A Joyful Journey- CP Africa Trip

Part One: Lasting Impressions

Desta. The word that perfectly sums up our trip. The word that drives our mission and passion to serve the people of Ethiopia. The word we hope you begin to embody. Desta means joy in Amharic, the native Ethiopian language.

This joyful theme emerged from the very beginning of our journey. We recognized it immediately as we drove through the streets of Addis Abba. We could feel the contagious smiles warm our hearts as we anxiously waved at the people. Through every dance workshop we felt the “ferengie” barrier being transformed into friendships. Even though we struggled to pronounce their names, we rejoiced at the sight of a familiar face. Doctors, teachers, mentors, students, and dancers always welcomed us with open arms as they shouted “salem”- a greeting of peace.

img_6912You know the classic saying, “It’s not about the end the result, it’s about the journey”? Well in Ethiopia, the people aren’t merely driven by the completion of a task, but rather focused on the relationship. For example, while driving in the city, we witnessed a group of strangers rush to the aid of a middle-aged man whose bike had busted. Time and time again, we saw similar scenarios depicting the genuine heart of Ethiopians. It made us want to give everyone a hot pink ribbon for being awesome 360* leaders! This caused us to reflect in our own lives; when was the last time it was our instinct to reach to out to a stranger in need? How many times do we rush to class without stopping to help a lost freshman, welcome a new kid, or help a teacher? This rigorous schedule us Americans live by robs us of the raw joy of building relationships within our community.

Despite the suffering and hardships of their daily routine, Ethiopians have a wealth of joy that is worth more than any trophy, iPad, Kendra Scott, or leadership title. Coming to this country made us realize the number of material things that clutter our lives. Our eyes have been opened to what is truly important. Ultimately, Christ has lit a fire in our hearts that has led us to fall in love with this beautiful country. This love story has just begun and we hope you continue to journey with us as we reflect on the past two weeks that will forever be ingrained in our hearts.

We may have been the ‘goers,’ but you all have been the ‘doers.’ This mission is an extension of the servant leadership that your team brings beyond your community and across the world. Follow up next Wednesday as we reveal our first encounter of Ethiopian cultural dance!!

For more information or to support our project:

Crowd Pleasers & SCH Project

 *Desta- Joy
*Ferengie- Foreigner
*Salem- Peace be with you, used as a greeting

 

CP Blog

CP Style Spot

Rave Reviews!

by Staci Mattson on Crowd Pleasers Dance Camps
Love the Details!

Thank you for always being ahead of the curve, thinking of every detail, being servant leaders and inspiring us to keep pushing. Love CP!Camp merch is also very nice every year!

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