From Joy in Ethiopia!



Greetings from the land of 13 months of sunshine! Yes, Ethiopia has 13 months and yes, it is sunshine most every day. I have certainly enjoyed the mild weather of Addis Ababa … in the 70’s during the day with blue skies and warm, not hot, weather.
As always, the sights and sounds of this city of 75 million people bring me face to face with the stark realities of poverty. On the other hand, the general buoyancy of the people amaze me. I spent the last two afternoons with Abdissa, the YWAM children’s director, and was warmly greeted by his 25 children whom I have grown to love so much. Yesterday afternoon after school, they came in and gave me great huge hugs. The older girls especially enjoy the company of a woman and I have such a heart for them! A part of me just wants to stay and be their mother.

As I sat and visited in the livingroom of the home, the children had their after school snack and then, without being told … it is an expectation, got out their homework and began doing it. They all have homework every day and I looked at their work and was quite impressed with the education they are getting. (In Ethiopia, you do not pass to the next grade simply because of your age.) When the children finished their assigned homework, they brought it to Abdissa to look over and he had to sign on their page. From the young kindergarteners to the older boys who were in upper level math and biology, Abdissa took the time to help them, correct and encourage them. He is so proud of the development of his kids.
I also met with the country representative of Children’s House International … the agency we are partnering with to complete adoptions. The adoption procedure here in Ethiopia is much, much different from America with many more steps. Also, things move at a much slower pace than in America.

One of “our” little guys, KBB, is staying at the CHI facility in Addis. KBB is almost 1 ½ years old. We spent time with him and took a bunch of pictures, but he wouldn’t smile for anything! He didn’t cry, though, when I held him … although when I put him down he toddled gladly into the waiting arms of a nanny! He has beautiful eyes and is quite hefty! He is adorable, and I know the family who gets him will have a treasure.
We visited a guest house that the CHI director wanted us to see as we are gathering information on places for our families to stay while they are here getting their child. It was a very nice guest house, but Abebe (our country representative) agreed with me that it was expensive for what you get. One thing about Abebe, he is out to get the best for a good price! I so appreciate him and we are blessed beyond measure to have him representing us.
While I was at the YWAM Children’s Home, Abdissa and I looked at three adjoining compounds. Abdissa would like to have one compound for the boys and one for the girls. Of course, he will need more staff, specifically a woman for the girls. There is a young man from India, Sammy, who is YWAM and married with a baby … he is visiting to see about possibly joining YWAM Ethiopia. He was an absolutely delightful young man … I really liked him. He and his wife could possibly be the houseparents in the girls compound. Abebe and I have also decided that we need to have a nursery under the auspices of YWAM. There are many children Abdissa has identified for adoption, but they need a place to stay until they are adopted. Something has to be done with these children … most of them very young and from poverty the likes of which it is impossible to imagine.
Today Abebe and I will visit with Nega who is the director of the street kids’ drop-in shelter. We will also visit another orphanage. This evening Mark Wolbert will arrive from the U.S. This very gifted man is going to head up and coordinate the missions thrust that several churches have expressed interest in doing over here. It is important that things be planned well and people utilized optimally to the advantage of the ministries we are involved with. I so appreciate Mark’s heart for missions! He will also be checking out some possible connections with other schools and ministries for vocational training for the older children as they complete school.
I must get ready for this day. I am loving every minute of my time here! Last night the lights were out at the guest house (electricity is iffy all over Addis) … so I turned on my computer for its glow as I washed my face and got ready for bed. I was in bed by 8:40 because there was nothing else to do! I had a wonderful night’s sleep and woke up with the wailing from the minaret and had the joy of watching the day unfold with the bright moon receding as the day dawned. Every day is a testament to God’s faithfulness.
I send my love,
Joy