What a day!!! So many emotions are going through me. We started the day at the Beza International Church, and listened to an amazing service! A little more charismatic (surprise, surprise :) then I'm used to, but was beautiful music and praising. We then listened to a fantastic sermon that addressed evangelism. What else could have spoken to us more?! He talked about how so many of us use the excuse of being timid or shy, and that is why we don't share our faith. But he reminded us that we now have something new living in us. The Spirit living in us is not timid. We are reminded that we cannot use that excuse anymore, because we have a Spirit in us that gives us boldness. No excuses, people! :)
After lunch, we were able to spend some time at the market. We were bombarded with beggars every where you turned. The thing that just broke your heart was when you'd see a mom with a baby or small child on her back. You know that the child is the one who was ultimately suffering. You wish you could just help those poor babies! But the sad part was is that you can barely do anything because immediately you are flocked by so many more people that saw you give something out. Almost to the point of hostile. But the shopping was good, and I was able to pick up a few things for Wes :)
The late afternoon was spent visiting the street kids. They live in an area called the Post Office area. These kids are literally "street kids". They live on the streets, and beg for a living. When you stand in this area and look around at the hundreds of kids, and adults in this area it is very overwhelming. It makes you very tense, when the translator warns of pick pocketers, and the hostility if you give them anything! Therefore, we were unable to give them anything because if you give something to one of the children, the other kids soon find out and will actually fight that child, and beat on them to take the money. It's just so sad that there is such a HUGE need, and you feel so helpless to do anything. I soon started visiting with a couple of boys who were about 5 or 6, and they soon became glued to my side. I started taking pictures of them, and showing them. I soon had them making funny faces and they just brought out some of the most genuine smiles! After a little while, I began thinking of what else we could do. What else other than Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes and the Hokey Pokey! So, you guessed it. We began dancing to these songs :) Seriously, it has been the highlight of my trip. There was one young girl about ten that is the most beautiful girl you could imagine. She would follow us around, talking about how hungry she was. But we could do nothing. But as soon as we started taking pictures to show her, and have to making those silly faces the brightest smile lit up her face. One member of the team handed her 100 birr very discreetly as we were pulling out, and she took off at a dead run. This was the first time of the trip I cried. To see such a beautiful young girl, having to beg and live on the street just breaks your heart. And then to see her having to run for her life and get away before anyone realized she had gotten money just tore at you even more. Imagine, knowing you needed to beg in order to survive, but knowing you could be seriously hurt by one of the other kids if you actually do get money! What a hard life for such a young girl. We need to pray that someone is able to come in to this area, and actually start a shelter or SOMETHING to try and get these young kids off the street.
To end the night, we visited an authentic Ethiopian restaurant. The food was ....(in my opinion) gross :) But, it was really neat to experience the culture with unbelievable dancing!
So far, everyone has stayed healthy. PRAISE!!! :) We are headed to an orphanage 3 hours out of town tomorrow to spend the day. Looking forward to seeing what we experience tomorrow.
And so... I'm stepping out!