Monday, July 1, 2013

Ethiopia 2013 - Day 3 (or is it 2)?

You know how something awesome can fade from memory a little bit until you experience it again? And then the awesomeness hits you all over again?

That's what it's like to spend time with the children in Korah. Our van rolled into the community today, and it was like the last 51 weeks had never happened. The love of these children and the Lord's presence is overwhelming. And on top of that, I got to work with 15 brothers and sisters who totally get it. It was so much fun to see the love oozing out of them.

Fun. It's a strange word to use when there is so much need. But I truly believe that when we are in the center of God's will, we can find joy in everything we do. Even when we see things that do - and should make us sad, angry, or both.

There is so much I could tell about today. And in doing so I would fail miserably as painting an accurate picture. It's would be like trying to show the magnificence of the Northern Lights with a black and white camera. Some images come to mind: The joy on kids' faces as they line up to take a swing at whiffleball. Our young team members Campbell and Lexie playing with the other children. Praying with families during home visits. The unbelievable hospitality from those families, including making a serving coffee for us. (The Ethiopian way of making coffee is a lot of work, but it is delicious.) Sitting around a room lit only by a candle (yes, the power went out for a while) unpacking what God was teaching us about himself and us.

But there was one moment that struck me. Struck me hard. We were at the Embracing Hope day care center, having our last visit of the day. Apparently it is close to the edge of the village, because we looked up over the wall and saw a tall building. It was mentioned that the building looked like a beach condo. And indeed it did. My first reaction was, how can those people look out their window every day, see what's so close, and do nothing?

And then it hit me - as I was pointing my finger, three were pointing back at me. We live in a smaller world than ever. Heck, I'm typing a blog post from Africa and seconds later it will be read in America. Yes, we all have that window and we can look out any time we choose.Not only that, but it's all around us in our own towns. People are dying. We know the need is there, and yet most of the time I'm afraid I just keep the blinds shut.

So it is my prayer that God will keep the window open for me. That's I won't open it, look down, decide to go help a little for a week, and then go back to my comfortable world. Change me...and change others through me. For the glory of your name.

A few pictures from today...

Psalm 113:

Praise the Lord!
Praise, you servants of the Lord,
praise the name of the Lord!
May the Lord’s name be praised
now and forevermore!
From east to west
the Lord’s name is deserving of praise.
The Lord is exalted over all the nations;
his splendor reaches beyond the sky.
Who can compare to the Lord our God,
who sits on a high throne?
He bends down to look
at the sky and the earth.
He raises the poor from the dirt,
and lifts up the needy from the garbage pile,
that he might seat him with princes,
with the princes of his people.
He makes the barren woman of the family
a happy mother of children.
Praise the Lord!

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