Friday November 23, 2018
We arrived in Addis after midnight. Our friend Fekadu was waiting at the airport for us and speedily delivered us (emphasis on the speedy part) to our guest house where we met up with Aimee and her crew. I was pleasantly surprised to see that she was up, although by then it was nearly 2 am. After settling in we were able to get about 3.5 hours sleep before meeting our driver to head over to the Hope for Korah compound.
When we arrived, Berta Breakfast was in full swing. This is a nutritionally dense pancake that the children eat before going to school each morning. This was my third time in Korah and it was nice to see how much the children have flourished since my last visit 2 years ago. Caroline and Meron made some fast friends and then it was time for us to head to Kaldi’s for our breakfast. This is the Ethiopian Version of Starbucks and boast the best macchiatos around. Well, I take my husband’s word for that because I’m not a coffee drinker (which can get a bit complicated in the land of coffee ceremonies).
We then returned to the compound to paint the desks used for after school tutoring as well as some of the classroom doors. When I found out about the painting project, I was glad to have something hands on to do, especially for the girls, but alas, I am not a painter, I am a nurse, so I entered this task a little apathetic. As we painted desks, Aimee and I wrestled with the purpose of our time here. Was this really a valuable task or were they just keeping the “missionaries” busy? I wanted God to use me. As we completed the project, I realized how time consuming it would have been for one or two people and that the time we spent painting allowed the staff to attend to more pressing matters at the compound.
During our lunch break, Jake, the American staff person for Hope for Korah, prayed a prayer that would stick with me for the rest of the day. He prayed that God would allow us to be sensitive to the needs around us.
Our first Bajaj ride
A simple prayer and one that would be answered quickly. We had planned for some of the team to finish up painting after lunch while Aimee, Jake and I did medical home visits to follow up on some of the people in the care of Hope for Korah. Now this was right up my alley. I love using the nursing skills God has given me to care for others.
Our first stop became our last as we immediately realized the urgency of the needs of the very first person we visited. As we left to gather supplies, I remembered that prayer Jake had just prayed, that we would be sensitive to the needs of those around us. A prayer that requires a stillness and awareness that we often don’t have. We tend to rush through our days, never pausing to be still and take in the needs of those that the Lord puts in our paths. It was a valuable reminder.
I prayed that the Lord would give us wisdom and for the remainder of the afternoon and early evening, we worked as a team to compassionately care for this precious man.
When we had finished, he waved his hand at me in such a way that I wasn’t sure if he was waving me away because of all of the unpleasantness of the procedures that we had just put him through or if he wanted me to stay. I reached out my hand and he grasped it tightly and began to praise Jesus and thank us for the care we had provided. I was relieved that even across language and cultural barriers, he understood that we were there to help him.
As a nurse, there are many things that have to be done that are rather unpleasant, both for the provider and the patient. Some things you never would imagine that you’d would have to do at all. After praying over our new friend, we headed back to meet our driver. Walking down that cobblestone path Jake turned to me and said, “I guess it’s true what they say, we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.” The Lord in his kindness had empowered us to all come together and complete the tasks that needed to be done to help a fellow brother in Christ and it was a beautiful thing to be a part of.
He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.