AKKAM! ("hello" in Oromo...language they speak in Langano!)
We spent the past few days in Langano, which is a rural area four hours south of Addis. SIM is actively
involved there in a variety of ministries, but we spent our time working in their clinic. We drove down and arrived Tuesday afternoon and decided to explore the area and walk down to the beach. Little did we know, the path to the beach was completely overgrown and we ended up trekking through the mud to get there! We were a disaster by the time we made it back to the beach house where we were staying, but the laughs and experience were well worth it. We even saw a couple hippo tracks :)
On Wednesday we had an early start at the clinic that included a time of prayer and teaching. We divided our time the rest of the morning and afternoon between the med dispensing room and prenatal check-ups. We were taught how to do the check-ups, which included measuring the distance between the symphysis pubis and the fundus (to determine how far along the pregnancy is), determining the fetal position, and listening for the fetal heartbeat. It wasn’t long before we were doing them by ourselves and charting the results!
Thursday was vaccination day, which we were super excited about, until we realized the patients were ALL babies from 1-10 months old getting their measles, polio, DTP, PCV, and BCG immunizations. However, after 30+ babies we were feeling like pros! They were so happy when they walked into the room and smiled at us…until we gave the shots. With five babies in the room at a time you wouldn’t believe the screaming.
We had many unique opportunities in Langano. The staff (a mixture of Habesha and Farenje) were so wonderful in allowing us to participate in the provision of care and observe many interesting cases. We saw patients with cutaneous anthrax, assisted in a minor surgery, watched an adult circumcision (we thought it would we a baby when we agreed to watch…whoops), gave shots in the bum, and much more!
Langano is a beautiful place with a beach and lake nearby with mountains in the background. God is also working greatly through the staff at the clinic and compound. This experience made us realize the importance of showing Christ’s love through actions. With the majority of the population around Langano being Muslim, it was an opportunity to be witnesses of the Gospel. Thursday, we vaccinated many Muslim women’s babies and then saw many of these women still walking home once we left Langano that afternoon. We were able to give some of them a ride to shorten up their trips home. At one point, we had 12 people in two rows of the Land Cruiser…it was quite a funny moment and we all shared some laughs, especially when they couldn’t figure out how to open the doors to get out! :) Small things like this make us grateful that we have the opportunity to share the Gospel with our actions, and hope that these women may have wondered the reason behind our actions. Another part of us craves the opportunity to share the Gospel not only with actions, but words. This is where we get stuck many times, especially here in Ethiopia where they speak a different language, but also in the States. We like to be nice and do kind things for others, hoping they will “see Jesus in us”. But, actions are not enough. We are called to share Truth with actions AND words. Verse about sharing gospel with words.
We challenge you to share the Gospel or your faith story with someone this week. Grab a cup of coffee, talk over the phone, or share with a co-worker the reason for your faith. God calls us to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20)…the Great Commission is not optional. We can start making disciples simply by sharing the Gospel or our faith stories both with new or old friends. It’s not through our power that the Kingdom of God will grow, but through the Holy Spirit.
Pray that God will continue to use SIM to reach the Muslims in Ethiopia
Pray that the Holy Spirit will fill YOU with HIS power to share the Gospel
Ask yourself, “How can I make disciples of all nations?” Write your ideas down, pray for discernment, and do it.
Our flight heads out at 2am Monday morning (Ethiopia time)... our time here has flown by! We would appreciate your prayers for safe travels home as well :) Thanks for all your support!