by Nicci Feathers, TFC Guest Blogger
10 things I miss about Ethiopia (in no particular order):
- I miss my team. Before going to Ethiopia, I had only met my teammates a few times. However, now we are all bonded by something much larger and we will care for and love each other forever. It's unlike any other friendship I have ever known because there will forever remain this unspoken "I GET IT" feeling between us.
- I miss the laughter. In the midst of our hearts being forever broken, we laughed a lot and we made a lot of great memories! It seemed that God used the laughter to soften the heartache we felt over the circumstances and to provide us a constant reminder that He was right there.
- I miss our morning devotionals and prayer time together. Since returning home, I have thought about these times often and almost wished they could be a part of my daily routine. :)
- I miss the hospitality and graciousness of Nega [director of TFC's partner project, Onesimus Children Development Association] and the entire staff at Onesimus. Each of them made sure that we were always comfortable and that we had exactly what we needed. My heart was so filled by the staff at Onesimus and the work they are doing through God. Their hearts were so honest and it was inspiring to see just what happens when you give your life to God's kingdom.
- I miss hearing the children sing! What a beautiful sound! My favorite was "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus" and the "Tooty Ta"!
- I miss not having to worry about time. I could spend ALL of my time loving on these precious children without having to worry about any of life's crazy demands. I was able to invest all of my time into them and it was perfect.
- I miss having my hair braided! The girls loved playing with our hair and we loved it, too!!!
- I miss the culture in Ethiopia. It is far different than the culture here [in America] and while, at first, it offered a shock value, I, ultimately, learned to truly appreciate it! We could learn a thing or two from the people there.
- I miss not having "stuff" to get in the way of what really matters. God showed me that I have a lot of unnecessary things getting in the way of my relationship with Him. I miss and crave the nearness I felt to Him while I was there and I want nothing more than to crave that FOREVER! Moreover, I will work everyday to maintain that closeness with Him.
AND MOST OF ALL....
- I miss those kids. Kids who smile through their pain. Kids who laugh away their hurt. Kids who only want one thing- TO BE LOVED! I miss their touch, their smell, their playfulness, their smiles, their hugs, their jokes. I miss everything about those kids. Before and after my trip, people kept saying to me, "Nicci, You will change their lives" Funny thing is that while I was able to love on them and share God with them, I did nothing of the sort. THOSE KIDS CHANGED MY LIFE. THOSE KIDS BLESSED ME MORE THAN I COULD EVER BLESS THEM and for that, I am ETERNALLY grateful!
I just miss Ethiopia. Period.
(Nicci attended Central Church's short term mission trip in June 2011. Read more about her team's journey while in Ethiopia.)