Tuesday, March 6- It was a melancholy Tuesday, as we leave this incredible place where the people all seem like the most content folks on the planet, where they give you eye contact and seek you to show their love and admiration, where they are happy with every blessing God has provided. I will miss the children that have a sense of wonder in their eyes, a place where the air is filled with the spirit of God and the blessings of His Holy Name. A place that has so much opportunity and promise just waiting for the right time to emerge.
We got an early start on the day. Diarrhea still persists on our team as another member now has joined our club. I finally gave in to taking Cipro, the prescription for diarrhea this morning at 3 a.m. It seems by late this evening while writing this blog that it is already working. All team members that have been in contact are now on Cipro. Please continue your prayers for us.
We gathered for one last devotion this morning after breakfast to give thanksgiving for this opportunity to see God at work in Abaya through the World Vision team, and prayed for their continued success as they, in 2 short years have made a tremendous impact on the lives of thousands of members of the community through clean water projects like the one Faith church sponsored that provides clean water for over 5,000 people, education on HIV/AIDS prevention,
how to build latrines and the importance of their usage rather than open deprecation eliminating communicable disease and ground water and runoff contamination,
improved literacy through the building of new schools creating an atmosphere for learning and so much more. I am so delighted to report that the Abaya leadership through Aynalem and her staff has moved the needle on meeting goals and raising the bar on the quality of life in the area substantially, and that the support Faith church has provided through World Vision and her team has been money not only well spent, but stretched to a value added opportunity in the area. I report that our prayers are working and that the people of Abaya have great admiration and support for the World Vision team, and when they see one of the World Vision team vehicles literally chase them down to thank them and to see what God is up to.
I encourage our Faith church’s continued support, not only at the current level, but prayerfully seek God’s will on doing even more knowing our dollars are spent wisely. I and our team will be available to ask any questions upon our return to share much more in a personal way. Please mark your calendar for Sunday, March 18, for a special report from all of us on the Vision team to share our observations and take questions in Link Hall at 10:15 and 12:15 after each service. We also are available to meet with your Life Group or any other groups or organizations to share this life transforming experience that has changed my life forever, and hopefully yours too.
So, it feels like leaving a family member after spending time with them on vacation and having to go home. I will miss this place.
The long 6 hour drive back to Addis Ababa was a time to reflect our visit to God’s Holy ground- Abaya. We will have much time to retrospect as our journey from Addis to Sacramento is a long journey. We had a few “African” moments, like seeing the dozens of camel right along the highway, and of course seeing the thousands of donkey carts moving commerce along the journey. We arrived in Addis at around 6:30 p.m. tonight and checked in to the Kaleb Hotel, had dinner, and our Faith team met to debrief and seek God’s word on how to best share our experience with you. We pray we will be able to express this transformation of our souls, but also of the people of Abaya.
Tomorrow we will get up early and walk over to the Addis Ababa Ethiopian Orthodox church which is just a few blocks from the hotel to visit one of the iconoclastic sites in Africa, and then Tamaru will guide us through Addis to the museum and local shops and bazaars to purchase gifts to remember this place and its people.
We leave tomorrow night at 11 p.m. Addis time to Frankfurt for a 5 hour layover, and then an non-stop to San Franscisco for a 4 hour layover and our puddle jumper to Sacramento and if God is willing land at around 4:30 p.m. Sacramento time. I think I estimate correctly that is 33 hours from Addis to Sacramento including layovers and flights. Please pray for our health and safe passage, and that God’s hand will be with all those responsible for our safety.Thank you for your continued support and love, and please remember to pray for Ethiopia, the Horn of Africa
and for rain to break this drought and a potential of a devastating crop failure and famine.
May the Peace of Christ be with you. I’m not sure when I’ll have the next opportunity to blog you again. There are several blogs from the last few days that weren’t unloaded until yesterday due to internet and electrical outages in Awassa, so please go back to those to get a day by day account of our life transforming experience.
In Peace of Christ.