Tuesday, 26 April 2011

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.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Emma! Definitely one of my favorites. :) I love reading your perspective on each of the days.