Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Two weeks to Addis

A few sweeties enjoying some sweeties!

She is precious in His sight.

Some of Korah's precious treasures.

Yesterday, I got the suitcases out and began to go through and pack our donations. We are allowed 2 bags a piece, 50 pounds per bag. We are full so it looks like Blaine and I won't have any clothes! Ok, that's an exaggeration. Katie and De are allowed 4 bags total so Blaine and I will have one bag to share and that's all we need.

I have received 2 boxes from Dave, the man who owns the guest home where we'll be staying to bring down with us. He has a ministry that serves the women of Korah, as well as some other poor women in Addis. They have learned the skill of bead making and now have 9-5 jobs making bead necklaces. This has enabled them to learn a skill, get off the streets, stop begging and take care of their families. So we are bringing jugs of glaze for the beads. Dave is praying for a real kiln to be made available to these women who then could make some high quality beads and therefore sell more necklaces. If you'd like one of these necklaces, leave me a comment telling me how many. You can send payment after we get home. Not sure the price but am sure it isn't outrageous. Just think- Christmas gifts and helping women out of poverty all at the same time!

I did want to put this out there in case anyone is wondering if they could bless the people of Korah from home. We are still and always will be in need of over the counter meds like antifungal cream, triple antibiotic ointment and hydrocortisone cream. The amazing thing that I didn't know is that you can buy these items and many more at the Dollar Store...yes, for a DOLLAR. I wiped our Dollar Store out last week...it was awesome! So here's your opportunity! If you want to do this, just drop the goodies off at my house and I promise they will go to a great cause. Incredible the difference a buck can make!

We also will be taking a suitcase full of supplies for the medical team that we'll be there assisting. There is a dental team there right now who unfortunately had their equipment held up at customs and it seems they won't release it to them. They are making do but it is a very big blow to the team. So the medical team has decided to split up the supplies as much as possible between team members. Pray our supplies don't get held up.

It seems that Katie and De will now be flying out a day earlier than planned. Ethiopian Airlines cancelled the Thursday flight they were to be on so in order for them to be there on Saturday, when we all travel to the town of Sheshemene to the boarding school to do medical exams on the students, Wed. was the day they had to leave.

Blaine and I made a beautiful Shutterfly book for Mihiretu and Misganaw's Ethiopian mom to have. We included pictures of them as really little guys up to the present. I know she will LOVE it and cherish it. We haven't heard yet for sure if our meeting is all set up but we are hoping and confident it will work out for her.

We also have some things we are trying to do for Aliya while we are there. I can't share what but in planning all this, something has triggered in her and sent her into a tailspin. She has told us a lot about her past but it has taken her many months to share what she has shared. But we know she is holding a LOT inside her. I told her to let her walls down, that she is safe and secure here in this family and we love her and always will. She says that she will never let her walls down. This comes from a girl who has been deeply wounded and is afraid of being hurt again. She simply can't let us in yet. If I'm being honest, this past week has been awful with her on many levels. Please pray that we will be able to acquire in Ethiopia what she needs and that in doing that, she will have peace. We know that God is a God of healing and we trust that He knows what He's doing.

We would also appreciate if you'd begin to pray for us and our team as we prepare for, travel to and return home from Ethiopia. If you've read this blog very long you will know that the enemy loves to come and create chaos when we step out in faith. We've had it happen so many times and we just need prayer. You have also seen in reading about our lives that God ALWAYS wins in the end.

Let the countdown begin!


Monday, September 12, 2011

Since you asked:)

Nancy, I think you're right in your assessment. People simply don't want to face the pain and poverty. I've always been fascinated with missions and the adventure of it and would LOVE to hear about your past trips sometime.

Kathy, yes I would love to do a neighborhood ladies get together after we get back:)

Jennifer, you're a girl after my own heart for sure! And since you asked...

We arrive in Addis Ababa on Friday and leave Saturday morning for Sheshemene (a town in the countryside, south of Addis). We just so happen to be going exactly when a Visiting Orphans medical mission group is going and we will be joining up with them to assist them in any way. I am an LPN but a rusty one but the others in our little group are non-medical. There is still plenty for them to do - crowd control and other tasks will keep us all busy from dawn till dusk. We are doing health evals. on the kids who originally came from the trash dump but are now attending the boarding school in Sheshemene. There are 250 kids there so that should keep us busy for a couple days! We'll be staying overnight in a hotel in Owassa, which I'm sure will prove very interesting to say the least;)

After we're done with the clinic there, we head back to Addis on Monday (I believe) to begin the medical clinic in Korah. Here we will see, I'm sure a lot of different health problems. I think the goal is to see 150 people a day (or close to that). There will be a pharmacy in which people will be given meds to help with whatever problem they suffer from.

On Wednesday, the 6 of us (Katie, De, Kevin, Denise, Blaine and I) will leave early in the morning for Hossana, which is about a 4 hour drive south into the countryside. We have been there before as this is where Mihiretu and Misganaw are from and where we went to meet their Ethiopian mother when we were there adopting them.

Our plan is that we will meet with the 2 boys we sponsor through Compassion International and Kevin and Denise will meet with their little boy. Pretty cool that all the kids we support are from the area that our sons are from. That was by design, even with Kevin and Denise. How cool is that? We will get to tour the project (school) the boys attend and then get to visit their homes. We'll take all the boys out to lunch and get to spend time with them. They are older boys, who often get overlooked for sponsorships-ages 12, 13 and 14. We specifically asked for older boys for this reason when we began sponsoring them. Can't wait to meet them!

Then we also will be visiting with Mihiretu and Misganaw's Ethiopian mom and hopefully some of their siblings. We're really praying to have this amazing chance to meet them. This is being set up by Children's Home Society, the agency we used to adopt them. We will be thrilled to see her again and show her video of the boys, how big they've gotten, that they're healthy and happy. We'll present her with a photo album full of pictures of them. I would want this if I were her and I know it will mean the world to her. We want to bless her as she has blessed us.

We then will spend yet another night in the countryside at a hotel before heading back to Addis to complete the clinic in Korah and then help in any other way is needed.

Does that not sound like an amazing trip?? I think so, too!

Thanks for asking. It was fun getting to talk about it!


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

School starts- from Kindergarten to college:)

Today is the first day of school. Aliya started 9th grade, high school! She was up and ready to go on time this morning. A couple hours into school, she texted me (a big school no-no!) and told me, "Everything is good here!" I am happy for her that's she's having a good first day.

Her schedule was changed to only having one ELL class (she was to have 2). Her previous ELL teacher and her dean decided that she could handle more academic classes so they made the change. If it ends up to be too much for her, they will pull her back into 2 ELL periods per day. The other change came (still kicking myself!) when the original schedule came out and she was put into a lower Algebra class. She was VERY upset by this and couldn't understand why she couldn't be in a 'regular' math class. Blaine and I were completely relieved by this as this meant much less homework for her at night (read-Blaine helping her for 1-2 hours per night). I did question the dean about it and was told it must have been a mistake and since she earned a B last year in Algebra, she would be moved up to the regular Algebra class. She was absolutely thrilled because she thinks that she needs no help and should do all the work the other students are doing. She gets very offended! Oh, my goodness. She has no idea!

Misganaw had his visit to Kindergarten today. Tomorrow he starts for real. His teacher seems sweet and he cannot wait to go tomorrow on the BUS! I did see that having so many older sibs can be detrimental in terms of sharing. He was playing with the cash register in class today while I was filling out papers. From the corner I hear, "Hey, I was playing with that FIRST!" The youngest has to learn to fight for turns and that carries through to school. We will have to work on that! He did make friends with the little boy and when I walked over to them later, I saw that MJ had made a gun and was shooting the boy. I heard the boy say, "The teacher won't like that you made a gun." Oh, boy. Just how much trouble will my little boy get into this year?

So our youngest is a Kindergartner and our oldest is beginning his senior year in college. How fun is that?????

We now have under 6 weeks until we go to Ethiopia. Denise and I are getting a kick out of the reaction we get when people hear what we are doing. What we've found is that the huge majority of people who hear that we're going to Ethiopia do NOT want to talk about it at all. They don't ask any questions like, "what will you be doing?" or "how did you get involved in that?" They look away, change the subject or just ignore it all together. Why is this? I really have no idea!

I had one lady at football practice who was very friendly and chatty tell me that she thinks the boys play in the Metrodome for their last game. I asked her when that was. I mean, how cool would it be to play where the Vikings play? She told me it was in October while we are gone and I said, "SHOOT!" She asked if we were gone and I simply replied that it was our 25th anniversary and we were going to do some humanitarian work in Ethiopia.

She looked away and a few minutes after a long silence she said, "You've been married 25 years?"


"So you're going to Ethiopia?"


More silence.

The end.

This is the MOST conversation I've ever had when a stranger hears we are going to Ethiopia.

Anyone have any idea why this would be? If someone told me they were going to an unusual place like that, I'd have a million questions. Maybe I'm just nosey!!