Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Button Clinic

Family owned since about two weeks ago, Button Clinic is a local, privately owned medical practice located just outside of Stillwater. We specialize in big, painful shots and vague operations in the stomach and intestinal area. We provide quality care while at the same time making you feel like a part of the family. Come see us today! 

The Staff
Emma is the only practicing doctor at the Button Clinic. Known for her quality care and ability to solve any problem, Emma as been sought from countries as far away as Ethiopia. 

 Zeke is the nurse who can usually be found assisting Dr. Emma in shots. He specializes in check ups and is known internationally for how precisely he weights his patients.

 Levi is the Button Clinic's medical counselor and although he is often busy with other duties, including an intensive bike training routine and a comprehensive reading program, he offers the world's best care when you or your loved one is going through a medical problem.

Sadie was our X-Ray technician, but was recently terminated as a result of unprofessional job behavior, including jumping on the bed. We are currently searching for a replacement.

Our Patients
The Button Clinic has successfully treated thousands of life-threatening diseases, as well as many distinguished patients including the Crown Princess of Ethiopia and Buzz Lightyear. 

So stop in and see us today! You won't find better quality care anywhere else!

Successfully treated for a huge mass in her stomach, Sadie is now fully recovered.

Nurse Zeke treats Sadie as a medical student observes.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Day Four Pictures

For the complete (well, almost) set of pictures from Day Four, click on the picture to be taken to the Picasa album!

Day Four Part III

I'm sorry. It has been forever since I've blogged about Ethiopia. And I wouldn't be surprised if some of you have completely lost hope of ever hearing about my whole trip. But, school is finally wrapping up and I finally have a day off from work, so I have some free time. I'll try to be better!
     Well, in this overcast, somber, chilly weather, I feel like sunny Ethiopia is a long way away. It really is, isn't it? That's why I love blogging (sporadically!) about it - it makes the trip seem just a little bit closer. I'm going to try to make my posts just a little bit shorter because it seems like each ends up as a novel. If I start rambling, feel free to dump a bucket of cold water on my head and remind me that this is a blog, not a book.
 *     *     *
     It was with much gratefulness and relief that we all piled out of our hot, stuffed Land Cruiser into the somewhat cooler, dusty air of the village. All around us were dirt fields covered tall, sharp, yellowed grass surrounded by mountains in the hazy distance. After we had time to stretch and exchange reactions about the giant "god" tree, we followed our guide through the outskirts of the village and around a small clump of trees which gave way to a mud, straw, and stick building. This was the church.
     The villagers eagerly invited us inside the dark, small, dusty little church. The sun shining through the opening of the building illuminated the church's pews - skinny wooden planks protruding from the wall. 

     Pastor Kenny laughed to himself, "If anyone ever complains about a church plant again..." 
     After everyone had filed in and completely filled up the benches, Pastor Kenny stood up shared a quick encouragement from Acts 4, when the believers pray for boldness. 
{Dave (left, yellow shirt) was filming and the church planter (right) was excitedly taking pictures}
 At one point, he asked if anyone had a Bible. A a frantic whisper spread throughout the church until the translator turned to Kenny. "They only have one Bible," he explained. A woman jumped up and sprinted away. Two minutes later, she came back and proudly handed a worn Bible to her husband. He stood up and softly read the verse in their language, Oromo. (Note: Amharic is the official language of Ethiopia, but many more people speak Oromo). After Pastor Kenny's message, a few of the twenty members came to the front and shared their testimonies. I regret to admit that I was unfortunately distracted by the persistent flies landing on my feet and the crowd of staring kids (and teenage boys) outside the church. There is one, however, that I remember (most of it - some of the details may not be totally accurate). A young man stood up and shared that the village witch doctor had killed his parents and siblings. He fled to Addis, to the home of his Christian sister. She challenged him not to end up worshiping and dying for the tree like his family, and he accepted Christ. He came back to the village where he and twenty others now live as followers of Christ, not the tree.
     After the testimonies, we all gathered outside of the church to hug, talk, and take pictures. 
{One of the two church planters and a church member}

{The other church planter, Ashanafi (left) and our amazing driver, Sami (right)}

{Tamara discusses "healing crusades" with Ashanafi}

{Mike K. showing pictures of his family to the enraptured kids}

{Dave totally loving the fellowship with his foreign fellow brother in Christ}

    Finally, as the blazing sun started to sink, our team, the church, and all the other assorted people who had gathered to watch this spectacle made our way back to the land cruisers. While crossing a stream, I slipped and my dirty feet ended up in the even dirtier stream.

      I couldn't help but think of the verse, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news."   
      We said goodbye to the miraculous church and staring villagers, hopped in the cars, and drove back to Addis, passing by the big tree once again.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Good Friday Spillover

     I discovered the beauty of this prayer last night at 10:30. By the time I realized that I wanted to blog about it, it was a little on the late side. So I'd like to post this as a reflection of Good Friday, even though it's a day late.
     This is taken from "The Valley of Vision," a collection of Puritan prayers:

Love Lustres at Calvary

My Father,
Enlarge my heart, warm my affections, open my lips,
supply words that proclaim 'Love lustres at Calvary.'
There grace removes my burdens and heaps them on thy Son,
made a transgressor, a curse, and sin for me;
There the sword of thy justice smote the man,
thy fellow;
There thy infinite attributes were magnified,
and infinite atonement was made;
There infinite punishment was due,
and infinite punishment was endured.
Christ was all anguish that I might be all joy,
cast off that I might be brought in,
trodden down as an enemy
that I might be welcomed as a friend,
surrendered to hell's worst 
that I might attain heaven's best,
stripped that I might be clothed,
wounded that I might be healed,
athirst that I might drink,
tormented that I might be comforted,
made a shame that I might inherit glory,
entered darkness that I might have eternal life.
My Saviour wept that all tears might be wiped from my eyes,
groaned that I might have endless song,
endured all pain that I might have unfading health,
bore a thorny crown that I might have a glory-diadem,
bowed his head that I might uplift mine,
experienced reproach that I might receive welcome,
closed his eyes in death that I might gaze on unclouded brightness,
expired that I might for ever live. 
O Father, who spared not thine only Son that thou mightest spare me,
All this transfer thy love designed and accomplished;
Help me to adore thee by lips and life.
O that my every breath might be ecstatic praise,
my every step buoyant with delight, as I see my enemies crushed,
Satan baffled, defeated, destroyed,
sin buried in the ocean of reconciling blood,
hell's gates closed, heaven's portal open.
Go forth, O conquering God, and show me
the cross, mighty to subdue, comfort and save.  

     May your Easter weekend be filled with wonder at the incredible transfer that God designed from before the foundations of the world.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Spring has Sprung

Minnesota Spring (n) - the long-awaited season of the year when winter finally breaks and a pure euphoria fills everyone as snow melts and flowers bloom; also the ability to celebrate the Minnesotan spirit by making sure that the Vikings' colors bloom first.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Day Four Part II

     Here's a depressing fact for your day: By the time the average American is 75 years-old, he or she will have spent nine years of his/her life watching TV (Myer's Psychology). That is crazy. And sick. Just think what you could do with nine extra years if you stopped watching TV.


     As if Day Four wasn't exciting enough with seeing Fikre Addis and Mekdes, God decided to throw in a little extra surprise because He hadn't done enough already. Let me go back just a little...
     Last year, several guys from our team raised money to pay for a well to be dug in a little remote village about an hour away from Addis Ababa. Everything was going well until the well drillers hit a stubborn layer of rock. Without the money or the tools to blast through the rock, the well digging had to halt, and an unfinished well sits there to this day. Even though that progress had to be stalled, something even better was going on. MAKBC, the church we spent most of our time working with, planted a smaller church in another district of Addis. In turn, the smaller church sent two evangelists to plant an even smaller church... in the village.

     That was the story Mike and Fikadu shared with us during lunch that Saturday. As we bumped along the gravel roads up to the village, crammed into the Land Cruiser, our guide decided to share a little more about the village. I guess they figured that now that we were stuck in the car with absolutely no possibility of turning back, they could tell us the whole story. He turned around to look at us sweating in the back seat. "So, they worship a tree." I guess he decided that was the best way to break it to us. Whaaaaa? "You will see a big tree as we enter the village - that's the one they worship. There's a witch doctor in the village who claims that the tree speaks through him. He is possessed with a demon and goes into rages in which he goes out and grazes in the field by the tree. After his fits, he claims that what he said was the tree speaking through him." Um, whoa. I bet the Travel Channel has never seen something like this.
The rest of my journey up to the village was spent wallowing in self-pity and sweat. I was intrigued about the village, but I was, I regret to admit, too distracted by the heat and the squished-ness of the Land Cruiser to think any more of it. I was broken out of my selfish reverie by the sudden appearance of a giant, lofty tree in the middle of a field. "That's the tree," our guide said.