Sorry for the delay in posting. I have had some internet issues, imagine that :) Our third day in ET hit on a Sunday and I scheduled it as kind of our free day. We got to go to Beza International Church. This was the most awesome experience to be all the way in Africa and be able to go to an English speaking church and even sing some familiar songs that we sing in our own church in TN. One of the things I LOVE most about Ordinary Hero is all the different denominations within my own team coming together to experience God's love in Africa. It is a picture of what heaven will look like :) When I met the Pastor and told him how many denominations were represented, he pointed up to heaven and said "It is all unto God." I couldn't have said it better myself. Just within my group we have Baptist, Methodist, Non-denominational, Mormon, Catholic, and one who says "I'm not sure." I love it! You can't help but come to Africa and experience God, regardless of how you walk it out at home. You really get a picture of how and why Jesus went around feeding the hungry and healing the sick while he was on this earth. We become His hands and feet when we are here in Africa, for sure.
Just as soon as we walked out of church Ashley A, from Illinois, made friends with a little girl. She told her all she had was flip flops and she needed some shoes. We had been passing out some candy and different things but all this little one wanted was some shoes.
We then made our way over to the street children who live within the post office district for a game of soccer. You will see as our trip goes by, day by day, that we experience all kinds of different levels of poverty. These kids are very sad in that they live on the streets, literally. Most of them have no family and they rely on selling things and begging on the streets as a means to survive. Many of them have found comfort in sniffing glue as a way to take away their hunger pains and it is so sad.
Looks like Andy made a friend just in that short period of time we were there. These kids just need hope and to be shown love by taking the time to do something as simple as playing soccer with them.
We had some time before our dinner reservation so we stopped at Kaldi's coffee. It is a complete knock off of Starbucks, right down to their green logo. It is also FABULOUS. It's always a good stopping place to get recharged.
We then went to an authentic Ethiopian restaurant where they dance all the African dances and you eat Injera. When we got there my son's birthmom and sister were there waiting on us, as I had invited them to dinner. They are just the sweetest. I just made a connection with them on my trip this time last year and we have kept in touch over the past year. It is always so good to see them.
I am so thrilled that Deborah and her daughter, Kenya, from Utah, are on this trip. They sponsor Winker and they got to meet him for the first time. It was the sweetest thing. They just love him!
The African dances started up and it was so neat.
We had several of our team that they pulled up on stage to join them. Ali and Robel were the first one's to give the African dance a try.
Little Winker couldn't stand it anymore and jumped up there with them. He did some kind of shimmy with his shoulders and of course the crowd went wild :)
And we are not quite sure but we think Kortnie may have gotten married when they pulled her up for some kind of ceremony dance and then led her off arm in arm with one of the dancers :)
We let the little boys come back to the guest house where we let them shower, gave them new clothes and gifts and play with some of the boys in our group. They thought they were in heaven. Remember that these boys are from the trash dump community and don't ever even get to experience running water.
That's a wrap for our "free" day in Ethiopia. Everyday is an adventure here. Lots of lives being changed everywhere you go. More to come in the next blog post when we head out to the country community outside Addis to see some of the most precious little ones.