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Yetebon

Our first morning stay at “Sim guest house”, we met two missionary families that are serving in Ethiopia on a Trent Coxlong term basis. We spent some time sharing our stories with the missionaries at breakfast and as time permitted at Sim house. The first missionary family we met was Trent and Tabitha Cox. They have two children the oldest is Jake at age four. Trent came from Redwood City nine years ago and formerly attending Peninsula Covenant Church. Trent and Tabitha serve in Ethiopia with their veterinary skills which helps them plant churches and serving the tribes that border along the Ethiopia/Sudan border. Here is a link of his mission. Trent’s video is a great story of love of living the spirit of Jesus Christ.

On our last afternoon before our departure to the Bole airport I met with another missionary family by the name of Paul and Carol Likins with two of their four children staying at “Sim Guest House.” Paul and his wife are missionaries with Sim living and serving in Ethiopia for nine years.  I have added an audio link with a few photos taken by Bark Fahnestock.

Addis

Our team has moved into community. Through the work, the devotions, and the care of one another we have 1 2 3 Jumpbecome family. We have made friendships that will last a lifetime.

Our medical work is done. We have emotions surging through our thoughts of the Ethiopian people we fell inlove with. The SIM staff, our translators, and the faces of the many patients that go in and out of our thoughts. The patients asked that we not forget them and the plight of the Ethiopian people. We could not forget if we wanted to. The happy faces and gracious yet shy smiles. The sad faces. The gaunt faces of those with malnutrition and extreme poverty. The faces of some children giggling and laughing and other children with no energy to smile. Colors also fill our minds. Brilliant bold colors of scarves, dresses, and shawls. Fabric that has held its color but is worn out when you are actually up close.

Today we go to a retreat to try and process the thoughts and emotions that bombard us. 

We are all physically healthy, spiritually wealthy and emotionally drained. We traveled out of the city to a lodge Injerawhere we will spend 2 nights and debrief. It sounds like something Jack Bowers would do after a mission. We let God flood our hearts and soul and challenge us about what we learned. (I don't think Jack ever asked God's opinion.) We shared our stories, ate Ethiopian food, and looked inside at what God has changed in us, what would we pray about differently, what would we do differently in our home country.

We stayed in a tukule hut at the Nagash Lodge nestled among trees and brush. The sounds of nature replaced the sounds of the city. Monkeys played in the yard and trees around us and weird birds flew overhead that some thought had the look of some creature in Jurassic Park. Roosters crowed frequently, a burro bayed nearby, a cow lowed somewhere within earshot, crickets chirped, and a million other sounds of nature talked to us. Most impressive was the sound of the wind in the trees that was so dramatic it resembled the sound of the ocean. The deep rush of the wind among the trees that you could hear far away come near us that ran its course and by the time it reached us it was a brisk breeze or hair tossing one. That sound never went away.

Although the retreat center had a TV in our rooms, no team member wanted to introduce it at that point.  Our hut was above a natural hot springs, though, so the showers were wonderful. The Lord leads us beside still waters and makes us to lie down in green pastures as He restores our souls. Processing all this will take place for a long time to come. He has started a work in us that will be continuous as we live and serve Jesus in all the days of our life. He has given us the blessing of loving the poor, caring about the marginalized, praying for those who cannot change their own situation, and even praying for a government to have mercy upon their people. Thank You, Lord, for calling each of us to this time, this trip, with this team, to see this group of patients with these experiences.

Dessie

This was a travel day down from Dessie, in northern Ethiopia, about 400 KM to Addis.  For you non-metric types, this was about 240 miles and it took about 8 hours over some unpredictable roads.  The countryside was lovely with green and yellow wheat, tif and other grains.  The sun was bright and we saw people, goats, sheep, donkeys and camels, all going to market.  Each and every day is full of people walking, talking, having some Boona (coffee) or Shy (Tea).  These are a very friendly and relational people.  Always having the time to shake hands, hug and share a few moments of conversation.

It's a delight to see.  The evening was a time to join with Marshall's Project Mercy team at the SIM Guesthouse in Addis.  We started to spend some time in affirmation of each other and reflections on how God had used each of the other members to glorify Himself and serve the kingdom of God in Ethiopia.

Below are a potpourri of pictures from the medical outreach in Dessie.

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