Final update before we head back!
So today was the last full day we had here in Addis. After the last classes of teaching, and lunch, we gathered to leave for a service at Zion Pilgrims Association. It is the same group that also supports HIV-positive people in Jaja that I had mentioned previously. The people were just wonderful. You could definitely sense from Pastor Solomon who greeted us so warmly that though stricken with AIDS, they definitely wanted AND chose to live in “positive living”. It was hard to imagine that these people were stricken with the virus because there wasn’t a sense of defeat or sadness. In fact, there was a young man short but stout from Gambella who is a leader of such community out in that area, and he had such conviction of God and determination about him. His words of energy truly moved all of us. Pastor Shawn and brother Peter gave a message and short words of encouragement to the people. We were reminded again that there was joy in these people and such great sense of desperation of clinging to Christ.
After that, we had a brief stop/break at a coffee place called Kardi’s, a Starbucks imitation place. Though drinks and ice cream (yes, ice cream) were great, things were a bit… chaotic in terms of service. Oh well, c’est la vie. Or as the locals say, TIA (This is Africa)!
Upon return, after dinner, we had a service with our great hostess sister, Dorothy. We had communion together and shared how we all have been touched and moved, as well as getting lots of insights into how God has awesomely been moving here in Ethiopia and beyond. Afterwards, we prayed for her as well as she leaves tonight back to the States to speak to several churches to spur others to see God’s work. Dorothy has been just simply been a godsend to us. She has introduced us to so many great people and to see her heart and dedication alone has been a tremendous source of encouragement. Many here refer to her as their “mother” in spiritual sense as well as having done so much for the people of Ethiopia on behalf of Christ.
After that, we had a time to talk and hear more of the young missionary couple, Mike and Janelle, to just get more personal inputs. Peter also got a chance to be helpful practically by helping them with some computer issues. As expected, they do need some special skills in Addis as well as in countryside, including computer skills to be taught as well as consulting and accounting. It also turns out that Mike’s family live our in League City area so that has brought some unexpected welcome to Peter.
In wrapping up our trip, God has shown us a tremendous amount and we pray that He will help us narrow down our priorities as well as sharing what we have seen to other churches and peple near and far to spur each other and to become a part in God’s great work.