Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Out of our Comfort Zone

Our days are so packed that I barely have time to post. I have a bit of catch up to do. How do I describe our 4th day on this wild adventure?? Lots of Yuck! Let me explain.....
We had a new place to visit that was more in the country with a different feel from the day before in Korah. On our drive there we saw beautiful landscape and a different view of Ethiopia that was unlike what we had seen before. The rolling hills were beautiful The shacks of the city turned to the cool stick huts of the country. We arrived at a long mud road that we needed to walk down to get to where we were going. We first had to cross over a small creek of some kind on foot which several of us didn't make it across without falling in and getting mud all over us :) Our feet immediately had mud squishing between our toes in our flip flops but what could you say when there is a child standing beside you covered in mud from head to toe with no shoes on at all and would trade for our flip flops and mud spattered pants any day. We walked down this rock filled, pot hole spattered road that led us to a fence that opened up into this Pastors property where he was holding a church service and you could hear the singing coming through the mud walls of the tin roofed church. We walked up onto the porch where they had us take off our shoes and wash our feet. I poured the water on my feet just expecting the mud to run off and it obviously wasn't doing the trick. One of our guides came over and graciously took the cup of water and poured it over my feet and began to wash the dirt off. I had never had anyone wash my feet before and it was very surreal. I totally got the whole 'washing of the feet' back in the bible days. Mix that with the voices singing praise in the background coming from the church and it was an unbelievable moment. We walked into this tiny church and immediately took up half of it with our group. They sang and the pastor preached the story of the woman with the issue of blood getting healed among other stories from the bible. It was amazing to hear the word of God being preached in Africa....the same word of God that I hear sitting in the comfort of Brentwood. "And this word shall be preached from nation to nation"....

After the service we had the driver head out to purchase......yes.....another couple of sheep. We wanted to feed them and sheep was their food of choice. Most of the girls set up arts and crafts inside the church while the guys went out to the open field and played soccer. The view was amazing all around them. We had a donation room that I stayed in the whole time passing out clothes, shoes, toothbrushes, candy and toys to each of the 100 something kids that came through.

Then it was dinner time. Let's just say that they slaughtered the sheep, as they like to call it, but it didn't die immediately like the one in Korah. It decided to jump around, spreading blood on the rocks that we have to walk on to get back and forth. Gross...yes, I know, but I'm keeping it real. Then for some reason they thought it not a big deal to just prop the head up on the fence post, I guess to save for later, not sure, but it just kept looking at us for the rest of the day :) Again....keeping it real. This place was much more rough around the edges, surprisingly than Korah, the trash dump, if you can believe it. It was just a different feel and a different type of people that seemed a little more hardened.

We cooked the sheep and served everyone and then the sun began to set so it was time to leave. I know without a doubt that we brought in love and hope for whomever needed it from us. There was one young, pregnant girl, in particular that kept staring at us all through the church service when we first arrived. She had such a look of despair on her face the whole entire time through church. I could tell she was battling something. But let me tell you that as much as she sat and listened in despair, when we came in and became the hands and feet of Jesus, she burst into a different person. She slowly warmed up to the craft bunch and was actually doing some on her own and painting nails and then came the smiles and the heaviness was lifted. As we drove away I sat and watched that beautiful, young girl waving goodbye to us with a beaming smile that lit up her face. That day I had experienced my share of awe as well as yuck but I knew, if not for any other people, we were there for her. We brought hope that she needed and hopefully showed her God's love in practical ways that lifted her spirit to keep pressing on in the midst of her hard circumstances. Pray for her if you think about it and pray for the children there. They are oblivious to their circumstances that make life so hard for them.

I am having trouble uploading pics to the blog so CLICK HERE to view a page with all the pics of this day on it. It will give you a visual of everything I just wrote about and more. This trip is amazing and again, I can't say enough about this awesome group. They can whip out the art and the soccer balls and have these kids on cloud nine in no time flat.

My next post I will be our Day 5 where we shopped, some went back to Korah and some of us went to a small orphanage and care center to hang out with some paper ready kids....which means that they have all their paper work ready and are just waiting for a family to choose them. They were so stinkin adorable......Stay tuned :)

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