Friday, May 15, 2015

Perspective on My Problems

Tomorrow, back to the North! 

When we left, we were experiencing little power, phone, internet and even had our first ever water problems.

I was talking with Zelalem, a father of six who lives across the pasture. He made reference to our lack of power and said, “Wow, it’s been difficult and now you have no water.” I was personally in a funky mood because it was feeling difficult and we crossed the threshold of losing all contents of our refrigerator, rapidly moving towards losing everything in our freezer. I smiled and said, “Yeah, but Zelalem, every day, you have no water in your house, you never have power, so I can’t tell you it’s difficult.” He smiled, “Oh, but you are a foreigner and for you it is hard.” I laughed and replied, "but let’s look at our problems together, I have never had to haul water like your wife does." With a big grin, he responded, “Okay, when we look at our problems, mine are bigger."

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Can you lift these things up in prayer with us?

-Countrywide elections on May 24th.

-Safe, uneventful trips over the coming days (flights, vehicles)

-Visas and work permits!  We are in need of a renewal and multiple factors complicate this, hoping that all would smoothly be concluded by our departure date!

-Good attitudes, regardless of conveniences (but I am really hoping for power!) ;)


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Here and There

Little J’s head hung in defeat at seeing what happened to the temporary goat on our property. Good thing that “My-Best-Goat-Friend” developed the nasty habit of peeing on the girls, therefore making his butchering more bearable. 

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One of the girls was remembered saying, “Isn’t it Easter yet? Can someone just eat that smelly goat?!?"

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Waiting for coffee and lunch at a friend’s house. 

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It’s so fun to see how friends have settled into their new home. 

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And here, at our first Ethiopian wedding, such a great experience! We obviously blend in. 

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After the stomachs were stuffed and rounds of coffee had been drunk, someone walked in with four sodas for our family. Little J double-fisted it and alternated Sprite and Coke until the end. 

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Baby sheep born in the pasture. Why are little things so cute!?!


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Weight

Wow. It’s never easy to go back and fill in the gaps. Our silence on the blog has been full of our life, ours meshing with others.

We are in Addis as Jon has a week-long conference.

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Three brothers eating lunch.

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Time in the US and away from our station is so near. We are so ready for it at the same time, we feel a real sadness at losing swing in our rural life. Our last month has brought a smattering of new-to-us issues to which we are exposed. I’m grappling for answers and we pray for Biblical responses. 

Recently, there has been much conversation (in my own head at least) about privilege, justice and what it all means. I feel back to square one in many of my ideas of what makes a “good” overseas worker and how it looks to live like Jesus. When something happens to someone in our community, I realize, “That could have been us”. When friends can’t get the chance or help they need, I hold my US passport, so thankful for the many privileges it brings but also grieving what I see as the unfairness of it all. Some situations make me mad but my main emotion for this is sadness and I feel a weight, not a joy-stealer, but one which causes me to wrestle through my worldview, God’s Word and yearn for His Kingdom to come, on earth as it is in heaven.  

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Wind Up Into The Holidays

We are waiting on friends in Bahir Dar, eating lunch and surprise!  This pleasant cafe has WIFI. Ah! i hope our food takes awhile to come!

April is also not a great time to be an edible animal in Ethiopia. What do you think is on the top of this mini bus?

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Yes, it is a load of live sheep, strapped down. They look dead but occasionally lift their heads. Very alive, just a bit shell-shocked.


Many of our neighbors wore crowns of grass on their heads on Good Friday.


Leading up to Easter. “Take a picture of us with our goat”.

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A Good Friday morning coffee ceremony. Jon was invited in as he hiked.

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And the first of many Easter celebrations on Sunday morning. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


After spending the weekend in a hot, hot region of Ethiopia, with friends who live among the Gumuz people, it feels great to be back in our high altitude, cooler climate, no mosquitos and not poisonous critters. :) 

I know the blogging break has been long, internet has been working part time, but it is very expensive right now, we hope data will soon come back in an affordable range or Jon is convinced that the blog cannot have a price tagged assigned at it is priceless. hehehe. ;)

After one April in Injibara, I would not want to miss another one. It is a month of great festivity and hospitality. The hospitality part has been very challenging to me as we are so blessed by all the invites. It’s made me consider, if moving back to the US, what if we would be as inclusive of the foreigner in our celebrations? 

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Building progress at a neighbor’s.


Beauty in unexpected places.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Troop of Easter Carolers

From Ethiopian Good Friday until Ethiopian Easter, we lived at least a month’s worth of activity. :)

Since then, it feels like a few more months have happened. It’s been…eventful. As you may have guessed, internet has also been difficult, but once it comes back, brace yourselves, I’ve got so much to say! 

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On Good Friday, kids go around the village, singing, dancing, banging their sticks in rhythm. Each house is supposed to give them something that they will corporately eat at one house after they get enough for dinner. Bread or birr is normal, but the foreigners, not knowing how to categorize this tradition, we also morphed it into a trick-or-treating and gave out a piece of candy.

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They made the corporate decision to eat their bread and candy on sight. 


Thanks for your huge support of our family. We feel it and love our crew. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Wide Open Doors

Thank you all for your kind words and encouragement on our green post last week. Our schedule was jammed so I have done little responding, but we feel your love through the screen. 

This weekend was Ethiopian Easter, but before we get there, let’s back up to late last week. God threw open the doors on many opportunities that I can’t talk about in detail here, but rejoice and know that your prayers are heard and changing things!


Every room in our house is a disaster and I am behind in every area but am so full (in my heart and physically). 

On Easter, the two month vegan fast is broken with the killing of a sheep. I have been so amazed by the hospitality here!  We had more invites Sunday than we could attend and they extend with many today, Tuesday, into Wednesday. I struggle with this dynamic of being so glad to be there, feeling guilty to take of meat that is only eaten three times a year and then, here’s the hard thing…we are eating meat, that was killled on Sunday and since 6% of Awi people have power, you can guess the meat isn’t being refrigerated. Also, “white meat” is a blessed part of the eating, it’s what we recognize as the fat which we chop off our meat. Yesterday, I was served a whole plate of injera and white meat. That’s a whole lot of swallowing and praying I don’t gag right there.  However, it’s also a huge dose of being included in a culture and relationships. So we smile and eat again, even though our stomachs are stuffed.

Jon came up with this great trick. We usually bring our own water bottles as we don’t drink the homemade liquour. I fill them with Sprite and it helps cut any taste. 

And let’s pray we don’t get sick! Please?