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CCFC ambassador experiences kaleidoscope of emotions in Africa

In this final part of a three-part series, Sharon Caddy shares impressions from her visit to CCFC projects

By Sharon Caddy, radio personality & CCFC ambassador

“This trip will change you.” That’s what friends and family told me prior to visiting Ethiopia as a volunteer ambassador for Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC). But, as we met children and families in rural villages, I found myself feeling mixed emotions:

I felt compassion for the families who don’t have enough of anything — not enough to eat, not enough clean water, not enough clothing, not enough money.

I felt joy, an indescribable happiness emanating from the children and families I visited. It was felt in their warm welcome, in their sharing of coffee and bread, in the pride with which they maintain their very modest mud homes and in their children’s laughter.

I felt sadness that life can be very difficult for these lovely people and the struggle is simply a product of their circumstance and where they were born.

I felt anger for how we take things for granted in North America — for our feeling of entitlement. We have food, clean water, homes, vehicles and lots of things.

I felt a new appreciation for what’s important. I saw what really matters — family and community. The villagers I met celebrate what they have rather than dwell on what they don’t have.

I learned many lessons during my stay in Ethiopia, which I’ll use to make change. While I already sponsor a child through CCFC in Paraguay, I’m also now going to sponsor a child in Ethiopia. I’ve seen how CCFC works to positively change the life of a child, their family and an entire community.