I am convinced that God has sent us an angel.
After Reginald left, I was so scared. There I was, a woman alone, living in a small Ethiopian village. Although I am not truly a foreigner, I was not a native to Senalat. No family, no long-established friends – only me, caring for a group of orphans. What’s worse, we had very little money. The church that had sent me here only gave a small amount of support each month. It was not enough. Food was scarce, and there were too many nights when the children and I would go to bed with hunger gnawing at our bellies.
But then the miracle came. One day, I received a letter that came all the way from America. I had hoped that it was from you, but it was not. The letter was brief – an anonymous donor had gotten the name of the orphanage from a charity group, and wanted to help. He sent us a large sum of money – far more than my usual monthly allowance.
Oh! What a happy day! I shared the news with the children, and we all danced around the room. We would have food to eat, and furniture, and new school uniforms to replace the children’s tattered rags. A few months later, the anonymous donor sent more money, and toys for the children. It was like Christmas in the orphanage. I wrote letters to the stranger thanking him profusely and telling him how I’d spent the money.
As time passed, Adia, Fisha, and the other children grew up and set out into the world. And I gained new children, all of whom I treated like sons and daughters. With the donor’s money, we were able to move the orphanage to a comfortable hut with a real wood floor, soft furnishings, and electricity, which we used for two hours every evening. There was even a small playground for the children.
In time, I also managed to save enough money to establish a school for girls, whose education had been largely neglected in Senalat.
The generosity of our donor had brought about such wonderful changes to our village. Not only were the girls and orphans now thriving, but two of my former orphans returned to the village after earning medical degrees, and put their education to work, caring for the health of the people.
In our next letter of thanks, I enclosed a photograph of the children and me, taken by a passing missionary. “You must be angel,” I wrote to the stranger. “I cannot express my gratitude enough.”
Weeks later, I received a personal letter written by our donor. When I read what he wrote, the blood drained from my face. Could it be true, the things that he had written? I paced back and forth until at last I reached a decision.
“I must go away for a while,” I told my children that evening. They were distressed, of course. But I assured them that I would return soon. The next day, I hopped about a transport truck and traveled far from Senalat.
When the driver had taken me as far as he could, I hopped out and walked the remaining miles. And there it was – a tiny village that had grown in the midst of the savanna. My heart pounding, I marched on, until my feet were once again walking along the roads of Zewedu.