by Joy Casey

Today can only be described as too much travel!  However, as dusk inevitably takes over the day and quiets my spirit, thanksgiving for all I have been allowed to experience these past four days is uppermost in my thoughts.   Front and center is relief that an all-nighter from Nairobi to Addis and then a 5 ½-hour drive from Addis Ababa to Hawassa is behind us.  (What was I thinking?)  The experience wasn’t enhanced by the fact that one of my travel partners is 6’ 5” and we stuffed his tired frame into a cramped 4WD for the last half of the journey.  We need a 4WD to get to the church sites we want to visit over the next three days, but I am going to have to rethink the size of the next vehicle we rent when I host guests.  Unable to bring teams to Ethiopia since 2020 because of Covid followed by civil war, I had forgotten how exhausting air and car travel can be for those unaccustomed to long distances and less than desirable modes of transportation.  I hope they can look past the discomfort and see what God wants them to see.

I have the privilege of traveling with two men from my church and my colleague Jason – each of them dedicated husbands, fathers, and providers.  So, with limited time and much to accomplish, we crammed a lot (possibly too much!) into a few days; thus, the marathon schedule.  We were in Nairobi with a missionary couple our church is developing a relationship with, and tomorrow we head out to visit some of our indigenous missionaries and churches that have been established in Mus!im villages through NewLife Ethiopia.  All I can say is Steven and Dan are uncomplaining troopers!  I hope with a good rest tonight they will catch up with themselves a bit.

Jason will be staying in the field for three extra days after we leave.  I am thankful for his solid partnership with me!  More and more I depend on his wise, measured counsel and godly perspectives.  We so want to showcase what God is doing and give Steven and Dan a taste of the incredible, transforming work being done among Mus!im people in Ethiopia.  Jason and I also have plans we believe God has laid on our hearts requiring thoughtful conversations with our Ethiopian staff.  Can we get it all done?  It will be fun to see how each day unfolds, and I hope you will vicariously travel with us and be as surprised and amazed as we are to see God make much of Himself!