As for me, I know of nothing else but miracles. - Walt Whitman

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Our Trip to Ethiopia, Days 10 and 11

Sunday and Monday, July 19 and 20, 2015

We ate breakfast and got ready for church on our last day in Ethiopia. Today, we planned to deliver 100 Amharic Bibles to the congregation of an Evangelical church pastored by the husband of Martha, a former special mother at Hannah's Hope. The Bible fund from our home congregation in Ohio had generously given us the money for this purpose. My original intent had been to pass them out to the girls at Kechene Orphanage, but since it is government-run we were not allowed.

Wass picked us up and off we went, stopping by Seble's house one more time on the way. She pulled me into her shop, hugged me over and over, and then it was time to say goodbye. We continued on to the church, where we were welcomed in wholeheartedly. We recognized another face there as well...Fekadu, who used to be the maintenance man at HH. Mathewos, Chris, and Kiersten were invited up to the stage before the services began, and each one thanked the congregation for allowing us to worship with them. One of the pastors then thanked us for bringing the most precious gift of God's holy Word.

The service lasted for about 2 hours, and although we couldn't understand what was being said, we felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. The singing was so beautiful and joyful. On the way back to the guest house, we passed the Korah dump, where many of the poorest people in Addis live. They scavenge through the piles of trash to find something to eat or something to sell to make a little money. There is a leper colony there as well. :( It was so sad to see all the people climbing through the mountains of garbage.

We decided to go back to the market to pick up a few more things for our silent auctions this fall. Jessica and Alyssa opted to stay at Ember, and the rest of us did a little more shopping. Afterward, we started packing all of our stuff so we could head to the airport in the evening. While we packed, Wass took Shana and Alyssa on the bajaj ride that he had promised them all week. It was a first time for both of them, and they rode to the Safeway grocery store to buy us some Kolo (Ethiopian snack mix) to take home. They stopped in front of the old Hannah's Hope buildings on the way back...Wass told Shana to take some pictures to show Jalen and Jordan their old home. The buildings are now home to the Embassy of the Central African Republic.

These buildings hold so many special memories!

And I will never forget those big black gates.

After getting our luggage together, I took a quick shower and changed. Then we visited in the living room until it was time to leave. We ate at Antica, an Italian restaurant close to the Bole airport. While we ate, we discussed our week in Ethiopia and tried to mentally gear ourselves for the long flight ahead. At the airport, we hugged Kiersten and Wass goodbye, collected our bags, went through security, checked in, and walked through some shops until it was time to go through final security. Chris visited with the guys on Rwanda's national volleyball team, and they were trying to teach him how to dance. Hilarious! And my word, those men were tall! Lots of them were at least 7 feet.

Muslims in prayer at the airport.

We flew back through Dublin, Ireland so we could refuel. It was such a loooong flight, and I was so ready to get my feet on the ground in Washington D.C! Everyone clapped as we touched down, and then we went through customs, collected our bags, rechecked them, got a bite to eat, and settled in for our layover. We hugged Richard goodbye, and soon we were on our flight back to Indy. Once there, we collected our bags, told the girls goodbye, and waited for our very late shuttle back to the hotel so we could pick up our van. I was so tired by this point...about 45 hours without sleep, and all I wanted was to get home and crash.

We stopped back in Fort Wayne to pick up Chris's car, but we couldn't get it started, so we continued home. (We found out later that a mouse had climbed under the hood to escape the rain and had chewed a wire which blew the whole main computer amongst other things. Turned out to be an expensive fix!) We also found out that our power had been off for several days and no one knew it. So when we got home, we had to throw all of the food in our refrigerator away. And we discovered that our garage door opener had broken and needed replaced. I don't think satan wanted us to go on this trip! But we were home, and we had our kiddos around us. God is good!!!

Our kids met us in the front yard with a welcome home banner.

We had a great trip, but it was nice to be home. See you again next year, Ethiopia!

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