Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sidelil's Story

Sidelil is a 28 year-old woman that lives in a posture of silent strength like I've never seen before. She has a beautiful 6year-old little boy, and gave birth to her second child on July 6th: a healthy little girl that wasn't named (to the best of my knowledge) before I left to return home. After inviting me into her home, she shared an entire meal with Beza and I as well as a coffee ceremony.
Though she is extremely happy for her babies and owns her motherhood proudly, it has created a rather large rift in her marriage. Her husband was not pleased about her second pregnancy and she addmitted that overall her marriage is unhappy and sometimes she feels as though she is in danger. As I attempted to verbally dig to the root of this problem, it seems as though the bulk of it comes from financial fears. Her husband is a "day worker", doing random assignments that are available for that day. Sidelil didn't have a job but after she had the baby hoped to work... actually she needed to.
My heart broke as she shared that she thought maybe the best idea was to leave her babies behind and go to an Arab country where she could make more money. Sidelil feels the pressing need to make enough income for her growing family, even if that means leaving them. I can't believe this is the best option. I see how her children will need her presence. It is my hope and prayer that her training at LIA is an answer to this. One of her greatest wishes is also to remain in Addis so that she can teach her siblings; she is the second of 8: 5 sisters and 2 brothers. Even in the midst of a situation that looks hopeless, she has a joyful spirit of perseverance. Sidelil wears a warm smile as she accepts her circumstances and explores her options.
She told me (through the translator) "You are sad by me I see". I assured her that my heart hurts for her because I see the reality of her context, but that I think she is very strong despite the odds. I told her I wanted her to try to live in hope, hope like that of Romans 5:1-5 (which I got to share with her in Amharic). I wish to see her flourish and enjoy life with her babies.

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