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Week 1 Reflections From Ethiopoia

This week has been truly eye-opening for me. Seeing a culture that can find joy in little really helps me appreciate my life that I often take for granted. Many friendships have been formed within my time in Ethiopia so far. EnDale has impacted my life in how he is always so happy. He has taught me countless words in his language and I have enjoyed it so much. Tizita is like a sister to me. We had coffee one day to meet other teenage girls and we instantly bonded. Ever since then, we have been so close and she has a funny personality. We are very similar. Little Mercy reminds me so much of my sister, Sarah. They have similar personalities and I love the spunk in Mercy. She is absolutely gorgeous! I feel like her older sister. I have made countless friendships and it would take forever to talk about them all. The school and church where we are staying have been so wonderful. The people around me rely so much on God day to day and have helped me grow in my faith. I want to strive to have all the joy that these people carry. I can see God alive here! 😉

-Mattie Harris

This week has been hard but so amazing!  I have made some really awesome Abisha friends!  One of my new friends is 11 and her name is Niccodur she is so funny the first day I met her I loved her so much!!! She plays soccer and loves hugs. She loves to hold hands and sing and just laugh! Just like my new friend they all have so much  joy in the Lord! So altogether this first week has been pretty good!

-Lydia Brooks

I have been on about 4 week-long mission trips before. Doing four weeks at once is a big step for me. I wanted something to push me in my faith and give me the opportunity to experience a new culture and new part of the world. That has been true with this trip.

The ministry we have been doing at Blessing the Children has been more different than similar to the other trips I have been on. Instead of focusing on the little kids we have been building relationships with girls our age. Another difference is people we are with are Christians. Besides building these relationships we have also been doing home visits. My two were very eye opening. The two homes I saw were very different. One was a very small one-room house with a place on the floor to sleep and a few chairs. The other was a little bigger, at least two rooms, with furniture and electricity. It is interesting to the different levels of poverty that there are. I have already been impacted greatly by my experiences so far. I cannot wait to see what the Lord has for me over the next three weeks.

  • Emily Hesselgesser

Week one in Ethiopia has been amazing! We have tried lots of different foods and have done lots of different things (like taking bucket showers lol). During one of our ministries, I met a sixteen year-old girl named Haymie. She knows some English and has been teaching me some Armaric words. Even though it’s hard for us to hold a long conversation, we still enjoy talking and laughing together. It’s amazing how God shows up even in the smallest of things, like my relationship with Haymie. I’m so excited to see what God has in store for the rest of our time here!

-Jacqueline Keener

    Ethiopia has been so awesome! It’s a lot colder here than back in Texas, and there are a lot of new sounds like the Islamic calls to prayer and dogs fighting. We’ve experienced new foods like Njara (I probably spelled that wrong lol) and new customs like feeding each other, not looking older men in the eyes, kissing on the cheek as a greeting, and of course bucket showers (I honestly love those). A large part of our ministry is being friends with Ethiopian teenage girls, I’ve gotten pretty close with with a few girls like Abigail who is super funny and Mercy who is 14 like my younger sister and is just really nice to be around. The girls have taught us a lot of words in Americ (definately spelled that wrong) and have sang us songs, they are SO talented. Today after we finished painting some classroom walls yellow, we were sitting outside with our Ethiopian friends who were teaching us about hand signs that were normal to us, but supported the illuminati in their culture, the conversation drifted to Mercy telling me that she had seen people healed and demons driven out by prayer. I was amazed that she had experienced that, and the Ethiopian girls kind of laughed at how in awe some of my team including myself was. Mercy smiled and said, “It’s simple in Ethiopia”. I’m really excited to continue to see God in these next couple of weeks and learn more about him and the Ethiopian people he loves!

-Lily Cook

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