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Team Ethiopia is a short-term missions group from Central Church in Collierville, TN. They partner with our Ethiopian Team on the ground in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for about a week. Here is their daily update regarding their experience in 2017 and the way God moves in and through this ministry. We thank them for their service!

Written by Howard Avery [ Hayat, my Ethiopian name ]

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Well, today is Wednesday.  It is our half-way point in the trip.  So far everything has been absolutely perfect; our flight to Addis, a day of recovery, Sunday morning at IEC (International Evangelical Church), and then 3 days of VBS with “the children”.  Today our Bible hero was Moses.  We had an opening lesson covering his life, then Liz did a deeper look at his crime of murder and God’s forgiveness in spite of our sin. The children again are very receptive to what we are teaching them. One of the children asked how he could know that God has forgiven him.  One of the staff will be speaking with him further about his question – a real life example of Paul planting, Apollos watering, but it is God who gives the increase. The crafts included a facemask of Moses, and other items that I could tell they enjoyed.  In years past, sometimes if they don’t really care about the crafts, they end up on the ground, but not today.    

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At this point in the trip, I tend to get somber because I know the time is getting short.  And while our stay is going well, we do get tired, sometimes sleep is not as restful as home, and our minds go 1000 miles an hour, wanting to do and get so much in our lessons, songs and efforts.  I think also the children sense it, they seem to hold on longer as we say “ciao” as the bus arrives to return them to their area of Addis.  They don’t want to let go. 

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In one of today’s photos there is a shot of Kelly and Fikado (pronounced just like it is spelled), arm in arm; this so typifies how we are feeling today.  One of the great let downs of “the fall” in the garden of Eden is the limits time and space put on us.  Sometimes we might want to stay here as we see The LORD pouring out blessing upon blessing in the relationships we make and grow in.  Kelly has been here 10 times in 8 years, and this is my 6th trip and we both feel much the same emotions daily in spite of our differences in life.  She is a great team leader but even greater is her love for her Habisha family.

One of the things we are saying constantly as we enter our van, regardless of where we are going, we ask “is everyone here”?  There is the sensation that “someone is missing”.  Could it be you?  This season of our church's short term missions is almost over; however, unless Jesus comes back before then, there is always next year.  While I’m not saying you must come to Ethiopia, surely there is “SOMEPLACE” where you might use your talents, and gifts that our great God has given you, in the fields of His harvest?  Whether local or international, as you read these words, prayerfully consider going somewhere next year with us or some other mission team from a local church body near you.  All of us on Team Ethiopia 2017 from Central Church concur YOU WILL BE BLESSED BEYOND YOUR WIDLEST IMAGINATION!!!

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Thank you for your prayers, comments and letters. We love the encouragement!