Journal Excerpts

December 30, 2010 from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:

“When we landed today I couldn’t wipe the stupid smile off my face.  I felt like I was coming home in a sense.  I still find it hard to believe that I’m in Ethiopia right now. God has been so faithful each step of the way, even when plans were going haywire.”

December 31, 2010 from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (Women At Risk):

“Cole and Dave (with Aberham translating) were sharing on Romans 8… I pray that the words shared would take root and dwell richly in the hearts of the women and that Christ’s love would bring comfort in their afflictions.”

January 3, 2011 from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (Women At Risk):

“I love watching the women, seeing their smiles and hearing their laughter.  Cole shared the story of Jesus washing the feet of His disciples before the men washed the women’s feet.  The girls gave them pedicures, did their make-up, took their pictures, and at the end of the day we gave them jewelry bags as a gift.  One of the women stood up and gave a short speech.  I wish I could remember exactly what she said, but essentially, she thanked us for coming from a far land, to them who were without value, and making them feel valuable.  I couldn’t help but cry.  I pray that the LORD would continue to reveal to them how valuable and precious they are in His sight.”

January 6, 2011 from Nazret, Ethiopia (Women At Risk):

“After dinner we sang (or, they sang) worship songs and danced all around outside.  I’m not kidding, this was the most fun, joyful, happy night I’ve probably ever had.  We all had a blast jumping up and down, laughing, dancing.  It was the perfect end to our day.  We had a coffee ceremony and the girls gave us small gifts.  I wonder if those women realize how much they have given in just a couple of days.  God is so amazing to bring us together from across the world to encourage one another and minister to one another.  I am always in awe of Him at times like this.  Seriously, how incredible is it that the same Jesus reaches into all of our lives and draws us to Himself?  Ethiopia used to just be a random spot on the map.  It used to exist for me merely in stories, textbooks and atlases.  To think that God has made it a place that I now know and love affirms how powerful He is in changing our hearts and transforming our lives.  The LORD has changed my heart.  He has placed in me a love and compassion that could come only through Jesus.”

“As hard as it was and is to leave, I am comforted knowing there is coming a day when we all worship together in the presence of Jesus and all the pain and hurts of the past will have vanished.  Thank You, LORD!”

“Then came Sisters Cafe.  Abrehet had said Addis (a women I met last year) might be there.  I walked back into the kitchen and there she was.  It was such an overwhelming moment.  I can’t explain in words the joy I felt when I saw that woman.  Not only that, but her little girl, Kalkidan, was there! My little peanut!!! She has grown up so much and is a beautiful, funny little girl.  Abrehet tells me that both she and Tigist (Addis’ older daughter) are going to school now.  Before we left, Samson came in with me so I could tell Addis how joyful I felt and that I had been praying for her.  She told me she thinks of me always.  I am grateful beyond words that my God would allow that meeting to happen.  I’m really just so overjoyed.  Missy told me I was glowing.  How could I not be?”

January 7, 2011 from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (Mother Teresa Hospice):

“How do you even being to process all of that pain?  I’m beginning to realize the implications of praying for God to break our hearts over that which breaks His.  It is certainly a prayer I will no longer pray lightly.  I feel like I could barely look.  I’m so convicted because these are the people that Jesus would have surrounded Himself with.  Not only would He look at them and see their pain, but He would be with them.  I couldn’t even stay in each room for more than a moment.  I felt like a coward.  I couldn’t even look at them.  I couldn’t bear the thought of connecting with their eyes and having no words and nothing to give them.  How incredibly selfish.”

January 9, 2011 from Ambo, Ethiopia (Street Boys):

Psalm 72: 12-14
Isaiah 58:7-11
Psalm 146
Psalm 147:3-6

January 10, 2011 from Ambo, Ethiopia (Street boys and Compassion kids):

“When I saw Howie I nearly screamed, I was so thrilled.  She looked exactly the same and had remembered me.  It came as no surprise that she attached herself to me for the rest of the day… At one point she asked me what my mother’s name was.  When I asked her the question in return, she said, “No mother.”  Made me really sad to heart that.  Her father is alive and takes care of her and her sister, Gifti.  As we were leaving the church grounds to leave, Howie was walking with me.  She looked up at me, and with her sweet Ethiopian accent, said, ‘My mother’s name is Brittany.’  My heart melted and at the same time I was so overwhelmed.  I got on the bus and started sobbing uncontrollably.  What do you do with something like that?  How did I hear that and then run onto the bus to escape the madness that was happening?  I still don’t know how to handle it.”

“One of the boys I spoke to, Kumela, is first in his class (he is 18 and in grade 9) and wants to be a doctor.  He wants to be able to help his people.  He kept talking about how strong God is and how He makes all things possible.  It was encouraging and was a bright spot in a very difficult situation.”

“I love the boys, but I know that Jesus loves them even more than I can fathom.  It’s only Christ’s love that has power to change the lives of the boys.”

January 11, 2011 from 38,000 feet:

“Now I’m here on a flight back to D.C. wondering what to do with all that happened.  Praying that I will continue to reflect and let it affect me.  Praying Jesus would do amazing things in my heart and use me to glorify Him as I share all that He has done.”

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