Archive for December 2009
I need to request some prayer for the NGO proposal. This is the required proposal that was submitted to the government one and a half months ago. Normally the process for approval takes a week, per other organizations that have been approved. However, the Beza proposal submitted by a fine gentleman, Elias, has taken too long. Elias is the leader of the Entoto project and has worked ardently for a couple years trying to get this NGO status straightened out. He has been to the government office many times lately and the last time was told he will get an answer by the end of this week. Well that isn’t the first time he has been told that, but this time it was followed up by a “ if you don’t get it this week you will have to wait two months”!!
Waiting two months is a bad situation and will test me to the limits. Who knows why he is getting the run around, money, distrust, or what? If this NGO proposal is not approved now it means the street kid project will by all that harder to start for two more months. It also could pose problems for the Entoto project. So please pray that it gets approved for an AWESOME Christmas present.
Speaking of Christmas: The Ethiopian Christmas is on January 7th. It may sound like that means two Christmas’s but from what I have seen and heard both Christmas don’t stack up the Christmas in America. It just doesn’t seem like a big deal here. I can’t say I will miss any of the materialism of America. I am blessed with and respect that lack of materialism that is consistent throughout my family. Thank you Lord.
I will however miss the time with family a ton. Luckily, I will be able to supplement that with Christmas for the kids on January 10th(best day that works for volunteers and all of us). I can’t wait for that. We have been fortunate enough to have a group in Church called “Destiny” agree to sponsor the food, new pants, and new shirts for the 25 boys. I will be starting new traditions but will be missing the ones from home. I will miss starting a fire with dad, watching “it’s a wonderful life with mom and dad”, visiting the grandparents and extended family, watching a new movie on Christmas day, eating nachos and cheese on Christmas Eve, begrudgingly putting out luminaries on Christmas eve, the endless amount of parties in DC and more. I am thankful to have this opportunity to finally appreciate the blessings in my life. It is a shame it took so much to kick me in the butt!
Well I am off to Christmas ever brunch, then Christmas Eve service at Beza, then hopefully some “It’s a Wonderful Life Watching” and finally lunch party on Christmas day. Don’t worry, I am not forgetting the true meaning of Christmas. I feel like I do pretty well honoring the birth and death of Jesus through each day, so it doesn’t take the 25th to make that happen.
I love you all and MERRY CHRISTMAS.
In Addis, there has been a law passed requiring people to wear their seatbelts. A flood of thoughts and emotions rise in me. Encouragement, laughter, confusion, approval. In a city of 3-7 estimated people(yeah, 4 mill gap), about 5 working street lights and chaos as the norm, I am confused how I feel about the law. It does promote safety, but like my truck driving friend today, the belts are make shift in most of these cars from 1970-60. Plus, it seems that only the drivers are required to wear them, or will face a $150 ($11.9USD) birr fine. Finally there seem to be about a billion more pressing issues.
I must say that one thing that keeps the tip of my nose above water right now is the fact that the rest of my life will demand a seat belt!! I am in for a wild ride. I have signed up for an adventure that will take me to some ridiculously amazing places and precarious (hopefully) situations. There is NO telling where God will take this but if a small amount of my dreams come true, it will be unbelievable!
I mentioned one of my desires in my last blog but my dreams are so much bigger then that one piece. I am praying that God is strategically putting me in positions around the world to bring a multi country, transcontinental organization into existence. I will work the rest of my life trying to grow this organization that eradicates the street child issue around the world, one leader at a time! Sounds crazy, but so far I think DC and Ethiopia are amazing starting point. I don’t pretend I have the ability, but I do have the faith in how much God loves these kids, these forsaken, disgracefully forgotten kids!
I think about how my life could have gone, ugh, safe, comfy, sick. Thank you God!
I added one exciting venue to this wild ride. I successfully (not easy process) got my visa and flight to the Democratic Republic of The Congo(DRC) for this Saturday!! Besides a chance to get away, see a friend, I will hopefully be visiting a street kid organization in one of the toughest countries in the world. My friend there gave me stats that suggest both Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are both in the lowest 10% in terms countries with struggling economies and governments. The DRC is actually like 5th in some categories while Ethiopia is 16th. I am also excited to add one more African country to my passport, and maybe two (The Congo hopefully) One of my life goals is to visit every African country, all 58(??) of them.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!
I am so not a words guy. I mean I like to talk, love it actually, but prefer action. Talk is cheap.
That is partly why it is hard in Addis for me right now. The lack action, or not knowing which actions to take. So on one hand I feel overwhelmed by all the new things and under-whelmed about my inability to help “The Crew”.
The last couple weeks have been even slower as I have focused on school and the proposal. I have to kick my self in the butt pretty often to keep moving forward and not fall into any bad patterns of feeling down.
Here is the cool part, as I have experienced some growing frustrations; culture shock or whatever. My dreams of what I pray is reality for “The Crew”, and many more street children, are growing exponentially. Granted, dreams are only dreams and it takes action, determination and only God’s power to accomplish them. But, it is so much fun and it gets me so excited. I catch myself day dreaming on so many taxi rides about huge plans for the future.
So starting with last Thursday I had this fun thought that I could not shake. I can’t say I get it perfectly right now, or how I could make it happen yet. I could not get the thoughts and desires to wash the feet of these kids and potentially my coworkers. If I ever get a chance to utilize my leadership skills in this endeavor I want “washing feet” to be a part of our core.
First, there can’t be anything better to show humility and submission. If God allows me to lead at any point, I want to make sure I always stay completely humble and put all coworkers and beneficiaries first. Second, this would act as the best symbol as to who we will be trying to emulate. In John 13, JESUS, yeah the big dog, washes the feet of the disciples. Wow. He then commands the disciples (us too) to do the same. If Jesus did it then anyone should be willing to. Sure there are all kinds of metaphors strewn through out the Bible, but should this just be a metaphor because of our social norms? What greater symbol of “ I love you and I put you first” could there be? The most consistent quality in great leaders is humility. I also emphatically say screw social norms.
I am not sure how I will apply this at this point, as I hardly know what is going to happen at all. I think I will try it for our Christmas celebration with the boys. Of course, I will have to find my way around people’s insecurities about their feet. This is just one of many dreams of the future I have had lately. I like the idea of making them public because it puts more weight behind them. I am so thankful for the ability to dream, even during tough times. I want to help “The Crew” have enormous dreams some day, then the guts to follow them like William Wallace (sorry just watched Braveheart again).
My teacher asks that every day, questions?
Does anyone have any questions? I would love to hear what people might wonder about? Any questions, suggestions, reflections, opinions would be appreciated. Ca’mon Americans, I know there is some of that in y’all.
My words are limited this week. I was sick all week, which included exhaustion and weakness.
The pastoral team of Beza has agreed to finance temporary “huts” for the boys. Five houses, fits 5 of them each. Praying those won’t be a solution for too long.
I met with another street kid outreach on Tuesday. Amazing. The Americans started “The Forsaken Children” http://www.forsakenchildren.com in the states to help get the word out and fund the project in Addis. It challenges me overwhelmingly so. What is my role? What education might or should I need? What skills, training do I need to build? How do we combine immediate needs with long term dreams/goals? How do we get people involved, inspire people? HOW DO WE ERADICATE STREET CHILDREN city, country, continent, worldwide?