The Long and Winding Road…

The long and winding road (or was that dusty) might have been a good name for our day today.  After an early breakfast (6:00 am) and then getting on the bus, picking up additional church staff at the Kale Hewyet Church and a couple of doctors along the way, we headed out for our second medical mission outreach.  Along the way, Julie shared with us a short devotional about not over planning but making sure that we allow God to intervene in our plans and to listen for the changes He wants to make in them.

What a bus ride!  Imagine, traveling on very dry, dusty roads that at many times were only wide enough for one lane and yet experiencing two way traffic along with donkeys with their burdens, huge gravel trucks and many people along the way.  That represented the first hour and a half of our journey.  Then upon arriving at the church in the community, seeing their facility and praying, we headed out to a government facility that had a clinic close by.  Although the facilities were much better for a medical outreach, the physical needs of the people there were at times heartbreaking and overwhelming.  I think they estimated that they treated around 150 patients in just over three and a half hours.

The rest of the team had planned on interacting with the people that showed up and taking opportunities to share our faith with them but received word that the government didn’t want us to be doing anything but the medical outreach.  After a time of praying silently among ourselves, God saw fit to allow us to be able to share the gospel and to interact with the crowds that were there.  Imagine lots (don’t know how many) kids ranging from babies to into their early 20’s and many other adults milling around in dusty lot with a few shade trees and very hot conditions.  What happened?  God showed up and we had fun playing games and interacting with the kids while others took opportunities to mill around in the crowd and talk with many of the adults.

There were many opportunities to share our faith and pray miraculous healing, even though we didn’t have translators at times.  Some of the children from yesterday’s outreach walked over 4 hours from their area to this area just to see us again.  Some of the youth were learning English and were more than willing to help translate and to practice their English on us.  It was a blessed time while still faced with the extreme poverty in the area but to see the joy and hope among the people was a special time.

After a long and dusty road back to the hotel for a quick lunch and to refresh ourselves, we split up into three teams to do three additional home visits.  It was heartbreaking to hear stories of parents who are HIV positive and under treatment and yet we are able to help their child as they struggle with a future that might include fighting AIDS themselves.  In all of that, we were able to see how God is working to bring hope and salvation to these precious children.

After the home visits were completed, the majority of the team returned to the hotel for some much needed rest while a few stayed back to hold another day of theology training with about 25 students that are serving throughout the area as evangelists or are participating in the Bible School at the church.  Immediately after that was completed, we all met together at a nearby hotel for a time of food and fellowship with the leaders of the church and their pastors and steering committee.  It was a blessed time of interacting, sharing laughs as well as concerns and rejoicing in the unity we have in the body of Christ.  What a blessed day.

Tomorrow brings another full day of serving together with these precious people.  Continue to pray for strength and rest so we can continue to share the love of God with the people of the Debre Zeit region and watch God continue to show up and do miraculous things.  We could write for pages and pages about the experiences but instead encourage you to invite some of the team over when they get back and let them share their experiences at a more personal level.  God is good!!  By the way, Dave finally made it safely to join the team and had a most wonderful day.  Thanks for your prayers.

  • Audra Koning says:

    Rejoicing with you as Dave arrives!!! Praying for continued health and supernatural energy as you serve in His name! You are probably nearing nighttime there, I pray for rest and rejuvenation for you as you sleep.


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