• Lindsay

Snapshots from Ethiopia

I am so thankful to have had the chance to go back to Ethiopia! Enjoy these pictures and little stories from our trip...

We celebrated Christmas in Ethiopia with our team that became like family! Our day consisted of traditional food, gorgeous traditional dress, coffee ceremony, Amharic worship music, gifts, and dancing! I was so surprised to have been given a gift! Those scarves and jewelry were picked out for us by Meti and Tekabe. These precious people are so generous and amazing!

Sweet, sweet Meti served us in so many ways on our trip. She and Tekabe live at the guest house and she is an incredible cook and hostess! Here, she is serving sweet popcorn and candy canes - a special treat! On the floor, you can see the coffee bread she made - a sweet bread with lemon zest. And isn’t her dress beautiful?!?

We taught a new favorite - UNO! The language barrier made for an interesting first few rounds, but a good time was had by all!

One of the main purposes of our trip was to encourage the staff of two organizations that partner with Be There Ministries. These people are the real front-line missionaries in Ethiopia. They work day after day to serve their people. They deliver babies, run income generation businesses, work with families in sponsorship programs, handle finances, pass out food, counsel, sit with, and love the “least of these”. I admire these souls so much.

In this picture, we are all singing praise songs in Amharic at the beginning of our staff party.

Our evening began and ended with prayer. What a joy to stand alongside and be a part of what God is doing in Ethiopia!

This is the update video from one of our medical clinic days. There is a video slideshow at the end!

We visited a sweet church congregation again - the same one that Jack and I were able to visit with in August 2019. They’ve since been able to finish their new church building and hold services there. The church is doing so well, and it was awesome to see the same kids we posed for pictures with over a year ago!

Since the last time we were here, the roof and the windows were completed.

We passed out food and money to each family at the end of the service. Those mommas with babies on their backs made me smile so much!

Danielle and I sang “Jesus, Strong and Kind” - Tekabe translated the lyrics just before we sang, and it was awesome to hear them respond and get excited about the lyrics. At the end of the service, the pastor said that one day we will be able to worship with our brothers and sisters (us) without a translator. Praise God!

We spent time visiting schools and planning for the new school! See last week’s post to see more about that...

We also were able to help in little, practical ways. A small group of us painted the new home of a widow in the sponsorship program. The paint came in a concentrated form in a little bucket. We mixed it with water in a bigger bucket and then added a little bit of black coloring liquid to make a gray paint. Then, we made a HUGE mess on the floor as we made sure the walls were covered with paint. At the end, we just mopped up the floor and it looked amazing! Even painting a house looks different in different cultures!

The views were amazing. I especially love to see the mountains in the background of this picture. Africa is beautiful in so many ways!

We were able to visit Evangelical Theological College in Addis Ababa. We sat and visited with the Principal (what we would call President) and heard the story of the seminary. We shared our testimonies, drank coffee together, and got a tour of campus.

And, of course, we had a lot of fun at home as a family! Granny Sharnel brought cookie cutters and the girls had a BLAST making Christmas cookies! Meti tried to teach us Amharic, and we laughed a lot...

Sweet Merone has her own coffee business, and she made us coffee many times during our trip! The grass on the floor is traditional during a special occasion or a holy day. When I asked why, they said, “It’s green! Fresh! Like a new beginning!”

We hiked up Entoto Mountain on our last full day - part mountain trail, part amusement park. Some beautiful views, 9,500 feet elevation, and a good workout!

The beautiful blankets are made by our friend Frey, who began this business after receiving her law degree. She saw different organizations bringing blankets into Ethiopia to pass out to people who need warmth in the highest altitudes. She thought that surely there was a way to make blankets in Ethiopia to share with Ethiopians. Using Toms shoes “one-to-one” strategy as a guide, Frey has built a business, called Gabies, that sells blankets made by experienced weavers. For every three blankets she sells, she is able to donate a thicker, more practical blanket (also made in Ethiopia) to people who need one.

We also visited Lila Products! Gelila is another amazing young woman who has built a business to give income to women who need one. She makes all sorts of jewelry, and is planning to expand the business to leather working.

Saying goodbye was so hard this time around. As I’ve said before, it truly felt like we left a huge part of our team on the ground. I am so thankful for these sweet friends, and I love doing ministry with them!

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