Archive for August 2009
I am tentatively setting the 28th as my departure date. I am searching for cheapest ways to fly to Ethiopia right now amongst the large to do list.
Now with less then a month, each day hits me with new emotions with a couple fears mixed in. I pray for strength over the next month. Today was like a fall day in DC which made me realize a lot of what I will miss. Fall brings football, the world series, gathering with family for my birthday, holloween, beautiful leaves, hiking weather, and more.
I have spent the first few months of my decision in excitement and anticipation. Now it seems the real hard part is setting in. I am saying good byes to family,friends, coworkers, clients, and a great church setting that I adore. I pray I get a real chance to see everyone I care about before I leave, but time is dwindling.
I have not heard anything about the children I hope to serve in quite some time. This makes it hard to stay focused and remember the reason for this sacrifice. I hang on the memories of the passion, and amazing bond I felt with those children in Addis, plus the people of Beza.
I already miss America, but can’t wait to start serving with all of my might!
I suffer from what is probably a human condition of doubt and a need to have and feel a constant reminder of what I am doing and why. I have one month left and it started to hit me hard this week. I have two weeks left at a job I spent 6 years at, with what seems an insurmountable amount of “to-do’s” left to ensure the people taking over for me have an easy transition. Combine that with another list of to-do’s in my personal life that will be amazing to get accomplished in just a month.
I fustrate myself in that I need that constant reminder. It feels like a weakness that I am not fond of. I am trying to be consistant enough to avoid the roller coaster ups and downs that come with a huge decision like this and just my personality. I don’t have doubt, but the how? when? what? can take me away from the excitement and priveledge of what I am about to do.
It hit me hard this week, as I began to say good bye to people for who knows how long. This is real and its going to get more real. Part of me wants to fast foward to being in Ethiopia serving the street children, the other part wants to slow it down.
I am trying my best t0 not lose focus or get bogged down with sad good byes, details, lose ends needing to tied up, and finishing work strong. I pray for endurance, wisdom, and the ability to kick the butt of all the things left undone!
Wednesday 08/19/09 will go down as one of the defining moments of this exciting and crazy mission! What a ridiculously huge blessing! There are not enough words in English or Amharic language to describe how amazing it felt to be a part of something that seemed so devine. As I stand on a peak right now, I will always remember that night whenever I find my self in valleys, struggling along the streets of Addis!
The night could not have been better. I had so many people help me get it together, something I had no chance of doing myself. There were about 150 people who came through and from what I saw and heard everyone enjoyed themselves. Thank you all!!
Anytime- Can someone tell God there is a financial crisis going on and asking for $12000 in two months is pretty crazy?
Anyone- Me to Africa? As you can tell that makes little sense. I have no chance at doing this alone and know for sure I have God inspired support!
Anywhere-Ethiopia? A wonderful home to be but not a tiny bit similar to where or how I grew up!
Drum roll please?… the tally from Wednesday was a remarkable $5500. Just about half of my goal and coincidentally(I dont think its a coincidence) 10 times as much as was donated the night previously to the two special Ethiopians.
I can say I never expected to feel so good about so many people wanting me out of the country:-). Thank you all for your support and motivating encouragement! I know there will be huge rewards for the generiousity shown on Wednesday night and every other day!
Tabarak!!(Bless you in Amharic)
He is totally nuts, in a good way. It just keeps shocking me how things are happening throughout this change in my life. I was partly invited tonight to a dinner at Southeast Whitehouse(mentoring program in most neglected part of DC) because I helped start a mentoring/sports program through them this summer. I was also invited because there were two ethiopians visiting. Little did I know me helping in that project would lead to such affirmation of me moving to Ethiopia. I wasn’t sure what their story was but hey free grub? I AM DOWN for that anytime. What an awesome night it turned out to be, I am flying high, perfectly timed for the FUNdraiser tomorrow! I met Ehmiast and Conjit. They have been here for three weeks, first time in states and somehow connected to the SEWH. These two were UNREAL, they went on to tell there stories, which just happened to match my heart exactly. 8 years ago they and a few other Habasha(ethiopians) got together and just started building relationships with street children. Ehmiast(sp?) is a former punk/delinquent like me, but worse. Was in and out of prison 25 times, been stabbed and has stabbed others, and more. NOW he is living with street children right up the street from Beza and “The Crew” that I know. Wow. There only goal is to build relationships as a reflection of Jesus. They built a library, house girl and boy orphans and have a house for street children. Ehmiast said the only friends he has are now the street children. AND right before Conjit left Ethiopia she met with Sophi, the wife of Dr. Beta who started Beza International. This is perfect, I can’t wait to get there and am so excited and inspired these two. I am designating the first $600 from my fundraiser(God willing) tomorrow to them! They don’t even name thier organization because it isn’t about any affiliation, it is JUST about building up those children who have nothing. Um, tears!! What a night, devine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
PS: I got home tonight to find a donation from someone I have not met, nor ever heard of, confirming that my donation to Conjit and Ehmiast is devinely inspired!
Fundraising is quite an ordeal I have come to learn. It is cool to be a part of it but it’s not all fun and games. I can identify with my dad more because he raises support for the Fellowship of Christian Atheletes.
So what’s fun? Honestly, the affirmation and encouragement that spews from so many people! People are more then willing to say positive things, spread the word, help out in so many ways. It’s awesome and encouraging to see the good in places you might not expect it. The 6 degrees of seperation is fun too. Its fun to hear from someone, who emailed someone else, who talked to my mom or something. :-). Tracking the numbers is fun, along with learning I am more capable at doing some of the organization pieces then I thought. I mean, it AINT pretty, but its getting done. Its VERY fun to think about how I am going to put this money to good use. I am going to serve the living heck out of these kids. I really feel designed for this! My grit, guts, passion is for street kids! I lud da hood in every country. Finally, feeling like 12k is nothing per the power of God.
The cons? Well I don’t enjoy doing things that point out my flaws, fundraising events and just asking people for stuff is NOT my strong suit. Watching how freaking wonderful Mary Evans and gangs fundraiser was for Interstage 🙂 It was awesome! Feeling like 12k is a ton per the idiocy of me!
The learning lessons of this big change is awesome, hard at times, but can’t wait to bear the fruit of the lessons!!
August 19th 6-9 at H St Country Club.
The most frequent question I have gotten in the last couple months regarding my decision to move to Ethiopia is “are you excited?”. I have honestly struggled a little bit with this question. I mean, I definitly am excited. I suppose I am just not good at getting really over excited about something until it is actually happening. This is all so surreal still. Combine that with some fears, unanswered questions, and just the monumental change that is happening, it is hard to feel excitement all the time.
Luckily, I do remember those kids over there, the Ethiopian culture, Beza International, and how fortunate I am to have this oppurtunity!! So that excites me! Another thing that is exciting is when I take steps toward the mission/goal. I sent out invites to my fundraiser today and can’t wait to see what God will do through it!! Now that is exciting! I am excited to feel like my every days work is serving a greater purpose, I am excited to be completely dependent on God and unable to survive without His help. I am excited to complete the project of mailing out my letters, ironing out the details of my stay in Addis Ababa, networking with those interested in similar projects, seeing “The Crew” of street kids more frequently, watching the miracles happen! Wow, this list could really get long!
So I am excited, but can’t say I feel it when asked or every minute of the day. There is a ton of work involved with this type of decision.
It is pretty darn crazy to think I might be a part of watching some street children grow to become leaders. The 10 or so boys we spent time with in Addis that live in the sewers and under the bridge were just amazing. Some of the most chivalrous, protective, caring, well manored boys I have ever met. I can’t wait to see Yosef, the 15 year old leader of the gang. This dude is calm, collected, a quiet but strong leader. When I saw him in June, he was fresh out of the police station. He knew I was coming and was upset he had to wait to see me because of his mistake of breaking a window. He showed me his wounds from being beaten and said he was only fed once a day. I saw the police station and trust me, this makes sense! He then went on to tell me that he and a friend would pray in the middle of this “courtyard” amoungst about 30-50 other young men who were making fun of them. Wow. I can’t wait to do my part in building him and his crew up!!!
I will miss the chance to build up kids in the “DC hood”, but I will be back!