A Joyful Journey- CP Africa Trip

Part Three: The Gift of Rain

img_8646In Ethiopia, there are two seasons; DRY and WET. As Texans get tired of our extreme summers, Ethiopians and international missionaries become weary of the WET season’s constant rain, mud, and inside captivity. That anxious stir to see the sun and breathe fresh air, drives most people crazy toward the end of these four dreary months. However, on Sunday during our visit, one Pastor took this seemingly annoying situation and expanded our perspective to see the beauty of God’s life preserving methods.

We attended an Anglican Church in Addis Ababa called St. Matthews. Clearly my sandals were not a good choice to slosh through the cold rain. However, when we arrived at the church, everyone was congregated in the courtyard drinking complimentary tea. Not minding the slight drizzle, all of the international missionaries greeted each other with warm smiles, hugs and quick updates on their projects; bonded by their passion for the Ethiopian people. We felt honored to be surrounded by families who have uprooted their comfortable lives to serve here.

img_6902Sitting in the back of the small stone chapel, we tried our best to blend in as the service flowed smoothly from hymns, to readings, to prayers and a message. Still concerned about my freezing cold wet feet and fighting to hear over playing children, I tried to intently visualize what the Pastor was describing. How often do we really think of the gift of rain? He precisely quantified how tons of water picked up from the Mediterranean Sea is distributed hundreds of miles away.Don’t forget the salt was left behind! After traveling some distance, the cloud does not just dump the tons of water on one location, but disperses tiny drops. Holding back the weight of the water, clouds float overhead sprinkling life into plants, animals and people. How great is our God, that he invented this genius system to nurture his creation?!

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Fully aware of how God provides for us, we had this overwhelming desire to help all of the kids we met. In the city, “ferengies” are a common target. People of all ages tap on the vehicle glass asking for money. Not intending to be rude, this behavior is repeated, because it has been proven successful. Unfortunately, giving money encourages more begging. We had to learn that a better investment is putting money into one of the programs that helps get these children off of the street. A program can provide much more for a child then 100 birr, which is only 5 American dollars.

img_6904Resisting the young boy, running along side our moving car racing through traffic with his hand stretched out, desperately trying to sell us his pack of “supermint” gum was so heart wrenching, that we often had to stare blankly into the road ahead to avoid the pain of attempting to say, “No thank you.” However, we learned to keep our hearts focused on God’s provision for these children. He will and has always provided for us, as He will for them. Just as He lifts tons of water from the Mediterranean, He has planted missionaries, programs, and now CP to help care for the people of Ethiopia. They may be monetarily poor, but they are rich in the spirit of the Lord.

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Ellen Dutton

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