Thursday, July 28, 2011

Week 2 - Settling in...

Saturday through today has been a ride.  Saturday was a good day yet still presented things
to reflect on.  I was able to change the rest of my money and we went to the largest
cathedral in Addis Ababa.  There's a museum there that has artifacts dating from the first
century.  Being here has been a great experience.  The history of Christianity in Ethiopia
has actually been recorded in the bible in Acts 8:26-end for those of who are into biblical
history.  It's great to feel like I can help continue that legacy, even if it's only in a
small way.  While we were driving I saw a naked man, about 50 or so, sleeping on cardboard
in the middle of the street.  No one attempted to drag him to safety which was kind of
interesting to think about...
Sunday, Trish (a new volunteer), and I had a great time going to Tiggist's (our house
keeper) daughter's birthday.  Her daughter, Salioam is so precious!  When you go to the
house, you one could be shocked at the living conditions.  It was a little smaller than the
size of the size of the couple's house from the Alart Village (leprosy colony) but when you
strip away all the luxuries we are used to, you realize what's really important.  Tiggist
is so hospitable!  They kept filling our plates!  I was stuffed because I had eaten before
(but felt bad about it...).  I also had an opportunity to witness my first coffee ceremony
and I helped to grind the beans which was a lot harder than I thought it would be.
Monday was another day of teaching.  I started painting  and I must say that after three
days of painting, it looks GREAT!  I've been having some help so it's been good.  Also, the
full time teachers have started teaching a portion of the classes so I am now only responsible for a 30 minute class.  Tuesday and Wednesday were similar to Monday except for the fact that I've been having dreams about issues that I thought had been resolved in the past.  Perhaps God is reminding me not to forget where I come from and how important humility is as I move forward.  It came in good time too because yesterday (Wednesday) I had a run in with one of the guards who was helping me paint the previous two days.  I had feeling there were some cultural miscommunication and looked to Dundy for advice.  Trish had had similar experiences and we looked to get support from Dundy together.  Dundy was great and immediately put us at ease.  After journaling last night, he and I had a conversation and it ended with prayer and an opportunity for us to get to know each other better.
Today was a little difficult because due to the events that occurred yesterday, there was a meeting for all the employees at Strong Hearts, so I ran the morning class for an hour.  Things were a little uneasy with the conflict the day before but I'm trying to not be discouraged and am looking to continue to move forward in love.  Dundy and those who I have looked to for council have been extremely supportive.  I've also started feeling congestion in my head.  I guess this is a part of the experience :D. 
Considering all of the challenges of culture shock and work that I've been doing, I'm still in good spirits.   I'm spending time in the Word and reading Forgotten God.  After class we watched the boys play soccer and I was extremely touched when a little boy came up to me snuggled up on my lap during half time.  Although our verbal communication is minimal, I feel protective over the kids, and I think they feel safe at Strong Hearts.  Most if not all the kids were prescreened before being admitted to the school and are the kids in the community that need the school the most.  From what I understand, most of them come from broken families and seeing them play soccer is a treat.  You can really see that for that hour, they are completely letting go of anything that was bothering them before.
I started focusing on typing and some of the kids are progressing fast!  I'm trying my best to spend time with those that need it the most.  Tonight I participated in another street ministry.  We went to visit a mom who had just had a baby a month ago.  She was living on the street and Dundy was actually called to bring her to the emergency room when she was in labor.  She just found a place to live and we went to visit.  In order to get to her house we had to hike down a creek off the main road about a quarter mile.  She lived in a metal shack about 2 meters by 1 meter.  The baby was so adorable and you could tell that the baby was loved.  We spent some time visiting and prayed for them.  Then Dundy offered to take them house hunting, saying that Strong Hearts would pay the rent.  I could tell immediately how much that meant to them.  I hope I get an opportunity to see them again.


  1. Heya!
    When times are tough, lean on God, your source of strength, the one who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. Your obedience has shown God that you truly love Him, and so He has taken you on a path where He can strengthen your love relationship with Him through revealing aspects of Himself you have not yet seen! He's pursuing you! How exciting it is to be used by God in so many ways! May your faith in God never fail, but grow stronger with time and experience... Praying always!

  2. Hey Julien, hope all is well, and I'm keeping u in my prayers