Today was another blessed day. We have been in the presence of the Lord. God is our teacher...THE ultimate teacher. Our words are not enough to share what we are experiencing. I have done most of the blogging on the trip because I am the "designated blogger." Today I have asked the other team members to share some of their thoughts about the trip so far and what is on their hearts. They also would like to share their prayer requests. Enjoy! - Jane Crain
Karen Miehe: Seeing all of the smiling children today reminded me of what a blessing Onesimus is. I've loved taking pictures of the different activities each day. I just hope that I'm able to capture the truth behind each shot. I've also enjoyed practicing soccer, or football, with the girls. God's truly blessing this trip and ministry.
Prayer request: Please continue to pray for good health for the team and that God will continue to use us.
Mr McGoo: Unfortunately I have not been able to be around the kids a lot right now because I’ve spent a lot of time in meetings and talking with coaches and other community leaders. While I love everything entailed about it, I do miss the time with the kids. I have had some fun at the expense of a few of my team members, and that has been a lot of fun. A guy has to do something to keep himself sane when he doesn’t have his wife around to give her grief, right? Anyway, God is surely here and I love my time coming back. Thank you to the folks who have written me in letters and on the blog. They truly mean A LOT to me.
Prayer Request: First and foremost, pray that each of these kids realize we cannot be their Savior. That only Jesus can be the Savior they need and that He can absolutely use us in the process. Also, please pray that the Lord does give me some time with the kiddos. I feel like I’ve made a few pictures with them and that’s about it. Just not enough time with them to feel I’m halfway finished with my time here. Pray that God gives me strength to speak truth to these kids when called to. Pray that my beautiful bride isn’t too overwhelmed in my absence.
Nicci-nunu: “Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.” God has surely continued to reveal Himself to me this week. It has been a week full of abundant joy and beautiful blessings. Seeing the faces of these sweet children and spending my days being smothered in their love and affection absolutely fills my soul to the brim. As I continue to walk blindly in faith, God continues to lighten my path and He is showing me little by little the steps that He wants me to take next. This week, God has made it insanely clear that His plan will prevail and I praise Him for that. Thank you to all of my friends and family who have sent letters from home! They have truly blessed me. See you soon!
Prayer Request: Please pray that the Lord continues to show me His exact plan for my life and that I will be obedient as His servant in walking in His will. Also, that He will continue to keep our team united and in good health.
Howard: Being that this is my first short term mission trip I came with no expectations. I've been so impressed with the Holy Spirit working in spite of all the issues: language, culture, etc. Personally my eyes have been opened to the cruelty of Satan in how these people are so oppressed.
Prayer Request: Please pray the Lord will use what we've done to win some of the people to God's kingdom.
Liz: The Lord has blessed me beyond measure by giving me the opportunity to be here in Ethiopia for the third time. As always, the children are wonderful. It is hard to believe that so many of them do not have homes and families that care for them on a daily basis. The Lord has made it clear to me that telling the children about what it means to be saved is my primary and only mission on this trip. Thank you Lord for clarity in what you want me to do.
Prayer request: Please pray for protection and safety and unity within our team. May God bless each of you . Amen.
Ben: This is my first mission trip, and honestly, I wasn't very excited about leaving my comfortable life in the states. On the plane ride, I read Tolkien's The Hobbit, which relates the story of someone who went his whole life comfortable at home until invited to share in an "adventure" to a far away land. This puts the main character, quite reluctantly, on an unexpected journey with 13 dwarves he didn't know to confront a dragon to reclaim a long lost treasure. In the end, the main character has learned a great deal about himself and is actually glad he went, in spite of all the forces he faced. Similarly, even halfway through, I am glad to have made this journey. I have had to rely on God's provision and guidance and the support of my teammates. The letters from home are a big help too.
Prayer request: Please pray for God's continued protection, as a few teammates are a little under the weather, and that our time with the kids will bear fruit.
Candice: Today was another great day. I can't believe our time is halfway over! Our time has gone by too fast. I had another great day playing soccer with the girls. Not only did the girls enjoy playing, they enjoyed pouring water all over me. Thanks Nega and McGoo for giving them the idea!!
Prayer request: Please pray for good rest as we are becoming more tired. Pray that we will continue to build relationships with the children.
Kelly Dawson: Once again I've had an amazing time here with my kids. Once again I've been broken and put back together by God. Once again I'm overwhelmed by the love and hospitality of the Ethiopian people. Once again I've seen God do amazing things through prayer and worship. And once again I already can't wait to get back!
Prayer request: Please pray for T******, he is a street kid that is having a hard time and needs help both physically and spiritually.
Karyn Bridges: God continues to show me that He does not need me to do the work He has planned for the people of Ethiopia. Yet, he continually invites me to enter into the work He is doing. It is a privilege to be used to touch the hearts and lives of these kids and this staff. I am extremely humbled and grateful that our amazing God would choose to use me to bless others.
Prayer requests: Please pray for Asrat, one of the children.
Jane: I felt joy today. I feel joy in Ethiopia. I feel joy with the kids. Most of all, I feel joy in the Lord. Praise God! My heart is happy here. God is showing me that despite my sinful heart, I can glorify Him by following what He has called me to do. These children need so much more than I can give, only God can give these children lasting hope. However, He still uses me in a tiny way to accomplish this task to further His kingdom. I trust with my whole heart that God will and can come in to the lives of these children just as he did mine and even use them for His glory. That's just the kind of God we serve!
Prayer requests: Please pray that God continues to give me joy and peace in my heart. Pray for the children of Onesimus.
Britainy: Kelly and Ben D. taught a lesson about manna and God's provision for the Israelites. As our team approached the afternoon it seemed as if we all went different directions. Some were ill, some tired, some energized, and some were still. I was one of the energized and I was able to lead the boys in games, relays, and soccer. As I stood on the field, I praised God for allowing me to be there in that moment and for having the energy to keep up with thirty little boys. The Holy Spirit at that moment showed me that each of our team members was doing exactly what He wanted them to be doing in this afternoon. The Lord had given our team our "manna" for this day. He had given each person what they needed to carry out His plans for today. As it says in Job, "the Lord gives and takes away." He gave some energy and took away some energy from others causing them to be still. He used each of us in a mighty way. I am reminded that God's plans are better than my plans and His ways are better than my ways. His thoughts are higher than my thoughts. I thank God for our manna today; just what we needed to carry out His plans.
Prayer request: Pray that we are open to the Holy Spirit's guidance and that we trust God that our manna is just what need according to His great plan.