Home in Addis

The past 10 days have been full…full of learning, observing, hurting, delighting, thanking.  Dad left just 2 days ago…it left a bigger hole than all of us wanted.  Ella said today, “I didn’t realize how much of a difference that would make.” I agree. It felt like a piece of home was still with us. In the first few days of being in Addis, we were on mission to get life figured out.  The world seemed to spin around us–the smells, the language, the people…all different, but it can just pass you by, if you aren’t careful.  Dad loved on the kids, Dave and I ran around with new dear friends.  They showed us how to get phones, internet and most importantly, food!! We were encouraged by the ways God provided for us through Jeremy and Christina…they were complete servants to us for 4 days straight.  Much here does not go as expected, nor as quickly.  They were joyful and patient.  It was fun to spend hours with them exploring this new crazy city. Dad and Dave seemed to journey to every grocery store possible trying to find things we could recognize.  We have found so much here that is new and some that is familiar…the best is our new favorite breakfast food…barley!! The Ethiopian people often eat this hot for breakfast…our kids took to it immediately–especially with a little sugar on top 🙂 It may have just taken the place of oatmeal in our family!! We got to go out one night for Ethiopian food…we enjoyed it, but our tummies did not!! We’ll have to ease in to that one!  Ella and Riah couldn’t get enough!! Right down the street is a silk factory. The woman who owns and runs the shop is incredible…she is a Christian woman who has helped many men and women learn the skills of weaving! They make the most incredible scarves and other goods!  The kids had the most amazing time as she showed us the silkworms, their eggs and the butterflies!  She blessed us so much by allowing the kids to bring a butterfly home..she has laid 25 eggs!! We also got to bring home 5 cocoons…which should be hatching soon!! We are anxious to see our butterflies!  It’s been such a special gift to the kids and a fun science experiment! The people here have been a grace.  We love the Ethiopian people…they are welcoming and kind.  They have shown us such hospitality and grace.  Today our Nanny, Tsega, invited us over for a traditional coffee ceremony.  It was so special.  We were able to watch coffee be roasted and ground all by hand…then we ALL had the BEST coffee (yes, even Evie!!)  We were blessed to meet Tsega’s whole family…I think God is uniting us with a very, very special family here.  We love her already.  She will begin watching Evie and Riah on Monday in the mornings while the rest of us begin our Amharic lessons. We have the most precious neighbors here on our compound.  One woman has served among the Ethiopian people for over 15 years and she is now working in hospice…she says she sees so many come to Christ as they are dying…she is full of grace, joy and wisdom.  I am so thankful that God crossed our paths for the next couple of months.  Another family lives just 2 doors down and they minister in a different country but are here for another week.  They are humble and kind…it has been such an encouragement to be with another mommy who loves and serves here in Africa.  Last, but not least, we have 4 incredible young women who live on either side of us. They are here for 2 months with CMF!! These women have brought such LIFE and JOY to all of us.  They are passionate about Jesus and LOVE LOVE our kids!! They have captured their hearts after only one week..even Evie will leave me and go to Kate!! I can’t believe it!! So, Evie will have her new friends to her birthday party…though she did ask if Aleitheia and Mr. Scott could come too :)!! We were so blessed to have a special day at a very very fancy pool here the day my Dad left…he treated us and the kids had a BLAST!! (And we got our first bad Equator sunburn!)  I, of course, struggled coming off the streets of Addis into what feels like a palace, but I enjoyed it because my kids were delighted…they have done sooooo well and their hearts have been so strong.  It was a gift to be able to let them swim for hours and just be kids! The greatest provision of our day for me was who God ordained for us to meet…two years ago I read of a family serving in Southern Ethiopia doing an amazing ministry to children. I met him!  They are now working and serving in Addis–they are an official drop off center for abandoned children…they have a beautiful ministry of matching widows in the community with the orphaned children…caring for the orphan and the widow…setting the lonely in families.  I absolutely loved meeting this family and felt God had a specific purpose in this…he told me of another family that lives 3 minutes from us here–they are serving the poorest of the poor…they started a daycare for women who are making less than 400 birr ($23) a month…yes, a month.  They provide daycare for these mommies who are on the edge of abandoning their children…maybe God will allow us to Love Him there…and through these precious ones.  I praise Him for His sovereignty and love for ALL…. I am daily trying to keep my eyes open to seeing Him–in it all, the beauty and the broken.

more soon…

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