Friday, July 15, 2011


So finally as we wait at the Addis airport for the flight home, we again have Internet.

One of the main things that will stay in my mind after this trip will be roads.

In Ethiopia, there are so very many and walking, riding, biking, wheeling, playing, standing, a people. Teams and teams of people. Shopkeepers, peddlers selling everything from gum to videos to livestock. Little old women bent in two carrying 70# worth of limbs across their backs.

Yesterday we drove about three hours south to Hope Ethiopia to visit children there, over an hour on a dirt road through beautiful African countryside. Once there we played with and clothed over 100 children. I was the "pantie queen" and handed out scores of underwear, most of which were not wearing any, so I held it up to them to show them where it would go. They just smiled and smiled. I won't forget one little guy who was wearing the most ragged tee shirt ever and the filthy bottoms of someone's old snowsuit. He droppedmit right there and jumped into his underwear and we helped him get into a new shirt and pants, probably the first new clothes he has ever had! It was so great.

As we traveled these roads we smiled and waved at hundreds of people who must have thought those three white vans topped with bags, was the circus coming to town! We were able to slow down and hand out everything from more underwear to shoes to food and candy. Except for the days my girls got married, I don't think I have ever smiled as much in my life!

As I return home, I am praying that many of the families I know will choose to go down the road to adopting or sponsoring one of these little ones. Each one is someone's child, someone's grandchild, and only by the grace od God, they were not mine- or yours. I found two little girls one one of those roads to help to go to school and get a hot meal everyday. I will share more on them later.

Well, we will board soon, so my road leads home. Back to 'America,' but I think, never the same.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

So it's all true

So it's all true.

All the pictures that you see in magazines and TV sponsorship ad's. They're real.

Children with sores and eye drainage, flies landing on every body surface. Skeleton thin little bodies wrapped in rags.  Babies hanging from they're Mama's that you know will not be there in a few days.

It's all true.

Bright mischievous eyes. Smiles so big they go from east to west. Little hands gripping yours so tight you feel they might be glued there permanently.

That's all I have for Monday.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sensory Overload

Sunday morning began as I woke up with David Platt in my ear (iPod) admonishing me to tell others the good news of God's eternal adoption. I then held my three CBC roommates audio "hostage" and played his "Share the Word" sermon while we dressed for the day. It was perfect for why we were here.

Went to an international, english speaking Church service. The euthusiaism in which they praised and worshiped was beautiful. The energy and decibel levels made sure no one was going sleep during this service! Again the message used some of the same Matthew verses to go and make disciples.... the Lord was making sure we got the message.

The afternoon was spent at a marketplace where the sites and sounds and smells totally totally took over! The little guys wanting so much to shine your shoes or sell you a map or a belt. The crippled begging, the hungry children, the ragged teens.. The hardest was the young mothers carrying tiny babies in there shawl, telling you there babies were hungry.....and there was't anything you could do. We were warned that even giving a small piece of candy would cause such a stampede, someone would get hurt. After watching the guys play a wild game of soccer in a parking lot, we attempted to leave and the vans were surrounded by people wanting to be given something. I was really hoping that this might be a place for our audio system and Bible stories to shown, but was told it could be dangerous at this stop. 

Sunday evening included watching traditional Ethiopians dancers and food. Again sensory overload, can 't describe it all in print.--I'll try to write more later as I have to go.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Travel, Trials & Times

What an interesting couple of days. Our flights were long but good. 

I had a front row seat to some custom issues with our donations. Most of the 28 in our group were able to get out to the waiting vans, but 3 of the CBC ladies, along with 4-5 others spent about 5 hours watching the Lord work. Had you seen the attitudes of the customs officials from the beginning with there tempers flying as we silently prayed our little hearts out, til the end when they were laughing and cutting up with some of the guys with our group, you would have known that only God could have produced that kind of change!

Trip from the airport to the guest house was fascinating. Three large vans stuffed with donation bags several feet off the roofs. the only thing I have to compare it to was Beriut. Some of the building and construction methods were similar but then there would be homeless lean-tos and neighborhoods made out of pieces of corrugated metal and plastics with odd pieces of wood stacked here or there.

Because of the extended time at the airport, we weren't able to visit the orphanage planned for today so we'll visit two tomorrow. Neighborhood children played ball with some of the team this afternoon, while many of us tried to organize the mountains of items brought to be given out. 

will close for now but I'll try to talk about our visits tomorrow, later on.

Keep praying that the Lord will direct our steps. for our good and His glory.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

To Obey is Better than Sacrifice

We settled into our hotel at Ohare and will try for a couple hours of sleep before our 3:00am wake up call.

Today I have been been thinking about the verse in 1 Samuel after Saul had disobeyed the Lord by not totally destroying the nation he had conquered. He had held back some choice sheep and cattle to sacrifice to Samuel's God. Samuel let him have it for his disobedience and told him "to obey is better than sacrifice.

For most of us It is so much easier to 'sacrifice' some cash to meet someone's need rather than personally go and see what you can do to help. I pray that after the next ten days I will continue in my quest to obey.

For my good and His glory.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ready to Go

I crave organization. I own more bins, drawers, dividers and Rubbermaid, than anyone I know. The Container Store is my idea of heaven! I also 'need' everything to 'make sense.' I want a slot for all the information that comes into my mind each day and when I pull it out, I want it to make sense. The older I get, the more I desire this. I know part of it is just a coping mechanism to help with all that I forget on a daily basis!

This doesn't mean I can maintain my organizational dream.Ask anyone who's seen my office.  It seems the more that's on my plate, the more that gets left on the counter!

I think some might call this 'being a control freak. ' I call it 'Being Prepared.'

My bags are packed. I think I have prepared for many possible scenarios. Clothing needs, photography needs, medical needs, recreational needs..... I am physically ready. 

Can my craving for organization, for planning things out, coexist with the fact that He ultimately in charge? Only He knows the true itinerary for this trip.

I am physically ready. Is my spirit ready? Am I open to whatever way God wants to lead my heart?  Is my starting and ending point, God's glory? I know that with many of the contributions the team has neatly organized in their bags, some needs for some of the children of Ethiopia will be met. Temporarily. But there will be thousand of needs seen that we cannot meet. The main goal of my heart must be sharing the love of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. With the news, we will be introducing someone who can meet every one's needs. For eternity.

So tonight I am emptying my heart. What God wants to put there might not make sense to me right now. I want the Lord to fill me with what HE knows I need to take with me, halfway around the world. What I will need in order to come home a different person than when I left. For my good and for His Glory.