February 2010


The plan for Friday was to take a trip to Addis and go to the merkato.  Apparently the merkato is the largest marketplace in all of Africa.  After our last trip to Addis I really wasn’t looking forward to this trip.  I was nervous in Piassa, which is really tame compared to Merkato.  Merkato is where you have to watch out for pick pockets and such.  Carole’s even had someone grab her bag once when she was there.  ‘Oh’, she says, ‘you have to experience it.  You just can’t leave Africa without going to merchato.’ 

When we woke up Friday morning we realized that today was a Muslim holiday.  Everything was closed!  Carole called Dawitt and he was going to see if Merkato was open and then pick up a rental car and be at the house around 10 or 11 o’clock.  Well, here’s the thing in Ethiopia.  Setting an appointment doesn’t really mean anything.  Things just happen here and you just can’t count on things happening on time.  So we wait and we wait.  10 o’clock rolls by.  11 o’clock rolls by.  12 o’clock rolls by.   1 o’clock rolls by……..  We’re a little frustrated, but what can you do.  It’s Ethiopia.  It’s just the way things are here.  Guy spent his time visiting with Kefley and then sitting on a log just oustide the compound watching people go by.  He is so funny.  I spent some time sewing.  Carole read a book and Zapata was everyone’s shadow, especially Carole’s and Carole’s cat.  Dawitt finally arrived and we got out of town about 3 or so hours later than we had planned.

Turns out Merkato was a bust because of the holiday (I was so relieved!) so we went to lunch at a place in Addis that serves cheeseburgers.  We met Tolla Gada there and had a really nice visit with him.  He is an American Ethiopian and was the man responsible for planting the church in Burayu with Pastor Amanuel.  It was kind of a pivitol meeting in that we feel like we’ve met just about everyone that has a hand in the GGI project here in Burayu and Tolla’s knowledge and Godly perspective on Africa was really interesting. 

With each person we meet we are amazed at how focused their life in Christ is to them.  Jesus is truly working through these people.  The spirit of God is so real here and Guy and I came away from this last meeting with the realiztion that we had many things to pray about and that we want the same kind of relationship with Christ that these people have.  It’s a fully dependent relationship with Him.  We have such a clearer understanding now of what it means to truly GIVE your life to Him.  It will be hard to leave this place. Even though we are looking forward to getting home, we feel Africa pulling us.  Is it Africa or the Lord???  God knows.

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Carole was still feeling a little bit sick Thursday morning.  Mostly just a cough, but 4 hours of teaching English would really make things worse for her, so Guy and I taught her and Sandy’s classes again at the Bereket School.  I have to admit I was not really looking forward to it.  Just the thought of those unruly 4th graders made me shiver.  But I wanted to be good sport, so off we went.

It actually turned out to be a pretty good day and the 4th graders turned out to be my best class.  I think the principal threatened them before we came because they were so rowdy last time. 

After school we were invited to lunch with Kefley and his wife, Heide.  They are Carole and Sandy’s landlords and they live upstairs.  Heide is German and Kefley is Ethiopian.  They are a darling couple and very fun to visit with.  They both say “ya ya” a lot.  They have two servants and they put out a beautiful spread of Ethiopian food.  We started with a bowl of spaghetti with a red fish sauce.  It was so yummy!  Then there was wat and injera (of course), cooked cabbage with carrots, green beans with carrots, a beet salad and a fresh salad.  Heide calls her home a ‘Mediteranean Palace’.  It truly is.  It is very European and very comfortable and their view from upstairs is amazing.

After lunch Heide “invited” us to the cafe for a cup of tea or a machiatto.  So all of us girls (no boys) met downstairs and headed for town.  Yes, it was a little awkward walking through town – here we are a whole herd of white women.  Boy, did we get a few stares.  No matter – can’t change the color of my skin right?  We got to the cafe and when we ordered the girl says, ‘no machiatto – no tea’.  We had forgotten that the power has been off all day…..  rats!!  So we had sodas and Ambo and ordered a couple of cakes to share.  BTW nothing is very sweet here.  You may see a pastry or cookie that looks like it will be so yummy, but when you taste it, it is so bland!! 

Well we had a really fun time with our little German friend and when we got home Guy was waiting for us because we needed to deliver Obse’s wheelchair.  Obse is in the GGI program.  She is about 19 years old and has been crippled from birth.  She gets around using her hands.  We learned that she had to spend a couple days in the hospital recently because she develops heart problems from all of the exertion she uses to get around. 

So if you think it was awkward walking through town with a bunch of white women, just imagine the spectacle of walking through town pushing a brand new wheelchair.  I can just hear the people, “what are those white people doing now!?”  I definitely felt like a parade.  We had little kids joining our little parade as we walked.  They’d just walk along side us and stare and smile at us.  One little boy started up a nice conversation with Carole so that he could practice his English.  It was really sweet.

Unfortunately Obse wasn’t home when we delivered the wheelchair.  We hope to see her on Saturday morning for the GGI program.  On the way home a tall man waves down Carole from the budgej he’s riding in.  The man was Gustachew.  He is an accountant / auditor and a friend of Carole and Sandy’s.  He had been trying to call Carole, but her phone wasn’t working.  He heard that the white people where taking a wheelchair to Obse and so he was just riding up the road hoping to run into us.  (word travels fast in a small town – even faster than in Yreka!) 

Guy and Gustachew had a great time talking to each other and he stayed for dinner.  Carole and I had quite a time preparing dinner in the dark and with just one little gas burner.  But the candlelight ambience was fun!  Gustachew is so passionate about his faith.  He explained how God has led him into the position he is in now and how his position allows him to share Christ.  He really likes Carole a lot and is a really good friend to her. 

The power came on just as we were finishing dinner and we were all just a little disappointed.  We prayed together and said our goodbyes.  It was a really cool day.

Wednesday Carole woke up with no voice.  Normally she would teach English to the kindergarten class on Wednesday, but I volunteered to fill in for her since she couldn’t talk and probably needed some rest anyways.  Kindergarteners are so great!  They are sweet, innocent and obedient (so unlike 4th graders:)

Guy walked us to the school and he sat and visited with the old man that guards the compound.  There was no English spoken but there was lots of love shared.  Guy thought it was a good opportunity to relinquish to the local custom of affection between men and they sat on the curb with their arms around each other and the old man just kissed him and kissed him (you know – light kisses on the cheek and hands – nothing weird).  Guy prayed with him and they just had a great time.

Kindergarten was only about an hour and when we got back to the house we discovered that we had a program.  Pastor Amanuel was picking us up and taking us sight seeing.  First we went and looked at the property that the city has donated to the church.  Pastor Amanuel’s vision is that they will build a school and a church on this site.  It’s a very nice location – up on the hill overlooking the town and right next to a large complex of low income housing that is being constructed.

As we were walking to this place Pastor Amanuel ran into someone on the street and they greeted each other heartily.  They started talking very intently and we continued to walk and follow them.  Pastor Amanuel turned and apologized to us for ignoring us and explained that this man had come from a very long ways away because he could not reach Pastor Amanuel by phone.  We learned that this man was an evangelist missionary that had spent the last 9 years with a native tribe (Amanuel says, “they were naked”).  Now God had called him to another place and he was on his way there.  It was a pleasure and an honor to meet this man. He asked us to pray for him.  His name is Diriba.  Please pray for him.

Next we walked back to town and took a Budgej to go see the “flower factory”.  We went quite a ways out of town and then we started seeing greenhouses – lots of greenhouses.  We pulled up to the gate of one of the “factories” and Amanuel starts talking to the guards.  What I didn’t realize was that visiting the flower factory wasn’t something you can just do.  Amanuel had to do some talking to get us in.  Turns out the factory is owned by Indian people (from India) and we had to go to various managers to get permission to see inside.  I asked Amanuel if he’s ever been here before and he said, “no. It was his first time.”  It totally cracked me up.

Well, we did get permission as long as we didn’t take any pictures.  We only had permission to see the processing plant not the greenhouses.  It kind of reminded me of Harry & David.  They only grow roses here.  They are cut and put into bouquets and shipped to Europe for florists and such.  It smelled so good! 

We kept heading into the country side by budgej.  We saw the agricultural area and then stopped in a really nice town that actually had some other white people in it.  We stopped at a very nice hotel and had sodas.  I was introduced to Ambo.  Ambo is a natural mineral spring water.  They explained that it is good for quenching thirst and speeding digestion.  Ethiopians drink Ambo whenever they eat raw meat.  It kills the bacteria they say.  We mixed it with a little coke.  It was delicious!!

This is the beginning of another lesson on Ethiopian culture.  After sodas Amanuel says he hasn’t had a machiatto today.  So we drive up the road a few hundred yards an stop at a very nice cafe.  This was the cleanest place we’d been so far.  We sat on the patio, ordered machiattos, then Amanuel flags down this really nice SUV that was driving by.  It stops and out come 3 young strong looking Ethiopians.  Lots of hearty greetings, hand shaking, shoulder bumps.  Turns out they are a pastor, an evangelist and the 3rd man serves the Lord with his money.  They are heading off on a long trip to a ‘Christian conference’. I think a conference is like a revival meeting.  The fellow with the pocketbook ended up paying for our drinks and off they went.  It was really neat meeting them.  Amanuel says they are like his best friends.

Then we turn back for home and along the way they try to get us into another flower factory or two, but no luck – good effort though.  At one of the stops Amanuel takes a phone call.  Turns out the people that we tried to visit the day before had called to find out what we wanted and why we were trying to see them.  So we stopped at their house again on the way home.  The host of the house told us she was cooking eggs for us.  Oh man!  We really didn’t want to eat, but we conceeded in order to be polite and so we had to wait and rest while she made her preparations.  Here’s the deal with ‘culture’ – if you are invited inside the home expect to eat.  We begged Pastor Amanuel not to make us eat any more food.  He got a good laugh over it.  Another pastor arrived with the fellow that we had missed the day before.  His name was Abraham and his son is in the GGI program. 

It was explained to us that Abraham was called by God to be an evangelist about 28 years ago.  He came to Burayu from a long ways away in obedience to the Lord.  He only brought with him one of his children.  His wife and other 5 children are still far away.  Abraham laid down his life, his family, his income – EVERYTHING – to be obedient to the Lord and serve him through evangelism.  We were blown away even though we are beginning to see this level of commitment from many God fearing men here. 

We left the home and went to see the church that Abraham serves in.  It was in a rustic compound.  The building was a small mud hut with wooden benches and two beds in the very back where Abraham and another evangelist sleep.  (The home we visited was just the home of another congregate of the church).  We waited there for people to arrive.  Pastor Amanuel says, ‘We have a program’.  Which meant they were having a little service just then.  The neighbors arrived – there were about 15 of us including the children.  Pastor Amanuel gave a short talk and then invited Guy to speak. 

We were not expecing that!  But Guy gave an impromptu message about not being conformed to this world but being transformed – Romans 12.  Amanuel translated.  Then there was a short time of fervent prayer and praise.  Then we left.  The whole time it took was about 15 minutes.  Amanuel says, as we are leaving, that the message was right on because there were two ladies who were quarreling in that group and that it really convicted them.  Huh!  The Lord is amazing!!

We left feeling like it was a ‘Holy Spirit’ day.  We were walking on clouds with His presence.  I love it here!!!

1. The weather here is unbelievable!  It is absolutely the perfect climate – 65 – 80 degrees everyday.  The motto in Ethiopia is “13 months of sunshine”. 

2. The people are friendly and beautiful.  They are so beautiful it is almost supernatural.  Guy had a girl in one of his classes that he said he had to make a point not to look at because her beauty was almost intoxicating.  The same is true for many of the men.  I don’t mean to sound like Guy and I are ogling other men and women.  It’s just that the beauty is amazing!  You just can’t help but truly appreciate it.  God has blessed these people unlike any other race.

3. The cost of living here for an American is ridiculously inexpensive in many ways.  A machiatto, which is an amazing little esspresso drink costs about 35 cents.  Rent on a typical, sort of western style, house would be about $100 a month.  The flip side of that is that if you need to purchase something that is imported, the cost is ridiculously expensive because everything imported has to be flown in – no ports in Ethiopia.  It is land locked.  A small little Black & Decker 2 cup automatic coffee maker could cost about $100.  Large items like cars and electronics are about the same cost as they are in America.  You can live really cheap if you “go native”.  But it is hard to give up the American conveniences.

4. There are no sexual undertones here.  That may seem like a weird observation, but for example the men will commonly hold hands as they walk together.  They aren’t gay.  It’s just a simple affection.  You may even see them standing with their arms around each other.  It’s a little shocking from an American point of view, but here it is their culture.  You see they haven’t been corrupted with the constant onslaught of sex and violence.  It’s innocent.  They have sex here though!!  You should see all the children! 😉

5. On that same note – the people here don’t get married rashly.  A young man will typically not marry until he has enough of an income to support his family.  They may not marry until they are in their mid to late 30’s.  And then when they get engaged there is a whole process of counceling that is done by the Pastor and church elders.  You just don’t jump into marriage lightly here.  If you still want to get married after you’ve gone through the scrutiny that you must go through to get married, you are very unlikely to get divorced.  Divorce is very uncommon here (although it is seeping in a little more).

6.  Again, on that same note – as I mentioned in a previous post, the focus here is family and friends.  They are constantly visiting and inviting and greeting each other on the street.  There is an intimacy in the community.  Probably mostly because; 1. there are few cars.  Everyone walks, so you see so many people face to face all day long.  2. They are so poor.  They simply need each other and they don’t have the distractions that we have in America – tv, music, video games, toys, etc….  3.  They have culture.  They have pride in their ethnicity and their heritage.

7.  The coffee!! – I can’t get over the coffee.  It is the best I’ve ever tasted!  And that is such an understatement!!  I can’t get enough coffee.  I used to be so sensitive to the caffine, but here I can drink it all day!  It blows my mind!!

Carole has a cold.  The poor kid – she’s pretty sick.  Normally she and Sandy teach ‘Spoken English’ at a local private school here in Burayu.  They teach four classes each.  Sandy teaches 1st – 4th grade and Carole teaches 5th – 8th grade.   Since Carole was sick we volunteered to teach the classes for her.  The directors of the school are a couple named Samson and Enat.  They are really nice people and we’ve spent quite a bit of time visiting with them.  They were really happy that we could help out.  So we got up Tuesday morning and put on our nice ‘teacher’ type clothes and headed to school.  The school is about three or four blocks away from the house so it’s an easy walk. 

We were greeted warmly and visited a few minutes with what I think was probably the principal.  BTW I didn’t bring my camera on this little adventure.  I saw Carole’s blog about her first day at the school and didn’t want to be mobbed by the children wanting their pictures taken.  Anyways, we were escorted to our first classes – Guy to his and me to mine.  I have to tell you I had no idea what I was doing, but I figured I’m just the substitute so even if I was really lame at it – no matter.  I was pretty lame at it too:)  But I had fun and just tried to help them pronounce a few words correctly.  Pronounication is challenging for the kids here.  They cannot make the “th” sound and they like to roll their r’s. 

What I learned by going to the school is that kids are kids no matter where they live.  I cannot imagine anyone choosing to be a teacher for 4th or 5th grade.  These people have to have a screw loose or they simply like living on the edge of insanity!  The little kids, for me, where a lot of fun; but when I got to those 4th graders…..  yikes!!  They don’t sit in their sits quietly – they stand and shout and talk and do all kinds of other things that they shouldn’t be doing and there is no stopping them.  Guy had the same experience with his 5th grade class.  He said it was like they were on ‘kid steroids’.  Whatever it is that makes a kid a kid they had in multiples!!

We got through it and laughed ourselves silly all the way home sharing stories of the kids in each class.  And this was only the beginning of the day…..

When we got home Carole told us that Pastor Emmanuel had been by and that we had ‘a program’ for the afternoon.  In Ethiopia “a program” is your plans or your itinerary.  So the program was that Emmanuel would pick us up and we were going to walk to some of the GGI kids’ homes for a visit.  Carole quickly got dressed and put together some small care packages for each child that we’d be visiting.  Pastor Emmanuel arrived and off we went.  It was about 1:30.

 

First we walked to the main road and we hopped in a mini bus that took us to the outskirts of Burayu.  We hopped out and hiked a pretty good hill to get to one of the children’s homes.  It was a very brief and uncomfortable visit.  The parents (who are both HIV positive) weren’t home but the child’s aunt was.  She was shell shocked at seeing so many white people in their tiny little room they called home.  Through translation Pastor Emmanuel told us the she said she wants us to leave in 10 seconds!  Poor thing – she was so scared and we only wanted to visit the child’s home and bring him a small gift.  Carole is so good at all this and she sped the gifting along and we headed out and on the way out she gave the aunt some money and by the time we got to the gate she had a smile on her face.

We took the mini bus to this part of town, but we ended up walking back to town.  I gotta tell you these people walk A LOT!!  No matter – we’re just along for the experience.  Next home was right in town and Carole told us that the mother of this child bakes very delicious bread, but her shop was removed for new construction and she wasn’t sure how she was going to make an income now.  We went up this little alley and the newly constructed homes looked like mini storage units in America.  I asked Carole, “these are residences??!”  When we got to the last unit we found the child’s mother walking up with a hack saw.  She has accidently locked her keys in the house and they were going to have to cut the locks to the “windows” which were steel panels with two dead bolt locks keeping them closed. 

Locks removed, we were invited inside and offered a soda.  This lady was so kind and sweet and loving.  We really enjoyed our visit with her.  When Carole explained how much she enjoyed her bread she brought out two wedges for us to eat.  We really weren’t hungry but we had to accept it.  Our hands were dirty and I really didn’t want to touch the bread, but we were pretty stuck.  We didn’t stay long and left the child’s gift with her.  Hugs and hand shakes and shoulder bumps and we were on to the next home.

This home was also in town.  We entered a gate between some shops and visited the grandmother of one of the kids.  She too was very loving and kind and gracious to us.  She keeps cows – mind you, this is right in downtown Burayu.  When Carole asked where the cows where she said they were out grazing.  “Grazing!??!”, I wondered.  I don’t know exactly what that means, but oh well.  It’s not unusual to see cows wondering around town.

Now the adventure really begins…. I know, I know, but if you’ve made it this far just keep reading:)  We were supposed to have a driver to take us to the next few homes, but the driver called and said he ‘couldn’t find fuel’.  So Pastor Emmanuel told us we would take a budgej (sp??).  It’s just one of the little three wheeled carts.  So we all crammed in – 3 girls in the back seat and 3 boys (including the driver) in the front seat – (kind of half hanging out the sides:) and off we went.  We drove out of town into the more rural parts.  It was a pretty long drive – maybe 20 – 30 minutes (that’s a long time in a budgej). 

When we got to our destination no one was home, but Emmanuel had to comb the neighborhood a little just to see if we could find the party we were seeking.  So we stopped at another home and attracted lots of attention from the neighbors who came over to see what was going on.  Lots of hand shaking and should bumping and speaking in Oromofina and no one knew where our person was at. So we pile back into the budgej and drove some more.

The budgej stops on the side of the highway, seemily in the middle of no where and we pile out?!  Ok.  We walk up the road about a 1/4 mile ( I totally don’t know why we didn’t just drive up the road a little further??) and we visit the home of one of Guys favorite kids – Misyeal (sp?) – it’s pronounced ‘missile’.  It was kind of like a country farm, but when we went in their home there were no windows and no lights.  So the home is completely dark!  At first we couldn’t even see the chairs they were telling us to sit in.  We visited and learned that Misyeal’s older brother, who was there, was going to University in Addis.  He was in his 2nd year studying civil engineering.  I was blown away!  These people live in a dark home with no power – with NOTHING and yet they managed to send their son to University.  The mother glowed with pride.  It was amazing.

Now by this time the budgej was gone and off we went on foot – again.  We crossed a field and then followed the highway for a long ways – man!  these people walk a lot!!  Then came to another town.  Here we visited Busiyu.  She is one of the GGI kids.  She’s actually about 18.  When we entered their gate we saw the peppers drying that they make berebere from (it’s a powdered pepper that they put in EVERYTHING here).  The mother greeted us from her “kitchen”.  She was making injera (the spongy, pancake bread).  She had a stack of probably 60 already made.  We learned that she had been cooking since 7am – it was probably 4 or 5 by now. 

After a bit of visiting she explained to Pastor Emmanuel that the landlord of her mud house told her that he wanted to remodel and that she could either move or pay more for rent.  It was unbelievable to me.  You would not believe what this “house” was like.  The notion of remodeling, to us, was so bizarre my mind really couldn’t wrap around it.  Guy gave her 200 birr which is a little more than $20.  This was more than one month’s rent for her and she praised the Lord.  The spirit was strong and this was the most moving visit we had had so far. 

By this time Carole was pretty spent from having a cold and doing all this work so she told Emmanuel that we needed to go home.  We stood by the highway waiting for a mini bus, but everytime one came by it was full.  Now when I say full……  Oh my goodness….  you cannot believe how many people they cram into these mini busses!!  When one stops and people get off it looks like a circus act – I am not kidding!!  Anyways – no mini bus for us, but we did manage to fit on a bigger bus, standing up.  We traveled a long ways standing in the middle of this bus with all these beautiful Ethiopians starrring at the mess of white people that just invaded their bus.  What an experience!  Then we got off the bus, walked some more, got on a budgej, got off at the edge of town, walked some more……  stopped at a cafe for a quick machiatto (coffee) and finally walked the rest of the way home. 

It was about 6 or 7 by the time we got home.  Mind you, there was no water all day and no rest stops either and we had shaken probably 30 or 40 people’s hands along the way.  Can you imagine – wash hands, pee, drink water…..!!!!……  And then we realized how hungry we were!

We cooked some hamburger and had tacos with the flour tortillas we brought for Carole and Sandy.  We had previously cancelled some dinner plans we made with Samson and Enat because Carole was sick, but as we were just finishing eating at about 8 o’clock who arrives but Samson and Enat and their two children…..  I don’t know if there was a misunderstanding or if they understood dinner was cancelled but still wanted to visit..>???? no matter.  Anyways the men talked and Carole finally excused herself to collapse in bed and I tried to visit with Enat (very broken English) and I played with their kids a bit.  Next thing you know it’s 10 o’clock!! 

What a day!!!  I am so exhausted!!

I don’t know if that is spelled right or not – Piassa, but this is a shopping district in the city of Addis Ababa.  Monday afternoon Dawitt, Carole and Sandy’s driver, met us at the house and drove us there.  First I have to tell you a little bit about Dawitt.  This is a young man.  He is sold out for the Lord. He works for an adoption agency here and serves the Lord in many ways through that organization.  He is really light humored and gracious to us goofy Americans (we are called ferangi here). 

Driving in Ethiopia is very different than in America.  There don’t seem to be any rules and the only ‘right of way’ is who ever can get there first.  The drivers honk their horns to let people know they are coming so you are constantly hearing ‘beep beep’ and then there is a bus, or a van, or a huge construction vehicle passing you within inches of the car.  People, goats, sheep, cows are all likely targets of the ‘beep beep beep’ to get them out of the way.  Pedestrians DO NOT have the right of way so you have to be very careful when you are walking and there is not courteous distance for cars to pass any of the above.  As long as you don’t hit them when you pass you’re good.  I have seen so many close calls!

Then there is the pollution.  Oh my goodness!!  EPA has a little more respect from me now.  Black stinky exhaust spews from every vehicle.  When you are in a little car passing a big dump truck the exhaust pipe is right at the window level and the black smoke just pours into your face.   Uhgg!!  It’s terrible!  

So we dealt with all that and then we arrived in the city.  Holy cow!!  (I know, cows aren’t holy), but I’m telling you, for a newbie to this environment the city is terrifying!!  In a way we felt like we stepped out of Africa into East LA.  I really don’t have words to describe it.  There are so many people.  The city is so huge.  We stand out like…. like….. well like the only white people in Ethiopia.  (I know there are a few other white people – but we didn’t see them;) 

So Dawitt speaks the language in the city (different language than in Burayu).  He helps Carole and Sandy when they need to buy things by translating for them.  So my only goal really was to keep that kid in my sites.  He has a tendency to just start walking.  Don’t tell him your ready to go unless you are REALLY ready to go, because those words invoke a determined and goal oriented stride from him and you’d better keep up or you’ll be left in the dust.  (He’d come back to find you – but I didn’t want to take any chances.)

We managed to get a little shopping done and head home.  Guy and I were both pretty overwhelmed by the whole experience, but I have to admit that there was a little bit of acclimation to it all by the end of the afternoon.  The really interesting thing is that in the city the people act just like they do in America.  I think it’s the money.  When people have money it tends to replace so many other things in our lives.  As we drove back to Burayu there was a marked change in the atmosphere.  We sort of breathed a sigh of relief as we got closer and closer to home. 

The spirit is different in Burayu and you can feel it. The people here don’t have money.  They have family and friends and hopefully Christ.  That is their life here because that is all they have.  It’s beautiful!

We woke up Sunday morning and I went to turn the bathroom light on and guess what, no power.  Fortunately Carole has a little gas burner so we were able to boil water for tea and coffee.  Pastor Emmanuel had invited Guy to teach at his church on Sunday.  Guy wanted to take a hot shower that morning, but he ended up with an ‘Ethiopian’ shower instead – very cold!  But in Ethiopia they just say, “no matter”. 

Pastor Emmanuel’s church is called the Burayu Full Gospel Church.  The reputation, according to Carole, is that the services are very loud.  Most of you may be aware that ‘very loud’ does not mix with Guy.  We had been a little nervous about church because of it.  So Sunday morning when we realized the power was out we were really happy and hoped that the power would stay out until after church so that they could not turn the speakers on.  Guess what – that is exactly what happened!  It was a miracle!  And we truly sensed God’s hand in it.

Guy preaching in Burayu

Guy gave a great sermon about the faith of Abraham and about living for the Lord.  Pastor Emmanuel interpreted for him.  When Guy finished speaking Pastor Emmanuel elaborated on Guy’s message in Oromofina (the native language).  Then he had an alter call and many people came forward.  Pastor Emmanuel stepped over to Guy and explained that many of them were backsliders and that Guy’s message stirred them.  After the alter call and praying for those that came forward, they were whisked away to be taught the tenets of faith and to be shephared.  This church is very solid in its ministry.

The Holy Spirit moved in an amazing way this Sunday.  I have never experienced anything like that!  It dropped me to my knees.  It wasn’t Guy or Emmanuel or the power outage – it was God moving in people with power and authority.  It changed us.  Africa changes you.

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