I will be a Father to you, and you will be sons and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty.
- 2 Corinthians 6:18

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Living Sent, Ethiopia: Worth It.

Saturday, June 21st
 VBS, Ethiopia style. Perhaps the most fun, precious thing ever. But then again, I could say that about our flower ceremony. I would say it about the selfies these sweet, sweet children love to take, and the way they love to dance. I could say it about our visit with little Yikram and her mother and looking up to see her VBS craft hanging so proudly on the wall of her one-room house.

 But as I started the day early this morning, I thought for a brief moment of all that is different. I thought of the long plane rides and equally tiring bus ride as I woke up drooping from being in a country seven hours ahead of my 'normal', and I wondered if it all would be worth it. 

"What if it isn't everything I've hoped it will be?"  

 The thought is quickly dismissed though in the excitement of our first day in Hawassa. And by the time we pull up to the church, greeted by children with the most beautiful smiles, the thought is gone completely. Every time I turn around there are more smiles and more little hands reaching up to take mine. 

 There are pictures and songs and dances and sweet moments such as this one, played and replayed and smiles each time.
{Excuse my exceptionally terrible video-taking skills...}
 Surrounded by these children, a team member looks at me and says, "You feel right at home here, don't you, Abigail?" And I smile and squeeze the hand in mine a little tighter, because when I look into the faces of such cherished Ethiopian little ones, hear a chorus of Abigail! Abigail! as we return from lunch, and exchange hugs and I love you's when we leave for the day; there is truly no place I'd rather be.

 And on the bus ride back to our hotel, the nervousness is gone. In its place, a deep joy and such thankfulness to the God of the nations. My heart swells as I bottle up stories and love so freely given here in Hawassa. And oh, all this travel, the weeks of preparing, and every prayer prayed is so, so worth it. I know it deep down in my soul, as Christ continues to open my heart more to Him and more to these children that have already captured it.

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