from Joy Casey in Ethiopia
This is the day the Lord has made
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

Today is my last Sunday in Ethiopia. I have been here for one month and I have two more days to finish up loose ends of this and that. Yesterday we took Jason and Jackie Sanchez back to Adama to spend the day with their sweet baby daughter in our Widows and Orphans Home. I met with a couple of birthmothers, Mark and Jeff took yet more pictures of the cutest babies in the world, and I also met with the architect of the new structure we are building for our sweet elderly ladies and children.

photo credit: Jon and Haley Ballast

Oh! We also got a new widow, and I had the privilege of spending some time with her and hearing her story. Tezera, our orphanage director, prepared an amazing lunch for all of us, and I have never seen such food nor tasted anything better! We all ate too much because our hosts kept piling our plates with food that we had to refuse because it was so good.

The Sanchez’s, Mark, Jeff, Abebe, Tezera and I passed up coffee ceremony due to time constraints because I wanted Jason and Jackie to see the maternity home and the construction site. Jason and Jackie kissed little Miss “A” good-bye (after taking hundreds of pictures and video!) and we all enjoyed our time with the pregnant women at Living Hope Maternity Home. I ended up buying some of their beautiful handmade bracelets and headbands. The new Widows and Orphans Home is coming right along, and the architect thinks we should occupy the building by the end of January.

But back to Sunday. Pastor Jason was invited by Pastor Abdissa of CHI to preach at his church this morning and Mark and I tagged along. What a fun morning! Jason did an incredible job sharing God’s word, with Pastor Abdissa interpreting. The worship was sensational and it was a sweet time with our brothers and sisters in Ethiopia. Afterwards we went to lunch with Pastor Abdissa.

I am leaving Ethiopia in a few days refreshed in my spirit. Even though the days have been long and we have faced many trials, God has been right by my side and today has been an especially sweet time with Him. I miss my husband and family and it will be good to see them soon. I know Debi Musick, Liane Wolbert and our great office staff have held down the domestic adoption side of things and Superwoman Becky Burns has dealt with the Ethiopia adoption program with grace, intelligence, and integrity. God has blessed me beyond words with an amazing staff for which I am grateful, grateful, GRATEFUL!

The highlight of my time here in Ethiopia has been the opportunity to rub shoulders with the families God has led to adopt the children from our orphanages. Even though the government here does not always work efficiently which slows down the adoption process, and even though it is hard for the families to wrap their minds around the “why” of it all, every family has responded with faith that God has all things under control. It is the greatest privilege of all to work alongside such exceptional, godly families.