Category Archives: Travel

This May, my daughter and I joined my husband on a trip to Africa while he helped a university set up a graduate program and spoke at a bunch of churches. While we were there, my husband, daughter and I spent time at the Sitota Women’s Center/Dorcas Project for women and children affected by HIV. Although HIV/AIDS is quite common in Ethiopia, I didn’t realize what a huge stigma it is for women and children that are HIV positive. They are modern day untouchables. Many of the women at the Sitota Center have lost their husbands to HIV leaving them unable to provide for themselves. The Sitota Center/Dorcas Project welcomes the women and children, feeds them and teaches them handicrafts and skills to make items to sell in the market to begin to earn a small living for them and their children. Before leaving for Ethiopia, we had emailed the woman who runs the Sitota Center for a list of needs for the women and children that are in the project. By the grace of God and a lot of help and contributions from friends and family, we were able to provide every one of the 35 women and their children with new outfits, shoes, undies, socks, toys, candy and a few items for the actual Sitota Center (like an inflatable kiddie pool). So many of the children had never owned a toy. Many didn’t know how to use underwear. Babies and toddlers didn’t have diapers. They might not have earthly possessions, but they have eternal joy. Their physical needs are astounding, but being with them was one of the greatest joys of my life. They blessed us more than we blessed them. I honestly won’t ever be the same. We brought traditional Ethiopian food and they prepared a special coffee roasting ceremony where they roasted the freshly picked coffee beans over a stove and served us traditional Sidama coffee. The women asked me to take photos of them and their children and I promised to develop them and send them back. Here are a few of their sweet faces that will be etched in my heart forever.