Team Ethiopia, a short-term missions group from Central Church in Collierville, TN, is now on the ground in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and ready to serve! Here is an update from Meme on Thursday, day seven of the trip. Hello from Ethiopia!
Today was the last day for our program and sports camp. We still have two days of fun planned with the kids, but we finished our structured program with a bang!
The program began with a welcome from Howard and enthusiastic music. It felt like Camp Tsungani as 135 kids jumped and sang, pumping their fists in the air. Ben presented an amazing gospel presentation focused on forgiveness. Each activity picked up where that left off and pressed the total understanding of the forgiveness of God over and over.
In arts and crafts Lana and Lauren had the kids make Salvation bracelets. The materials had been put together in individual baggies by the campers at Camp Tsungani. They even had the meaning of each bead written in Amharic, the national language of Ethiopia.
Joe, Joyce and Anna (one of our interns) had letters written asking God for forgiveness. Joe explained that in order to be accepted by God, we must ask for forgiveness for our sins. He drew a cross on the chalkboard and put a garbage can under the cross (credit evans). He had the students tear up their letters with their sins and put them in the trash, representing how God sees our sin when we have asked for forgiveness.
During devotional Cathy knocked it out of the ballpark, with Liz fielding questions, applying the principal of forgiveness to their salvation.
We did get rained out of our sports camp in the afternoon, but we still had a chance for some personal and loving interaction as we walked to the soccer field with the kids holding our hands as they flocked around us, soaking in the sights, sounds and smells of Ethiopia!
Our debriefing periods have been very inspiring, encouraging and always full of laughter and tears. This has been our true bonding time. Our group is so diverse, but we have molded together as one body, serving God as a unit, incorporating each gift that we have been blessed with.
Thank you so much for all of the cards, letters, and notes. We absorb them and read them over and over, laughing, crying (we do a lot of both) and sharing your meaningful words of encouragement. Joe reads the blog and all of the comments to us every morning at breakfast. You will never know how moving your comments are. They are the best way to start the day.
We miss all of you and can’t wait to see you, but God is not finished with us here yet!
Love love, love, Team Ethiopia/Meme