Tuesday, August 31, 2010

my new home

it’s kinda crazy to look around and know that this is home for the next 9 months, but i am getting settled here at project mercy and excited about all that is to come. the change of climate and landscape (which i absolutely love), the different food, and the language all remind me that i am no longer back home but am immersed in an entirely different, yet beautiful land. i was warmly greeted by so many staff and kids from project mercy upon my arrival. lots of the house kids remember me from two years ago which puts a smile on my face, as i too remember so many of them.

thankfully my travels went very smoothly; i am very appreciative of your prayers. i was welcomed by a familiar face at the airport in addis ababa, randall dodge, who works for project mercy back in fort wayne. he was one of the leaders who led our trip 2 years ago while i was a student a taylor university and i can’t even begin to tell you how wonderful it is having him here, making my transition here that much more comfortable. i ended up staying in addis my first night with a wonderful norwegian family who are very familiar with project mercy. they were so hospitable and have three boys who were very inquisitive about life in america. i’m definitely looking forward to getting to know the family better during the times in which i visit addis. i’m beginning to adjust to the 7 hour time change (ethiopia is 7 hours ahead of the eastern time zone)—during dinner sunday evening i was barely able to keep my eyes open.

i have had the privilege of spending quite a bit of time with marta and deme, the God-fearing couple who founded this incredible ministry. every conversation with them leaves me encouraged and inspired, as their desire to serve the Lord and do His work so clearly shines through them. the work that they are doing here demonstrates their desire to see this community prosper and know Christ. what better aspirations are there? God is here at project mercy in yetebon—no doubt in my mind.
there is so much more i could share with you, but until next week (maybe. possibly) this will have to do. a few things I have to look forward to for the remainder of this week—

• school registration beings tuesday and lasts through friday (8:30am-noon each day). i can’t really have a role in that process since it’s all done in amharic, but it will be fun to see students flooding in throughout the week.
• randall and i will be making a trip up to the hospital to chat with some nurses and see the facilities.
• on wednesday two ladies arrive from the states as volunteer english teachers. one will be here for the month of september, the other is here for the year i believe. i’m looking forward to fostering relationships with them and learning from them, as they both have experience teaching english as a second language.
• i get to play with the house kids and get to know them better. this definitely makes me smile.
things i’ve discovered:
- here in ethiopia it is 2003. guess that makes me 16 again? ha.
- the average ethiopian makes about 15 birr a day (that converts to about $1)
- the new year in ethiopia is september 11. school supposedly begins around that time as well.
- the talk is that i will be teaching grades 2-4. maybe. possibly. (<< two words used very frequently here) ☺
- cold showers are not pleasant, even though they have a way of waking you up. they are working to fix that. ha.
- dinner over candlelight creates a soft atmosphere (i guess i can thank the electricity outage for that)
- milk is fairly decent when it’s warm, especially knowing that it’s fresh from the cattle out back.
- i want to learn more amharic. counting to 10 and saying hello (salam), thank you (amasaganalo) and ok (ishi) aren’t going to get me that far ha. i must have patience as i do my best to learn.
- there are about 76 kids who live here at project mercy, ranging from ages 2-18. they are amazing.
- i love these people. so welcoming. so respectful. so kind. such passionate disciples of Christ. i am confident that i will be learning much from them during my time here.

please pray…
- that i quickly pick up the language so i can converse more
- for the students as they begin to prepare for the school year
- that the school is able to hire a tough, yet gentle headmaster quickly(the most recent headmaster got promoted to a new position in the capital city so currently the school is without a headmaster)
- that i would continue to sense the Lord’s presence in my life and those here
- for the continued work that is being done here (improving the road conditions, expanding the dining facilities, providing the house kids with clothes that fit them well)

something to consider…

make someone feel welcomed and appreciated today. it will brighten their day and yours.

Friday, August 27, 2010

this is it

today's the day! i'm off to the detroit airport to begin my travels. flight plan goes as follows:


all packed and ready to embark. i tried to cram it all into three pieces of luggage. plus my backpack. and purse.

thanks for your faithful prayers and support!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

snail mail

guess what? i can receive letters and packages while i'll be in ethiopia! yay for snail mail. i'd love to hear from you. here's the info you will need:

fyi: letters can take a month or so to arrive.

as far as packages go, DO NOT send them to the address above. it sounds as if the packages are not guaranteed to arrive to me as they might have been intended due to the Addis post office. instead, you may contact Barbara Slauter at Project Mercy via email [bjslauter@comcast.net] and coordinate sending something.

hopefully all of this makes sense rather than further confusing you :)