Saturday, July 9, 2011

Ethiopia Day Two

1 Thessalonians 5: 16-19 "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit." As I was doing devotions this morning, I read this verse and it has stuck with me throughout the day. 

The day has been full of rejoicing. It is amazing to see God work in SO many lives here. It is story after story of people showing and telling how God has worked in there life. Ashli told a story of a boy who was abandoned by both of his parents, and sent by his uncle in a taxi to Addis Ababa. He spent 2 days at a bus station before someone took him to the Korah dump where Ashli found him and struck up a conversation. He has been living on the streets for 6 months. She brought him into her home, gave him a bath, and loved him. We watched amazed at how this sweet boy has transpired. He will now start school in the fall, and be sponsored by someone willing to pay $30 a month to keep him in school, and keep him fed. (hint, hint) :) There are just so many more stories like this that you just can't help but stand in awe of our Lord, and rejoice that half way around the world He is working in people's lives here in Africa too. He is not just the God WE know, but He is known by the poor, needy, and desperate. He is just that big!

It has been a day of praying continually. While lying awake at 4:00 in the morning, I can't help but begin praying for the day even before it starts. "Lord, keep us safe today. Lord, use us. Lord, be with the children we come in contact with. Lord, help us to show YOUR love." As the day progresses, I continue to pray for these little lives that the Lord has chosen to take off the streets and put in these orphanages. 

It has been a day of giving thanks. I am amazed at how God has worked and answered prayers this journey. Answered prayer after answered prayer. Safety, communication with our families, clean housing, health, and the list goes on. We have so much to be thankful for every day. Not to mention, giving thanks for these joyful children. We spent time in a circle at El Olam Orphanage today thanking the Lord for these lives, and from saving them off the street. There are 5 young babies in this orphanage that have come from horrible health to full recovery. One little boy was left on church steps, without food for 4 days, and on the brink of death. Ashli spent the night at the hospital with him when she found him, and prayed while the doctor's told her they didn't think this little boy would live. However, God has other plans for this little boy. He not only lived through the night, but now is the HAPPIEST little guy. Ashli said he cried day and night for weeks when he arrived at the orphanage. Today, we couldn't get him to eat his bottle because he wouldn't stop smiling at me. He was the sweetest, happiest little thing. Thank you, Lord for choosing to save this little boy, and find a family in Spain wanting him in their family. Again, a day of giving thanks!

Above all, it has been a day of not quenching the Spirit. This is why we are here. To be filled with the Spirit, and to let that just pour out of us. I pray that I don't ever get enough of the Spirit, and that I am unable to stop the desire for it. 

My day was brightened today by so many little ones. We visited the Yezelalem Minch Orphanage today where we were able to help feed the children during the Saturday School. These children are orphans are  living in the community with friends, widows, and people who were willing to take them into their home. However, they are sponsored by people in the US and are able to go to school. We spent the morning giving them toys and trinkets, painting fingernails, and playing games---simply enjoying their company! The sweetest, prettiest little girl would just raise her hands and want to be held. She was probably 3. But she would just smile and sit in your arms and enjoy the attention! After that we were able to visit the El Olam Orphanage where we could see how Ashli has transformed these kids lives. They just adore her. There were 15 toddlers and older children, and 20 babies. Needless to say, I spent most of my time in the baby room! These babies never fought to get off my lap. A stark contrast to Wes :) But they just needed some loving. They have two nannies to these 20 babies. Cribs lined the wall. When it was time for naptime, the children were all peacefully laying in their cribs. We left the room only to come back 15 minutes later and see 5 of these sweet babies standing and bouncing in their crib with the biggest smiles on their face. It was like they knew they should be sleeping! :) Made me smile! Others in the group spent time decorating t-shirts with the older kids, playing games, and painting finger nails. We ended the afternoon with a little performance by the kids with singing, dancing, and individual solos! I was surprised at how well they each willingly walked to the center of the room, and sang all by themselves! It was very sweet, and they were all smiles. 
We ended the day by going to the restaurant, Bon. This is American food. The excitement was loosing electricity numerous times while eating. It was a little frightening to be eating in a foreign restaurant, and be in complete silence for 30 seconds at a time! :) A little excitement keeps things interesting, I guess :)

We are praying for a little better rest tonight. Thinking of taking a sleeping pill tonight. Between people talking, dogs barking, and cats fighting outside, the night was full of restlessness. However, it does feel good to actually be sleeping in a bed that is clean! 

On a side note, I was able to skype with my hubby and Wes earlier today. It brightened my day, and gave me a new energy. It was good to see that little pale, fair skin with blonde hair :) He smiled at me a few times, and didn't quite know what to think. Jeremy thought maybe he was thinking, "This isn't Baby Einstein!" Miss my boys, but have been blessed by a sense of peace. 

Thank you for your continued support. Tomorrow we are planning to visit a local church, do some shopping at the market, and visit the street kids to do some soccer with them. Please, continue to pray! 

stepping out for another day of looking to see how the Lord is going to use us tomorrow! 

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