by Joy Casey in Ethiopia

A two-year hiatus from travel to Ethiopia has finally been lifted and it is good to be back in the land and with the people God has connected me with.  I have been traveling back and forth since 2007 and the people I work alongside in Ethiopia have remained faithful all these years.  We have a dedicated, dynamic team!

I am traveling with my dear friend, Dinah Monahan, and her assistant, Kelli Freeman.

After a L-O-N-G flight, we then subjected ourselves to a 5-hour car ride.  What were we thinking?  By the time we got to our hotel in Hawassa, I caught a second wind and looked forward to sitting lakeside and reconnecting with two of my favorite people:  Abebe, our Country Manager, and Zerihun, our Evangelism Director.  Dinah and Kelly headed to their rooms for a shower and bed arranging to meet up with the team for breakfast in the morning.

Abebe, Zerihun and I shared a lovely meal Ethiopian style—meaning everybody ate off of everyone’s plate of food.  I loved the camaraderie and, with the glassy water and muted mountains as backdrop, reflected on the beauty of God and how He comforts us with His creation.

And we needed comfort.  Unrest and uncertainty are the mainstay of everyday life.  Food prices have quadrupled* and building costs are so high we wondered how we could ever afford to build another church … and two villages are in desperate need of a “sheep shed” right now.   And just today Muslims and Orthodox Christians were fiercely demonstrating in the capitol city making us glad we escaped.

I soaked up the sights and smells of the land I love, had long conversations with our head accountant (and wife to Abebe) on our long ride south, enjoyed a fabulous meal with good friends in a beautiful setting and watched the sunset from the balcony off my bedroom.

I am barely keeping my eyes open so best give in to sleep.  I look forward to our time with the missionary wives tomorrow as well as taking supplies to our orphanage and holding the babies.  Received word that four of them were just adopted (yay!) and we have one new intake.

*Examples:  1 liter of cooking oil used to be 60 birr.  It is now 200 birr!  A piece of corrugated tin for a roof was 250  birr; it now costs 850 to 1000 birr!  Chicken feed has more than quadrupled causing cottage industries of chicken raising to collapse.