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Together Again!

pictureWednesday morning saw the Dessie team awaken to cloud filled skies and a slight rain.  Breakfast was enjoyed at a local hotel (which didn’t have power) but they were able to cook some omelets on the gas stove as well as serve coffee (coffee = buna – a key word to know around here!).  With some buna in our bellies, we began the hour-long, faith building exercise of driving to Kolmbeche, the village about 30km south of Dessie where the airstrip is. 

The airplane was delayed out of Addis due to severe weather for two hours and the Dessie team took refuge in a local coffee shop (read: enjoyed machiottos on the beautiful veranda of a local restaurant, tired but happy to be on the way to Addis).  Captain Soloman, the pilot, landed the plane on the gravel strip after it was cleared of sheep, horses and cattle.  We quickly loaded and boarded the Cessna.  The weather around Kolmbeche was closing in with dark clouds all around.  Just prior to takeoff, Captain Soloman looked back at us and said, “If any of you pray, pray now.”  We did.  pictureTakeoff and the flight went without a hitch and we landed in Addis in just over an hour.

We went from the airport to the SIM house in Addis where we were reunited with the Addis team.  It was wonderful to be together again and we immediately began sharing adventures and stories of what God had been doing in Addis and Dessie.  One of the striking things about the first hours together was how close each team had become and that there had been complete freedom from interpersonal conflict. 

We drove to the SIM guesthouse and had a late lunch followed by a move to the Oasis – a bed and breakfast in Addis run by Dave and Lynn who are missionaries with CityTeam/Horn of Africa involved with church planting in northeastern Africa. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner followed by the first of several planned times of guided reflection on the journey we’ve all undergone. The time was made even more intimate as we had to conduct this session by candlelight since the power had been shut off for this district of Addis.  pictureEveryone then retired for the evening, happy that we were together again and looking forward to the transition back to the United States in two short days.

Please pray for us as we begin the process of preparing for return to the U.S.  It is a challenge on many levels to return to the land of plenty after being in Ethiopia.  Please pray too that we would individually absorb and build on the lessons God has been teaching us through this time.