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 and the way God moves in and through this ministry. We thank them for their service!
Written by: Howard Avery, team member
Hey! Hey ! Hey!
From team Ethiopia to all our prayer warriors! We are FANTASTIC! No one is having any stomach issues at this time. Today was our last day of our VBS program with the children. It was awesome. The children requested an encore of our traditional song “Today is the Day”. It is one of those songs that gets your whole body up and moving, the endorphins really starts flowing. Then Liz brought the opening lesson, and the kids were listening to it so intently. Then it was time to break up into our different stations. We have 4 of them: Crafts led by Alexa, Bible Application done by Liz, Games led by Mary, and Bible Integration led by Joyce. Every day, with the LORD’s help, each leader has risen to the occasion. But today they brought their A game. The children rotate from 1 to another after about 30 minutes. They are in groups based on their ages ranging from 4 up to about 18. So each change brings a different approach by the leader. After 2 sessions we break for tea and a snack. Then back at it to finish our time. We then have a closing assembly with a song or 2, and a few review questions then time for lunch. Today’s closing song was Ethiopian and involved dancing, jumping, clapping and and a big Amharic hootenanny. Then it was time to close. On the one hand, we were glad it was over, but it was also sad it was over.
There were a few things we felt restricted us this year due to a small number of members on this trip. The amount of donations we brought was down, but there were other reasons for that, that the LORD knew about. From our pools of funds that many of you help us with was diminished due to a small group. And lastly there were holes in the team that got filled but not completely. For instance, there were always 2 groups that didn’t have an adult teammate to lead them from station to station; someone had to do double duty. Concerning this, I want to relate a dialogue between the late Elizabeth Elliot, and her great mentor Amy Carmichael.
Amy had been a missionary to China for decades, and she served in that field faithfully single. One day Elizabeth asked her “did she regret serving those years in China as a single woman”. Elizabeth describes her response this way. ‘ She raised her short crooked finger in my face and said “ I prayed for God to send me a man to work in the field, and one night He let me know He had called someone, and I never asked again. When I get before the LORD there is also going to be man who will be answering the question of why he did not go after such a call”.
We cannot help but feel there was someone who was supposed to be with us who did not come for whatever reason. Perhaps those people will reassess this and will begin making plans for next year. Thank you for listening to me preach for a second.
It is my understanding Facebook has now been opened back up here, so some of you may begin seeing posts there if the power stays on.
Again, we are ALL in excellent health, and I’ve been drinking plenty of water. Thank you all for prayers about this. Tomorrow we take The Forsaken Children's Ethiopian/Onesimus staff on a trip for some well deserved R&R. These ladies and gents live a dedicated life serving the LORD in the place He placed them, working an impossible mission with little reward including their salary. Please pray for Nega (he told us tonight sometimes they have to pray for their personal needs like a pair of shoes, it broke our hearts), Tareek, Alex, Alemayu, Fetla, Elsa, Mezfin, Kanu, and all the others who serve in our Savior’s field. If you are not helping financially www.theforsakenchildren.org is a place you can go to see about this ministry.
Thank you all again for your prayers, letters of encouragement, and financial aid that allowed us to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with these lovely children! You have furthered the Kingdom of God, and we are delighted to share in this with you.
- Howard Avery (Ayat- Ethiopian for grandfather)