Four days and twenty hours ago, we arrived in Addis Ababa with much anticipation and excitement, looking forward to what God was going to do. You have read about some of what the Lord has done up to this point and today was no exception. God has been so gracious to us and has blessed us beyond our wildest expectation. As usual, we began the day with our daily devotional. Our devotionals are based on Jeremiah 29:11-13; and today we focused on God’s gift of hope to us.
We then had breakfast, which consisted of fruits (bananas & mangoes), French toast, scrambled eggs and tea & coffee; no porridge, praise the Lord. We invited the Interim Director, Tare Cherkos, to have breakfast with us but he declined because he had already had breakfast. He told us that he had a pastor who said he should have breakfast because “if the chicken eats a lot in the morning, no one can pick him up.” The meaning of this Ethiopian Proverb is: “The chicken will be heavy and cannot be easily picked up so it won’t be dinner for anyone.”
Michelle Honnen, thank you for remembering the 3rd Floor at Paradise Restaurant. I think it is our only unofficial initiation ritual for all the newbies and this year was no exception. They were blown away by how many flights of stairs it took to get to the 3rd Floor. And to our other prolific blog readers, thank you. Please do not stop commenting on the blog. It is part of the highlight of our day. We appreciate the feedback very much. Thanks again.
Our Lesson this morning was on the 7th Rule – Envision God’s Enveloping Presence. Cathy Burk brought the message and knocked it out of the park! She gave the invitation at the end and three kids raised their hands. We were all SO excited. I think I speak for all when I say we were overwhelmed by the response. The excitement turned out to be short-lived though. We learned pretty quickly that the children who raised their hands had already accepted Christ and were in a discipleship program. Please pray for souls to be saved – while we’re here, or after. It is God who saves, not us, so we continue to plant seeds and water seeds while we’re here in Ethiopia.
Today was another picture-perfect day, weather-wise and otherwise. We went for a walk and visited the new offices of the ministry and then we went to a bakery where we bought a couple different types of breads and some cookies for the children from the Half-Way Home for whom we threw a Pizza Party at the Guesthouse. We had a wonderful time with the children at the party. We played various games and we had an unofficial Hula Hoop Contest and Cathy Burk made us look really bad.
It’s official – two of our teammates have officially been given new names and those are the names both the children and the staff calls them… Dan is now Donny and Sylvia is now Sophia.
Below are some comments from each member of the team:
Meme Alleman: ”It has been a blessing this week to hear over and over how much the Onesimus staff looks forward to the team from Central Church coming. Both staff and kids alike have told us how much they love what we have prepared and how they are so thankful that we don’t just present our program, we stay and play with them, eat with them, do special things with them. We lavish Jesus on them and they know it.”
Cathy Burk: “Speaking was a stretch for me, but I really felt like the Lord guided every step of the way. The kids were very attentive and seemed to follow how Jesus fits into the story of the Exodus of the Israelites.”
Sylvia Rigney: “Tonight at the Pizza Party some of the girls were writing on clothes pins and hanging them on their shirts. I asked Bezahyu what hers said. She said, ‘I love Jesus. Jesus is Lord.’”
Bradley Thomas: “I appreciate the team laying hands on me and praying for me to feel better.”
Kelly Dawson: “All the staff and children have been so amazing and encouraging. They talk about how much they look forward to the Central Team coming each year because we do such an amazing job and we love on them so much.”
Dan Nishimura: “I instructed the group of older boys in making an Origami crane in the colors of the Ethiopian flag. It was challenging but some really excelled at it.”
Joyce Small: “During our letter writing time, (love letters to God) the children’s letters touched me. There was one in particular that spoke volumes to me. See picture below.”
Much love to all,
Liz Roberts and Team Ethiopia