OUR TRIP TO ETHIOPIA -IT WAS A HARD JOURNEY BUT ONE WORTH TAKING
I went to Ethiopia for our spring break. It was a hard journey but one worth taking. We took a group of fifteen students, and served workers from all over Ethiopia who came to a conference on home-schooling. The camp had old cabins for some of us to stay in but since there were so many of us, most camped in tents. We had four outside showers and four outside toilets for 150 people. It was not the hotel or Airbnb I was use to and I thought I was really roughing it. But the workers whom we came to serve thought the place was a wonderful resort.
Ethiopia is a country with millions of orphans, yes millions. Many of those orphans are adopted by American couples. It is a most generous, giving, caring thing to adopt an Ethiopian child. However, what I learned while in Ethiopia is an interesting twist to the adoption story. Some of the workers and ministries serving in Ethiopia are couples who began their journey by adopting an Ethiopian child. But what they did not expect is that after seeing Ethiopia, God moved in their heart to return and serve there. It made me ponder how God surprised them by working in their hearts not just to adopt a child, but adopt a new way of life.
Living in Ethiopia is not for the timid of heart. It attracts or perhaps makes very rugged people. We met couples who live with young children in the African bush or along the borders of Sudan in the north and Somalia in the south where war rages. These are young families that have embraced a lifestyle which is hard. They live a way of life that is more like the wild west then the modern western world with its safeties and comforts. Many wonderful stories I could share, here is a short one – If you get your finger stuck in your wrench, there is no where to go for help. You straighten it out yourself and you have your wife sew it back together.
I was wiping tables in something like a cafeteria. In the corner while I cleaned were four young mothers who serve in Ethiopia. As I wiped tables I was able to listen to them praying. They prayed with tears that God would give them grace to embrace the lifestyle they live. They didn’t pray for an easier way, nor for comforts to lighten their load, – they prayed for grace to “embrace” a way of life which is hard. I thought of what I pray for and what I consider to be a sacrifice. It made me face the question of how much more God needs to move in my heart.
What is harder to understand? That some who have so little are so moved to live a life of sacrifice? Or that some who have so much are so unmoved to any sacrifice? Yet both say they follow the same Lord and Savior. Why is it so hard for God to move those who have so much?
I traveled to Ethiopia to learn from four praying mothers how much more God still needs to move in my heart. Where does God need to take you to show you if your heart is moveable? Or have you already decided you just won’t go there? It’s a hard journey but one worth taking.
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