Our team of 7 women are spending 11 days in Ethiopia, ministering to widows, teen girls and the children in our orphanages.
Today we received not one but TWO emails from Liane Wolbert, who is leading our Women to Women trip to Ethiopia.
EMAIL #1: Saturday, July 11
Greetings from Addis Ababa!
We have just had another wonderful day in Africa! We are all thanking God for our safe arrival and our team is all together and doing very well. We know that you are all praying for us and we know that God has been faithful to all of your prayers!
Yesterday we began our day at the Fistula Hospital and joined another team who have been ministering from Vanguard University. At the end of our tour, the other team said goodbye and we were waiting for Abebe to return with our driver so we just sat enjoying the beautiful surroundings. Doctor Hamlin was doing her rounds after finishing her surgeries and she passed us. Our guide intruduced us to her and we were able to speak with her for a while. She was so gracious and she thanked us for all of the sacrifice we had made to come to minister in Ethiopia. She had just completed a 3.5 hour fistula operation. She is 85 years old! We thought that it was a special gift that we could see her. Of course she was gracious to be in a photo with us. If you have not read her book “Hospital on the River” it would be a book to put on your list.
After the hospital we went to the homes of some children in the community that are being cared for until being adopted in our program. We were in a neighborhood that was bustling with children and when we arrived, all of the children were swarming around us saying “Hell-o!” We passed to a small home for 4 people (2 children and a mama and a grandma). The grandma is dying and the mother is HIV positive and she is making a plan for her children for adoption. They were so happy for us to see them and we took turns going into the home, which was about the size of a small bathroom in the U.S.. Katie and Carolyn and Lisa and Amanda had children all over them and they were singing with them and taking photos too. Joan and Kim and I were in the home talking to the mama with Abonish translating–When we left everyone was hugging as if we had known each other for years! The entire neigborhood came out to see us and they were waving goodbye to us also. This is a very common occurance when you are visiting in Ethiopia.
After visiting in another home we went to visit the children that Joan and her husband, Tommy, are adopting. The children are in Addis for the summer. Let me just say that it was amazing to see Joan meet her children for the first time. They sat close to her the entire time that we were there or on her lap as she talked with them. Many pictures were taken and they hugged and kissed her. We all spent about one hour with them and she showed them pictures of the family waiting for them in the U.S.–they looked intently at all of the pictures. There was alot of translation going on with the children and her son-to-be leaned over and gave her a big kiss on the cheek. It was so sweet. By the end of our visit both of the children had warmed up to Joan and I believe it was a huge success. After leaving, we looked at the pictures that Lisa took, which were fantastic, and Joan will treasure those and have them to share with Tommy, Tommy, John and Lucy. Joan was pretty much wiped out after that!
Last night and today we have been with the teenage girls from the YWAM Orphange in Addis. We have had such a great time with them. We have told them that we are going to have “Girl Time” with them and have taken them to a hotel for the night. We have had fun playing many games and have also had worship and teaching and prayer. There has been much laughter and of course tears of blessing. We had a time of sharing after lunch in the hotel resturant. It was such a precious time that the resturant staff was watching and the waitress was standing listening and she could not stop crying! Can you imagine?? It was such a precious time. (For Bonnie–we told the girls of your love for them and the preparation of the gift bags that you made for them. They all loved the gifts so much and the scriptures that were on the bags were perfect for each girl.) Of course we have many photos.
The girls are all down in their rooms and off to sleep. Tomorrow we will go to do more visits in the community after the girls return to the compound. We will start for Adama about 3:00.
Pray for continued strength and for the time that is coming for us in the villages and then for the drive and time in Gimbie. All of the team from the U.S. is amazing and jumping into everything that we are doing like a breeze. We are all being blessed to overflowing!
Joan and Kim and Carolyn and Lisa and Katie and Amanda and Liane send their love to their families and friends and tell you that they are missing you but so glad that they are here for now. All will have much to tell on their return.
Blessings and we will hope to talk again before going to the remote area!
Ciao for Now!
Liane for all
EMAIL #2: Sunday July 12
We have just finished a fantastic lunch at the home of Abebe and Abonesh. The children have entertained us and now we are having coffee. The team is in the back, watching their cook grind the coffee beans with a mortar. We will enjoy her labors. Today we said goodbye to the young women from YWAM. This morning the Lord prompted us to wash their feet. The Mamas in our group served with washing and Amanda and Lisa and Carolyn and Katie prayed for each one. As you can imagine, there were many tears of blessing! The the Spirit of the Lord was soooo present with us.
We are now going to confirm tickets for our trip home and then to retrieve Joan. Joan has taken a taxi to the Bole District to see her children. Mickey and Nardos (Abebe’s oldest children) have gone to interpret for her. They will meet in a resturant that sounds like a Mickey D’s – Abebe says that there is a play area!
After this we will go to Adama and get ready for our time.
We are all doing well but are tired. Pray for a double portion of strength for all of us. We have loved every minute but after so many tears, we are a little pooped! God is so good and we are blessed to overflowing!
Much love to all and to my family, Mark and Adam and Nate and Alena and my Mama–I love you!
We are having many laughs and so you know that always means a good time for me!