Before the kids are ten feet away, I notice one little boy’s face is glistening, as if it’s soaking wet. At five feet away, I begin to smell the sharp scent of paint thinner and can see that his eyes are glossed over.
This year's “Permanently His Campaign” has me thinking a lot about our work in Ethiopia. More specifically, I've been thinking about the Kota Ganate Agriculture Project - something we started almost six years ago - because permanency is what this project is all about. Where we're from, “putting down roots” means to establish yourself permanently somewhere - to make a place your home. You make friends there, make a home there, start a family there - you become part of the place just as much as the place becomes a part of you.
I guess you could say my family and I have put down roots in Ethiopia in more ways than one. With Kota Ganate we're “putting down roots” for a generation of children who desperately need the permanency TFC provides, children like Abel, Sossina, and Metu.
Kota Ganate provides long-term sustainability to ensure these kids and many others will find the permanency they need.
As we literally put down roots with each crop we plant, pray with us for God to deepen our financial roots through Kota Ganate so we can continue to offer street children in Ethiopia the chance to become Permanently His.
2 Corinthians 8:2, “Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty, willed up in generosity!”I think this verse sums up everything that we have experienced and the hearts of the children! Today was so encouraging and very affirming that what we are doing is making an impact! We all enjoyed so much of the kids’ love and affection through their contagious smiles and their heart melting hugs!
Finding the words to share with you is difficult. We have been in Addis Ababa for 48 hours and I think it is safe to say that all of us are feeling completely ruined-- so much we can't even comprehend it all. YET! Today was our first official day at the drop-in center. Our morning began with greeting the children...
There is no way to prepare your heart for this. You have to experience it. 24 hours into our trip and our eyes are wide open and our ears are listening. Tonight, Britainy received a letter from her sister in-law, Sally Townsend, and we think that it sums up exactly how we are feeling after our first day in Addis- we thought it was perfect to share.
God is our potter. He is in complete control of our circumstances. (Jeremiah 18) He definitely reminded the team of this yesterday. While we wanted "our" plans to play out just like the itinerary read, God was quick to give us a gentle reminder that He is in control. His plan is bigger. His plan is better.
The team is currently sleeping in Frankfurt, Germany (3:05 am there) at a hotel. The schedule for tomorrow, Saturday is breakfast at 8 am (1 am Central Time), team devotions, leave the hotel at 10:30 am (3:30 am Central Time), flight out of Frankfurt at 1 pm (6 am Central Time) and arrival in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at 9 pm-ish (12 o'clock noon Central Time). Please pray the flights go according to plan this go around! The team is excited and ready to land on African soil.
Team Ethiopia 2011 has officially departed Memphis, TN and is on their way to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. They were sent off by a good group of family and friends that not only helped reduce over weight bags (the team took sixteen bags, 50lbs each - 12+ of those bags were filled with supplies to give), but also prayed with them before they left.