It’s late Monday here near 11 pm so it’s about 4 pm your time. We are well. Joy felt a bit sick in the morning but she is better now. Christine’s sight is still in recovery process but she’s a mighty big trooper.
So far, we had a full day. After an 8 am morning service with Pastor Teferi, he along with 4 other missionaries, gave us a run down on the history of Bethel Synod (their adapted name for Presbyterian). We also got to hear some missionaries’ testimonies and what they have been doing. We also asked what their thoughts were on short-term mission trips. Some emphasized on the importance of long-term missions while others encouraged any kind of help. We had a good discussion about it and our decision for the time being is that we would try to encourage other local Houston churches to get involved so that there would be more coverage.
And then we had a tour of Bethel Mekane Yesus School, a school for the girls. This is a school started by the Bethel Synod almost 20 years ago and got a good view on the status. It is very much run down but has been great at supporting the girls’ education, which is rare here.
After lunch, we had visit with Pastor Yama who is an HIV-positive advocate on making the country aware and face this taboo. He had lost his wife and kids to it. We also met a sister Meskara who also had lost both parents and few siblings. In their fight against the country’s ignorance and taboo, they have been sharing their lives trying make aware that even though one has the virus, we can still live in happiness if we trust Christ with our lives. That didn’t do even half of the justice of Pastor Ayama’s passion.
We had also learned of a Korean hospital in the area and missionary sister Rachel wanted to start some kind of cooperative relationship and Joanna and Peter wanted to help start to bridge the gap.
In the evening, we met up with the sisters who are staying in the hostel nearby and got a chance to learn a bit about their lives. Most have lost their parents to AIDS and are learning to keep on living in Christ.
We are going to start teaching tomorrow and visit some orphanages in the afternoon. Please pray for our health (high altitude of 8000 ft is a bit hard to get used to) as well as everyone’s alertness and open heart to whoever we meet.