We are fast approaching a tipping point in human history, within a day or two, or a week at most, everything we knew to be true will be turned upside down. When that hour comes, the least will be first and those who are first will be last. It sound biblical doesn’t it? Pull up a chair my people, enebla, I am about to feed you a parable of what is to come and a way we can survive through it all.
In Ethiopia, saying enebla is at once a source of nourishment for the giver and the receiver. We are a community of feeders who love to dole out gurshas as much as we love to do eskista. In our DNA lives a community of one where we take care of each other. It is because we have strayed far from enebla (let’s eat) and instead have decided to become about lebla (let me eat) that we are suffering as a people.
I don’t write on these things out of theory, I too once went from having God in my heart to being all about ego. Though I kept feeding people, I was doing so not so much to nourish them but to handicap them with charity. I learned the hard way what happens when one inverts the gifts that God gives us, when we let the kindness that lives in our hearts be inverted by this world’s wickedness.
I spent two years walking in the wilderness of homelessness and crying alone sleeping on donated mattresses to realize that it is not about me. It was when I decided to feed others, when I became a chef in a shelter kitchen, that my life started to turn. The more I fed others, the more they fed me. Enebla became the watch word that saved me. I was fed love endlessly as God kept saying Enebla to me when all I could must was the strength to say Bekahn to this world.
My blessings! I smile when I see this picture because it reminds me that despite what’s happening outside, children continue to get older and love will continue to grow.#FikreBekele #OurLoveGrows pic.twitter.com/72XcmEtkfX
— Bethlehem Bekele (@BettyBeke) December 4, 2020
Fast forward four years and I have gone from eating alone to feasting with my family. God gave me a wife who nourishes me daily and a son who feeds my soul copiously. Bethlehem became the house of blessings that fed me and Yohannes became the teacher who baptized me with his innocence. I am grateful for it all, the twists and turns, and above all I am thankful that I still say enebla when I see my fellow Ethiopians instead of being only about me.
I told you it’s biblical right. The founder of Enebla “Let’s Eat Together” is a fellow Ethiopian by the name of Joseph Gessese. Joseph in Genesis was sold out by his brothers yet he fed them in the end. Joseph in the New Testament was a father to Yeshua even though he was not his seed. Both Joseph’s gave of themselves and that is why they were blessed eternally. My friend Joseph is blessed in this way, he keeps saying enebla even as he runs around all the time trying to feed the world. He gets it from his mother, that is the blessing of Joseph that will always bless back::
“The nourishment of body is food, while the nourishment of the soul is feeding others.” ~ Ali ibn Abi Talib
Click on the picture below to visit Enebla, make sure to donate as you are able and please come out next week and help feed homeless people in DC. Our kindness will one day feed us back as we feed others who are broken by circumstances. There is hope, after all, I too was once homeless being fed by others until I could feed myself.
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