Friday, 25 February 2011

Day Two

     My poor stomach. I am starving. I just finished bran muffin number two, after an apple, two pieces of banana bread, half a peanut butter cup, two chocolate cookies, a ham sandwich, and purple cabbage with hummus. That would all be fine and good if my digestive system was up and running, but it's not. It's still trying to recover from Ethiopia, which meant that 3:30 this morning found me in the bathroom. I know I should be sitting around eating saltine crackers and drinking Sprite, but my body is trying to make up for all the sugar it didn't get in Ethiopia. Aside from the four tablespoons of sugar they put in their coffee, Ethiopians generally don't eat very many sweet things. Hence my peanut butter cup baking spree yesterday afternoon. Thankfully, this same thing happened last year, so I'm fairly sure I don't have a tapeworm. But wow! I'm hungry.
     Alright, onto day two!
     Unlike the previous day, day two started with a bang. At eight o'clock, our team headed over to MAKBC (it was probably a little less than half a mile walk from the guest house) for their staff devotions. One of our church's pastor's, Kenny Stokes, was on the trip, and after we were introduced to everyone and they sang, he shared on how the Bible (and only the Bible) creates and sustains spiritual life. The devotions were supposed to last for an hour, but in traditional African style, it lasted for two. After our time at the church was over, we drove to a slum where our team divided into groups of two and headed off with a translator, a guide, and a church leader to visit five different homes. Armed with only a cheery yellow bag full of Ethiopian food staples and complete faith in our guide, Mike K. and I set off for our five homes. I didn't take any pictures of these "homes" (if you could call them that) because Mike was taking video and it was a bad area of the city, and I didn't write down any of the names, so I don't remember each home individually. However, all of them had several things in common. First, the size. Each house was the size of my bedroom. And that's an optimistic estimate. Secondly, they were all dark. As soon as you walked in, there was absolutely no source of light besides the sunlight steaming in through the open hole where a door would normally be. Thirdly, the building material. The houses were all made of mud mixed with straw and animal waste, then crudely painted over with yellowed, cracked plaster. I have no idea what happens to those houses when it rains, but I can't even imagine. But everyone was SO gracious. The moment we were close enough, the couple stuck out their hands and vigorously shook our's. At several houses, they offered us food. Always, the man or woman made sure that we had the best seats before they themselves usually squatted on the ground. Even though the houses all kind of blend together, there is one house that will forever be brilliantly burned in my memory. Mike K. was asking the woman who owned the house (through our translator) if there was anything we could pray for her. And as these rich (at least, according to her standards), white Americans sat in her dirt-floor shack and watched her baby eat a rock, she asked for one thing - to accept Jesus. Suddenly, she and Addisu, the church leader, started going back and forth in rapid Amharic until Addisu jumped up. "She wants to accept Jesus right now!" Mike and I stared at each other, speechless. Before we even had time to think of what to say, the woman was kneeling on the ground as Addisu stood over her and her baby continued chewing on the rock. Addisu prayed something in Amharic, and she repeated. Mike and I just sat there in complete awe, wiped the tears from our eyes, and prayed in a different language to the same God. After she and Addisu had finished praying, we all jumped up and hugged, laughed, smiled, and shook hands even more. All too soon, it was time to go. The woman and our guide had started chatting in Amharic, trying to figure out a time for the woman to come to MAKBC so we had to pull her out, and then we were off. As we walked away, Mike and I hardly noticed that the path was covered in the garbage, or that it was hot, or that our feet hurt. We just kept smiling and smiling.
Wow, I had forgotten how busy this day was! I'll try to sum it up here. That afternoon, we visited our first orphanage. While all the adults met with the founder, Hannah, and talked with her, Elise and I stayed outside and played with the twenty-some kids in the courtyard. Elise played volleyball with the boys and all the girls eagerly taught me several Ethiopian hand games. I was horrible and uncoordinated, but they were very eager and gracious. We stayed for three hours, and it really just flew by. At the end, we handed out candy to all the kids, including the teenagers, which was really embarrassing, but that's another story. That night, all the church leaders from MAKBC came over to our guest house where we had supper and talked together. At the end, in true Bethlehem Baptist form, we gave them all John Piper books. They loved them. So that's day two!

1 comment:

  1. I just got goosebumps reading about the woman who accepted Christ! So cool!

    I love hearing about your trip...thanks for all the details :)