What an amazing journey this has been. I’m so grateful to be here and have met these amazing people.
Today we went to the school of blind to teach them about dental. Wow, that was crazy. Its amazing to me how this community is taking care of their oral health. Cleaning their teeth with twigs and living with pain everyday. This leadership group is all teenagers that are living this way. I pray that our teaching will help them understand how important it is to teach their community about oral health and this will be a start of something amazing.
This afternoon we spent some time with the younger children at the school if blind. As we walked off the bus towards the school the children began to run toward us, knowing where to run and without tripping over large rocks. We were so welcomed by these children. Their hands were out ready to shake ours, introducing themselves. I met two little girls, one had her hand wrapped around my waist and the other holding my hand. These sweet girls began to sing to me their english song they have been learning at their school, they stole a part of my heart. This has been an awesome experience.
We have had a couple of team members that have got very sick, please be praying for them.
Wednesday morning here in in Ethiopia and we have a few prayer requests:
1. We have a few sick people – flu is setting in with a couple people and we have 2 who are nauseous and have been vomitting.
2. As we start teaching in the communities and doing home visits we have 2 members staying back at the hotel today, so we need to fill in the gaps for the roles they were playing.
3. Pray for us as we get into the communities today and see what the guys at the seminary have been doing in regards to community development. We are praying about our continued and future support of the projects going on here, in addition to the current K2 support of their gospel training at the seminary.
We’re praising God for:
1. 10,000 bibles in the NT Tigryan language which have been delivered and will be distributed to all the priests in the entire region soon! This is the first time the NT has been printed in this language!!
2. The training room [complete with internet and laptops] that K2 built is being used continually and working well.
3. The first class of graduates [25 men] are all on track to graduate from the Seminary in June 2012.
Thanks for praying we’re ready to rock!
Hi all, today is a great day. We have been able to go an orphanage that was really wonderful. There were children that weren’t on the streets, had food and were loved and cared for. They had a bed to sleep on and caregivers that wanted to be there. This orphanage was build (funded) by a Jewish couple that had a heart to help these children and it is run by an Ethiopian couple that want nothing more than to give these kids a start in life that they would never have had. When we think of children in an orphanage we think about how sad and lost they must be. These children today were not lost and they had what so many over here don’t.
The other place we have been to is a hospital for girls that have “fitula”. If you don’t know what that is, let me explain. In this culture, girls are circumcised at a very young age. Now, most of these girls are “changed” to say the least by this practice. Most of these women need medical attention fast just to save their life and they don’t get it. They spend a month locked in a room surviving the infection and horror of what has happened. Often when they give birth later in the rural areas, the outcome is a very painful delivery and tearing that results in Fitula, where the woman is not able to control her urination. Culturally, this causes a lifetime of pure hell, they are shunned by their family, they are divorced by their husband and put out away from the rest of their family for their condition. Try to think about what it would be like to spend your life like this. So . . . we went to the hospital and rehab today where people that believe this to be a “insane” practice want to do all they can to change this. Holy moly, what a huge blessing these people are to these women. They want to make a change in the lives of people and that change can only come if people go out in the community and teach others that this has to change. Anyway, it was very nice to see that all that we see each day in the city can maybe be changed. There is a reason for us to be here. We are doing what God has asked us to do.
Now on the other note, this team is a really great team. We are having so much fun together, learning a lot about and from each other and love this mission. We can’t get internet too often, so please don’t worry if you don’t hear from us, everything is great.
Today was our first full day in Mekelle! We got picked up to be taken to the theological college and spend the day hearing from Hilay, Tesfay and Gooday, three men that are passionate about what they see God doing in this little acre of His kingdom. They joyously and proudly shared the history, doctrine, cultural and social involvement of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
What stood out to me was [a] their joy and passion about the movement of God over here and [b] the unity we have as “being one in Christ” even when there exists some belief and practice differences of faith in following and living in Jesus. In the business of listening to God and living Him out in a community and country of great need, these issues become peripheral and even fall off to the floor at the table of the Lord.
We had what was called a coffee ceremony and were caught up in the beauty of humility and servant mindedness of Martha, the woman who prepared everything for us. “When in Rome” got practiced by this zero tolerance coffee drinker and you know what? It wasn’t about coffee, it was about being with one another and breaking bread, listening and learning, living in the kingdom of God and the Son He loves.
The evening meal was authentic Ethiopian food that to me was like eating a Greek gyro involving lamb, bread, vegetables and spices – delicious! So our evening is winding down, some went to an internet café and I’m writing to you up in my room. Much love over the distances to each of you and thank you for your embrace of us here, however that is happening! – Mark DiMeglio
So we had our first day on the ground – for many of us our first time in a 3rd world context…. The reality of life here is just so different from your average daily experience in the West. Here are Patrick’s first takes ….
So it was day 1 here in Ethiopia. And pretty intense. Things I’ve seen, in no particular order, that I’m processing:
– mothers with infants laying on muddy streets amidst traffic, livestock and people
– 12 year olds that are battling sexual predation
– donkeys walking the streets
And just a whole world that I feel completely ill-equipped to process. I was interviewing a team member today for video and she just totally broke down with broken heartedness for what we saw today.
Our team is tired, emotionally worn. Some of its jetlag, some of it is reality. Pray for us.
Tomorrow we fly to Mekele and start our work in the field.
If you missed this at K2 the Church this am, you need to watch this:
keep checking in for updates!
Thanks Patrick and Liz for keeping us talking and sharing our experience!