Tag Archives: Ethiopia

Angry or Just Plain Mad

imageTo all of us who at times feel hurt and anger because of the dealings of life I have a little life line to throw to you. Having recently found myself in such a state I have been seeking God for my own life line.

We’ve all been there, it’s in fact what 1Corinthians10:13 refers to as “temptations common to man”, angry about things that have happened, hurt and angry about loosing a loved one prematurely, disappointed and angry over a relationship, angry about unfair treatment at work or home or school, how about angry because of unanswered prayer, yes there is that too. The Word (Psalm 4:4) says

“Be angry and do not sin, meditate and pray on your bed and be still, make the sacrifices of righteousness and put your trust in God.”

It’s ok to be angry, we don’t have to pretend to be super saints as though we were not deeply affected by what just happened, the loss, the injustice we experienced, even about the prayers that seem to remain unanswered. God’s Word even acknowledges this, we will get angry! Don’t let the enemy condemn you, anger is a natural human emotion. The Word says be angry and do not sin! But how?? The Bible has much to say on that subject, but in this Psalms He directs us to
“meditate and pray” on your bed, and
“be still” and
though it may be a sacrifice, do the right thing anyway, “make the sacrifices of righteousness” and then finally He tells us to put our
“trust in God”.
It’s ok to be angry about loss, and disappointment and even unanswered prayer, it’s ok. It’s ok. The Word says climb into bed, meditate and pray, and be still, and lastly, even though it will probably be a sacrifice, DO THE RIGHT THING, make the sacrifices of righteousness and trust God!!

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Mix It With Faith

Heb 4:2 For indeed the good news was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.

Think of the amazing things God has done for you, there are so many, and yet often when I cry out to Him my need I fret and worry and wring my hands for fear that He won’t answer. And a long trial, is the most challenging! But lately I’ve been remembering Heb4:2, mix it w faith. The promises of God are yea and amen to those who mix them with faith. In the wilderness, when the spies returned with their report and Joshua and Caleb rejoiced that though there are giants we need not be afraid, everyone, nevertheless chose to walk in unbelief …that cost them the Promised Land. Heb4:2 “… the word they heard did not profit them, not being mixed w faith by those who heard it.” Unbelief kept them out of the Promised Land, away from the rest of God He has promised. In our lives, has He made great and precious promises? Don’t let unbelief rob you, don’t let the enemy of our souls rob us. Mix it with faith!! Mix the promises of God you are claiming with faith! Without faith it is impossible to believe God!

Furlough

So here’s the thing, when you return to your home country there are a few things that generally happen.

You pack for several days, several days! After which, of course, your home in Africa is pretty much turned upside down, so you clean for a couple of hours. You’ve stocked the freezer with dog bones to last Sam and Frodoe, our German shepards, for a while. In Awassa, they don’t sell dog food, you make your own… yeah I know. So you go to the butcher and ask for bones and offal (disgusting) and because you’re from the good old USA and didn’t see an FDA certificate on the steaming hunk of meat you cook the bones. The smell is so bad that it has to be done outside (lol)! But I digress.

You wrangle your 8 pieces of luggage, including 5 massive trunks into the van and drive 5 perilous hrs to the airport. Why perilous, well it’s torn up in some spots and there are deep potholes that entire families could live in. And dare I forget the donkey carts, crazy Isuzu drivers, (I’d tell u what we call them but I might get kicked off social media), cows, motorists, trucks with trailers and children… Let’s just say perilous is a fitting description!

It turns out that the airport in Addis Ababa is a major hub for all of Africa, and believe me when I say, there are people there from all over the world! There are Indian’s going to India, Germans “on holiday”, Ethiopians headed to the Middle East and on and on and on. People are everywhere!! This airport is not for the faint of heart!

And we’re off, 8 hrs to Frankfurt with a 7 hour layover, and then 11 hrs more to SF. After traveling for about 30 hrs, you can understand, we were more than a little tired. We get on the wrong shuttle with our 8 pieces of luggage, drive to the hotel we thought was ours only to find it wasn’t that location, climb back into the shuttle and circle back to the airport, onto the right shuttle and to the right hotel, and reception asks “How was your day”, Gary’s tight lipped response “Fine.”

We arrive at my daughter’s house only to be greeted by these 2 lovely Angels, a.k.a. Grandchildren! And they have so much to tell me, so much they want me to see, and then there is the mention of ice cream, wow, is this real or am I dreaming?

We run to give a quick kiss and hug to Bobby (our most recent grandson) and we’re back at our home away from home. My granddaughter and I are listening to Corey read her a story, when I here him say, “leave her alone, she’s sleeping”, and I realize I’ve literally “nodded off” to the gentle press of my granddaughter’s nearness and her Dad reading us a story about, oh I can’t remember.

Furlough, Day 1.
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Oh, how abundant is your goodness…

Psalms 31:19 Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you…

We have friends here working in a certain ministry, and they learned of a 20 yr old, named Adam (not his real name), dying of cancer on his leg. He is from a village far away, but his father brought him to Hawassa, to a “Sisters of Mercy” outreach where he could be taken care of until he died. His friends in the village said their goodbyes and even held a funeral for him.

Sadly his father had lost his wife and daughter to a similar illness and was totally without hope. At the Sisters of Mercy Adam received a cursory examination and they felt also that there was no hope for the young man as it appeared the cancer had spread to his lungs. One of the Sisters wanted to go for a 2nd opinion, but was told it was hopeless and permission to seek a 2nd opinion was denied. Adam was very poor, and actually had no money to seek a second opinion. But this particular Sister continued to pray that somehow the Lord would send someone to bless Adam. All the while, Adam continued to grow weaker and weaker.

Maria (not her real name), a Polish volunteer heard of Adam and began praying w the Particular Sister, when along came another Priest. He gave permission for Adam to be taken for a second opinion. They learned that there was some respiratory issues but it wasn’t cancer. In our weekly ladies bible study Maria shared this prayer request, it was last Wednesday and we began to pray for Adam. The husband of one of our members is a Surgeon, and he agreed to see Adam. Though very busy and about to leave town he examined Adam. Another doctor had offered to take Adams case in a week, but Adam was dying and would not live another week. This was Friday, and Adam pleaded with the Surgeon to remove the leg and he agreed to amputate the leg the next day.

However the proper tools were not available. The Surgeon began to pray, and felt directed to go and buy a band saw… This is not standard medical equipment, this is the kind with the thin narrow blade… Yes, I know, INCREDIBLE! With this he amputated Adams leg and Adam testified that for the first time in months he could sleep without pain. He was so excited. He was overjoyed, so relived to have that painful appendage removed! His relationship w his father has been restored, his fathers faith has been restored, and Adam will be recovering at the Sisters of Mercy for the next 3 months! I want to meet him, I think God has something special in store for that young man!

This was the testimony that was shared 4 days later at our next ladies bible study, and we all rejoiced. So many miracles had to take place to give Adam his blessing, so many roadblocks and obstacles overcome, but we serve a mighty God!

Psalms31:19 Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you…

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

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!!