Monthly Archives: September 2013

5k for a Great Cause!

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Causes motivate and inspire. I heard a message on Sunday by Pastor Judah Smith entitled “Still haven’t found what I’m looking for”,which was about people who search and search for meaning and fulfilment in life only to be disappointed and frustrated. They may have all the things money can buy, but still feel empty and unsatisfied. Meaning in life can truly be found in Christ but as a Christian I begin to think of the needs of others and when I make a difference in the lives of those in need I find fulfillment. Participating in the work of charities and non-profits is one way to find fulfillment, even inspiration!

The Fire Over Africa 5K held in California and New York raises funds for some pretty amazing people and programs in Ethiopia. Your support and involvement in such events is an opportunity to change lives for the better.

We all have something to give to those who have so little, our time, our resources, our influence… It is sacrifices such as these, which allow us to share in their joy and blessing. Be a hero to someone who could really use one! Oh, and have fun doing it!

Visit our website: http://www.fireoverafrica.org

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5K All the Way

Many amazing things happened that day during the 5K, some walked Lake Merritt for the first time or achieved some personal goal, others formed new and lasting friendships, and then there were those who dressed up in funny masks and costumes posing at the Lake for the first time… well, let’s hope it was for the first time!   To see other great pics of our 5K follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/events/282837535191409/

“A cheerful heart is a good medicine” Proverbs 17:22a5k masks 5k3

Fire Over Africa 5K Walk/Run (CA)

Yesterday, in Oakland we held a 5K Walk/Run, and it was a blast!. Over 100 Walkers registered, gathered sponsors and raised tons of money for Fire Over Africa our NGO, and the programs we support like, orphanages, leadership training, and medical missions outreach. Our 5K committee was inspired!! They invented fresh and fun ideas for making the day incredibly memorable for us all. We had an amazing treat, Gete, a young Ethiopian woman, who runs a 6 minute mile was part of our event, and boy was she fast!

The day was perfect for a walk or run, it was overcast and a little chilly, so as we began to move around we warmed up quickly! Our welcome tables overflowed with sweet treats while balloons and the sounds of rockin cool beats made you want to dance or “walk” your cares away! There were groups of young professionals, moms pushing strollers, entire families, grandmas, and grandpas, you name it they were there!! Even our very on Pastors David and Marilyn walked! We had runners, joggers, and  walkers galore. Lake Merritt is a naturally beautiful site for this kind of event and its wild life includes pelicans, geese, lunes and many other birds. 

Laughter was everywhere, and excitement was in the atmosphere! Everyone was excited to be walking or running for such an amazing cause but also to be having so much fun hanging out at the Lake with friends new and old. It was a great day and a great event, from the Bubble Machine Station, I know, go figure… to my personal favorite, the Photo Op Station!! Thank you all for making the Oakland 5K a great success, we are already planning others for the future, and the NY run is just around the corner. Thank you all so much, for joining us as we bless the people of the land of “13 months of sunshine”, Ethiopia!!

Kansas, it’s way overrated!

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I loved the Wizard of Oz, and Dorothy’s comment to Toto, “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore…” has become my “go to” phrase when I think about my life in Awassa, Ethiopia. One day I decided to go adventuring so I changed my clothes, grabbed my umbrella and a few Birr, and was off.

Immediately I stopped short…I had to wait for a monkey to run across the street. He looked just like the “Outbreak” monkey! Now that’s something you don’t see everyday in the States, but in Awassa it’s an everyday occurrence. After he scurried across the street, with something resembling a loping gait, I began to notice he was on all fours carrying a baby that was curled up and holding on for dear life. Suddenly I realized, what I thought was a “he” was probably a “she”! On top of all this she was balancing this really long tail. And I thought, for the umpteenth time, yup, no Kansas around here. Sure, life in Ethiopia is pretty unusual by our western standards, but the Bible tells us “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” Matt 28:19. Yes, He even intends for us to go to those nations which force us to move outside our “comfort zone”. So, I may not be in Kansas, but I’m where I belong… Kansas, it’s way overrated!

Water… /whä/ … ውኃ (in Amharic)

Last year we had been waiting for our senior pastor and a team to visit us for a while.  About a week prior to their scheduled arrival, we had problems with the city water, but we weren’t concerned, we have 1500 liters in reserve and rarely have to worry about water. A well would cost $20 thousand US dollars, we’d gotten a price from a well building non-profit, so we’d gone the other route, keeping enormous tanks in reserve. So, when problems surfaced, we did a little bit of this and a little bit of that, and voila we were back in business.

Our team arrived and we were so excited.  I’d made tons of meals in advance, decorated, and anticipated their every need and want… we were ready. The first night of their visit, my husband notices the water pressure is pretty low.  No way, that’s not going to happen, we’ve anticipated their every need and want, how can this be?

That morning our 5 guests woke up excited about their African adventure, only to discover there was no water. Of course, they mused, it’s a very odd thing to have happen, but hey, for most of them this was their first time in ET, so what the hay, and we thought, it will come on tomorrow.

But by the 2nd night, we learned the cities new schedule for our area was water every 3 days! Our collective disappointment verged on disbelief… I was so bummed.  It’s hard to get enough water to wash a few dishes, let alone give one of the nine people staying in our home a shower.  I couldn’t believe this was happening. We’ve had donkey carts deliver water into our reserve tanks, but not this time Lord.  Instead, we hauled out buckets for every bathroom, and used all our reserve for washing dishes and cooking.

Yes, Lord I wanted our guests to have a true African experience, but no water? I learned upon becoming a missionary to a developing nation, you need water of course to take a shower, but even to flush the toilets, even if you’re doing it manually, which is your only choice when the toilets don’t work b/c there is no city water!

What will the missions report back at our home church read… those Munson’s how can they call that a guest house when they can’t even deal with the water situation. We sure don’t want to stay there again! Of course the enemy was trying to sell me that bill of goods. But God!! Why had they come, they’d come to encourage us, and they had, to hold a pastors conference, and it was amazing, and to stir two thousand college kids to action, and they were super stirred!!

In light of the amazing things that were accomplished on this trip, going without a shower for a few days is a pretty small price to pay. The team enjoyed every bit of it, and had a few funny stories to tell about their experiences in the Motherland… God is good!!

Scriptures I used to encourage myself during this time:

Romans 8:28, Paul’s experiences as a missionary