Sunday, May 17, 2009

No Greater Joy for Grandma Tsege

Today we celebrated with beautiful Grandma Tsege.

Tsege, born in Ethiopia , married her Eritrean husband, Haileab. In 1979 or 1980, civil war between Eritrea and Ethiopia caused Tsege to leave the homeland she knew with three small children—ages five, three and a baby. She walked a very long way to Sudan where miraculously she met up with her husband in a refugee camp in Umsagata. Life was nearly hopeless and very difficult in the camp. Miraculously, after several years in the camp, Tsege and Haileab and their family, with the help of World Relief, came to our city and church. Since about 1985, Tsege has been an important part of our church family. We love and admire our dear, sweet Tsege.

Tsege has suffered much in her life—the death of her oldest son and her husband—in two separate accidents, by drunk drivers. She also has physical pain, perhaps because of years of inadequate health care. Tsege’s children are fully adapted to American culture and country but she has remained a stranger in a strange land. We cannot fathom her grief and her loneliness from always being a foreigner. Tsege's heart also breaks for much loved family that remain in Ethiopia.

But Tsege blesses those she meets—quietly—faithfully—praying and trusting God. Her smile is sweeter than any you have seen. I am richer for having known Tsege.

Today, we had a joyful time celebrating the blessing of Tsege's beautiful, new firstborn grandson, Sawyer.

I could not help but be reminded of two grandmothers mentioned in the Bible. First Naomi . . .
Ruth gave birth to a son [Obed]. The women said to Grandma Naomi: "Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age.” Ruth 4:14
Today, we said, “Praise be to the Lord for this little grandson.” This little one could someday be famous even President of the United States. I am not sure that anyone is aspiring to that, but we do pray that little Sawyer will bring Tsege much joy throughout all of her days.

In the New Testament, we remember, Grandma Lois.

Paul said to Timothy, “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” 2 Timothy 1:5

We join Grandma Tsege in this prayer for Sawyer. “May he grow in wisdom and knowledge and a sincere faith in our Lord Jesus Christ."

This is a photo of Tsege, her three living children, her daughter-in-law, Sawyer and Tsege's sister.
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
3 John 1:4”


Diana said...

It seems to me that Tsege has acquired a wonderful second family in all of you as well as her own!

Wanda said...

Such a heart warming story of Tsege and her family...wish all good things for her family.

Mom/Barb said...

What a wonderful tribute to this family! We are all blessed to be in each others lives. Thank you Brenda and Bob for hosting this time to welcome Sawyer - it was a fantastic time! Love, Barb