Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Ethiopia 2013


Wow! There are no words to express what this trip meant to our team. The 14 of us set out March 14th, after work and school. Our families sent us off with prayer in the parking lot of Celebration Baptist Church. We piled into three vehicles (you can imagined we were packed) and set off! We really go to know each other through Walkie-Talkies as we headed to Atlanta. If you know, or get the chance to meet, Ed Forster or Phillip Treadwell, you will be able to see how this was comic relief! The start of memories that will last forever!

Our choice of dinner that night (last US meal), was Chick-fil-a! We tore it up :) You can never go wrong with a Jesus sandwhich and milkshake! After, we made our way to the hotel. Wake up call was 3 o clock the next morning. So after savoring our last shower, we dozed off for a little nap, and headed out!

We flew to Charlotte, then Washington DC. These flights were nice and easy. Then we boarded with Ethiopian Airlines, and were off for our 10 hour flight!

We landed safely in Addis Ababa. However, we sat around for a little longer than intended when we got news that our luggage was lost.

Thankfully, the airport guy offered to let me carry my guitar! It was the only piece of luggage that made it for the start of our missions!
 On the way put of town, we noticed out interpreter was reading a David Platt book. Courtney and I instantly used that as an opportunity to interect. This is the start of a beautiful friendship with our sister in Christ, Hana.  


On the bus, Sabe asked if he could play my guitar. Thinking in my head "how would he even know how to play?", I handed it over. At this moment, I knew my guitar wasn't coming back home. What a gift God has given this man!

We stayed in the nicest hotel Gedo had to offer. The price per night is equivalent to about $3.00 American dollars, if this gives you an idea. This was our view from the side balcony. The colorful compund across the street is an Orthodox church. They are in much need of prayer for salavation. These people are so wrapped up in religion they miss out on Jesus.   

This was right after our 4 hour church service. We grew to big to stay insdie, so in the middle of worship, we literally packed up and went outdoors. My hat kept me from getting sun burned, but everyone else was scorched!This girl to my right (yellow jacket), sweetest girl ever!

This picture was taken in the church yard right after we played the "Rain Game" (Keep this game in mind for a few pictures later). Duc-Duc- Goose with white people in Ethiopia is an activity sure to draw a croud!

This was my first home visit. It was such a blessing to serve with my dear friend Courtney. Hana and Ficorae were wonderful translators. This couple rents a one room house made of sticks and mud (the size of your bathroom or closet). He works as a guard at the bank, and she stays at home. His 13 year old little brother lives on a mattress, going to school as a Compassion Child. Both coming from families who disowned them because of their faith, they are living contently with what God has given them.
While we were on our way to the home visit, it began to rain. Think back to where I mentioned the "Rain Game". These people had been praying since SEPTEMBER for a drop of rain. All of a sudden, we play the Rain Game and it pours!?! Don't tell me my God is not able!
This was our second home visit. (The two to the far left were just friends). This woman is the mother of three children. Her oldest son goes to school at Compassion. Her other children have no opportunity for health or education. Her husband finds work throughout the village.
Courtney and I met this awesome young man named Robera. He learned English from another foreign vistior a couple years ago. He loves the Lord! His plan is to come to America, go to Harvard, and return to run for the president of Ethiopia.
Hana wanted to learn, so I taught her. She is so gifted and talented!
Finally, our luggage is here! Courtney and I wrote "Jesus loves you" on our equipment!
Courtney Forster turned 18 in Ethiopia! What a day. We scrummaged to find some paper and a pen, and wished her a happy day! (I threw in some M&M's from my stash as well!)

Everyone wanted to take a picture with the "Missionaries"

School visit!

                                               They follow us everywhere!! :)

Tefsa, we love you!
Thank you for your beautiful smile and encouragement! (closest with stripped shirt on)

I loved working with Sly! God used his skillset to do so many things!

I just can't get enough of those smiles!!
Pit stop: Side of the mountain view of this beautiful place with my Mommy!

Big culture difference in Africa. The elders are the priority, and the young ones are pushed aside. To invest time with the young kids is to completely change the view point of these adults. Such a blessing!

Oh no! Courtney got sick. Our doctors made her drink iv fluid while she rested! Luckily, my mom packed flavor packs!
The next day, I got sick! Nothing worse than being sick in a foreign country! No running water on top of that... heart check! Perspective change!

They treated us like royalty. This was a life saver for sure! (Notice the brown underneath however... that's not mud! :)

Love this man to death! What a Godly example! Not a person was treated under his care that was not aware that we were "brothers and sisters in Christ".
My third home visit, but first with Lindsey. They had 5 boys (two not present). This man was an abusive drunk before he met Chirst. He turned from that lifestyle, thank you LORD!... When I went to say goodbye, this woman grabbed me in the tightest hug and would not let go! For 10 minutes (NO LIE) we embraced. After singing a worship song and saying a prayer, we were on our way. Hana told me later that that this woman lost a baby last year, and that us being in her home lifted her spirits!

 Fourth home visit. This woman is an Orthodox Christian. She is religious to the core, but does not know Jesus. After conversation with our interpreters, she decided that maybe our Jesus was real. (I told her I didn't come to Africa because of religion. I came because I lover her and Jesus loves her). Her neighbor told her "Dont put that decison off for tomorrow when you know it needs to be done today". She made it clear that she couldnt do anything without her husbands permission, but that she would be at church sunday. Pray that God will move in her heart.

Journaling together! God is SOOOOOOOOO good!
Robera came to say goodbye! He is enjoying his first ever girl scout cookie: THIN MINTS! (Thank you Maddie and Nikky). What an awesome young man!
Talk about a heavy load!!! The men in this culture don't labor. The babies heard cattle, the children make the money, the women labor. It's a big deal for a man to help a child or woman. So, for a man to know Christ and help a woman or child, it's a huge witnessing opportunity!

Seeing healthy kids was a blessing. In the midst of so much death and illness, this lil guy was uplifting for sure :)
"Words cannot express Morgan, words cannot express!"
Make joyful noise unto the Lord my brother! (And to your wife and baby girl) :)

Love you Mully!!!!
                        I love you my sister!                                            


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