Sunday

Sunday morning the team gathered for breakfast on the patio at the hotel.  Sharing a meal and round-table discussions were a great way to begin the day. We extended an invitation to some of the hotel staff to join us for worship in song—and they did!  Ron shared his daily devotion taken from Luke 4:18.  It clearly states in Luke 4:18 that the mission of Jesus should be our mission.  We are to preach good tidings to the poor.

By 10 a.m. we arrived at Mehale Ketema Church.  Again, we were warmly greeted at the gate by so many wonderful new friends and family.  We gathered inside the church for the early morning worship service.  The energy and strength from the harmonious music that greeted us was so culturally different–it was different in volume, tempo, rhythm, and style.  The church was full of believers, and you could really feel the Spirit of God moving through such glorious music.

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After the church announcements Pastor Ed Rowell and Pastor Mike Worley were introduced to the congregation.  Pastor Ed shared a powerful message about the rebirth of Christ and the message of salvation.  He also drove home the importance of trusting in Jesus to completely direct one’s life.  He concluded the service by initiating an altar call.  

At the conclusion of the service, the Mehale Ketema church leadership provided a traditional meal as part of our closing ceremonies.  We enjoyed injera (traditional sourdough flatbread) bozena shirro, (a spicy red stew with beef), irish potatoes, chicken stew, meatballs, pasta, lasagna, veggies and chips.  When finished eating, we enjoyed the traditional coffee ceremony.  

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Then, the closing ceremony began.  Beautiful gifts were exchanged between the two churches. Our gift to them was a stretched canvas photo by Herb Wetzel of vibrant snow covered Pikes Peak with the Garden of the Gods in the foreground. In addition, a flannel graph (sometimes called a flannel board–a story telling system that uses a board covered with flannel fabric and flannel accessories) was presented to the Sunday School’s Director.  Mehale Ketema Church then presented to us a really nice framed team photo which was taken on the steps at the front of the church with the pastor, elders and Compassion staff. Also, given to each of us were individually handmade cards for each team member which included a picture of the team on the front cover and our sponsored child or children on the inside. Our boys on the team, Uriah, Isaiah, and Matthew each received an Ethiopian soccer jersey/short sets and they were ecstatic!

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We returned to the hotel with time to reflect and refresh as we began to pack for our return trip home. Dinner in the evening on the patio was wonderful with a short time to debrief. God blessed us with a spectacular sunset before the electricity went off in the entire city.  We finished the meal, the debriefing session, and a closing prayer under the soft and magnificent glow of candlelight.

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