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Last 2 slideshows from Ethiopia Email me for link to others-alexander@integrity.com

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

last day


Our last day in Ethiopia. We woke up, had a yummy breakfast and went down stairs to meet the Glimmer of Hope staff and a group from Austin, Water to Thrive, that was there to inaugurate a huge water project. We all drove to Gadamba, about 45 minutes out of Addis. We were once again greeted with singing and very joyful people. This project was massive and would service 11 different villages in the area. It had a big generator to pump the water and to hear the hum of the machine and know that it was responsible for providing clean water to SO many people, made it a beautiful noise. They had a special ribbon cutting ceremony and then we began walking to various water points benefitting from this project.

I walked down the road, arm and arm with a beautiful elderly woman. As we walked, the tears just streamed down her face. Tears of joy as she now has clean, safe drinking water. I hugged her tighter and her smile just made my day. Kristin walked with a precious elderly man and he wanted her to know (via translator) that he has lived his entire life in this village and has never had clean water. He is 75!





We got to the main road and the group appeared to split in two directions, the Glimmer crew and Julie, Julie and I going to the right. We didn't notice that Kristin had gone left as the crowd was very large. She was very drawn to the colorful clothing worn by many of the people. Well, sweet Kristin is clicking away on her camera. Taking pics, yelling "SAKI" for them to smile. She said she noticed several people holding up a guys picture and she assumed that it was the area administrator or something.........then she got a tap on her shoulder and some sweet man pointed to our direction, and told her that she was in the middle of a funeral procession!! Not meaning any disrespect to the grieving people, we later just laughed and laughed at the cultural mishap that was made. You have this gorgeous blond in the center of the funeral telling everyone to smile!!


She made her way to our group. We headed to the local school next. After spending some time there we said good-bye to the group and headed back to the hotel to pack up our things. First we made a quick stop by the Bejoe to give Genet some things and meet the lovely Belleme family!

We packed up and then met Surafel, the TOMS head in Addis. He has truly the most amazing story. One of grace and redemption. It was a gift to sit with him and hear of his heart for his country and the Lord. Surafel wears many hats in Ethiopia and is making a huge difference in the lives of many! We look forward to seeing him again in October.


After checking out we drove to the Gladney care centers one more time. Good-byes to everyone there, saw the Funderburk family one last time too. I spent some time with one of Eyasu's sweet buddies. They entered care together and by evidence of the many pictures we recieved of them together while we were waiting, these two adored each other! He is still there but prayerfully he has found his forever family! His face lit up when I gave him a picture of the two of them together from when we picked up Eyasu last November. He kiseed it and ran upstairs to hide it under his bed. We then met up with Eric, MC, Mohammed, two from Kidmia for a dinner at Makush. I love this place. Good food and beautiful art. I walked away with two pieces that I LOVE. They are so precious and of course gave me a very "special price!" Seeing the paintings hanging on the walls of our home- transports me back and I love them for that!

We took Kristin to the Bejoe as she was staying a few extra days to photograph Kidmia. So sad saying good-bye to her. I may not have mentioned before that she was my big sister in our sorority at Baylor. Don't you know the Lord just smiled at the time knowing that we had such greater adventures awaiting us in the future than what we thought was simply a few fun years together in school. She is a huge blessing to me and I'm ever thankful to have been on 2 trips with her to Ethiopia (SO FAR)!!

Off to the airport I went with the Julies!! I also had the pleasure to meet this Julie in the Bole airport. So precious. She asked me about Abe and I cried. I think being away from my little guy had caught up to me-- I was ready to get home. Julie, thank you for not thinking I was some crazy lady. :)

The flights were awesome, easy, easy without kids! I couldn't wait to see my crew. This was my final journal entry written on the flight home.

"SO very much to process, simply humbled to have been called to this journey as I will never be the same. Sara Groves "I saw what I saw and I can't forget it" keep playing in my head. We WILL do something for the people that gripped my heart and I am excited about that more than anything! I will long to return, long to be in Ethiopia. He alone knows our future there, if it is more children, what capacity we will care for the people there. I'm so blessed our family will be involved- so blessed! About to land and I can't wait to get my hands on my babies and my man!!!"

So thats it- trip is over and we are working furiously on our dental trip in October! The Lord blew open wide the doors for this first EthiopiaSmile trip. Moody felt called to ask several other dentists to go with him to help the people of Ethiopia with their dental needs. He originally prayed that 5 would commit. He then felt led to step out and pray in faith that 10 dentists would be raised up and GO. We have 18 going with us in October. 18 dentists. In a country that has 76 dentists to meet the dental needs of 80 million people. We are so humbled by this trip and so clearly SEE him in every step. Moody and I aren't "detail" people and the details are falling in place. Soli Deo Gloria!!

That so many (30 non-dental peeps are going along to simply love the people of Ethiopia with us) would choose to take time away from family and work to go and love, is incredible to me. Several of my dearest friends are going. I get to now share a HUGE part of my life with them in real, tangible ways. We will have the opportunity to treat those living in government run orphanages, transition homes, Korah, Glimmer projects, communities just outside Addis, medical clinics that service the very poor.......My heart is so full just thinking about it. I know He has so much for each and everyone that said "yes" to this trip. We are praying that this would be the first of many. Several left comments after Moody's trip last June and I fully planned to write a post asking if any of you wanted to go, but literally the trip filled so fast, I never had a chance. EthiopiaSmile 2 anyone???? June 2011.


8 comments:

Kristin said...

Love reliving the trip through your eyes Em! Can't wait for you to see it through mine :o) And too am so thankful God "matched" us up years ago at BU!

We Are Family said...

I am seriously interested (june 2011). I chatted with you before. I am a dental assistant. Would love to know more of the details.

Holli said...

ME!! I AM SO IN FOR JUNE 2011!!! REALLY REALLY!!!
I would just be one to love on others - can floss too even though I don't!:)
Korah.... love the people there and you HAVE TO MEET my DEAR friend Sammy and HUG him for us!!!
Praying for your trip!

Heather said...

ahhhh. tears. more tears. Thank you for opening our eyes to Ethiopia.

Christy. said...

I have loved reading about your trip, I miss Ethiopia so much!!

Praying about that EthiopiaSmile 2011!! I have no idea how that would work with my 4 at home but if God wants me to go he would find a way!! :) I got goosebumps just reading about it!!

Praying for your trip in October, God is going to do mighty things!!

Julie said...

Has Moody got all of his things lined up for places to do the dental work in Ethiopia? If not let me know and I'm sure with our World Orphans connection we could help. If he's already full then maybe for June 2011?

HoodMama said...

Pure GREATNESS!!! That generator's sound must have been some sweet music! Love reading about your trip, I feel like I was there!

missy said...

i love reading about this trip. and i'm so excited for how god has raised up so many for the trip in october. my fav part was... "About to land and I can't wait to get my hands on my babies and my man!!!" you are too cute! how beautiful that you left those babies and that man for the country that you can't get out of your heart. god is using you all there in beautiful ways. it inspires and challenges me and keeps my heart tender to that country i love (but can tend to forget in the day to day).

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"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from becoming polluted by the world." James 1:27
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