Ethiopia

June 8 - 20, 2012

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Ankwandeunameutu!
Welcome!

Our team has now arrived home from our trip to Ethiopia. While there we shared Christ’s love with the children and teachers of Roggie Village School, working with Hope Enterprises, an MPPC mission partner operating schools and feeding centers throughout Ethiopia. Enrolled in this school are 250 children being supported through MPPC’s Roggie Sponsorship Program.

From Roggie we traveled to Project Mercy in Yetabon. There we visited with Zondra Tyre, a MPPC member who is serving there, as well as with Project Mercy’s co-founders--Merta and Demme. From Yetabon we returned to Addis where we visited with Tseganesh from EFCE and Melaku from CHE Lifewinds.

What follows are some reflections written by one of our team members, Heidi Sherry. We share them with you as they reflect so well our joint experience during the trip…

Ezekiel 37:22 - Reflections from Ethiopia

I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms

APPLICATION: During my stay in Ethiopia, I got to know a precious young pastor named Samuel. He shared with me his story about coming to know Jesus and standing by the decision to follow Jesus even after his Muslim father tried to murder him. I told Samuel my story about how Jesus saved me from sin, and with his sweet smile and limited English, he put his hand on his heart and said to me, "Family."

I understood this single word more deeply as I held the Roggie children one last time, and I stood on the bus sobbing and hugging my friends good-bye as we dropped them off at their homes, and at the airport wondering if I was going to physically make it onto the plane. God's people aren't designed to be apart. His intention is to gather His people together to be one family, one culture, one nation with one King - our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This wailing from deep inside my soul is actually a reflection of the Holy Spirit grieving that we aren't yet together for eternity.

I am homesick for His kingdom and living this side of it makes my heart ache, but someday soon God will gather His people together. I will enter through the gate of His home arm in arm with my family in America and my family in Ethiopia The time and space that separates us will dissipate and no longer will I have to sob when I have to say good-bye not knowing when we will be together again.

God showed me something else on this trip too. The heart I thought was breaking into a thousand pieces each time I said good-bye is actually getting bigger. He is growing me so I can love more, serve more and reflect Jesus more. He is giving me the ability to give away pieces of my heart and still be wholehearted. Praise God for that because He has blessed me with many people to love both here at home and in Ethiopia. 

When Samuel put his hand on his heart, I didn't need a translator or a common language to understand our connection. I didn't need to question why he thought that two people from opposite ends of the earth could be family. When I stood hugging him on the the bus as we both cried, I didn't need to wonder how only a few days spent together could make us so sad to part.

One nation, one culture, one family all under one God. This is His grand plan, and I can hardly wait.