As I mentioned earlier, I fell in love with the young men at Kolfe. I left my email and asked them to keep in touch with me. One young man, Solomon, has been corresponding with me. I would like to share this with you so you can see for yourself how sweet and loving these young men are. Also, I want to share the updated emails I have received from Ryan as another example of how these young men really care for each other.
Solomon on the far right wearing brown sweater with grey.
This is from my new son Solomon who is 17 years old:
"hi Eileen i am solomon bekele i am reading your pleasurable cmail letter. I am reallu happy about that thank you for everything.
Eileen be for you come to us i did not know any one out of the campas when someting happend to me may be it is hard or not i a am trying to solve by my self but now i am very laky because i gaet you. when you take me premission i want to call you my mum.
Eileen my mother was dead when i was one years old. i am the onoy chiled for my mum but i am not saky to saw her but God never forhat me he take me you. i would like to reading a bible bdfore i sleep because i understand how God loves me very much not only me he loves all human beings.
Eileen i told to habtamu to writting for you.he says writting soon. Mum after i will write other letter for you God blessing all of you."
I responded to this note by telling Solomon I would be honored and privileged to be his MUM. I asked him to tell me more about his childhood. I want to grow our relationship and plan to help him as we find out what the procedures are. He is too old to be adopted by US law. This is the next email I received from him:
"hello my dear mum. I was writinig for you for my mother to day i am writing for you about my life when i was chiledhood.
Mum after my mother died my father take the responsibility to protect me and he callanged mant problems because of me he treated me like a mother and father. Always he tried to happy me. He told me that study hard but i don't know why alwys he told me this in that time. Iremeber when i was 8 years old i was asked him why alwys say to me study hard. He told me that i said always this because of one thing when someting happend to me one day how you can lead your life you know that wi are poor therefore the only chance to live a better life for future is when you study hard. I understand every thing that time we are not any man to help us. After two years latter, when i was ten years old one day night at 1:00pm my father is very sick the next day he goes to clinic and geat medical care the doctors are tring to save his life but they can't. When the doctors told me that i can't controll myself i am really sad because i lose one man 9i have. After he died i was alone. After two weeks ago one man he knows my father came to me and i told him everything after that he finished all process to came to me orphan campas finally i came the campas when i was 10 years old. I have been lived in this campas for 6 years now. Shortly my history like this.
Mum i don't have computer access. Iam send you the message by using momputer center services. When i used the computer to 1 minite i pay 20 cents, 1 hour 12 birr. It is very difficult to me but i promise i write for you two or three times in a week.
Mum Mike and his son are coming today to us. I meet with them. They also visit the library give for us candy pen and candy also ball. I am really enjoied with them.
Mum i think about you i can't tolerat your love. I MISSED YOU SO MUCH. I pray to God to meet with you mum. GOD BLESS YOU FOREVER MUM"
OK, so now you have a glimpse of what a blessing I have received while visiting Kolfe. I am thinking about these boys all the time. For some reason, Solomon and Hoptamu are the most special to me because they stayed by my side the entire time we were there, which was several hours. They have a special place in my heart.
When Jerry and I saw the conditions of this orphanage, we decided we would do something to help them. In lieu of paying our hotel bill, we gave our cash to Ryan at Gladney to buy blankets for them. I was so cold every night and I was at the HILTON! They live in this place with broken windows so I thought this would be a great thing for them. Well, I just received this email from Ryan.
Glad to hear things are going well.
I went back to Kolfe to let them know you had left money for blankets, and the older guys all said they didn't need blankets and decided the money would be best spent on shoes for the younger boys. I thought it was pretty sweet that they wanted to spend the money on the younger guys. I hope you are okay with the money being spent that way, let me know if you are not okay with it.
Also, about the fund raiser... there is a plumbing problem that needs to be fixed. The pipes from 2 of the bathrooms are leaking, and the sewage is seeping up through the ground. I would like this to be the next project, so could we use some of the money from the fund raiser to repair this problem?
The boys at Kolfe and I are truly grateful that you did not forget what you saw or how it made you feel.
Do you see the thoughtfulness of these young men? Instead of getting new warm blankets, they want the money we left to buy shoes for the younger boys. There are currently 180 young men in this orphanage. Remember I told you how they explained to me that they are family and they love and respect each other? Well now we all see it in this situation. The fundraiser Ryan is referring to is the Benefit Concert my niece and sister-in-law are putting on in California, January 6, 2008. Please see our earlier post about this and if you live in the area would you please attend this concert? Jerry and I are hoping to also be there, Lord willing. Or, you can send a tax deductible gift to Gladney and write Kolfe Orphanage/Mestas Ministry on the memo line.