12 Years?!?! And Life in Addis.

Today Dave and I are sitting in a beautiful place…it feels like we are outside of this country.  I don’t really like that too much, but it is a beautiful place to spend our 12 year anniversary!! Can you believe 12 years has already gone by?! Dave and I are in awe of God’s amazing Grace. His steady, loving hand upon us.  Today we marvel at the fact that 10 years ago we were called and today He has provided, equipped and led us to a country where He desires for us to grow closer to His heart.  It is really amazing…and humbling.  We worshipped today…as the pastor preached, he reminded us to marvel, to stand in awe of our salvation.  I think in a place where pain is so evident and where darkness is so prevalent, it seems easier for me to realize what He has saved me out of! I am thankful for salvation…for a God who LOVES and pursues and who is victorious over all the things that overwhelm my heart here.  I am thankful that there is HOPE.  I am thankful that He is coming back.  I am thankful. July in Addis Ababa is a tidal wave…yet many things slow.  Many people go away on a holiday to escape the rains…many building projects slow down…many churches and schools are on break for the rainy season.  Then the rains come. They come quickly, without much warning…with torrents of rain and ice.  It is amazing. Our family is settling in.  We are finding some rhythm in the storms…there is rain as we wake in the morning…a muddy walk to school after. There is hot sun as we walk home from school and then another downpour during a quiet afternoon of resting our minds from mornings of language. The little girls are growing to love their Nanny.  I love her deeply.  She is a strong and faith-filled woman.  She loves us all as her own family.  She plays hard and cooks delicious bread and dinners for us.  She has been a tremendous blessing to all of us.  Her name means “Grace”.  She is.  She is full.  She pours out.  She is grace to me. The Bigs are doing amazingly well…many people have asked us how they sit through a morning of Amharic…God’s grace, right?!  They are loved, loved, loved. One of the main comments that people share and I am humbled by is, “Your children really love.”  The administration is even making an exception for Ella, Caleb and Maija and allowing them to continue in Language beyond the first phase–because they have done so well and are really committed to learning. (AND they’re so sweet!) But really it is Christ in them, and I am so so humbled by God using them already.  They all have days that I can see the sadness and loneliness, but overall they are happy and grateful for the day.  Our instant perspective comes when we walk out of our gate each morning…we are too blessed.  We don’t complain much anymore in this home…and when we do, we quickly remind each other of ALL we have been graced with. Dave has started shadowing some doctors at the Korean Mission Hospital here in Addis…he is seeing and having an opportunity to grasp what medicine and ministry will be like here. I have found a place of ministry…not only along the side of the dirt road, but in a big home just up the road.  It is a place of HOPE…a place where moms are given a chance to work and earn a living, while their babies are cared for in a safe and loving environment.  Embracing Hope Ethiopia is a daycare for the poorest of the poor widows here that were living in the slums…they are being given Hope and community…check out their website!! I am just now getting to know this place and ministry, but I feel a sense of deep excitement and awe over how God led me there and how He has led 61 other moms there.  Here my life intersects with many others–I can’t wait to see more of Jesus there as well. Spiritually, I see God uniting our family…we have faced so many changes–too many to think about, but amazingly our Foundation is sure and full of PEACE.  We are learning to press in together and grow together. I see that God is giving Dave and I a united purpose and vision here…and releasing us into a calling that we have only glimpsed at for so many years.  I am DELIGHTED.