written by Shelly, Elise, Mallory and Jillian
Saturday (day 3) began with hosting Vacation Bible School at the church in Kore for approximately 350 children. We taught a lesson on the fishes and the loaves in John chapter 6, made bracelets with the children, sang songs, played with bubbles and had snacks.
Afterwards we gathered with the pastor who was beyond grateful for our help and learned more about the church’s organization, ministry, needs and direction. The church leaders joined us for lunch which was a great time of fellowship and a whole lot of fun!!! They loved to share their own life stories and testimonies, were inquisitive about America’s history, culture and religions. They were genuine, attentive, thoughtful, kind and humble. God used the last two days in Kore to forever touch and change our hearts through this community.
Kore church leaders
The rest of the evening consisted of some local shopping, a hilarious episode at a local bakery, dinner at the Catholic Guest House and a team gathering. The best part of the night was Shelly rehearsing the Noah’s Ark puppet show for Sunday morning. We are not sure if it was really that funny or if we were delirious but it was half an hour of laughing until tears. We only wish we had it on video to share with you.
Sunday (Day 4) was another wonderful time in Ethiopia. We drove to a local village where we were blessed with a traditional Ethiopian church service. By traditional we mean… 5 hours and still going when we had to leave for our next stop. Can you imagine??? It was amazing to witness these people walking from afar to worship God together all day long with joyous hearts. They were excited to have us worship with them. They had bottled water, seats next to the preacher near the podium and allowed us to share the puppet show with the congregation (which was a big hit). We had lunch and coffee with the pastor and his wife before we left. The people of Ethiopia have shown us such incredible hospitality and kindness.
After church we returned for one stop in Addis and traveled to the village of T’ede on our way to Adama where we will be serving for the next five days. Our time in T’ede was to give a baby shower for the wife of Pastor Zarahun to celebrate the birth of their daughter. Pastor Zarahun met us on the main road to lead us into his village. We walked through the village to the gate of his home and church. Compared to the previous days of being in the busy city, T’ede was serene, the air was clean and the land was beautiful. Pastor Zarahun is a man of great joy… joy for God, joy for his family, joy for his village and joy for our visit.
His wife had prepared injera with wat (vegetable stew), a cabbage dish, popcorn, toasted barley, coffee and homemade bread that required a days cooking and had to be at least three feet in diameter. We came to honor and serve and instead we were the ones who were honored and served. Pastor Zarahun and his family generously gave us so much when we they have so little. What a true testament to God’s spirit in His people.
The baby shower was fun. We played a silly game that the ladies really enjoyed. Laughter is universal. We brought gifts for the family and had a wonderful time. We look forward to returning to their church at the end of the week to serve the widows and children of the village.
Pastor Zerahun's wife and children
(she is Tezera and Abonesh's sister!)
From T’ede it was on to Adama where we are excited about the new hotel. We feel spoiled with now having shower doors, toilet seats and a few more feet to roam around in!
Our team has really come together during this journey. We came as nine individual women and we are now sisters. God has shown His love, mercy, protection and provision time and time again throughout this trip. We experience Him personally, as a team and through the people we are meeting every day. We are so excited to continue to share this journey and God’s work with you in the coming days.