Team Ethiopia: Our Pilot, Our God

Today was the first day with the kids.

We began the day with breakfast and a devotional. We received more letters from our loved ones at home. Howard received a letter from a friend and in that letter he shared a story. The story spoke about a little girl who was on an airplane that was experiencing turbulence. All of the adults on the plane were afraid and scared to death. The little girl was not afraid. She later shared with a pastor who was on the plane that she was not afraid because God was her pilot and her "daddy" was taking her home. What a beautiful thing to remember when beginning our first day with the kids.

Sure enough today we had to fully rely on God as our daddy.... as our pilot.

We arrived at the drop in center ready to go with all of our plans that we had made before. Our plans did not go as we expected! (This is an understatement).

We were first greeted by the children and staff at the center. They welcomed us with open arms... literally. Open arms x 100!! Yes, there were approximately 100 kids at the center when we arrived. Ben describes it as having one child hanging on each arm, one on each leg, and one on his back within seconds of arriving.

Soon, the welcome ceremony began. They prepared a beautiful ceremony for us! The children acted a skit for us. They introduced us to the children and staff. Then, they presented us with a traditional coffee ceremony- authentic roasted coffee beans (super strong....not like American coffee) and popcorn...delicious! It was so special to see how they had prepared for our arrival. They have the spirit of God among them.

It was time to start the VBS program that we had ever so greatly "planned." Candice began with music...and she rocked it! She lead the kids in singing "Today Is The Day" and "Mighty to Save." They learned motions to the songs and the rest of the day they asked to sing the songs...they really enjoyed it!

Next, it was time for Nicci and I to teach the lesson. Our lesson was about Moses and how God used him despite his sin. I have never taught a whole group lesson to 100 kids, so that was a new experience to me. We had a fabulous translator that helped out with explaining the lesson. We were afraid the kids would not listen or understand, but as we began we were able to see the kids' faces light up at the pictures and the story of Moses.

Then, we had a little bit of time to play with the children.

After that we went to lunch. We went to lunch at Loyal' was great!

We were ready to go to the drop-in center again! When we got there, the sky was gray and it began to rain...#1 thing not in our plans. The staff decided to have the rest of the day at a local church. We gathered our things and rode to the church on the bus. The kids walked all the way to the church in the rain all 75 of them. When we arrived at the church, we were unsure how we would do crafts, devotionals, and activities with the kids. The ceiling of the church was full of rain and began falling down. We began to pray and ask God to take away the rain...when we finished the prayer, we saw the sun and the rain cleared up for the time that we needed it too.

Devotional time went great! Liz said the kids were really focused and connecting with God. The kids really enjoyed the crafts as well. They drew beautiful crosses today! Activities were a lot of fun as well.

Today we saw "Ethiopian time"... much different than American time. We also saw that God's plan for the day was greater than ours. His plan prevailed. Although, today was different than expected... it was perfect!! We are excited and ready for the rest of the week.

We ask that you pray for our health and our safety. We also ask that God gives us the rest that we need.

Hope you enjoy the beautiful pictures taken by Karen Miehe.

- Jane