the story from Lynn and Ruby's Journal

We have a great taxi driver here. His name is Hymanot. We have known him for almost two years, have had dinner in his home and consider him a friend – not just a taxi driver for us!

He is kind, a loving father of four children and a dedicated husband. Before the Soviet Union fell, he was a pilot stationed here from Ethiopia. He had great career and a great future. Then everything changed in 1991 when the Iron Curtain came down.

Like so many other people, Hymanot was now “LOCKED” in the country he was working in. He could not leave – his country would not allow him back. There were other pilots in the same situation. He tells of the pilots from Somalia that were told they could return only to be shot – all 12 of them – at the airport upon their return. He says that although his life was spared he has lived without a life here ever since the fall. He is not accepted in this culture, nor are his children or his Kyrgyz wife. Why? Because he is a black man from Africa!

His children are ridiculed; he is stopped constantly by the police. He has tried on different occasions to get a permission to return to Ethiopia, but has not been successful. In fact, he said it would be dangerous for him to return right now. He tried to emigrate his family to Germany, but was refused refugee status. Ethiopia will not allow him back, Kyrgyzstan does not accept him or his family. Why? Because he is a black man from Africa!

His wife’s sister was given refugee status in Norway and that is his plan now for his family. His beautiful children, (four in total) deserve a better life he says. He knows his life is past “saving” but feels if his wife and children can emigrate to Norway to be with her sister, they will have a chance – a chance he did not have.

He did not ask for our help – but how can we just ignore four little children being discriminated against so badly when there is a possible refuge for them with family in Norway? It does not take much….visa to a safe country – passage into Norway through the refugee channels and then freedom for the first time for them.

Freedom from the taunts, rocks, words, mean-spirited attitudes directed toward this beautiful family. Yes, it is just one family – but our work is one family, one child at a time. Are you able to help?

Visa’s – 5 - $1,000
Airfare to the “safe country” – we cannot say where - $3,000
Start up money - $1,000
For $5,000 we can help this family – save this family.

Hymanot will remain in Kyrgyzstan for the time being. He cannot travel with his family because of his Ethiopian passport. Only his family will leave for Norway… to be with family already there.

We submit this to you for prayerful consideration. If you feel a prompting to help this family, please email us.

The LAMb Team……