Saturday, July 13, 2013

Ethiopia - Day Four

July 3, 2013

This is yet another day where I am blown away. Today we spent time at No Ordinary Love - an organization that rescues children from slave labor and sex trafficking. The children range in age from 7-19 years old with most being in the younger range. Instantly my thoughts go to Chloe. They also minister to mother's who have HIV and small children to care for. They come during the day and have a safe place to stay.

The couple who started this ministry is from Texas yet sold everything and moved their family of 6 to Addis Ababa in direct obedience to God. They left everything comfortable and familiar for broken and unpredictable. They didn't speak the language - and still don't. The communicate via translators.

I try to picture their story as was easy to do as I can so see my family living here for at least part of each year. But what if God really did call us to be full time missionaries? Would we so willingly give everything that we know and love up to follow God's calling for our lives? I would hope so, and I would like to think that I would immediately say "yes, Lord" but I don't know. However, I see this family and see their faith being lived out and I can only pray that I would say "yes."

Back to the house though.... The girls were awesome! Again today I played "nail salon" and painted 20 girls' nails. They were crowded around so tightly that I had to have a translator tell them to form a line and then I promised that I would get to everyone. SO FUN! It's amazing how much these kids simply want love and attention. They are so loving and want to see that love returned. I am so lucky to be here!

Other than that, we served the kids lunch - injera (the local staple), sheep and bread, The sheep were donated through a friend of ours and is a rare commodity for these little ones. It was devoured quickly!

when we first arrived they were playing their version of "duck duck goose"

next came a Bible lesson

the sheep being cooked up

one of the boys of the women allowed in during the day

Beverly - my sweet new friend with 2 of the lovely little girls at No Ordinary Love

David helping get lunch prepared

The founder with a little guy who came back to visit with his mom

Lined up and ready to chow down!


David giving refills - that 2nd mile service that Chick-fil-A preaches

Nail Salon time

Temesgen - our precious friend who was also a GREAT translator for us!

Michelle with her baby standing alongside the founders with their baby

Next we visited a place called Fashionable. It is an organization started by another American couple who moved to Addis one year ago to help women get out of prostitution. Many many women become prostitutes in the city in order to be able to feed their children. It is a legal "job" but clearly very dangerous as HIV is prevalent here. Once the women come into the Fashionable program, they are given jobs making scarves or jewelry or cleaning homes. Today we were at the place where the women make the scarves. They hand make it all - right down to dying the fabric threads. They are paid for their work hence eliminating the desperation and prostitution.
One thing I noticed while there was that my thoughts were constantly on the prostitution for food aspect. It was so hard to see these beautiful women and not think of the life that they used to order to live. Then out of the blue, I saw the most beautiful bright pink flower - the only one on the whole property growing in the middle of tree. God instantly brought to mind the scripture that says He can make beauty from ashes. What a glorious reminder!

The dyed threads at Fashionable which will be turned into scarves

To all who mourn in Israel, He will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. Isaiah 61:3

I ended my day by being fully inducted into the Ethiopian culture. Our mission team challenged the local kids to a soccer match this evening. The only issue is that we are right in the middle of the rainy season in Ethiopia. Why is that an issue? Well you see, rain makes things really really soggy, soft, and muddy here. About 1/8 of a mile from the "field" we were going to play on, I fell into a sinkhole of sorts - as in I fell all the way in to the top of my thighs! I was covered in mud and probably some cow manure as well. Soaking wet and nasty! I tried to climb out and slipped even further down - all I could think of was quicksand and that I was destined to sink to my death. Really - I thought that. Thankfully David and our friend Galilah pulled me out and we finished our trek to the field...after snapping a few photos of my debacle.
David joined to soccer game and I was a spectator, trying to dry off somewhat, take photos and avoid the mounds of cow poop everywhere. The highlight of the game was when David was nailed in the head with the muddy ball and it left an imprint on his bald head! Awesome... And another highlight was the 8 or 9 year old Ethiopian kid who fell in the mud and decided to just take his pants off and finish the game in his boxer shorts. OMGeeee! He was serious about the game.

Sink hole experience...

Soccer in the mud

And this is what their rivers look like...all of them. 

The heroes who kept going in the muddy river to retrieve the ball. 

That's my man!!! Go David!!!

Team USA and Team Ethiopia

And the ball imprint on David's head.