Day 9


A typical day at Project Mercy starts early in the morning before sunrise. About 5:00 – 5:30 am in the morning we hear the sound of praise and singing from a nearby school room located in the vicinity of our Toucal and/or sleeping rooms. The house workers and staff start each day with worship before sunrise then going to their work in the kitchen, school and other areas around the 50 acre complex.

A few of us take a walk around the complex or jog. We then meet at 6:45 am in the kitchen area for devotions and to discuss the needs of the patients for that day. There are many needs one of which is Iodized salt to provide a cure for Goiter. Another need is the dentistry which is rare when it happens here in Yetebon. Our dentist Marshall is working like two persons leading the team each day with amazing grace and then seeing patients nonstop.

Mike, Bill, Jenny and Isabella leave for the hospital to see their patients working with Dr Abraham and staff in surgery, performing examines or physical therapy. Burt, Sally, Mary and Joanne depart to the tents for clinic working  with our Ethiopian Nurses and translators. They see a steady stream of children spending time after each health assessment to offering pray with each child.

Marshall and Judy work the dental examine tent in the morning with follow up on patients in the afternoon at the hospital.

Judy is also a driving force tracking the health assessment paper work for all of the patients with Sally and Kathy along side. I cannot give enough praise for everyone on this team that gives their love, spirit and gifts of healing for this community at Project Mercy.

Our Ethiopia nurses and translators are fantastic giving their skills at healing with everything they have. One of our Ethiopian nurse’s “Mimi” shared with me that if you do not have love and compassion in serving the Lord you have nothing. Mimi serves those needing healing with a smile that reflects she has everything to give and her reward is the knowledge she helped. Mimi is a valued team member along with all of the Ethiopian nurses working with our team.

We see Marta and Deme everywhere working and serving the student’s in support our medical team from early morning to late evening at times. You can walk into the kitchen and see Marta stirring the soup on the stove or Deme talking to a staff person about need on this large complex.

As we near out departure time I’m amazed that our team has been able to spend quality medical time with 1400 students, approximately 80 house children and staff. Follow up with patients requiring addition checks to insure good health will be ongoing until hours before we leave. This is Weldon; someone normally reviews my journal for grammatical errors but we are just too busy. So I’m sending this message on for publication on the web.

group photo


Alemitue precious smileEvery day in Addis Ababa we are presented with personal stories that we, coming from an area of great privilege, would never hear back home.  Today our clinic held in the Cloud of Glory church in the Bole district was no exception. Many of the patients we saw today had fairly minor medical problems, but very deep wounds in their hearts. Alemitue came to see me for treatment for her bronchitis, and when she sat down I thought she might be 13 years old. I glanced at the paperwork and saw she was 22. We asked about her family and she told us she left her home in the countryside and came to Addis 7 years ago- with her baby son conceived when she was raped by the man whose home she helped clean. When he denied this and threatened her, she felt she had to flee to the city. She has never beenYebtsiga to school and makes a pittance helping with laundry, but the church helps her, and her son is in school. Her persistent smile as we talked was explained as she told us of her love for the Lord, and the hope she has for her son.

No sooner had Alemitue left for our pharmacy when Yebtsiga sat down wearing a big, beautiful grin. Her mother followed and sat back as Yebtsiga told us of her stomach complaints, never smiling and looking very weary. We then asked about the family, and the mother spoke up.

Hugs for YebtsigaHer husband had been in the military and left as an alcoholic, and one night several years ago during a drunken rage, stabbed her several times in the back. Yebstiga was the youngest in the family, and when her mother divorced and needed help recovering at home, she stopped her schooling to care for her mother. The older siblings have left the home and do not provide any help, and the mother tearfully told us that she is hoping to give Yebstiga to someone, as she does not have enough to feed both of them. Yebstiga sat hearing this, doing her best to keep up her smile as tears welled up in her eyes, and ours. We all prayed for her at our lunch break, and hope that God in his mercy has a plan for her.

Two month old homelessOne young woman came in today with a 2 month old baby.  She and the baby both had medical issues, but weighing most heavily on her heart and ours was that she was homeless. She sleeps on the street at night with the baby.  After triage she was waiting for the doctor and we took her and the baby’s picture. We prayed with her and she began to sob.  So did the translator and the nurse.  Her shoulders shook with fear at how she would provide for this little bundle that she loved so much.  She received food from our lunch, birr to buy food, medicine, and also the greatest gift-Jesus Christ in her heart.

The innocence of children and the injustices they face in the world can’t help but provoke questions in our Moms daughters and stickersminds. Statistics such as “1 billion children will be hungry from lack of food today” or “every 6 seconds, a child dies from malnutrition in the world” seem staggering yet remote as we drive our iPhone wielding, well fed children off to their schools each morning. We understand that we will entrust the future of our society to our children, and wish only the best for them as they pursue their dreams. Is it any different here in Ethiopia? Imagine the heartbreak of your daughter heading off to a life of sex slavery because there is no work or food for her at home. Consider how you would sacrifice if your son could escape a life of poverty with schooling, which you cannot afford. Think of your choices if you had several children, yet food only for yourself. Remember that according to scripture, as a young child, Jesus could have been described as the poorest of the poor, bastard child of a teenage mother, born amongst animal filth, of a reviled faith and a foreigner, a refugee. Each day, as we see the children of Addis Ababa, we are reminded who God is, and what God cares about…



Under the big tent- well maybe our tent was a little more modest in size, but it was home for most of our team. We worked at a public school today and often had kids playing around the area. Saturday was a record breaking day of 202 children.  But today was more reasonable. Our Ethiopian Doctors and Nurses continue to give tender care to all the kids. In addition to puppet evangelism we also broke out our EvangeCube. It’s an evangelism tool that looks like a rubix cube. As you open it up, it tells the gospel of Jesus Christ in picture form. Several children gave their lives to Christ. To God be the glory!

Much love from Dessie!

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