Saturday, April 12, 2014

Taking Off Today

Today is our last day in Ethiopia.  At this point, we are all packed (or close to it) and are getting ready for church.  We will join the Wade family at the church they attend and then go to lunch.  This has been an amazing trip for all of us.  We are ever thankful that God allowed us the privilege to serve Him in Ethiopia and are looking forward to continuing that attitude of service back home.  Please pray for us as we travel home, for our safety and endurance.  Please also remember to pray for Korah Misgana Church and Korah Kids Program.  They are working hard to bring God glory in their community by meeting the physical and spiritual needs of the individuals living in and around Korah.  Thank you again for following us on this adventure.


From the rest of the team

The conclusion of the notes from the team.....

I love this place each time I am here part of my heart stays here.  We have been bonding with the Korah Kids and the people in Korah.  We have visited sponsor children and seen their homes..This trip we have only had electricity for a couple days and the water heats only if there is power, It makes me thankful for a lot of things that I take for granted each day.  I have enjoyed being with the team, we pull together and look out for each other.  I will be anxious to get home, but sad to leave.. Thank you all for your prayers and support.  (Tina)

I have tried to narrow this experience down to couple of sentences, appropriate for a blog, but I have come to the conclusion that it’s not possible. We have been to several houses, many of them beautiful by Ethiopian measure. We have worked very hard to clean up and paint the sponsor house and KMC, we have learned so much about who the people of Kore are, and had our hearts broken by the awful conditions that some of them live in. So in the end, I have to say that I am incredibly grateful that I got to meet Abera, the elders and Marta. I am grateful that if there are people who have to rummage through the garbage to make a living, we have a group of men who will do whatever it takes for them to hear and see the gospel. Sammy told us that before, he thought that God forgot about them, or didn’t see them. Today, they know that there is Jesus, and He has not forgot about them. That testimony by itself, makes this trip worth it. (Randy)

Words are inadequate to express what this trip has meant to me. I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve alongside these Ethiopian brothers and sisters.  They are so passionate about reaching their community and God is doing great things.  I had a special conversation with one of the elders who shared his vision.  The things they are doing – meeting needs, serving, caring for those who would otherwise not be cared for – are so inspiring.  And they are doing it one child, one family, at a time.  I am thankful to be able to share this experience with this group of people (Ethiopian and American).  We came to be a blessing and ended up being blessed.  God is good!  (Melissa)

When I came on this trip, I wasn't really sure what to expect. I thought I would see some material poverty as I had seen on trips to other countries. What I saw in the past was really just on the surface. A woman sitting on the side of the road begging or a man digging through a trash can for plastic bottles. Here I was able to meet the people that lived on a field of trash and hear their story. I was able to become friends with the people that work at the sponsor house and with the people of the Kore community. It amazes me how dedicated Abera, Marta, and the elders of KMC are. Many of them are educated enough to leave Kore behind, but they choose to stay and minister to the community. (Ryan)


One of the projects was water filter installation. These filters will be placed at community homes. People will bring dirty water to run through, stay for Bible study, and then leave with clean water.  
The first drink of filtered water.  

And the second drink!
Everyone working together to paint the bed frames at the sponsorship house.

Work hard, play hard... time for a game of Uno!

The gifts given here are for the church elders of Korah Misgana Church.
The Ethiopian flag room.  There is also an Australian flag room and a United States flag room.  Three of the four countries partnered with Korah Kids.

Randy & Melissa work on laying floor in the storage room.  Later in the day, a refrigerator was purchased and placed in this room.  The boys were very excited to finally have a fridge.

Sometimes you just need more hands - lifting the bed to roll the flooring under.  The vinyl will be easier to clean than the concrete floor.
The after of the church.  You can't see them here, but all of the benches are grey.  That with the maroon stage and curtains brings a little of the northwest to Ethiopia.  Co Cougs!

Friday, April 11, 2014

In their own words

The past two days have been busy.  We have been working at the sponsorship house doing projects to help make it feel like a home.  Painting, cleaning, and laying floors.  Pictures will (hopefully) come soon.  Until then, here are a few notes from members of the team.  More will be coming tonight.

This experience has been absolutely awesome. I have been so touched by the people I have come to know. It has been a privilege to hear their stories. They have inspired me and I have been so encouraged by how the Korah Misgana Church cares about the people in their community.  God is so good! I’m thankful for my family supporting me through this experience and I hope that through this experience my friends and family who don’t know the Lord will come to know the Lord as their personal Savior and friend. 

This is my first mission trip and it has been a great experience.  I love making friends with the kids and helping paint the church and sponsor house.  I have really loved how this team has bonded together and worked well together. 

I am having a great time here in Ethiopia. I am beginning to learn more about the culture and I feel like I am connecting more with the people. God is teaching me more about meeting the needs of those in different kinds of poverty in a way that is helpful and longer lasting.  I went into a home of one of the sponsored children today. Although it was small it was connected with other homes and the sense of community was pretty kewl. Relationship is such a gift. God is good and He is moving.  It is also encouraging to see the people who are on the front lines of the ministry that we are coming along side with. They have beautiful hearts for the people and the Lord. Thanks all back home for the prayers and notes of encouragement that you sent with us. I have been very encouraged and blessed by all. 

It is been fun here in Africa. I am have a huge life changing experiment being the youngest on the team. I think it is fun being able to interact with the kids, while still being myself and them still being them. I like how I have some diverents with them but, still are alike them. Like there are two kids who taught me how to play marbles. I thought of it as bowling with marbles. Like you had one pine left and two balls instead of one. It was fun but challenging. I liked it though. 
God bless, Audrey  

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

More photos!

Audrey teaching how to throw a frisbee.

These women will make two or three 20 km trips a day to sell wood in the city.

The before of Korah Misgana Church

Working hard - cleaning up prep

Part of working in the dump is looking for items to be used for fuel to make injera

The mounds in this picture are the homes of individuals who live in the dump.

Melissa & Catheryn made a friend. This little girl followed us around as we toured the dump area.

Painting in the church, day 2

Audrey and Catheryn learned how to play marbles from a few neighborhood children.

Stained glass windows at the monastery.

This little boy got some new clothes and a new toy. His family were victims of the fire in Korah.
His sister was in the hospital and he was staying at the guest house.

All of the ladies after the tour of the monastery.  Protocol there is that all women wear head coverings and a long skirt.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Today was a tourist day!  We took a long drive out of the city and visited the Debra Labonos Monastery. It is an Ethiopian Orthodox church and there are about 500 monks living in the hillside surrounding the church.  We were able to take a tour.  A service was taking place at the time, and the priest directed us in through the building and talked about the different parts of the building and church history.  There were some beautiful paintings and stained glass windows.  The artwork and history is something to be appreciated. 
Following our tour, we went to a place called the Portuguese Bridge and ate a picnic lunch and hiked around.  It was beautiful to see God’s handiwork all over.  There is, of course, a bridge too.  It was built in the 16th century.  We also saw some baboons, though not for long.  We all really enjoyed a day to sightsee and relax.  A stop at Kaldi’s on the way home to enjoy a cup of coffee and our day was complete.  Tonight we hang out and get rested up for a busy two days of work at the Korah Kids sponsorship house.  There are currently 6 boys living there with a house father.  Our projects include painting their bedrooms, assembling an office for the Korah Kids staff, and planting some flowers in pots for their patio.  The boys asked for more of those because they have enjoyed caring for the ones they already have.
Pray for our endurance during these upcoming days of hard work.

Some other great news... when we returned we had power!!!!!  Warm showers!!!!  All of those exclamation points are pure excitement and joy!!!

Follow Ups

Tuesday, April 8
Another great day!  We completed the painting today and had the church ready for its Tuesday evening worship service.  The elders were pleased and thankful for the way it all turned out.  During the day, we had a few neighborhood children with us.  They were great fun, helping us do things and playing.  At the end of the day Catheryn and Audrey learned how to play marbles and they each were able to hit the target.  The tile setter got the baptistery done and ready for us to grout later this week. 
As a follow up from Monday’s post – the young lady we met in the dump accepted the invitation and came to the church with her son and her sister.  (I am guessing her sister’s age to be 11 to 13).  Her son had experienced a burn on his leg which was looking infected and he was suffering from a severe ear infection.  The church elder arranged for him to be taken to a nearby clinic where he was treated and given medicine to treat both infections.  She will coming back to the clinic daily over the next week to continue the antibiotic treatment.  As a group, we were able to talk with her some more and pray with her.  KMC will be following up with her and work to share God’s love. It is so good that there is a church body that is putting the love of God in action and caring for those who would otherwise be suffering and alone.  Please pray for John as he recovers from the infections and for his mother – that she would know that God loves her and that He has a plan for her.
Another follow up: It was shared before we left Spokane that there was a fire in Korah that destroyed several tarp homes.  We discovered that there were 5 people who passed away – 3 on the scene and 2 later at the hospital.  At the guest house we are staying at, the manager was caring for a brother of one victim that was still in the hospital.  He was a little boy, about 3 years old.  His clothes were being washed and because his clothes were destroyed in the fire, he was walking around the guest house in an adult t-shirt.  Since we had so many kid clothes generously donated, we were able to give him some.  Thank you for those donations!  Your gifts make a difference

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Monday, April 7

Today was a busy one!  We spent the majority of our day doing a few projects at KMC that they wanted done.  Painting the walls & benches and getting their baptistery water tight.  The work was hard, but rewarding and our team work is something that God has brought about and that we all appreciate greatly! 
In the afternoon, we were taken on a tour of the dump in Korah.  Words cannot adequately express what we all saw and felt.  Mountains of garbage where people live, look for recyclables and items to sell and food to eat.  Our guide was a man who has lived on the dump since he was 12 years old.  He introduced us to several others and shared their stories.  It was overwhelming for all of us to see such harsh conditions up close and to put faces and names together. 
We met one young lady who was searching for food for her little boy.  She is 18 years old and her son is 2 years old.  She had a sack of old potatoes and other items and told us about her son.  Her sister was taking care of him while she was working and he had a leg injury and some other health issue.  There was a church elder with us who spoke to her and invited her to come to church tomorrow to see what could be done to help him.  We are hoping that she comes.
The statement that impacted a lot of us was when our tour guide shared with us the impact that KMC has had in the community. He shared that 5 years ago, many of the people in the dump thought that God didn’t care for them and that he wasn’t there.  Through the time and dedication of the church elders, there are many who have the hope of Christ in them.  After questioning one of the elders, we learned that this process started 10 years ago.  Their patience and persistence is paying off – there is spiritual fruit being grown.  We are so grateful that we can be a support to this church that loves its community and is showing that love in real and practical ways.
Audrey was not able to go on the tour of the dump with the team.  Instead, she enjoyed the day as a middle schooler with her friend, Alli.  She wanted me to share that she learned how to make salt in science class by mixing chlorine and baking soda.  She loved spending time with her friend and learning something new.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Picture Time

Getting the gift bags ready for the Korah Kids Saturday program.

The team outside the Ember Guest House, on our way to Korah

Rochelle with some of the kids.

Passing out water with lunch.

Catheryn helping translate a letter to one of the sponsors
Audrey showing how to put the foldable frisbee back in the bag.

Ryan, showing how to make the helicopter stick fly.

Sunday, April 6

We have internet!  No power without a generator though since we have been here.  Not a big deal until you try to take a shower.... no hot water.  It's okay though, just makes you wake up quickly and get your day started!

Today we enjoyed worship at Korah Misgana Church (KMC).  As we entered, one of the elders was praying throughout the church.  The prayers were emotional and expressive and lasted for about an hour before the worship service even started.  What a great way to prepare our hearts to worship our all-powerful, all-knowing God who knows no borders!  The music was just as expressive and we enjoyed the message brought by Tom.

After the worship service ended, we met with the elders of the church for a bit and then went to lunch.  They have a heart for their community and we are glad to support them in their efforts to reach others with the love of Jesus. 

We also enjoyed a coffee ceremony at the home of one of the elders of the church. He and his wife graciously opened their home and served us some delicious coffee.  It is a process that involves washing, roasting, & grinding the whole coffee beans.  It takes time, but that is the best part because it allows for getting to know each other and building relationship.  What a gift to be hosted by this family!  We were able to learn more about the Korah community and just enjoy time together with.

It has been a gift to be able to meet the kids who are involved in Korah Kids.  We have met several of them who are currently sponsored by some of our home church family members.  It is fun to get to know them!  We look forward to sharing news about them with those NABC sponsors. 

Tomorrow we will spend the day working on a few needs that KMC has, and then go further into the Korah community to see where some of the sponsored children live and help them write letters to their sponsors.  Please pray for the team as we serve.  The Ethiopian people are beautiful and kind, the conditions that some live in are challenging to see.  We are very thankful for this opportunity to be able to share the hope and love that we have in Christ, being a support to KMC as they minister in their community.

-- Melissa

Sunday morning update

Melissa is still trying to resolve technology issues related to posting on the blog, but was able to send word that the team was going to be attending worship services Sunday morning at Korah Misgana Church, where Tom Wade was going to preach. Be in prayer that we're able to solve these technology issues and that Melissa has patience as she works through the frustrating situation.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Team arrives in Ethiopia; the adventure begins

The Ethiopia Team has experienced inconsistent electricity and Internet service since arriving in Addis Ababa, but Melissa was able to email these two posts for the blog.

Saturday, April 5
Just back from Korah, and we are all a little zapped.  It was such a great morning, full of “flexible” opportunities.   Missing a few items, schedule changes, can’t hear the music… that doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of serving.  We had such a great time playing and hanging out with the kids.  One group doing play dough – one making a bead craft and then a team of rec games, so much energy and joy!  Being able to sing and have fun worshipping our God who knows no language barriers is awe inspiring; not to mention the smiles on the kids’ faces (and hearing their laughter)  as they watched all of us doing the motions to the songs.  They also blessed us by singing some of their favorite songs.
For those who are curious, our Bible story play went well.  The story of the Good Samaritan was a hit with the kids and poignant for all of us.  I think that I can speak for the individuals of the team, when I say that we want to be compassionate, like the Samaritan.   We are ever thankful for the privilege we have been given to serve God here and in our everyday lives at home. 

The day ended with the chance for us to help some of the sponsored children of Korah Kids write letters to their sponsors.   They wrote the letters in Amharic and then a translator told us what they said and we wrote in English.  To hear (and write) the gratefulness of the kids and their expressions of love to their sponsors was amazing.  All of the children are thankful for the opportunities that sponsorship has offered them, specifically being able to go to school. One boy shared with our group that going to school has given him hope for the future.  He is now living in the sponsor house, and can see a life that doesn’t include having to look for food or items to sell from the dump.    
Thanks for following us on this adventure.  More tomorrow (or when we have internet next)


Friday, April 4
After a very long two days of travel, we finally made it to our destination, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia!  The flights were uneventful (and long), and we were all so excited to see our friends here!  We were given a tour of Bingham Academy, enjoyed a coffee ceremony, and prepared for our first day in Korah.  We are all so excited to start serving.  Putting together 100 gift bags for the kids was a fun challenge. Thankfully, Ryan has some great assembly line skills and we were done pretty quickly!   We think we are ready for a full day tomorrow, but we are always need to remember that flexibility is key when you are serving and away from the comforts of home.

Our evening closed with some music & acting practice for the Saturday children’s program at Korah Misgana Church.  It should be a fun day full of energy, but right now we all are out of energy and are ready for bed! 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sitting in Spokane airport! 8 of the 10 of us are sitting and waiting for the first leg of our journey! Pleas pray for us...most of us got up early, some of us didn't even sleep. The last two team members will meet up with us in Addis. So glad there is a Starbucks in the airport. More later....

Monday, March 31, 2014

Take of in two.... days!

Our countdown has changed from a year to months, to weeks, and we are now down to days!  Friday night the team spent a few hours packing up all of our supplies and donations.  We are so thankful for all of the great items that have been donated and the funds that were given for purchases too!  We will be busy helping at a children's program at a local church, working on the sponsorship house of Korah Kids, and installing water filters in area homes. We also get the privilege to build relationships with some amazing Ethiopian people.  We are so grateful for the opportunity to serve, to see some old friends, and meet new people.

Last night (Sunday), we were sent out with prayer.  Thank you to our family at NABC for setting aside a time of encouragement and prayer for the entire team!  It was such a blessing to worship together and see how many people have been, are, and will be praying for us.  We know that there is a spiritual battle that is being waged - some team members have experienced struggles that we know are from the enemy. Please continue to pray that we would stand united against those attacks and that we would be a constant encouragement to each other during this journey.

This Wednesday is take off!  We leave very early - meeting at 3am so that we can be to the airport by 4.  (Yes, I said 3am)  We land in Addis at 8:30am on Friday morning, and will hit hit the ground running.  Please pray for us that we would get the rest that we need on the flight.  After settling into the guest house we will be taking our first trip to Korah Misgana.  We will get to help prepare the food and do other activities related to the Saturday children's program.

Thank you for following us!  As we get busy in service, we will post some pictures!


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

One week from today....

In just 7 days, we will be on our first of three flights to Addis!  This Friday night we are having our packing party for the donations and supplies that we are taking with us.  The donation area is getting full, and we are so thankful for all of the items that are being brought in daily.  Korah Kids sponsors have also been sending items for us to deliver to their sponsor children.  What a gift we have been given to be a part of delivering those items!  The entire team has been increasingly thankful for the way that God has worked through this past year and how He has allowed us to be a part of the work He is doing.

We found out yesterday that there was a fire in Korah.  This is the area where we will be spending the majority of our time in country.  The fire destroyed many of the tarp homes that people live in.  One household rescued 54 people. 2 children were burned and treated at a local hospital.  The community is gathering together to care for those without homes and to rebuild what was destroyed.  Please pray for the community as they recover and rebuild.

As we draw closer to travel day, we are all seeking God's heart to be our heart for the people we will encounter. We want God's love to be the central motivation for the time we spend with people and with the activities we participate.  Would you please pray for us as we build relationships with new Ethiopian friends?  Please also pray for all that we do be an act of worship and service to those we meet.

"The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many."  
Mark 10:45


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Take off in two!

   After a year of preparation, it is hard to believe that we are really only two weeks away from take off. These last two weeks are full of last minute preparations - getting donations to take to Korah to use and give as gifts; making sure we have what we need because running to WalMart in Addis won't be an option; learning a few key phrases in their language to be able to say "Hello", "What is your name?", and "Where is the bathroom?".
   One of the main things that is in the forefront of our minds, however is our team unity.  We know that there is an enemy who will seek to tear our team apart and lessen our effectiveness in service.  We also know that our God is bigger and when we stay united in the purpose of serving and loving like Jesus, we will not be overcome.  Please join us in prayer for our team unity and good relationship building between the team members.


"Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves"
Philippians 2:1-3

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Counting the days

We are now down to just 22 days until we leave for Ethiopia!  All of us are getting excited and doing last minute preparations to go.  Collecting donations, planning activities, and making sure that we have all that we need is making life crazy and exciting!

Our team has been talking about flexibility throughout this entire preparation process. We have made plans, but are constantly reminded through our everyday life, that things can change quickly. We are preparing to be focused on the goal, but flexible to change course if God directs it that way.  Would you please join us in praying that our attitudes would be focused on being attentive to what God wants us to do and flexible enough to change our course if He directs us.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Returning ~ AGAIN!

Our third team is in their final preparations to go to Ethiopia. We are excited for what God is preparing for us to do and look forward to the adventure He is leading us on. We depart Spokane on April 2, 2014.  We will post more as we get closer and while we are there.  Thanks for following!


Monday, October 22, 2012

On American Soil

Our team is now over halfway in their journey home.  We received word yesterday morning that the Wade family had said their goodbyes to everyone and dropped them at the airport in Addis.  The team traveled through Rome and are now in Washington D.C. going through customs. The line is pretty long - when Bret texted me this morning, they had already been in line an hour and a half.  The good news is that they all were able to sleep on the plane so no one is terribly tired at this point.

If traveling all goes as planned, they should be landing in Spokane at 8:30 tonight.  They are ready to be home with their families to be sure!  Welcome home team, we have missed all of you and are so excited to hear how God was working in you and through you during your time away.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Mission Ethiopia & Project 61

Thursday, October 18… Today the team had their flexibility day. We went to Mission Ethiopia and Project 61. This is on the opposite side of Korah from where we were the first few days.
The first thing we did was tour some of the classrooms and watch the women make paper beads and then put them together for necklaces to sell. We got to visit a kindergarten of children that sang us the “ABC” song and “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” song. We enjoyed how well they spoke English. We also had an opportunity to worship with the women who work there and to hear some of their testimonies. Then Myron, Linda, and Clarissa shared their testimonies.
After that, we divided into three groups. Two of the groups rolled paper beads. These women make about 500 necklaces each week. Amazing! Just trying to make 1 bead was challenging for many of us. Myron, Jan, and Shawna strung the beads and made necklaces.
After doing this, we had a quick lunch then served the school children their lunch. We were not surprised that every child cleaned their plate. Very little was thrown away. This is the only meal the children eat each day.
When all were done we divided again into two groups to go visit two different families. One group had a mother of four plus her husband in a 5x4 hut. The kids sleep on floor and 2 of them go to school. The mother does not work but the Father is a laborer. Her children were very small for their ages because of poor nutrition.
The other group had a similar situation, but was invited for a coffee ceremony. This woman had TB and HIV and she had a baby that she said was only one month old. Her daughter, who was 15, roasted the coffee beans and prepared the coffee. They pulled out a brand new set of cups and saucers to serve us with. Each time we go, we are all touched deeply by these people and their children.
After a brief shopping adventure, we went back to the guest house and had pizza—yes, pizza! Then 2 of the ladies from Mission Ethiopia came to the guest house and brought beads so we could make our own designs. I’ve got to say, I was impressed with everyone’s, even Myron’s!
Ciao from Tina!