It has been an exhilarating time here in Addis Ababa Ethiopia. The culture has been brimming with excitement of the New Year (Ethiopia is not on the same calendar as America). We have had Doro Wat (A spicy chicken stew, the national dish of Ethiopia), sang songs, and enjoyed spending time with our neighbors. It has been a really fun time as our neighborhood has folded us in and treated us well.
At the same time, we have been busy with the formation of our NGO. God has been so good to us, giving us relationships with some people that have great connections who can aid us as we push on with this process. Ethiopia’s political landscape is incredibly complex and can represent a tremendous challenge to anyone seeking to accomplish things here. For example, there are many laws on the books here that have been recently passed that the government does not believe in, but passed to receive aid, etc. This has left a murky landscape of unwritten in-house rules that one is not privy to but must abide by in order to get their project through. There are many reasons for all this, but as I said before, God has been good to us in providing people who can come alongside us and help us navigate our project.
Our home has been a place of much ministry as we await all the legal processes. It has been exciting to see that start to spread from our doors to our neighborhood. As I mentioned, we have been forging some great relationships with our neighbors as our kids go out and spend time with other families, and our neighbors come here to spend time with us. We have been able to celebrate holidays together and grieve loss alongside them. One of our neighboring families tragically lost a family member who was murdered in a hijacking of his taxi bus. We were able to supply them with a sheep and sit with them for a few hours in their grief. It was an amazing, intimate experience as old photos were shared and stories of the family were passed around the room.
Our family has been busy as Habi has begun a season playing Volleyball and Cadi has made a school production of Joseph, The Musical. Scotty is busy with first grade, making tremendous strides in his reading. Jamesy is looking forward to the arrival of Exley, who will be tutoring him and helping him along with life skill training. Tiffany and Jim have begun language school, which is both fun, and very challenging.
Please pray with us that God will find favor with our project. Please pray for our funding, as we have recently seen a downturn in giving. Please be in prayer for our family as they continue to cultivate friendships and connect with the community God has given us. Finally, please pray with us as we begin the process of fundraising for a much needed vehicle.