Saturday, July 11, 2015

A Peek At A Heart Of Gold

One of my kinda unspoken rules for the blog over the last 8 years is that I always have a part of the family on here - no matter what I am writing about. This thing started out being about family and I try to keep it that way.

So this post is perfectly within my parameters because that dude up there - Nebiat - IS family. Without a doubt.

And I wanna share a little peek into his heart so others can know how awesome he is too!

Let's just get this outta the way quick - if ya read here for any length of time - you'll know we don't consider family to have to be blood related.

I think our family makes that crystal clear. And Nebiat IS family. Even on paper. But we'll get to that.

Laura met Nebiat on her first mission trip with Visiting Orphans what feels like forever ago.

Then when I led my first trip - he was our guide and translator - and it was like we had known each other forever.

Now - every trip to Ethiopia we make sure and work with him. He tirelessly helps us out with Brighton Their World - delivering formula, buying formula, meeting mules, etc. We couldn't do half of what we do with Brighton Their World without this guy.

Matter of fact - as I write this - he is picking up a BTW Team at the Addis airport and shuttling them where they need to be today.

He has been part of Mebbie coming home and Zechie coming home as well - and he is just an all around amazing guy.

Then there was that time that Brighton's body had to be moved - because they were bulldozing the cemetery he was in. I was freaking out - but who do you think stepped up?

That's right... Nebiat. He took his school tuition, paid for Brighton to be exhumed, moved and a new ceremony to be held.

And he oversaw the whole thing for us.

I rested easy knowing Nebiat was in charge of it all for us!

Oh - and that part I mentioned about him being family on paper? Well - during all of this - I get a message from Nebiat saying that the only way that Brighton's body could be moved was by a family member... but not to worry because he knew somebody who could make that happen - and what should he be? Brighton's brother? Cousin?

I remember just saying "You be whatever you need to be Nebiat!"

Because he is without a doubt... FAMILY.

Recently - Nebiat got married.

And here is where you are REALLY gonna see what this guy's heart is made of.

He messaged Laura and I yesterday after learning about Laura and that she wouldn't be coming on this trip.

See - he had a surprise for us involving Brighton's grave. This is what he told Laura:

"A few months ago - I went to Brighton's grave. I went to the church to drop my aunt and wanted to pay my respect to BRIGHTON, and pray for a while.

But was literally shocked when I reached BRIGHTON'S grave. There was nothing, I mean nothing, even the cross was missing, even his name was not there.

Then me and my now wife talked bout it, and we decided to re-do Brighton's grave, instead of throwing a wedding ceremony."
Did you catch that? He and his wife-to-be decided that instead of having a big wedding ceremony - or a ceremony AT ALL - that they would rather re-build Brighton's broken down grave.

I don't even know how to react to that. I am so humbled by his actions, by his heart for our son... I just don't know what to do with it. The he went on to say:
"I cried that day, when there was nothing on Brighton's grave, like there was no one to be there for him."
When we try to thank him - words just don't seem enough. And then he says:
"Hey, no need to thank me, even though I never knew him, I am so grateful of him to have known his family, and that family has been there for me, has been part of each and every success story I have. And this is the very least I could do."
Fighting back tears as I type this cuz I dunno what we ever did to deserve this guy in our lives...

Then - we get this picture of what he was going to surprise Laura with.

Brighton's grave. Completely rebuilt.

There are tears spilling on my keyboard because this kind of selfless love is unknown to me. Just... so selfless.

I reached out to him yesterday and he said:

It was suppose to be a surprise!"
I told him we were beyond surprised still and so sad Laura wouldn't be coming. His response was:
"I am so so sad as well, but the most important thing is she gets the tumor out safe.

I am praying!!! And I have already told all of my prayer warriors!"
His prayers and those of his friends mean the world to us.

And THAT is who this incredible guy is. I hope you got a tiny glimpse into his heart and how he operates.

Wanna know him even better?

Come to Ethiopia with Brighton Their World some time!

I promise you some time with Nebiat and you'll learn first hand why we love this guy so much...

Nebiat... thank you so much for all you do for us.

You mean the absolute world to us. I know you are a special person to a whole lot of people... but you are our family and we love you like you can't even imagine.

Here's to looking ahead to October when Camp Hoffman invades Ethiopia as a whole and you get to meet the rest of your family!

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