Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ethiopia Day 5

What an incredible day. The Lord has truly met us here. We finished our part of the project at Bright Hope. When we left today the foundation was getting ready to be poured. Its amazing how much Ethiopians can get done in a day especially when its all done by hand. AMAZING!

In our morning team prayer time Alicia had asked the Lord to do above and beyond what we could even imagine. Today as we were finishing up our project Alicia asked if we could talk to the workers and share Christ with them. ABSOLUTELY!! She sat down and began giving them the gospel through Sammy. It was incredible to watch and seeing the faces of the guys as the gospel was articulated and the orthodox belief had holes in it they realized their desperate need for Jesus and gave their lives to Christ. We were able to get them hooked up with Sammy who will follow up with them and disciple them. Only God. It doesn't get much better then that.

We also saw the well that had recently been put in, we will be posting pictures of the kids drinking the water as soon as we can. Its amazing to watch children that haven't had water, they were so excited. It was amazing to see.

In the afternoon we took Hindafta to be evaluated for placement in transitional housing. It is so neat to watch the Lord work in all the details, Hindafta will be safe, she is SO happy and watching her transformation in her eyes has been incredible. Michelle my have blessed us beyond words allowing us to be the ones to walk this out. God is GOOD!

Dinner with Tsegaye was amazing, closing out our day at Kaldi's was perfect. We're all great, pray for healing, David and I are a bit green. Cipro is our friend! Love to you all, thank you for praying!!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ethiopia Days 3 and 4

Tuesday was an extremely full day. We started out heading to Bright Hope School where we learned we’d be clearing the land and digging the foundation for a chicken house, not framing a chicken house. Gods in charge and we were just blessed to swing a pick axe, shovel dirt, or machete trees with the amazing people of Ethiopia. We were dirty, gross, and exhausted but our hearts were full. On our way out we went with Sammy to Korah which is one of the poorest areas in Addis. The living conditions were horrifying at best. Each of us have a passion for Sammy, his vision and the children he serves. We have so much to share about Sammy and his ministry, our hearts are overflowing. Later we visited the Thomas Center where our friends kids are, the pastor who runs a couple of ministries here was also here when I came last year. It was awesome to see him again and hear his heart for the orphan. This is also where our friend’s three kids are and we were able to spend some precious time with them and take pictures while they got their backs adjusted by our chiropractor friend. It was a great time spent with all of the children there.

We then headed to Bole Ba Bola another extremely impoverished area where they do not even have running water. We attended their church service and were so incredibly blessed by each of them. This trip impacted our team on so many levels. The joy of the Lord these people have is amazing. Even though they have nothing they love Jesus with all their hearts. One thing David pointed out was that some things are the same no matter where you go. This was no different. The ladies stand around chatting, the kids run around playing, just beautiful.

It was a long long day but the Lord met us and we were thrilled to have done what we did.

Day 4

Today was yet another beautiful day in Ethiopia. The sun was shining and we’re all sporting a great tan!  We had a rough start in the morning due to a driver issue but we finally headed out to Bright Hope School to continue digging the trench for the foundation of the chicken house. This was so much work!! It was solid rock! Watching Nathan throw the pick was impressive! That boy amazes me! To top it off he wasn’t even feeling good! God gave him enough strength to carry out today’s task and it was beautiful.

We spent the afternoon resting a bit, some of us had massages and back adjustments from our in house Chiropractor. Some of us went to Tamoca to meet the girls we’ve met previously but they didn’t show up. Later the coffee shop owner called but it was too late to head back we were all bummed but thrilled to have built this relationship with the Tamoca owner. We’ll probably try again tomorrow night or Friday. Be praying for these precious girls. We don’t know what God is doing but He’s started something and we’ll just have to see where He leads. Later in the evening we were able to get one of the street kids over to the guest house, the girls bathed her, dressed her, and we’re working on getting her a foster family so she can be nurtured and grow up in a safe environment. She has some special needs but watching the transformation this evening was incredible. God is SO SO good!

Thank you all for praying!! The team is doing FANTASTIC! Nathan has a bit of a stomach ache, please pray that’s all it is and nothing more comes of it. The rest of the team is in good health and we are so thankful!!

To God be ALL the glory!!

Ethiopia Days 1 and2

Ethiopia Days 1 and 2.

I didn’t get time to blog yesterday so today you’ll get a double dose. 

Sunday morning we went to Beza International Church – it was our first
time there but I had heard so many wondeful things about the church
David and I decided to give it a try. It was AMAZING. We were
challenged to live a life of praise in ALL things, incredible time and
we all came away with a desire to go yet deeper with our Jesus.

We went to NY Pizza for lunch with Tamara who works with the HIV +
compound in Entoto. Later we headed up the mountain to share in the
lives of those living with the virus. I was amazed as each of them
opened their home to us, some made coffee for us, gave us something to
eat when they really couldn’t afford to do either. To hear their
hearts and understand what its like to live with HIV in Africa is
heartbreaking. To hear words like segregated and outcast it puts a
whole new light on just what this means for these women and their
families. The shame, the pain, and the knowledge that one day this
will take their life. To listen as they shared how they acquired the
virus, the hopes and dreams they have for their children and the
unknown. Humbling.

In the evening we had our first team debrief which was amazing.
Listening to what the Lord is doing in each persons heart is precious
to watch. God has truly knit our team together in a way only He
could. I know several of you have been praying for unity, not that we
didn’t have unity but a unity only God could do. He’s done it, the
unique dynamic we have is truly amazing. God is so so good.

Monday morning we got up early for devotions, David challenged us to
get our hands dirty, to love on, to touch, and let the Spirit move in
un as we see these kids. Often not clean, having rashes, among them
all, David read about Jesus and how he went to the areas of town where
the poorest of the poor are, the places people would NEVER go. Thats
how we need be, Jesus to those who otherwise are ignored. We started
a little tradition of prayer in the courtyard before we leave. Today
Peter joined us from CFI – it was so great to hear more of his heart
and talk with him about his ministry here in Ethiopia. We went for a
visit to Peters project with CFI. I love this ministry so much.
Peter has an incredible heart and his ministry shows it. When we
pulled in the kids were shouting “Peter, Peter, Peter” – it shows the
deep love the kids have for him and his love for them is so obvious.
Peter was so thankful for all of the donations we were able to bring
from the generous families who gave. THANK YOU for making a
difference! It’s humbling to be one of the ones that get to
participate in all this. We sang songs, played games, and made
bookmarks and bracelets with the kids. They loved it! Later in the
afternoon we went to the other center Peter has in Kechene, there are
over 100 kids at that center there who receive breakfast, lunch, and
an education through Peters work in the community. They were all over
us, many of us could hardly move through the sea of sweet little faces
reaching their hands up for any form of human touch. They are loved
but they don’t have much one on one attention. They fight over who
will hold them or carry them, whose hand they will hold and they beg
to have their picture taken. It’s overwhelming and wonderful all at
once. Being Jesus to these sweet kids is such a blessing. The one
thing that stood out to me was a little girl who had fallen down and
was crying, David leaned down and asked if she was okay. Once she
looked at him she threw her arms around his neck as he scooped her up.
An amazing picture of being a father to the fatherless. I melted.

After Kechene we headed over to our agencies transition home, there
are so many kids waiting for their forever families. I love going
back there, I remember the day we picked Silas up so so clearly. It
was awesome for Rachel to see where her sweet babe will come from. As
always amazing to see Almaz and Tsegaye as well as Mame the nanny and
Smegn the cook.

Tonight Rachel, Alicia, and the kids had Ethiopian food for the first
time. It was a photographed moment, they all loved it!

A late night debrief at Tamoca was in order after our long day! We go
through and talk about our day and how were affected by the events of
the day. It’s a great way to process things and it really helps the
kids. Coffee was great, company awesome! We had the opportunity to
love on some street kids. Nichol was having a hard time drinking her
coffee and watching these two girls standing at the door waiting for
us to buy a stick of gum. After a few I asked David if we could
invite them for coffee, he agreed and told Nichol to go buy them
coffee and that they can come sit with us. The grin on her face made
me realize just how hard she’s taking all of this. Her little heart
is being wrecked for Jesus and we just need prayer that we would see
that and cultivate it to His honor and glory. Being there with those
girls was a definite highlight from my day. Hannah and Nichol were
Jesus with skin on and it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about
those two powerhouses encouraging others in loving well. These kids
are all amazing and watching them with these sweet kids is incredible.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


We're in Amsterdam. A lovely man gave me his leftover time so I could get on the internet for less then the cost of my first born. Its been an amazing trip so far and we're not even in Addis!

The biggest thing was in Tampa we had too many bags and didn't realize it until the morning we left. With all the donations and really needing every bag we prayed fervently and trusted the Lord with the details. ALL of our bags were checked FREE. A sweet Ethiopian checked us in and he was thrilled with what we were doing and loved that he could help. To God be the glory!

More soon!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

In Preparation.

As the team prepares to leave for Africa in just TWELVE short days our pastor played one of my favorite videos ever. I'm leveled each and every time I watch it. Sara Groves sings so perfectly what God has done in my heart using Africa as His tool to remind me to love deeper. To love better. To give more. To be HIS hands and feet. While I'm anxious to go back to Ethiopia, I'm praying for an even bigger wrecking in my heart. A wrecking to be more like Christ. To give MORE. To sacrifice. My prayer is that my life would be a living sacrifice for my King of Kings.

I leave you with this video from Sara and below that is a list of donation needs for the ministries we'll be working with in Ethiopia. If you'd rather donate financially we will be shopping here in the states just before we leave to take the needed items over. If locals have a connection with a business that may want to donate any of these items please let me know. We can provide tax deductible receipts for them if necessary.

CFI (Compassion Family International Needs in Order of Importance:

For children:

1. children's clothes/shoes (for ages 4-12 at CFI, for the outside kids-10 are in Junior High and 12 are high school)

2. parent and guardian clothes/shoes (especially underwear for women)

3. lotion

4. bar soap

For staff:

1. lotion

2. soap

3. tennis shoes




Antibacterial ointment

Childrens Tylenol

Childrens Motrin

Gauze pads

Antifungal cream - used to treat ring worm (Tinactin, Micatin, Lotrimin-AF, or Lamisil)




Shirts - no tank tops

Dresses - modest





Baby Needs:

Cloth Diapers

Rubber Pants or Diaper Covers

Diaper Pins

Baby Toys

Baby Blankets





A&D Ointment


Crib Sheets

Waterproof Pads





Lined Paper



Stickers - the kids LOVE these

Foam stickies - we'll use these for interactive projects with the kids

Pipe Cleaners

Little googly eyes

Puff balls for projects


Card Stock

Sidewalk Chaulk


Soccer Balls

Beach balls

Basket Balls

Inflating pumps/needles

Hacky Sacks

Other Things:

Dum Dums - perfect for handing out

Granola Bars

Stickers - to take with us for street kids/interaction

Gum - the kids LOVE gum

Little toys/bouncy balls for interaction on the streets

Small blow up balls

HUGE parachute for playing with the kids in the orphanage