Monday, February 9, 2009

Mission Ethiopia 2009

My sweet husband made a video montage of our trip to Ethiopia. He took the pictures off my computer without me knowing and created this beautiful video as a surprise while he was out of town. Love it. It so beautifully captures Ethiopia, the people, and how blessed we were to be there. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Process.

I haven't checked this blog since we've been home. Reading Sarah and Rachael's posts tonight I realized just how much I'm still processing. I remember when we came home with Silas last year I could hardly speak of the trip without bursting into tears. I remember the silence David and I shared over what we had just experienced. I feel much of that again. Just in a little different way. I remember Sarah not understanding why I struggled so hard yet how she respected my guarded heart and waited patiently for me to be able to share. Now seeing her struggle with the same things its like a kindred spirit. Sarah, Rachael, and I share something that's difficult to articulate. Once we've processed our own thoughts and feelings with what we've experienced, discovered how to best share what the Lord has laid on our hearts it will come.

Eager to share what we've learned just struggling to let it all sink in and fully understand what we've just lived these past ten days. God is faithful, our only goal is to bring glory and honor to our King. May we all be vessels fit for His service. We were asked "what now"? In time that will be revealed, its still sinking in. More of Him, less of me.

The biggest thing that is impressed upon my heart more then what we "did" in Ethiopia is what Ethiopia did for me. The Ethiopian community is a perfect example of contentment.

I want to be completely content. Infinitely happy despite my circumstances, thankful for the little things, and joyful beyond measure. I want to give liberally and love selflessly. Forever etched in my mind is when I told one of our translators that I really liked his necklace. It was suubi beads and they were bright yellow, beautiful. He said "you do? Really?" I give it to you. I refused but his willingness to give me something he probably really like himself spoke volumes to me. I want that kind of selflessness.

The Ethiopian people will forever be apart of me. Our son is a constant reminder of that. I shared with David that a little more of my heart is deposited there just as it was last year. He gets that and I love that about him. He gets my wild and crazy heart, he gets my passions, I am so thankful for a patient husband who hasn't pushed me although I know he wants every detail. Even though he didn't travel with us, he was there in spirit. We both can't wait to return.

Here are a few pictures from the first two days we were there. I managed to shoot over 500 pictures of my own and about that many were given to me by two others. Many more to come. These are but a few.

Roasting coffee beans for a coffee ceremony. We were the guests of honor. Its such an overwhelming feeling to know something is being prepared because you are there. Humbling.

The first orphanage we visited - Also where our first coffee ceremony was.

The streets of Addis Ababa.

Sweet shoe shiners. Love these boys.

Ephrim and Co.- our AMAZING driver/translator! He took such great care of us. Thank you Ephrim!

The trip is over, but the journey has just begun

Rachael's post could not have said alot of my feelings any better. The trip has happened, but God is still at work. We had some truly amazing adventures happen while we were in Addis. There are not enough words to describe everything we saw and experienced, and the burden that was even more apparent once we got there. Visiting each of the orphanages and drop in centers became easier on the outside, because we knew what to expect, but only made our hearts ache even more after each one. The kids are all so excited to see us as soon as we walk in, and are always so polite reaching out there hands saying "Salem" (hello). Its hard to leave, and not take any of them with you. My mind is still processing everything we saw and experienced, so for now, I will leave you with that, and some pictures. Please pray for us, as we listen to what God is putting on our hearts for "What's next?"

... And Back

As we pulled into Chicago, a sadness hit. Not only were Erica and I seperating from Sarah, but I realized, as Sarah so eloquently put it, "We're back in the States." And that was rather evident from the familiar restaurants and the SuperBowl on big screens around O'Hare. Reality soon took over. And, as we finished our last and shortest leg, my mind reeled. We were back. Back to the comfort of our own beds. Back to the security of our own language. Back to the freedom to not be attached to a wallet on a neck strap. All this familiar is a great relief. But it is accompanied by a great burden.
This blog could easily be titled, "A Trip to Addis" and then stop after the last post. But it is fittingly called "To Addis and Back". The trip may be over, but the journey has just begun. Now we are back among you, friends, family, readers. Now we have the daunting task before us of explaining (or attempting to explain) the experience of Addis. The smells, sights, sounds and textures of a world you have never experienced. And the people. The emotions. All these untangible things that built up in us over our week-long venture for which there are no words. To these things we now try to put words.
The question posed to us on this trip was, "What next?" I think that for now, that is simply to share. To let you know the great need that has fallen on the people of Ethiopia, and to invite you to join us on our journey to see where we fit in to God's plan for them. It is exciting, and scary. It may not be fun, and it definately won't be easy. The experience may leave you seeing yourself and others in a whole new light. But it is worth it. It is definately worth it.

So continue to pray for us as we seek God's will in our return to America and the every day adventure, now that we have been to Addis and Back.