Saturday

We awoke to find our pastors, Ed and Mike, had arrived! How great it was to have them join us on this special day!

This morning, Tim and Randy spoke to the Youth Ministry about living out the greatest commandment.  They gave the youth practical ways to make choices in life as a Christian in today’s world.  They also challenged the youth to study God’s Word, keep a pure heart and to have accountability with one another. Kimberly and Shanna had the opportunity to address the Women’s Ministry at the church. As they spoke with these dear women, they longed to hear more of their stories, of their lives, of their moments when God Has Called Them to More. We shared a little of our lives and how God has called us to more… in the ordinary days of our life and in the extraordinary. God has called each of us to recognize the purpose He has for us…whether in raising our children, loving our husbands well, working with integrity in our jobs, or reaching out to our neighbors and sharing His love. We then had an opportunity to hear some of their personal stories, and be encouraged and encourage them to continue on in what He has called them to do.

Afterwards, it was time for the big day! Fun Day! This is a day we all look forward to, a time when we are able to spend time with our sponsored children outdoors, at Kariftu, a lake event center outside of Debre Zeit.

This year, we were blessed to invite the parents of our sponsored children.  The children love this day just as much as we do, so it was a joy to be able to share it with their mom’s and dad’s.  The boys on our team introduced their new friends to American Football!  “Coach” Randy assisted the boys with demonstrating how to hold and pass the football.  It was a lot of fun seeing the children and the parents learn a new sport.  And, they all really enjoyed it!  We also had soccer balls on hand and our Ethiopian brothers and sisters really know this sport!  Next was tug of war and the women gave the men a big challenge!  Let’s just say that the Ethiopian mom’s have some great strength!

coach-randy

tugofwar

After some time of play, we shared a meal together. The staff at Kariftu blessed us with a delicious traditional Ethiopian meal.  Our team served our families and we had the privilege of joining them at their tables to share the meal.  Karen said it was just like Thanksgiving!  And, like Thanksgiving, we took lots of pictures, including family portraits, which we were honored to be able to join in. These are our extended families and we wanted to recognize that in a lasting way.

serve

family

After lunch, we worked together to decorate mattes to frame our photos in. The children loved this activity along with their parents!  It was fun see the examples of their creativity.  We spent the afternoon in fellowship with each other watching our children play together…just like we do back home!  The laughter and the energy from our boys and our sponsored kids was an overwhelming joy. It was a glorious day! Thanksgiving…Ethiopian style!

shanna

thanksgiving

randy-wondimu

Later this evening we sat together as a team to do some debriefing over dinner and celebrated with worship.  Our exhaustion was apparent but the praises to our King were heard throughout the area.  Our team was unified in our joy for the day but we still recognize the suffering of this country.  The sweetness of our celebration is mixed with the bitterness of the surrounding poverty. But, in all God will be glorified!

 

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