Wednesday we had class and finished painting the outside building. I must say that I actually look forward to the painting. It gives me time to socialize and also time to think and process. The kids are starting to learn some of the new songs that I've been teaching them: The Itsy Bitsy Spider, Ring Around the Rosey, the Hokey Pokey, and I'm a Little Tea Pot. And yes, I'm doing hand motions too... :D
Wednesday night, I started thinking and was led to read Galatians 5 that talks about the fruit of the spirit being things like love, joy, and patience (read it for a complete list). It's interesting how things that people normally think of as a means to a destination, might in fact be the destination. For example, we're patient so we can get something or we love so that we can build a healthy relationship. This changes what we should be focusing on. Not the work, but how we do the work. For example, I'm doing soccer camp, teaching, painting, etc. but am I loving through it? Am I being patient? How can I show more love and connect better with these people. How can I use my service as a way to build lasting relationships instead of just being "that guy who come to paint and teach that one time..."
I took this to heart and noticed a change. Thursday, at soccer the girls asked for me to sit with them after the game, a bunch of them cornered me and braided my hair. A bunch of the guys in my typing class are inviting me to play Foosball with them and try to speak as much English as they can with me. Kayla, the full time missionary is starting to open up more. I'm using this time to try and encourage her as much as I can since this is the first time she's been on such a long term trip (2 years)!
Friday, a couple of the moms and Hebtambu (the gentleman that I had an incident with) taught me the alphabet. I spent a good hour spelling out their names phonetically and I could tell they really appreciated the time I took to learn their language. After that I got invited to one of their houses to have lunch later on today (Saturday). I have also started learning an Amharic version of "Father Abraham" so I can sing it with the kids.
As my time is winding down, I'm trying to make the most of it. I know that when I look back, I'll miss every moment. Keep praying for me. Miss you all.