Friday, June 14, 2013

After a journey of more than 28 hours, we stepped off the plane Friday evening in Addis Ababa, the capitol city of Ethiopia.  As I exited the plane door onto the steps, the Ethiopian air met my nose with comfort.  “Ah, it smells like Ethiopia!”  It was a familiar smell that made me feel at home.

We had to explain to the x-ray machine operators at the airport why we were bringing in large numbers of certain supplies, like canvas bags and pens we had brought for the children in Roggie Village.  They want to make sure we aren’t coming to resell things here.

We were excited to see our friends, our hosts from Hope Enterprises, Zenebe and Worede, our driver and helpers.  We piled all of our luggage into the back of our rented bus and drove to the Providence Guest House for the night in Addis Ababa.  It was a lovely, homey place for a night of rest after our long trip.


Arriving in Addis

The smell of the city hits you like an olfactory welcome mat. It is like an opposite attracts marriage of familiar plus exotic. Diesal fuel, cedar wood incense and rainy cement met us at the door of the plane as a travelor’s greeting.

Welcome to Addis

42 hours ’til we leave…

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)

Greetings in the name of the Lord! This is a customary greeting used by Christian Ethiopians when they write letters. Ethiopia is a country with a rich history that includes ties to Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It is also a place that has captured each of our hearts as we follow God’s call to “Go” as a team that supports MPPC’s partnership with Hope Enterprises’ ministry in Roggie Village, Ethiopia. 

So, what are we doing…why are we going all the way to Roggie Village?

When a team from MPPC visited Roggie 18 months ago, one of their key takeaways was that Hope would really appreciate it if we sent teams to teach Vacation Bible schools to the children. They also asked us if we could bring them resources that they might help them initiate a Saturday Bible program for the children. The realization came that something we might take for granted in the US, like a Vacation Bible school, is deeply valued in Roggie as many of the students do not have a tradition of attending Sunday school, either because their families are Muslim or because they are first generation Christians. 

 And so, not surprisingly, this will be the focus of our trip. We’re excited to share from the Book of Genesis the stories of Cain and Abel, Noah, the Tower of Babel and God’s call to Abraham, through whom He brought the promised Messiah, Jesus.  We are blessed to have several academic teachers on our team, which means the students will also receive some academic enrichment in either science (older students) or reading (younger students). 

Needless to say, this has become quite a large undertaking. As we prepare for this great adventure, will you please keep our team in your prayers? Specifically, we’d appreciate prayer that:

  • The Roggie teachers be strengthened in their faith and in their ability to teach God’s truths to the children.
  • Each Roggie student come to saving faith in Jesus.
  • God would consecrate our hearts, souls and minds to be fully prepared to minister in Roggie as a team unified in spirit.
  • God grant us travel mercies, provision of finances and provision for our loved ones who we leave behind.

We are grateful for your love, support and prayers!