I’m trying to type with Tariku sleeping in the crease of my and Sasha is yearning for lunch, so this won't be long... Sasha and Kenni both are ready to get on the plane to watch the seemingly endless selection of Disney movies as well. Soon enough. I think we're all ready to come home.
Do you remember Mr Roger's song he sang when he closed his show everyday?I think the song was: "It's Such a Good Feeling" or something like that ... remember?
I was just thinking about a couple lines he sang everyday at the end of his show..."It's such a good feeling to know you're alive.",,, then later he sings..."I'll be back when the day is newAnd I'll have more ideas for you.And you'll have things you'll want to talk about.I will too."Being here in this wondrous country makes you feel good to be alive - not because we feel like we're "missing comforts of home" but because the Ethiopian country and her people are beautiful. Yes there is a lot of problems and literally millions in deep despair, but when you walk down the street, even though the beggars you meet would love to be as rich as the panhandlers on the streets of Philly or NYC – the people here are… well they’re neighbors. This is a great place to be "in community"... because being "in community here is natural. ...
Today I met with Pastor Gizatu. A few days ago, I emailed a close friend of mine, Jerry who is the Global Outreach Coordinator for CURE (http://www.cureinternational.org/). I’ve known Jerry now for more than 15 years. Several weeks ago when he and I were chatting about our trip to Ethiopia he offered to connect me with the local CURE office here.
So, today I met Mr Gizatu who is the Spiritual Life Director for CURE here in Ethiopia. He picked me up about 9 and we quickly got acquainted. We talked about the social and spiritual culture here, the differences between the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and Evangelical Christianity (For those of you that are curious, there are FEW differences, but the way Pastor Gizatu explained it to me is that the Eth. Orthodox teaches giving alms to the poor is part of obtaining salvation.)
Before we arrived at the CURE Hospital – which is probably about five or six months from completion – we chatted more about our visit here. Mr Gizatu asked how I was connected with CURE and shared that the first mission trip I was ever on, was to Monterrey, Mexico in 1990 with Jerry when he was my Youth Pastor, and we talked about that trip too.
We had a great time sharing about the things God is doing here in Ethiopia but the car ride question that was a bit more difficult to answer was, “So how does your church work with other churches in your area at home?” I diddn’t have a hard time answering it because of a language barrier… I had a hard time answering it because to be honest. US Churches typically have their own agenda. They (We) typically have our own cliques’ and church culture to “worry about.” I could write pages more on my thoughts surrounding this issue as you may concur with too… but I wish that the body of Christ in the US… the most “civilized or developed” country in the world would take more lessons from the humble people in “developing” countries like Ethiopia.
Mr Gizatu said The Church is growing very quickly here in Addis and all over the country. So many people we’ve met here have made an incredible impact on our lives, and we know that God did not connect us to Ethiopia without a specific purpose in mind for us, and I believe for our Church. We’ll see what that looks like, but I believe there are great things in store for our Church family and prayerfully… other Churches in our East Hampton area too. We live in an area of ridiculous wealth, and with the resources that God has provided we WILL make a difference in this world. So what if it raises eyebrows, turn heads, makes people gasp, or makes their sphincters pucker.
We are being picked up to head to the Airport in about 30 minutes so this is likely the last post before we get home, but I will continue this blog as a vehicle to keep you abreast of the lives of our family, and what God unfolds to us in our community as well.
Until we connect again…
[we'll] have things you'll want to talk about.I will too."
No Reserve, No Retreat, No Regret
Pete… for our PARTY of 5.