by Shannon Cline in Ethiopia
written Oct. 11,2013

So many emotions that wash over you while you are here. You try as hard as you can to prepare yourself for what you may encounter but really, there is no way. We have been here a week now, and I am still not used to what I see every day. I miss my friends and family dearly but I can honestly say that I am very present with everything that is going on here. The whole team feels like a well-oiled machine and the flow that we have going into each community feels awesome.

I am making a point to write down the name of each woman we meet and the meaning of it at each location we have gone to. It is such an incredible thing we are doing – ministering to the women leaders and wives of evangelists. They have never had this kind of attention and most of the men did not know what to do when they were asked to leave the building so that we could bless the women. We have made each woman a special care package including a beautiful scarf, lip gloss, chocolates, and body lotion. No matter where they lived and how far they walked to get there, you should have seen their faces light up to get these gifts.

We also brought pillow case dresses and toys for their children. It is not customary for the guests to bring presents so they were all so blessed. We also have been bringing bread and usually some kind of fruit. Many places have done beautiful coffee ceremonies for us and let me tell you ladies and gentleman… they put Starbucks to SHAME!  They hand roast the beans and make the most incredible coffee I have ever tasted in my life… Ah-Mazing!!

Many times when we go to these churches and villages, it is the first time they have seen a white face. Some stares are filled with intrigue and wonder, while others look in shock and disbelief. We always smile and wave and if we are going slow enough, many children run along side our van. It is sometimes difficult to go back to the comfort of our hotel and amazing food knowing where we spent all day. The gratitude I have for my life and family and tiny house fills me up daily. There is no way you can see what we are all seeing and not have it change your everyday life forever.

Our leader asked me to speak to a group of ladies the night before she needed me to and I thought she was nuts! But God showed up so BIG! It was AWESOME what I heard and saw that day. It is such a blessing to see the gifts and talents of my teammates. They all bring such an incredible necessary piece to this puzzle. I could not be more blessed with the knowledge and expertise of our leaders and the Ethiopian family that we now all have: our interpreter, our amazing drivers (who are so much more), our pastor friend who has been with us. We are a mighty army for God here!

Please continue to pray for favor for all of us. We have kissed and hugged so many people it is amazing! We are currently in Adama and looking forward to going to Kore and Addis soon!  Only 2 more sleeps to be here. It is an exciting thought to see family and friends… but my heart is already starting to feel the pain of leaving here.