Thank you for prayers. The team is feeling better and healthy! This day was all about the staff of The Forsaken Children/Onesimus. We headed out to Sodere, which is about 2 hours east of Addis Ababa. Three other missionaries - Bria, Jody and Hannah from the US joined us. Karyn Bridges also joined us and we chatted in the van about how God has impacted them in Ethiopia. The staff went in two other vans and on the way they changed into their orange Tennessee shirts and were singing and dancing with excitement whenever we passed.
We first gathered in a circle and sang a traditional Ethiopian song. We then played fútbol (soccer) at the resort. Many of the staff were amazing players! We had a women’s match first and then a men’s match. A fun time was had by all! We also went swimming in a giant pool, divided by a shallow end (where most stayed since many Ethiopians can’t swim) and a super deep end. It is hard for me to believe that these guys can be so good at fútbol but not even know how to tread water. I assisted Esayas and Mesfin and others in swimming lessons but it proved difficult. I also assisted some boys who weren’t even with us but wanted to be shown how to swim, too.
While we were singing and playing, a barrage of monkeys came out of the woodwork and we all loved seeing them up close and feeding them and getting a lot of pictures.
After lunch, we presented Certificates of Appreciation to each of the members of the staff. Liz opened us up in a devotional, giving thanks and encouragement to each of the staff members to continue to do the good, Godly work for these precious kids in Ethiopia. Each certificate included someone from the Bible with similar characteristics of that person. For example, Kanu was presented with characteristics similar to Nehemiah because of his leadership and attention to details. Alex was recognized as Paul, Tare recognized as Aaron.
During the presentation ceremony, even the wait staff was very attentive and we feel, hearing the devotional and presentations hopefully gave them a good image of what being a Christian is. Each member of the Onesimus staff was very appreciative and some were moved to tears. Tare could not stop thanking us and gave a heartfelt word of gratitude at conclusion.
Some highlights from today from the team:
Liz – Seeing the joy on the faces of the staff when they were presented with the Certificates of Appreciation.
Sylvia – Worshipping with the Onesimus team in Amharic.
Bradley - Got to feed and play with monkeys.
Cathy - I am just so overwhelmed today by the fact that I am here. Not having been on the initial team this year, I have had doubts if I should have come or was needed, but today I was just so happy to be here and there were no doubts that this is where God had me this week.
Kelly - After 8 trips, I finally got suckered into playing fútbol soccer and I learned what ‘striker’ means because that was my position. I have officially been inducted into the ‘Forengie’ Fútbol Hall of Fame. (Forengie means Foreigner)
We’re all looking forward to seeing the kids again tomorrow but it will be bittersweet, as we will also have to say farewell. They have left a lasting mark on my heart and I’ll continue to pray for these sweet kids.
Dan and Team Ethiopia
PS Don’t forget to comment. We have one more day of reading the comments to one another at breakfast!