WRITTEN BY TEAM LEADER, PHIL CHAPMAN
Day 2 for us here in Ethiopia. What beautiful people live in this country!
If you didn't already know, this mission's team is with Ordinary Hero. This is an amazing organization that is all about using ordinary people and allowing them to be heroes in any way the Holy Spirit leads. Today we joined forces with Project 61. The team spent a lot of time moving sticks and transferring monstrous rocks that will be used for the foundation of the two buildings that Project 61 is erecting.
While the team was working away on the construction project, about 75 children hung out at the entrance. This was very difficult for our team members as we wanted to shower them with blessings (gifts, candy, etc.) because they are living in the poorest area of all Addis. However, we needed to keep the children's safety in mind. If we had started handing out candy or clothes, or anything for that matter, we would have quickly created a mob situation that would have eventually injured one of the little ones. There was not a good place to deal with them one on one. So, we creatively handed kids suckers (while no one else was looking ;-) and provided lunch for about five of the kids, and even snuck a little girl in the office area where we were storing our backpacks to give her a little Barbie Doll that was sent with Matt Swartz. Even though we couldn't give them many material items today, we did show them a tremendous amount of love and affection, which is a HUGE reason that we embarked on this adventure.
Moreover, as we were reminded during our devotions this AM, we may not be feeding them today, but we are helping to construct the building that will feed them for years...that was an excellent reminder to all of us. In this day and age, we LOVE to see results immediately for the work that we do...that is what this (my) generation has grown to enjoy/expect. However, when you attempt to focus on what the Holy Spirit is directing and think about the ripple effects that will occur because of today's efforts, everything comes into perspective.
We have appreciated the beauty of the people in Ethiopia. We are so impressed with how happy each person is no matter what their individual situation is. The kids and adults alike.
So many people were helping us as we were helping their village. One little boy made a half a dozen trips carrying large sticks from the road to a burn pile.
Adults sat by the gates and helped direct traffic. Many just hugged anyone that was willing to hug them and hold as many hands as they could. We have 16 people with us, including our additional team members Lincoln and Lauren. Each one of us can already tell 20 stories of how these people affected our lives. I only hope and pray that each person that we come in contact with can say something similar about each of us.
After Matt Swartz and I walked a mile or two to buy some of the hired hands at Korah boots because they were shoveling dirt all day in sandals or without shoes, I decided to stop and get a quick shoe shine. We only had time for him to do one of my boots though. The normal charge is 2-3 Birr for the two shoes (equivalent to about 17 cents). When I flipped out a 100 Birr bill and handed it to him, his buddy, the one in the American Eagle shirt, put both hands on top of his head and his mouth dropped to the ground. Awesome children, awesome workers, awesome people.
Desiring to follow the Holy Spirit, Phil (for the entire Ordinary Hero team)