I saved my blog posts to a word doc once I figured out we probably wouldn't have regular internet access. :) Here's the first of many.....THANK YOU all for praying, supporting, and loving our team. God was at work in the heart of each one of us. I can't wait to see what He's going to do with these amazing women!
Greetings from Addis!! We arrived safely, Gods hand was so obviously upon us from the moment we stepped off the plane. We made it through customs and immigration without a hitch, exchanging money was a bit of a long process but it was done efficiently. The only thing left was our luggage. I didn’t realize before we left that would be entering Ethiopia with 1300 lbs. of donations! That’s not including our carry on bags! My biggest fear was luggage and getting it through the security area. Friends – our entire team can attest to Gods goodness as each one of our bags literally flew through the scanners and we were all loaded up and walking out of the airport in record time! Ephrim came with just his van and I became concerned about space. No problem! Ephrim gathered a few friends and that van was loaded down in no time getting us to the guest house just shortly after 9am!
It was the best feeling being able to hug the necks of all of the people I claim as family here in Ethiopia. I can’t put into words what its like seeing each face and squeezing each neck. I love it here. I was begging to see Yeshi and baby Naomi shortly after arriving. We cleaned up a bit made a Kaldi's stop and headed to Holeta to visit Heavenly Hope’s Beading Ministry. I was excited to see this project because of our involvement with Providence Guest House and Heavenly Hope Ministries. So fun to see a new project and imagine where God will take it in the coming months. We were able to interview the women and hear their stories first hand. Truly amazing!
Our buddy Ephrim opened a guest house so we were able to see it and of course catch up with Yeshi and love on baby Naomi. She’s grown so much!!! I love that girl!! Ephrim and Yeshi have done a BEAUTIFUL job with their guest house, they are truly precious. Dinner out at Island Breeze and home to try and catch up on some sleep!
This morning I woke up STOKED! This was the day the Lord had made and his plan is perfect. We were headed to Embracing Hope to spend a day hearing about what God is doing in their ministry and of course love on the precious kids in their program. It was so fun to see how much the kids have grown in six months was amazing, hearing about the expansion, and how God is blessing their ministry was incredible. Love us some Shannons!! (pics to come soon once I download off my camera)
Plans changed a bit after a “This is Africa Moment” so we decided to visit the Former Wood Carriers Shop. Only God could have orchestrated that meeting. What was to be a "quick" stop later in the week turned into divine appointments with women who are normally "forgotten" a time of smiles and laughter. A moment with one of the women on our team telling a woman who said she hated her wrinkles that she was beautiful, created in the image of God himself and LOVED by a King! She lit up, posed for photos, and laughed with us. What an honor to watch!!
Beautiful scarves to satisfy our shopping, even better the cause they support, being able to just sit and talk to the women was such a gift. Just sitting. Laughter bonded us, smiles broke language barriers, and hugs united us.
Truly a gift from God.