Monday, July 25th // Chill morning & the boys arrive!
Leading up to this trip life had been crazy! It was really great to get away for two weeks and the four days leading up to camp were really low-key, it allowed for some good time with the Lord in prayer. The Lord had been so near; but honestly, I was far. Therefore…I struggled with a lot of selfishness in my heart and mind while in Ethiopia. It was good that the Lord revealed my heart to me, but it made it extra hard mentally throughout the week. BUT, God was so faithful to set my heart and mind on His movement and Character. I started to read in 1st Timothy at the beginning of the week. As I continued I couldn’t get past chapter 2. This morning I spent time reading over the first two chapters. Below are the chunks of verses that really ministered to me throughout the week. I also believe the Holy Spirit used them to guide my prayers and move powerfully throughout the week! Even as I read through them now I am amazed at how on target the verses were for that week. I love how God guides!
1 Timothy 1:12-16
I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
1 Timothy 2:1-7
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
One personal highlight of the week was that I really feel like God showed me my strengths and how I can use that in my career. I am excited to see how He fosters that! I also thought that spending time in Africa might stir my heart to be overseas long-term again. While there I realized that although I have a love for overseas missions, my passion lies within missional living in my own culture. I still feel like I will be involved with Ethiopia for the rest of my life; I am just unsure of what that looks like!
The morning was pretty laid back while we were waiting for the campers to arrive after lunch. We went to the health clinic and Mana Abiddii (House of Hope).
The clinic was amazing. People from all over the community waited outside of the clinic to receive care. We had to get back to camp for the boys so we were not able to stay for long.
Mana Abiddii was by far my favorite part of the week…crazy thing is that we were only there for about a half hour. I could have spent forever in this place. These babies’ mothers died during birth. They stay in Mana Abiddii with care givers to fatten them up while their family adjusts to life without a mother. When the baby reaches about 9 months and in good health they transition back to their families.
(Here is the main room)
(this little guy …. or girl…was my favorite. He or she is holding my hand!)
There were two specific times that I was really moved by the spirit during my time in Ethiopia. The first one was as this little one was holding my hand. I started to pray for his/her soul to be saved by Jesus. I was moved to tears. I think my future involvement with Ethiopia will probably involve orphans…not sure…but maybe. Even in America I love praying for babies souls. When my friend’s get pregnant I can’t help but pray that God would already start to form him or her in the likeness of His Son. Maybe I will get to see this little one in heaven one day.
After lunch we headed to meet the boys arriving at camp!
As the boys walked in we sang them a welcome song in Amharic (the Ethiopian national language. It felt a little like my universities welcome week! All of us leaders were split up into “World Cup” teams. My team was Brazil! The boys were timid as they were arriving. The boys came from all over Ethiopia. There were five to six from the same village with one leader. The leaders all worked for Sports Friends. All year they build relationships with the boys in their village through soccer in hopes to share the gospel. The villages they come from are heavily orthodox and Muslim. They crazy thing is that in order for the boys to come to camp they couldn’t be Christian and their parents had to sign a waiver stating they understand the camp is a Christian camp and Christianity will be taught.
As we walked from the bus back to the camp, Asse, the camp clown lead everyone in cheers that we did all week!
After the boys had lunch and got settled into their cabins we headed out to the community soccer field and played some relay games. At this point we had met our team and split up to compete.
Like I said before, this camp did not need us to come and assist, but they wanted us to. This first day I struggled with being there. The language was an obvious barrier and I felt a little awkward. I started to realized how important prayer was. I really enjoyed praying for the camp and the boys this week. Loving on the kids and praying seemed like the only thing we could do, but by the end of the week I realized how vital both of those roles were.
Here are my boys