Saturday, January 31, 2009

Heading Home

Its after midnight here and our van comes in just a couple of hours to take us to the airport.  We're going to sleep a bit and then head out.  This trip has been amazing.  The Lord met us here.  Our hearts are full of the joy of the Lord yet burdened to do still more.

There is so much to take in and the theme of this trip has been to leave with the answer to the question "what now"?  Each of us have a clearer picture of what that is and we're excited to share them here individually when we get home.  Blogging by email with difficulty posting pictures can get frustrating.  Once we get settled and love on our families a bit we'll all be posting.  :)

We've seen sadness and despair yet among all of that we've seen so much hope.  To watch the street children eagerly wanting to learn about Christ, to build relationships with them, and just to love on them has blessed me more then I feel I've done for any one of them.  This country has something I pray I bring back with me.  True Happiness despite the circumstances.  I do need Africa more then Africa needs me.  I believe that more and more.

Thank you for your prayers and support.  Rachael, Sarah and I are all well - continue to pray we remain that way for our 30 hour journey home.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the
author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:2

"Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely."

Friday, January 30, 2009

An update from Sarah!

Alright! So for the first time I'm atempting to blog. So far this
trip has been truly amazing! A lot of awesome visits with different
orphanges, and drop-in centers, all with the same result of having a
challenging time leaving the kids. One of the coolest things is
watching how excited these kids get when we pull into the compounds.
Its like Christmas for them, when we pull out our outdoor activities,
crafts and kid worship songs. I have so many storys and pictures, and
can't wait to share with everyone. Tomorrow is our last full day
here, and we have a full day planned. Please pray for us, and our
opportunites to share Chirst with the people on the street, and the
kids in the centers. God is doing amazing things through some amazing
people that we have met here in Ethiopia. Please keep them in your
prayers, as they continue to do God's work here.
Sarah <><
To the world you may be one person,
but to one person you may be the world.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


It looks like we can only send them one at a time.  When we get back it'll be a picture overload.  :)

Dav 4

Good Evening! (Morning for all of you)  :)

Today was pretty busy.  We left this morning to head out to a family rehabilitation center.  We were all excited about this project as well as the drive out of the city.  It was beautiful!  Only problem, we had two flat tires so it was lunch in a field instead.  It was too late to continue on since we had meeting with the minister of labor and affairs in the afternoon.  We headed back through the country side to get ready for the meeting.  Later we headed to the Buckner baby home and held all the babies and played with the toddlers.  They had some super sweet older boys!  Please pray these sweet children find their forever families soon.

Off to dinner at Zebra Grill - which actually had some delicious non-Ethiopian dishes.  Then a pow wow at Kaldi's Coffee to end the night.   

Rachael is feeling better, she stayed in all day and got some much needed rest.  She's hoping she continues to gain strength so she can join us tomorrow.  Please continue to pray for her health and the rest of us.

"Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely."

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Day 2 and 3

We've been so busy and the internet so sketchy that its hard to post and even harder to post pictures.   If I can't get any to load right now I'll work on it tonight.  We visited an orphanage and I'm hoping to get some video up, one of the guys here video'd and has a link he said I could post.  I'll try tonight.  Its so incredible to hang out with these sweet kids, to hold the babies and to just play with the bigger kids.  They love everything!  They are so sweet, they'll hug and kiss us and tell us they love us.  Its been heartbreaking to see the deep desire they have for a family.  We've all said we'd love to take them home! 
Yesterday we went to the AIDS compound.  That was probably the toughest thing we've done.  Sarah, Rachel and I were part of a small group that filled a 5x8 room of a man dying of AIDS.  Tears filled his eyes as we prayed for him.  I'm sure he was embarrassed but he still let us pray with him.  He is a believer and we know we'll see him again.  The whole compound was HIV + men, women, and children.  They stay up on the mountain and are looked at as outcasts.  We gave them clothes, food, and shoes. They're greatfulness was unbelievable.  I was able to pray for the group at the end which was amazing.  It was such an honor to be allowed to pray for them.  God has been faithful and we are so blessed to be here.
Please pray for Rachael - she's been throwing up since late last night and its not getting better.  Pray for healing for her body and that she doesn't get dehydrated.
Thank you all for your prayers!!

For Sarah and Rachael too.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Picture Test!

Today we went on a coffee stop.  YUMMY Macchiatos.

"Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely."

Picture Test!

Hopefully this works.

"Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely."

We're Here!!

Well we've been here.  This is just the first chance we've had to get on the internet. 
Ethiopia is of course beautiful.  The people are amazing and the exposure to the reality of the poverty here is life changing.  Watching Sarah and Rachael as they experience this for the first time is amazing.  I feel so honored to be here with them.  The group of people we are with is INCREDIBLE!  Truly God ordained. 
Sunday we went to church at the International Evangelical church and then made our way to Hope For Abandon Children.  We met Giday and saw the needs of her orphanage.  We are working with ChangeForEthiopia to get them supplies and improve the living conditions there.  Giday was so grateful for everything.  We were able to take her shopping and buy the things she needed for the very basic needs of the children.  They are hoping to add on to the orphanage so they can have a kitchen.  What they have now is similar to what we in the states would call a shed.  Watching her as she talked about the children she loves as own, despite them having nothing they had a coffee ceremony for us, we were the honored guests.  I know I came away more blessed then when I arrived.
We went to House of Hope today where Silas lived for seven months.  We loved on the children and met up with the staff that took care of our son.  It was so surreal and bittersweet to make that road again.  The staff kissed the pictures of Silas and asked all about him.  We loved being there.  The babies are all beautiful.  The older children sang us songs and loved on us.  Truly amazing.  We all made Injera and they humored us and said we did well when we know we didn't do near as well as they do!
Afterwards we went to a drop in center.  Heartbreaking.  The area is so poor.  The poorest we'd seen.  One thing we know is universal is children.  They all play the same.  They love having their pictures taken and they all hug and kiss you.  We've loved being able to give them attention.  Again, watching the people running these ministries challenges me.  Seeing how little they have yet how MUCH they do.  All giving praise and honor to our AWESOME God.
We met the Thiele kids.  I love these kids.  Sarah, Rachael, and I feel so honored to have been able to do this for Andrea and Bryan.  All I can say guys, you are SO SO blessed.
We've visited orphanages, a drop in center, played ball with street kids, handed out granola bars and birr to the people we met.  Truly amazing to see the gratitude.  One little boy wanted to polish our shoes.  I am now the proud owner of the shiniest black shoes you've ever seen.  Watching him work so hard, so thoroughly, and lovingly on my shoes said so much to my heart.  Being able to hug him and hand him 5 birr made his day, these small things have made such a huge impression on my heart. 
Tonight we're going for a traditional Ethiopian meal at Entonto.  YUMMY!
Tomorrow we head to the AIDS hospital and another drop in center.  Pray for the people we encounter and pray that we will remain healthy.  God is SO SO good.
We are all so very thankful for your prayers and support.  Start praying about coming here on a trip next year!  Its life changing!!!
To God be ALL the Glory Honor and Praise!
I'm going to try and post pictures.....we'll see if it works.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

We're About To Head Out!

This song perfectly sums up our feelings as we look ahead to this trip.

Tomorrow morning we leave. We hope to keep this updated either via email or my sweet husband will update it for us. :) Thanks babe!

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace. Acts 20:24

And OUR King reigns supreme! We worship Him and Him alone! We covet your prayers!