This is an exciting report to write since I have just completed six weeks in Ethiopia and am now on my way back to the States. This extended trip has given me the opportunity to work with and encourage staff, visit the remote clinics, and see first hand the progress on developing property for future headquarters.
During my time in Soddo, I hosted a team from Sterling College, Kansas led by the school chaplain. In addition to spending time at Mossy Foot headquarters helping with sewing the special large shoes for patients, the team traveled to Shanto to help with the building of a home for a widow with four children. Two of the widow's children abandoned her because of her mossy foot disease. She was living in a little hut that had big open gaps in it that did not protect her family from the rain.
The team arrived to an exuberant welcome from the neighbors and church workers. Team members worked on the house, nailing on poles, making mud balls, and throwing them up to the mudder. Birhane was profoundly touched that a new house was being built for her.
In addition, I was able to spend time working with a builder who will oversee construction on the property for new Mossy Foot headquarters! With the new construction, we will be able to install the right electrical wiring so that we can use all of our shoe making equipment, which will let us produce more shoes for the patients at the clinics.
I was also able to attend two important meetings in Addis Ababa. One was the Federal Ministry of Health Symposium from June 12-14 regarding treatment options for podoconiosis. The following day, the National Podoconiosis Action Network (NPAC) met to discuss options and future development in disease prevention and treatment.
I am so grateful for the our faithful supporters whose compassion allows this important work to continue to bless and bring healing to those who suffer the effects of this debilitating disease.
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