Welcoming Our 2013 Canadian Visitors

In April 2013, the VCDS Ethiopia team and in-country program was visited by a group of ladies from Relate Church in Surrey BC.

Led by Pastor Helen Balzer, who had previously visited the program in 2012, the group included Bisrat Libsekal (VCDS board member), and Lindsay Jangalee (Surrey) and Laurie Purdy (Abbotsford).

The ladies were well received by the communities of Yerah and Woldia, and had the opportunity to participate in the weekly tutoring sessions with the children of Woldia, which included time to fellowship and share with the guardians with the assistance of an interpreter.

Laurie Purdy discussing with Zerefa Biru during a session
 Laurie Purdy discussing with Zerefa Biru during a session

The people, especially the guardians were touched by the generosity and willingness of the ladies who came from so far to see their circumstances first-hand and found their desire to be of help particularly moving.

The girls proudly wearing the necklaces they made during their activity session with goodies from Canada

In as much as the people of Woldia were touched, our Canadian visitors found themselves equally impacted.

Here are a couple of excerpts from their experiences
Our Canadian visitors perched on top of the hills overlooking Woldia, April 2013

 “I have to say that out of all the experiences we’ve had in Africa, I was most enticed by the people and the country of Ethiopia. I absolutely fell in love with the people of Woldia and Yerah… My thoughts and prayers are with them constantly as they struggle to make life better and learn what an awesome God we have. … When I got to know the people in Ethiopia, they were so genuine, honest, beautiful and full of life in the hardest of circumstances. What a testimony!” 

“It has been my belief that the heart is always massaged + expanded when you put yourself in a situation that is completely outside your comfort zone. For someone who has grown up in privileged nations all her life, experiencing Ethiopia through Victory Community Development Society certainly provided that opportunity. I have recently completed my second trip working with this organization. It has been a wonderful but challenging time as you see the expanse of the needs within the community of Woldia. While it can feel overwhelming the presence of VCDS is practical and impacting. Their work is greatly appreciated as we heard first hand from guardians of the sponsored children. It allows their children to go to school, to be fed and empowers them to step into entrepreneurial projects to further support the home. There is much to be done but in a community where there seems to be hopelessness a voice of hope is rising up through VCDS.”