Team Ethiopia is a short-term missions group from Central Church in Collierville, TN. They partner with our Ethiopian Team on the ground in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for about a week. Here is their daily update regarding their experience and the way God moves in and through this ministry. We thank them for their service! Written by: Alexa Brainard, team member
Today was the first day of being with the children and it was such a blessing! From the minute we drove into the church the children were there smiling and waving. As soon as we stepped out of the van the children were right there laughing and hugging us. Their smiling faces were enough to make me forget about everything that we had passed on the way in. All the traffic, rain, and gloom were suddenly gone and all we could see were the bright smiling faces that welcomed us. Having the children be so open to hugs and holding hands was something I had never experienced before and it was one of the best feelings in the world. To see the love that they had for us even when they did not know us was something that I will never forget.
One little boy in particular, Baru, was one of the quietest ones in the group, but he had the sweetest face. From the minute I saw him I knew he was going to be a little light throughout the day.
We had a warm welcome full of coffee and bread. Mary and I were given the honor of lighting the candle celebrating Kelly's 9th time to come to Ethiopia and serve this ministry. Even though it took us 9 tries to finally light the candle we were eventually successful. :-)
After the opening ceremony, the kids were divided into 4 groups and each group went to a different station. I was put in charge of the arts and crafts station. Getting to be with the kids doing arts and crafts all day was a great experience that I will never forget. Seeing them make their banners and help each other made me smile every time I saw it happen.
Everything went so smoothly and we did not have a single bump in the road. The teamwork and chemistry our group displayed today is something special and it will continue to help us as we go through the week. Howard had a very compelling message to begin the day about creation and the Kingdom of God. Mary did a great job with the kids while playing sports and introducing them to "steal the bacon". Joyce and Liz had great activities for the children to expand on the scripture that Howard introduced before. We could not have had more smooth running day without the wonderful planning and leadership of Meme and Kelly.
I cannot wait to see what God has planned for this week with the kids. We have already seen his love through the children we are working with and there will be much more to come!
Please continue to pray for a couple of team members who are having stomach aches and not feeling well.
- Alexa, team member