Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ethiopia here we come!

Ethiopia in 2010 with dear sisters, Aelaf and Ruth by St. George's Church in Lalebala
Ethiopia 2008(?) With dear sisters Tigist and Nebret

We love to travel to the mountains for special family times together.

Yes, here I am again at the airport....always seem to be on the move... loving the kingdom work!

We love traveling together for Paul's conferences and family times.

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'Oh, oh, what am I getting myself into going to Ethiopia?'
Some of you have been asking Paul and me for years.....do you travel together? Of course Paul and I travel together but not for CURE International until now.  God's call has been for me to go and Paul to stay (supporting my calling). However, in less than two weeks we will be traveling together for the first time to Ethiopia. Ethiopia has a very special place in our hearts. When we returned to Canada after a couple of years in Australia, we met some very special Ethiopian families. They had been living in Canada, studying and struggling due to some difficulties in that part of the world. Through many amazing circumstances the Lord brought several dear Ethiopian brothers to our home. We laugh now as we look back....each of us trying to understand each other's culture. For example we asked our Ethiopian friends to come over...when we offered them food they refused.....it turned out that they were afraid that if they ate our food, then our three children wouldn't get anything or enough to eat. I could go on and on with tales of funny misunderstandings.....like the time Aelaf was getting married and her fiance came to the door to bring her to the church...I refused to let him see his bride before the ceremony...until he explained that this was their custom that he would bring his bride from her home to the church! Oh, what humorous stories we can tell on each other...we all made some mistakes regarding time etc. So glad that we loved each other so much. What a blessing! As we mixed our cultures and our love for the Lord Jesus Christ, a bond was developed that cannot be broken. We keep in touch to this day!
It is no coincidence that the Lord has called Paul and me to teach at a CURE Hospital in Addis Ababa. Our travel dates are February 3-13th, 2012. Please keep us in your prayers. This trip will be an experience of a lifetime for Paul...to see for the first time Africa...to see the land of his brothers and sisters, Enawgaw, Aelaf, Tigist, Moges, Mismac, Nebret and others. We love to joke that are in the same family...born of different mothers...but the same Father...our Heavenly One!
While we are in Ethiopia, we will be with some precious people...Ethiopians and people from other countries. Paul and I will be teaching at a CURE conference. Paul will be lecturing at the University. He will be available as a consultant for the hospital in the areas of pediatric anesthesia, regional anesthesia and pain management. I have been asked to teach a couple of sessions too. In these experiences, it is about who you are with, rather than the activities. We will be with nurses, managers, medical staff, pastoral staff and CURE Leadership. Please pray for a spirit of cooperation and unity as we come from so many countries and backgrounds.

How can you be praying for Paul and me? I'll keep it simple using the letters to the country Ethiopia.


E-Energy, Excitement, Eagerness to serve, Eternal perspective
T-Timing to complete responsibilities
H-Health and safety as we drive to Washington, DC for our flight to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (and back again!)
 I-Insights into the needs of the CURE Hospital and healthcare of the country
O-Opportunities to be a blessings, Obedient hearts and hands in serving
P-Prayerful preparations, Pleasure in serving the Lord, Purposeful activities
I-Individual encounters resulting in fruitfulness for God's kingdom
A-Afterwards may our lives be changed forever,  Attentiveness to God's call to serve near and afar, Appreciation for all that God has accomplished!

In our devotional times, I will be sharing with the nurses from Paul's letter to the Colossian church. The overriding theme is 'Christ in you, the hope of glory' Colossians 1:27b. I love the contrasts in this lovely letter written so warmly to a group of people Paul never met. What a joy to be reminded that we have come from darkness and that as believers we have been brought into the kingdom of light in Jesus Christ. I could go on and on about the many contrasts of sin & forgiveness, debt & redemption, putting off & putting on...! Can you tell that I am excited? What a privilege to open up God's Word and see all that He has for His own to bring fullness, completeness and wholeness to our lives....ultimately, the blessing of eternity with our Lord Jesus Christ. If you want to hear more...you will have to come along!

Anyway, dear blog followers and readers, now you know how to pray for us. The real work of any service with the Lord is prayer. May we be faithful, joyful, trusting, peaceful and loving servants in this rich opportunity in Ethiopia. To God be the Glory!

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