Friday, July 8, 2011

Ethiopia Team 1, Day 1

I am so thrilled with what a great team I have! Pictured above is our Nashville group that met up to fly out together in the Nashville airport. In this group are some folks from Brentwood, Franklin, Hopkinsville, and Murfreesboro. This was almost half our group right here :)
 We flew out to DC where we landed that night and had to spend the night at a hotel in order to make the direct flight to Addis at noon the next day. We met up with three others that had to do the same thing. Of course they told us we couldn't check our bags straight through so you should have see all of us  trying to man handle all these 39 bags of donations between the 13 of us, with each bag weighing 50 lbs :) We had to take it all with us on the shuttle over to the hotel. Ohhhhh, the joys of traveling :)

 Our four guys on this leg of the trip were our champs!! They handled the bags like it was no problem and even stayed behind and waited for the second shuttle to come back and get them while we went ahead. I took this pic above as we were getting ready to pull off on the first trip to the hotel while they manned the rest of the bags that wouldn't fit and stayed behind.
 So we got it all back to the airport and got all checked in and then met up with everyone else coming in from the other locations. It was so great to finally meet everyone in person from all over this country, going on our trip. I loved seeing all the black OH crews showing up from all over the place. Above we have Kim.
 LeAnne, Ashley, Kelley
 Elizabeth, Ali, Vanessa
 Tucker, Clay, Kortnie
 Andy, Amy, Christian
 Lisa and Holli
 Chris, Rachel, Ashley
 Becky and Ashley
 Kenya and Deborah
 Brooklyn fell asleep before we even took off :)
 We landed in Ethiopia 12 hours after we took off from DC at 8am ready to start our day.
Again, I loved seeing all the OH crew come piling off that plane ready to change some lives. 
 Our day at the airport didn't go exactly as planned. We ended up there many hours longer than we anticipated. We decided to just hang at the guest house and rest up for the next day. I love how God even had a purpose in that. I heard laughing and kids voices outside while I was unpacking and I looked out the balcony to find several from our group who had already started interacting with the street kids just outside our guest house. The guys in our group had already struck up a soccer game with them in the street. Kortnie, pictured above took one little guy she met and had a heart for and brought him in to give him some new shoes. All he had on were plastic flip flops that were ripped and falling off his feet. His clothes had holes all over them. She led him by the hand inside where she grabbed a pair of the aqua shoes that some of you paid for and put them on him. She then gave him a new jersey shirt and a new pair of pants.

 After we got him all dressed up he was all smiles. It is amazing that it wasn't the toys that brightened his day it was the simple things we all take for granted like a new pair of shoes and clothes. He was so cute and grateful.

 When he went outside he lit up showing his friends and then he didn't stay with them he immediately walked away with a smile on his face. How much you wanna bet he wanted to go show whatever family member he had his new clothes. Imagine him walking through the door of one of the tin roofed huts that surrounded us with his big grin, looking like a new man :)
 Andy had a great soccer game going with the kids outside.

 I started seeing the team connecting with all the different kids. Such joy these kids bring.

 I went up to take LeAnne's pic with this little cutie and I told them both to look at me and smile and he quickly turned and planted a kiss on her cute!

 Elizabeth, our 16 yr old on the trip enjoyed getting to know this little guy. I expect God to do big things in Elizabeth :)

We finally had Lauren and Zack join us at the end of the day. It was so good to see my daughter after three weeks of her being here early. It was great to see Ashli after all these months, and meet Zack as well.  I will post more pics after our stops to two different orphanages today. Busy day today ahead....and of course I'm up WELL before daylight because I can't get used to the time change. It always takes me a couple of days to adjust but it is prime blogging time :) Can't wait to see what Day 2 brings.


  1. God Bless you all- your beautiful pictures bring tears to my eyes!!!

  2. Oh how good and pleasant it is to see this beautiful act of God. Makes me swell with tears. :)

  3. thanks so much for taking us on this journey with you. two years and counting as we wait for God to reveal our toddler girl to us...does she have a brother or sister?? falling in love with Ethiopia all the more as ordinary heroes like you do extraordinary things :) :) :) God bless!!!