April 2016: Only 35 Days

From Erin:

Welcome to the Ethiopia team blog! 

Our team is Ethiopia bound in 35 days.

We are a team of 14 people… wait, actually, that’s not true… we are a team of hundreds.

Do you know the book of Jonah?  It’s a short story:  Jonah didn’t want to do what God said…he got on a boat headed the opposite way…God created a crazy storm…the sailors threw Jonah overboard…God sent a big fish to rescue Jonah… finally Jonah obeyed (but still with a bit of an attitude).

Pastor Jerry is preaching on Jonah this month (you should come!  LifeBridge Church, San Diego). One of the points that Jerry made this past Sunday was:  we are not in this boat alone!   When God created the storm because of Jonah’s disobedience, it didn’t just affect Jonah; the sailors’ lives were in danger too.  After Jonah was thrown overboard, the storm stopped and the sailors feared the Lord.

We are so living that out on this trip.  God has called hundreds to this trip – some are getting on a plane, some are praying, some giving, some are taking care of the kids and handling responsibilities here.  He’s called Ethiopians to our trip too – they’re training, booking hotel rooms and delivering chickens.  And all of us are in the boat together with those whom we will get to share the love of Christ.   

That is one BIG boat!! 

We are so grateful to be in the boat with you and we want to do our part too.  We want to share what God is doing through you.  This is our blog.  It is our plan to keep it updated with stories of God and his awesomeness.

Today, let’s all get on the same page – those of you who have been on the boat to Ethiopia many times and those who are just joining us. 

Pretty soon, chickens will begin to arrive in 5 villages near the town of Fiche, Ethiopia.  In each village, 35 families will receive 5 chickens each.  Those families will be told about you and your love and your generosity. 

In just over a month, we get to follow the chickens into each of these homes.   We’ll arrive at their front door in teams of four – two Americans and two Ethiopians.

The families we visit most typically live in mud huts with thatched roofs.   As we arrive, there is a cacophony of activity.  Cows, goats and chickens are taken from inside the house to outside in order to make room for us.  Children who have never seen a white person before whisper to each other and stay well away from us at first.  Often babies are crying because they can’t figure out what happened to make us look so funny.  Women busy themselves grinding coffee beans, cooking them over an open fire and brewing coffee.  And men proudly greet us at the door.

It would be impossible for me to explain to you the incredible privilege that it is to spend time with these majestic people in their homes.  You’ll just have to come with us to experience it yourself .  (See how I did that?)

While in their homes, we will visit, laugh, share stories, play games, eat together and drink lots of coffee. 

We will warn them about the very real and devastating problem of human trafficking that is happening in America and Ethiopia and tell them what they can do to keep their children and their villages safe. 

We will tell them about our lives.  They wonder why we would travel halfway around the world to come into their homes to visit with them and we will tell them about the love of God that so drastically changed our life.   We’ll share with them that the God who sent us loves them so much that He sent his son to die on a cross for their sins and that through believing in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, they can have a relationship with Him.   We will answer questions and pray.  We will invite them to believe, to be in relationship with God.

Many will believe and some will not.  We will love them all. 

In Amhara, Ethiopia, only .2% of the people have heard the gospel. 

God is changing that.

Only 35 more days!  Can you hardly wait?!

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