Team Ethiopia: Planting Seeds

The following is an update from Team Ethiopia, a small group from Central Church in Memphis, TN, who will be serving as short-term missionaries at Onesimus Children Development Association in June 2011. We’ve invited our dear friends and ministry partners to post their trip updates and prayer requests here on the TFC blog. Enjoy…


"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us." Ephesians 3:20

Today was a much better day for all of us. We took God "out of the box" and we were all able to see exactly what He is doing here. It was our last full day at the drop in center so we savored every moment we could with the kids. The children were extremely affectionate and they each wanted our undivided attention. While this can be so overwhelming and tiring at times, it is, also, so special to be affirmed that what you are doing here is a good thing. These children just want your love and it is free to give.

Britainy taught a powerful lesson on Esther and her bravery. The children were engaged and they seemed to really enjoy themselves. They, also, enjoyed sharing stories of times when they had to be brave. They love for us to learn about their lives and they are so proud of who they are! This makes my heart happy! While many of them have had to be brave in circumstances far beyond our comprehension, they still know who carries them throughout each day. This alone is encouraging. The love within the center is infectious.


After Britainy's lesson today, we were singing with the kids while they worked on their craft. Britainy began singing "Surely the Presence" and it really gave me goose bumps as I looked around the room and I saw these precious children and I felt God's grace all around us. He really is holding each of us in His arms. His grace is sufficient.

Tonight, we went to dinner at Nega (Director of Onesimus Children Development Association , aka OCDA) and his wife, Emu's home. What an incredible memory this will be for all of us. The company included Nega and Emu, our team, Nega's brothers, and several of the Onesimus employees.

We enjoyed a LARGE traditional Ethiopian feast together and it was quite special. One of the traditions of the culture is for you to be fed by another person. Each of us were introduced to this tradition tonight and it was very entertaining. But... it has to happen TWICE for you to be "brothers" forever and to really love each other! Well, needless to say, we all have new "forever" brothers in Ethiopia.

Aside from dinner, we enjoyed the fellowship together and the many, many laughs. It was so inspiring to hear Nega's passion for his ministry at Onesimus. Nega's brother, Andonette, summarized it perfectly... Like a farmer who plants a seed and waits for his harvest to grow, Nega has planted the seed of a future apart from begging and living on the street for these children.

So, while we may want to change these kid's lives overnight, we are confident that what each child is receiving at OCDA is changing their life second by second. We just have to be patient with God's plan and remain confident that it is working.

Please pray that we are able to fully surrender tomorrow and that we are able to truly enjoy our final moments in Ethiopia.


We love you all, Team Ethiopia



P.S. Again, keep the comments coming! They mean so much to us!