Warm Story From Ethiopia
--by Brendan Moran, posted Apr 11, 2006
One day our entourage traveled about 4 hours from the capital to visit the Yirgacheffe coffee region. There we were looking to survey some coffee processing plants to possibly purchase. It rained heavily that day and there was a flash flood in a nearby village that we had to travel through to reach the farm.
After we surveyed our last coffee farm, we climbed into the 4 cars we traveled in and began the long journey back to our hotels. As we were leaving though, through the rain and soggy conditions, Ola our CEO waved his hands to stop the cars. He got out and put his hand to his ear and asked us if we knew where the music was coming from. Being that we were piratically in the jungle, we all just shrugged.
Ola is a unique individual, he is my partner and president of Ola's Exotic Coffee & Tea, and a very compassionate person. As we made our way through the jungle we happened upon a very primitive building. It was made of trees stripped of bark and aligned together to form a single square building. We entered and soon learned that this building was a church and we were in the middle of a mass. Well Ola decided he wanted to get involved and encouraged all of us to dance and sing along with the churchgoers. As we did, Ola put the equivalent of $100 in local currency of Bir on their table, well the singing got louder and louder. Then another person from our group put another $100 worth of Bir on the table. At this point, the singing was at a fever pitch!
At this point the priest gave a blessing and thanked us for our gift and mentioned to us that when we return, they will use the money to fix up their church. And Ola said, "when I return I will build you a new church!"
After we shook hands with everyone and shared smiles and laughter, we headed back to our hotels. And upon arriving Ola got a phone call from the guide that took us to the farm to say that word had spread throughout the village that "the visitors" had made a generous donation to fixing their church. Ola was just being himself, generous and compassionate.
The reason they were so happy, is that they had been praying to God for months to find a miracle to fixing their church, and when Ola arrived and donated all that money, they felt their prayers were answered! It was one of the many stories and experiences I've had with Ola and I hope I can continue doing with him and our company.
May god bless you all.