December 23, 2009

I have come to know and often say the phrase “TIA” or “This is Africa”.  This phrase is used in those situations that we would only be experiencing here in Africa.  For example, the other day I was riding along with my friends, Becky and Caleb.  When I looked in front of us, I saw a motorcycle carrying not 1 person, not 2 people, but 3 full grown men (one of whom was carting along an uncovered hack saw)!  I was a little afraid for them…but I guess that’s just how they roll here.  TIA!


Home Visits

December 23, 2009

First, I must apologize for how long it has been since I have posted anything. I have had much to post, but I have just not sat down and written them out. So, now that I am on Christmas break from language school, I have more time to sit down and let you know some things that have been going on.

Every other Thursday I go to visit homes of people who are living with HIV/AIDS. When we go, we take some food for them, we sit and chat with them, and we share scripture and encouraging words with them. This is one of my favorite things that I get to do here. I love listening to them, and just spending time with them. I think this is something that reminds them of their worth and dignity. These truths are easily robbed from them, as friends and family, who have found out about the disease they live with, are quick to abandon them and not even associate with them. This is something I could not even imagine, and would never want to experience.

A couple of weeks ago, we visited a lady named Berkay. She began sharing her story with me, and when I asked her how old she was, she said 27. This woman is the same age as me, and when I heard all that she had been through, it just broke my heart. She came into Addis from the countryside in order to find work. She found a job as a seratainya (house worker), and not long after that, the guard who worked at the same house raped her. As a result, she was left with this life-altering disease. She tried to return to the countryside, but when her family found out that she had HIV, they turned her away. Feeling worthless, she came back to Addis and found a job at a restaurant. While working there, she met a guy and began a relationship with him. Not long after, she became pregnant. She is now a single mother, and doesn’t know where the father is. So, now she lives in this small 10’ by 10’ room with her baby and washes clothes for a living. She shared with me though, that someone had shared with her about Christ, and she now has hope in Him. I was so glad to hear that, but completely brokenhearted about the past situations. It was hard for me to believe that I could encourage this woman in any way, never experiencing the pain that she had experienced first hand. Nonetheless, I did share with her how proud I was of her, and how thankful I was that she had found Hope. I shared with her the scripture that I had read that morning in 2 Cor. 1 about Paul being thankful for both sufferings and God’s comfort, and that it was for the purpose of building up the Corinthians. I encouraged her to be there for those who have gone through similar circumstances, and to share her Hope with them too.

I am so very thankful to be a part of this ministry, and I am thankful for the Ethiopians who have a heart to do this. I know it is making an impact on the lives of those we get to visit, and the Lord is glorified through it.