The Shoes

A few days ago I read a blog of a Team Tasfa team member, Ingrid. Team Tasfa is a amazing group of people who have a heart for Ethiopia. They hand carried  the pillowcase dresses & Project Gena backpacks to Ethiopia on behalf of EOR.

After reading Ingrid’s heart wrenching post about a young boy at FOVC (friends & orphans of vulnerable children) one of our partner organizations in Shanto, Ethiopia, I asked if she would share with our readers her life changing moment in Ethiopia. Thank you Ingrid for sharing with us.

Ingrid studied at Moody Bible Institute and majored in Urban Ministries. She shares she has seen a lot of poverty in the US but knows it doesn’t compare to global poverty. She wanted to find something personal to get involved in and learned about FOVC and their help for the orphans and widows. She and her family sponsor a child at FOVC who they were able to meet on this trip.                                                                                                                                                                      Kim

Our team brought over multiple suitcases full of donations. Our goal was to give every child at FOVC a new outfit and pair of shoes. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough shoes. Because we found it difficult to buy more we decided not to give out shoes during our visit. Instead we left money so the FOVC staff could purchase enough for all the children.

One day at FOVC I found the shoes pictured above laying on the ground. By the looks of them I suspected that the owner had outgrown them and had toes hanging out. I took the shoes to a staff member and he identified the child. It was a boy name Israel who was around 12 years old. I was right about the toes hanging out. I immediately talked with Lory, our team leader, and she said to go ahead and find a pair of shoes for Israel. I found a pair of used ladies white tennis shoes and grabbed a new pair of socks. Israel grinned as I brought them over. He put on the socks and slipped on the shoes. I tied them for him and checked the position of the toes. They were a perfect fit. He continued to grin and headed back to join the rest of the children.

A few minutes later I went over to the children to take some more candid shots. I noticed Israel standing in the background crying and I thought he didn’t like the shoes or that another child had been mean to him because he got shoes and they didn’t. A staff member translated for Israel. He was happy. He had tears of joy!

This was the most moving moment of the entire trip for me. I held that little boy and we both cried. His were tears of joy and mine were tears of sadness and confusion. It is hard for an American to imagine a child crying over shoes. Not really cool shoes that they wanted for Christmas but a used pair of ladies tennis shoes that meant his toes didn’t hang out anymore. A pair of shoes that would keep his feet clean on the dirt road he walked everyday. It was a moment that I don’t ever want to forget. It was a moment that changed my perspective and my life.                                                                                                                                                                        Ingrid


4 thoughts on “The Shoes

  1. This story so beautifully illustrates exactly why it is that I am an EOR board member. Thank you Ingrid, for sharing your joys and sadness . I’m so glad you were there to change Israel’s life in a dozen different ways.


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