That’s Why God Made Me

pictureToday saw the Dessie team need to pack up and vacate the wonderful guest house of Hope Enterprises to make room for a 15 member team from the Netherlands (Ask Sally about the Dutch…).  We moved the duffel bags into the landcruisers and they were taken to our new digs: the Tasso Hotel on main street in Dessie while we attended clinic.

We were able to see over 100 children, picked from the student body at Hope.  Hope Enterprise is an oasis for 750 of the most needy children in Dessie – orphans or those with only one parent.  They are given a high quality primary and secondary education as well as meals.  Hope truly represents the difference between life and death for many of these children who would otherwise be on the street, taken advantage of, or simply disappear.  On reflection of the day’s work, it is remarkable to see the difference having even one parent makes in the health of the child.

picyrueWe went into Dessie for lunch and enjoyed pasta.  There is a long history of Italian involvement in Ethiopia and it has found its way into the normal restaurant fare.  We just returned from dinner where many of us enjoyed one of the best pizzas in our lives.

During the afternoon clinic, Frank and Pastor Wengnu from the Full Gospel chuch had an audience of 150 people hanging on their every word during a presentation of the gospel using the gospel cards.  For many in the audience, this was the first time they had heard about Christ as Messiah and the bridge between God and man.  Pastor Wengnu is an evangelist at the church and is responsible for much of the teaching and outreach.  His words were full of love and a deep desire for people to understand their need for God - he loves to share the good news of Christ with all who will give ear.  pictureWhen he had finished, Frank had the chance to talk with him and share the teams’ appreciation for the power of his words and his clear burden for the people to Dessie to know Christ.  “That’s why God made me,” was his reply. 

We finished clinic and then moved into the Tasso Hotel, rested for a few minutes, and then enjoyed dinner in Dessie.  Tomorrow we will have our final half-day of clinic.  During devotions this morning, we meditated on the sovereignty of God as we begin the process of leaving Dessie on Wednesday.  It is difficult to understand why some are given much and others little.  picture

Perhaps we spend too much time asking God ‘why’ and instead should be asking ‘who’ – who do you want me to be Lord?  Instead of asking ‘what should I do’, we should be asking ‘who do you want me to be?’  We are thankful for this time.  Please pray for our last day of clinic and the time we will spend with our Ethiopian partners tomorrow night before leaving Wednesday morning.


pictureToday was a day of contrasts.  The morning started with a clinic at SIM headquarters in the Lidetta district of Addis Ababa.  Lidetta was blacked out today, the regular twice weekly rationing of scarce hydroelectric power.  No power?  No problem.  The medical team set up near windows looking out on deep blue sky and brilliant equatorial sunshine. 

An hour into the clinic the weather began to change . . . dramatically.  The sky clouded up and the light in our little clinic grew dimmer and dimmer, and dimmer still until it was dark as night in mid-morning, with flashlights required to see the paper on which we were writing.  The ensuing electrical storm was spectacular.  Gale force winds rattled the roof, pebble-sized hail hammered against the windows and near-continuous thunder rang in our ears.  pictureWe continued treating patients, who were all now crowded inside the small exam room to escape the now inhospitable outdoor waiting and triage area.

An hour later the worst thunderstorm to hit Addis in recent memory had passed us by. The temperature rapidly climbed out from the mid 40’s to the low 70’s and the white carpet outside our door rapidly dissolved under the hot African sun. 

Fortunately, Abyssinian Airways delayed the flight bringing the Dessie team back to Addis until the weather improved. picture After an uneventful flight, our colleagues joined us at SIM headquarters where we enjoyed a happy reunion in the warm afternoon sun.  We are moving to a larger guesthouse capable of accommodating all seventeen of us, where we will spend our final two days in Ethiopia.