A life-changing moment in Ethiopia

ETHIOPIA—Diocesan Social Media Leader John Grosso has been sending first-hand reports of his mission trips to Ethiopia with business and charitable leader Nick Troilo of Darien, Msgr. Thomas Powers and other diocesan priests.

“The joy and love of the people we’ve encountered in Ethiopia during our travels with Catholic Relief Services and Turning Wine Into H2O, has been awe-inspiring. said John Grosso.

We’ve had an incredible two days here so far. On Tuesday morning, Nick and John joined the contingent of Priests in Addis Ababa, as well as our hosts, Catholic Relief Services! Below is his latest posting on Diocesan Facebook.

“Yesterday we traveled to Meki, where we were hosted for the evening by Bishop Desta. We were then honored to take part in a water inauguration ceremony in a village about an hour away from Meki. The ceremony was held in honor of a completed CRS and Turning Wine Into H2O project which brought clean water to 50,000 people.

Before this, the people’s only access to clean water was an 8 hour one way (yes, one way!) walk, otherwise they had to drink from a pond that livestock bathed and defecated in. The enormity of this project (the drilling for the well, the piping, the sanitation system) cannot be overstated.

The welcome we received by those in the village was one of the most emotional things any of us have experienced. Miles outside of the village, we were greeted with an honor guard of motorcycles and horses. People lined the streets cheering and clapping, crying tears of joy, singing, and praying. When we arrived, we were welcomed with abundant joy and love. For hours, as we observed the different parts of this complex project along with our brothers and sisters from the village, we were treated to beautiful songs of prayer and thanksgiving.

It is a moment that those on our trip will never forget. It was life changing.

Water is everything. Access to clean water means that babies and children will no longer get sick. It means women no longer have to walk 8 hours one way to get water. It means more education, more jobs, more income. But most of all, it means life.

At the end of the ceremony, Nick Troilo was honored with a Gebi, a ceremonial garment worn in Ethiopia. It was truly amazing to see the great work that his small business has done. Their fundraising was instrumental in getting water to thousands of people! It goes to show you that all of us can contribute to this great need.

On the way home, we passed by many villages that did not yet have clean water. Though many were carrying the 40 pound water jugs, all stopped to wave to us and greet us as we drove by. The work of CRS and Turning Wine into Water is nothing short of amazing, but there is more we can do! There is more we must do!

This morning, we woke up and celebrated Mass together with Bishop Desta, Msgr DiGiovanni and Msgr Powers. Afterwards, we journeyed north to see a CRS sponsored warehouse that houses food donated by US AID. The amount of food awaiting distribution to those in need is staggering, but the amount of need is even greater. It was very humbling and a great honor to meet with the many people working to one day alleviate this need.