by Joy Casey in Ethiopia
The days lately have been so full I have all but lost track of time. Today is Monday and this is my last week with the lovely people of Ethiopia. Saturday evening we greeted three ladies from Texas and they will be with Jeff and I through Tuesday. I didn’t give them much time to recuperate from the long flight because yesterday, Sunday, was a busy day indeed!
Saturday Jeff and I interviewed and took pictures of families from two churches in Addis for our Adoption Ministry 1:27 program. Sunday we attended the Meseret Christos Church and were warmly greeted by the church leadership and each of us “ferengi” brought greetings from America.
The preaching was outstanding (we had interpreters) and after church it was fun to greet some of the dear people I had met the previous day. One HIV+ lady who is in bed quite sick and couldn’t come to get her picture taken for AM 1:27, so we met her and her two daughters in her home to take a picture and also to pray with her. After that, we trekked off to Adama to visit the Widows and Orphans Home.
Living at the Widows and Orphans Home are 8 elderly widows who I have become so fond of over the years. In the community of Adama live 16 other widows who have a place to live but are extreme poor so a small amount of money is given to them monthly. Our Mission Director, Mark, has begun to serve them through mission teams by repairing their homes, buying them a mattress to sleep on and supplementing their meager food. They need the help and LOVE the personal attention.
Yesterday, we brought those 16 dear ladies to the W&OH for a feast. It had been almost six months since I have seen their faces and kissed their winkled cheeks and I missed them! Our Texas ladies were enamored with these seniors ….. who wouldn’t be?
It was an honor to serve them their wat and vegetables and just pamper them a bit. One of the community widows died yesterday due to complications of AIDS, so sadly there were only 15 widows.
Leaving the W&OH, we went to one of my favorite ministries -- Living Hope Women’s Center. Two of my best friends in Ethiopia run this maternity home and I couldn’t wait to see them.
The facility itself is impressive. It is roomy and can accommodate up to 12 women. They have a vegetable garden and raise 100 chickens… they eat what they want and sell the rest. The gals who live there also make jewelry to sell. Dinah Monahan, the American vision behind all this, sells their handiwork all over America through Parties With A Purpose. Stephanie, Cinnamon and Jamie, our Texas friends, bought several pieces of the jewelry and the rest was packed up to take back with me and all three gals volunteered to host a party when they return home! Most of the babies and mothers in the home have been rescued from abortion and can live at Living Hope for up to a year or until they have saved up enough money (income from jewelry) and have a stable life plan to venture forth as a single mother. The Executive Director and the nurse do a lot of teaching in schools and through Compassion International of child development and abstinence education and they are making a huge impact on their community for life!
Last evening was warm and lovely and after freshening up a bit we met under the stars by our hotel and shared about our lives and then about our eventful day. Monday we head to a village where we have a vibrant work, so the history of that place was shared along with Abebe’s heart for evangelism. It was late at the end of a very long day when we gratefully welcomed our beds.
Let God be glorified in everything …. He is so good!