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 Cathy on Saturday, the ninth and final day of the trip. Today is our last day here!! I can’t even believe how quickly the time has gone, but, at the same time, it seems like forever ago since we saw that first soccer match the day we got here.
Today was another day of sports and recreation! It was also another beautiful morning full of sunshine and breezes! God is good. We have had overcast days everyday until yesterday, and today was just more blessing with the beautiful sunshine.
We started the day intending to do a street race with the kids, but the traffic police wouldn’t allow us to close the streets for the hour or so that it would take to do the race. But, never fear, we improvised and did the race at the soccer field.
Before we started the race, Joe told all of the kids about the people in America that did the Run Your Street 5K in honor of this race. Then our race began. Four laps around the soccer field was enough to get my lungs burning!! Meme, Lana, Liz, and I all did the race with the kids. I finished 2nd to last and Liz finished last. But hey, we did our first race in Ethiopia!!
Following the race, we did the “real” soccer match of the staff against the kids (apparently, yesterday was practice). Candice and I played, and Candice scored a goal! I was on defense and just followed one of the staff member's lead because I don’t know anything about soccer! But I will say they did not score on me! Liz was back up for the goalie, but Fikadu did a good job as our goalie, so Liz was never subbed in (credit elaine). The staff won 2-1! The sniper that Kelly McGugan sent fulfilled their duty and doused Candice with water after the game. They also got me with one bottle, but I was definitely not soaked like Candice!
After that the kids played their soccer match. We were all yelling like crazy as each team scored points. Lauren got her hair done by a couple of the girls during the game, and it looked really cute. The game with the kids was wild!! The teams were tied 5-5, and then they went into a sudden death shootout! Each team scored 2 goals. The last player to shoot was an Onesimus player, and he SCORED!!
Katie took some fantastic pictures during the game today, and Natalie spent her time on the sidelines with the kids. We have all really grown to love these children in the short time we have been with them.
Unfortunately, Howard wasn’t feeling that great today, so he rested on the sidelines and in the car for a little while. But so far so good with him. Pray he is completely healed during the flight home.
A few of us tried our hand at bargaining at the shops to buy a few gifts and souvenirs. It is always a joy to haggle with the locals. Luckily, we had our trusty translator and driver with us to help us!
Pray for safe travels, no delays, no bag misplacements on our trip home. Also pray for our connection in Germany to go smoothly, customs to go quickly and easily, and that everyone stays well on the flights home!
We are all exhausted after this wonderful week. Thank you ALL for reading, supporting, commenting and praying for us during this journey of ours! You are all a part of it with us!
We are loading up the van as I type this, so I will sign off. We will see you Sunday night!!
Love from Team Ethiopia and Cathy