I wish I could post an update from the team in Ethiopia but I've had no email or phone contact for several days now. So... I thought I would share a map that I've 'doctored up' a bit to give you an idea where they are right now.
(double click on map to enlarge)
Last Saturday, Joy, Mark, Jeff, Tezera and Abebe loaded a ton of supplies into a 15 passenger van and left the capital city of Addis Ababa for their first stop of their "three city tour" of Western Ethiopia. They took orphanage donations, formula and even flooring for some orphanage remodeling. Mark said they looked a bit like the Clampetts heading down the road.
YWAM has an orphanage in Nekemte and this is the city they stayed in on Saturday and Sunday. Nekemte is a fairly big city.
They spent two nights in Nekemte, working at the orphanage, taking photos and video of the newest children, assessing children and meeting with local staff there. They were planning on going to church on Sunday.
Monday morning, bright and early, they left for Gimbie. I know you're probably not picturing a U.S. interstate but the road between Nekemte and Gimbie is, to put it mildly, a bit bumpy. Bone-jarringly so! It's a beautiful drive across some of Ethiopia's most scenic countryside. Here are some scenes on the road to Gimbie.
The team spent two nights in Gimbie, staying at the Adventist Guest House there. They spent time at the orphanage where there are plans to install new flooring and make other upgrades.
Gimbie Widows & Orphans Home
Kids alongside the road
There is a ministry to the street children in Gimbie, called Abdi Borii, which provides the street children with tuition for school, school supplies, hot lunches, clothes, shoes, a place to sleep and medical care through the Adventist Hospital. These are young children found living without any adult supervision on the dangerous streets of this town. The kids must promise not to beg or gamble to stay in the program.
Wednesday morning, the team left for Dembidollo, only a few short hours from the Sudanese border. If the road to Gimbie is rough, the "road" to Dembidollo wouldn't even be considered a road - it isn't really even paved. (The dotted line on the map is dotted for a reason!) It's about a six hour drive. Mark takes pillows to pad his body as they are jostled around in the van. We don't have any pictures from Dembidollo - I can imagine that no one has ever felt much like holding a camera out the window on that trip! I know Jeff will bring back photos from this part of the country.
After one night staying in a rather 'primitive' hotel (where the team took their own sheets), they'll be heading back to Nekemte for Thursday night and then back to Addis Ababa on Friday. They will most likely be bringing back several babies to our orphanage in Adama. Can you imagine it? No car seats or baby carriers (except the human ones!). I'm anxious to hear about who they're bringing back with them and what their stories are. God has allowed us to take many abandoned babies into our care and match them with loving families here in the U.S. - we're so grateful to be part of their adoption stories.
I hope to have some contact with the team - at least by Saturday!
Please do join us in praying for their safety, health, stamina and wisdom "so that these servants of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" that God has for them to accomplish! 2 Timothy 3:17