Sunday, March 21, 2010

Our Trip to Ethiopia

There is a quote that reads: preach the Gospel always, and when necessary;use words. I cannot even begin to tell you how many times this quote went through my head on on mission trip to Ethiopia. Because of the language barrier; I knew the best way I could 'preach' about Jesus was through my actions and through my love. I pray this lesson stays with me always.

My favorite day of the whole trip was when we went to Ziway, Ethiopia. We went to a preschool, sponsored by Lifesong for Orphans. The kids there were literally wearing rags, they walked miles to school in shoes that were falling apart, yet here in America, everyday at school I see kids in their hundred dollar jeans and their new Nikes, but their joy for life doesn't seem any deeper than these children in rags. I have found that people often try to fulfill their happiness with more. More clothes.More toys.More boyfriends or girlfriends- always searching for someone or something to make them feel like they are enough. It may work for a little bit, but then there's something better that they want and they run off chasing after that 'thing'.

For a long time I have felt God calling me to missions. I don't know what the future holds, but having the privilege of spending the day with missionaries in Ethiopia was like a dream come true for me. The work they had done ranged from building a school and feeding program, to constructing a bridge so that the people didn't have to wade across a river to go to the trade market. What I loved about what these missionaries did was they would see a need, get the project started, and then equip other individuals to see the project to completion. in an amazing way, this bridge became a symbol of connecting God's people for His glory.
Another place the missionaries took us was to one of their medical clinics. My new baby sister had a rash on her neck and we were going to have it looked at. Trust me when I say it was nothing like the doctors' offices here in America. There wasn't even glass on the windows, and their supplies were very limited. As we pulled up to this tiny little building I have to admit, I was wondering what we had gotten ourselves into. We walked in and saw a sweet Ethiopian man, with a huge smile on his face, ready to treat the rash. Then, I was blown away by what happened next. He wouldn't accept payment. This sweet man with obviously nothing would not take payment. My mom pleaded with him and he shook his head no, explaining that "we are in this together-we are brothers and sisters in Christ, and this in what we do for each other". As I watched my mother weep, I learned something very important that day, no matter how little you have-you always have something to give for God's glory.

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