Sisters of Charity

Our day started in Lalibela and ended in Addis, but this time without the bus ride in between.  WE FLEW!!!  This may not seem like a big deal here in the U.S., but remember, “this is Africa” or T.I.A. as we came to say.  During the rainy season in Africa, air travel is not assured (especially given that some of the airports are simply fields).  Neither is road travel in a bus.  (See our entry regarding our trip to Lalibela.)

Upon returning to Addis, we proceeded quickly to the hotel after making sure we had all the souvenirs purchased in Lalibela.  (That’s another whole story.  Ask one of the team members about the pitchfork and the bag left on the plane.)  After a very fast stop at the hotel we were met by Katie Clarke, Josh Colson and Joe Tepe, as well as Zenebe and Pastor Matthews, for the bus ride over to the Sisters of Charity Hospital for the Destitute and Dying.  Trying to adequately describe our time there is really quite difficult.

In fact, rather than trying, please take a few minutes and read about Todd’s experience last year: http://www.mppcmission.org/trips/ethiopia/2006july/index.htm

The hospital is a very special place.  Each year, it seems God creates some connection – some indescribable way in which He creates something completely mind-blowing out of a place of sorrow, suffering, and lives that are otherwise forgotten.  Last year, the team met its pilot and chief steward for their flight out that night, while touring the Sisters of Charity Hospital.

This year, the team noticed an obvious American doctor, being followed around by two (obviously) American medical students.  Todd stopped to talk to Zev, a Jewish medical student (complete with yamulke) who was attending University of Chicago Medical School and had sought out this doctor who lives in Ethiopia and spent a significant amount of personal time checking in on the hospital and other health centers around the city.  Todd relayed the fact that his brother-in-law was the head of neuro-radiology at Lutheran General in Chicago and spent significant time traveling with American Jewish World Service.  (Zev did not seem particularly interested.)

The next day, as we were making our purchases of 120 kilos of coffee at TOMOCA, Todd bumped into the doctor.  He introduced himself and told the doctor the same about his brother-in-law.  At that point, the doctor began to beam with a smile.  “You don’t suppose your brother-in-law would be willing to read some x-rays for me, do you?”  I told him I would ask.  Later that night, this physician met our bus at the airport and provided Todd with a number of items to take with him to the United States.

How cool is that?!!??!!