Monday, January 25, 2010

Ethiopia Days 1 and 2

Ethiopia Days 1 and 2.

I didn't get time to blog yesterday so today you'll get a double dose. 

Sunday morning we went to Beza International Church – it was our first
time there but I had heard so many wondeful things about the church
David and I decided to give it a try. It was AMAZING. We were
challenged to live a life of praise in ALL things, incredible time and
we all came away with a desire to go yet deeper with our Jesus.

We went to NY Pizza for lunch with Tamara who works with the HIV +
compound in Entoto. Later we headed up the mountain to share in the
lives of those living with the virus. I was amazed as each of them
opened their home to us, some made coffee for us, gave us something to
eat when they really couldn't afford to do either. To hear their
hearts and understand what its like to live with HIV in Africa is
heartbreaking. To hear words like segregated and outcast it puts a
whole new light on just what this means for these women and their
families. The shame, the pain, and the knowledge that one day this
will take their life. To listen as they shared how they acquired the
virus, the hopes and dreams they have for their children and the
unknown. Humbling.

In the evening we had our first team debrief which was amazing.
Listening to what the Lord is doing in each persons heart is precious
to watch. God has truly knit our team together in a way only He
could. I know several of you have been praying for unity, not that we
didn't have unity but a unity only God could do. He's done it, the
unique dynamic we have is truly amazing. God is so so good.

Monday morning we got up early for devotions, David challenged us to
get our hands dirty, to love on, to touch, and let the Spirit move in
un as we see these kids. Often not clean, having rashes, among them
all, David read about Jesus and how he went to the areas of town where
the poorest of the poor are, the places people would NEVER go. Thats
how we need be, Jesus to those who otherwise are ignored. We started
a little tradition of prayer in the courtyard before we leave. Today
Peter joined us from CFI – it was so great to hear more of his heart
and talk with him about his ministry here in Ethiopia. We went for a
visit to Peters project with CFI. I love this ministry so much.
Peter has an incredible heart and his ministry shows it. When we
pulled in the kids were shouting "Peter, Peter, Peter" – it shows the
deep love the kids have for him and his love for them is so obvious.
Peter was so thankful for all of the donations we were able to bring
from the generous families who gave. THANK YOU for making a
difference! It's humbling to be one of the ones that get to
participate in all this. We sang songs, played games, and made
bookmarks and bracelets with the kids. They loved it! Later in the
afternoon we went to the other center Peter has in Kechene, there are
over 100 kids at that center there who receive breakfast, lunch, and
an education through Peters work in the community. They were all over
us, many of us could hardly move through the sea of sweet little faces
reaching their hands up for any form of human touch. They are loved
but they don't have much one on one attention. They fight over who
will hold them or carry them, whose hand they will hold and they beg
to have their picture taken. It's overwhelming and wonderful all at
once. Being Jesus to these sweet kids is such a blessing. The one
thing that stood out to me was a little girl who had fallen down and
was crying, David leaned down and asked if she was okay. Once she
looked at him she threw her arms around his neck as he scooped her up.
An amazing picture of being a father to the fatherless. I melted.

After Kechene we headed over to our agencies transition home, there
are so many kids waiting for their forever families. I love going
back there, I remember the day we picked Silas up so so clearly. It
was awesome for Rachel to see where her sweet babe will come from. As
always amazing to see Almaz and Tsegaye as well as Mame the nanny and
Smegn the cook.

Tonight Rachel, Alicia, and the kids had Ethiopian food for the first
time. It was a photographed moment, they all loved it!

A late night debrief at Tamoca was in order after our long day! We go
through and talk about our day and how were affected by the events of
the day. It's a great way to process things and it really helps the
kids. Coffee was great, company awesome! We had the opportunity to
love on some street kids. Nichol was having a hard time drinking her
coffee and watching these two girls standing at the door waiting for
us to buy a stick of gum. After a few I asked David if we could
invite them for coffee, he agreed and told Nichol to go buy them
coffee and that they can come sit with us. The grin on her face made
me realize just how hard she's taking all of this. Her little heart
is being wrecked for Jesus and we just need prayer that we would see
that and cultivate it to His honor and glory. Being there with those
girls was a definite highlight from my day. Hannah and Nichol were
Jesus with skin on and it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about
those two powerhouses encouraging others in loving well. These kids
are all amazing and watching them with these sweet kids is incredible.

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