Reflecting over the past few days, it’s been a whirlwind of learning, laughter, and new experiences. Monday was a day we wish you were all here to experience. We made over fifty sandwiches (PB&J and scrambled egg) to take on our trip to the Portuguese Bridge with the boys from the Kolfe orphanage. As the bus pulled away from the church, the boys began singing songs of praise…it was so special to watch. We managed to get to the bridge, despite a flat tire along the way. We arrived at the Portuguese Bridge and the sight was beautiful. The bridge was built in the sixteenth century and was surrounded by waterfalls and swimming holes, as well as massive rocks and trees. It also had many lookout points over a deep valley, surrounded by hills…kind of like the “Grand Canyon of Ethiopia” :). We had a blast spending the day with the boys. They took turns holding our hands and leading us up and down the rocks to make sure we wouldn’t fall…it was so sweet! We had hours on the bus to get to know the boys as well as play games and sing songs. When we received snacks on the bus, the boys were quick to offer portions of their own snack to us. We, who have much, cling tightly to our possessions, yet these boys who have very little are quick to offer their snacks to us! We have so much to learn about sharing the blessings God gives us daily.
On a side note, our Amharic has continued to improve. Thanks to the boys, we can now count to ten, sing some songs, and identify various animals and bus parts in Amharic. It was a very successful bus ride, to say the least.
16th century Portuguese Bridge
Coryn's hair stylist for the day: The Kolfe boys.... you should've seen the back.
Some of the Kolfe boys splashin' around at the Portuguese Bridge :)
Tuesday we spent the day shadowing Mary at the SIM clinic and sorting out expired medications…LOTS of meds! It was an interesting day and we learned quite a bit about local health issues just by observing which meds were used by the clinic.
warning: those are not pink m&m's... they don't taste like chocolate.
Today, we were able to visit more ministries in Ethiopia. We started out the day at a government health center. We spent time in the dental wing, watching people get numbed up for teeth extractions and root canals. The dentist tried to get us to extract teeth, but we politely declined… knowing we would probably yank out the wrong tooth or cause some other catastrophe :). Then we spent some time in other units, such as family planning and outpatient pediatrics.
After lunch at Island Breeze we headed to Asco Children’s Center, run by the Sisters of Mercy. This place was unbelievable! Asco started essentially as a hospice for children with HIV, but has now blossomed into a sprawling campus with a school, housing units, clinic, garden, and much more. They have so many incredible programs to aid women and children, aside from the orphanage on the compound. Their school services over 1000 children from the community. They also have a unit where families can stay while their child receives cancer treatment. This is really helpful for patients coming from rural areas. In addition, all of the services provided are free of charge. They greatly depend on charity and donations to provide their services. The Sisters of Mercy have done incredible things here and it was great to see how a place can serve to meet more than just physical needs.
God has taught us quite a bit through our experiences in the past week. We have been immersed into a very different culture and have been reminded that a “normal day” for us in America is very different than that of the Majority World. We are very blessed, but it is crucial we realize these blessings are not given for us to keep to ourselves. God graciously blesses us in different ways and it is important we receive these blessings with open hands and hearts to honor Him by serving others and giving back. It is very easy and wrong to think that we deserve all that we are given. None of us deserve anything God gives us…it all belongs to him. He has already freely given us the gift of eternal life with Him. Yet, He continues to give despite our ignorance. Please take time to reflect on how you receive God’s blessings…are your hands and hearts opened, or tightly clenched? What way can you begin, or continue, to serve the Majority World?