A strictly Islamic town openly welcomed its Ethiopian Christian
neighbors, Marta and Deme, in its time of starvation during the
famine of 2003 when Project Mercy became the hands of God’s
love through its food relief ministry delivery of “atmit”.
Followed by training and instruction in planting vegetable gardens,
this town -- which had never allowed “foreigners” to
work within its boundaries -- opened its gates to us yesterday and
today and its people gathered by the hundreds to receive medical
treatment, supplies, medicines and public health training.
I had the honor of cuddling one of a set of twins in my arms. I
could not help but marvel at the miracle of survival by which these
babies existed. Their little feet were not as long as my thumb and
their little hands with delicate fingers were smaller than the dolls
with which I played as a child. This would have been a wonderful
sight for any mother of a newborn. However, these were the hands
and feet of starving seven month old children. The tears flowed
as I prayed over their mother in my heart and over these babies
whose future could change their Ethiopian world.
Gazing over the hundreds and hundreds of people who sat like sheep
on the mountain side, I was overwhelmed with emotion. Considering
our small supply to give, and the brevity of our time, I struggled
with the severity of this picture. Yet these people are so grateful
for anything! An example that was repeated among these crowds is
the illustration of one man who had walked three hours down rocky
mountain paths and waited from sunrise to sunset in line to receive
one small tube of antibiotic cream. The interpreter had to explain
to the man that we had run out by the time we had come to his number.
Without any hostility or anger with a most gracious spirit he accepted
the offer to return the following morning to receive his cream.
At the opening of the clinic he was there. His testimony of having
walked a total of twelve hours and having waited for twelve was
a phenomenal testimony of perseverance and conviction.
witness the compassion and dedication of the missionaries with whom
we must part, is heartbreaking as they hold so much of this world
alone upon their shoulders. They ache and cry and laugh and hope
like everyone else. Yet they remain and we will leave in a matter
If I was not fully aware and sure that God is real and that His
power and mercy are greater than us, I could not and would not leave
these people who have captured my heart.
Marshall shook us this morning with his personal words of convictions
followed by Frank’s summary: “Among any excuses that
we could make about our personal histories, if my conscience refuses
to struggle with what I have seen, heard and experienced here in
Ethiopia, that will be the greatest loss.”
“Our God needs to become bigger and a bigger part of our
lives. As we become less, whatever we use as security must be released
where all on which we truly depend is God Himself.”
Our Yetebon Cup
by Steve Belton
Towering clouds reflect
The setting sun’s glory
As we return to camp,
Bones tired, hearts overflowing,
We sift stories heard,
Timeless stories brimming with life,
Indelible images these
Which fill our cup of tear
As east and west collide
In hope and love;
Heaven descends – triumphant –
Moment upon moment,
The darkness becomes light,
And we see anew
The Suffering Servant’s gift of peace.
November 6, 2006
To our families: We will be leaving on November 10, Lufthansa flight
#591: Addis Ababa -> Frankfurt, then Lufthansa flight #454: Frankfurt
-> SFO. That flight is scheduled to arrive in San Francisco on
Saturday, November 11 at 12:15 PM. Looking forward to seeing you
there! We miss you terribly.
The MPPC Ethiopia Medical Team.