Are we really leaving in only 4 more days? Will we really be on our way back to Africa in just a few short days? Has 7 months really gone by?
In some ways it feels like we were just there. I can still hear the voices of the children singing to us and remember how it felt just to have no other agenda but to love on them and play with them. I can still picture the funny things we did as a team and making ourselves look ridiculous just to get them to laugh and smile. My stomach turns as I remember the fast driving on crazy roads and my nose can almost smell the strong scent of roasted coffee, popcorn, and incense all mixed together. And my heart beats faster as I look at the pictures over and over and over and wonder what would have happened if we hadn't said yes? Where would we be if we hadn't done what we knew the Lord was calling us to do? What would our lives be like if we had said no to God?
This sweet one is always on my mind. I love this boy. I will share a little more about him with you very soon, because he is one that I will never forget and I don't want you to either.
Same goes for these two. We cannot wait to see them again in only a few days. They are AMAZING young men!
So, we leave in 4 days and I'm sure that you are wanting to know a little of the details right? :)
Well, of course I already explained our purpose in going to Ethiopia in that super long post below so here is our "very flexible" schedule. By very flexible I mean: we know when we are supposed to arrive and when we are supposed to leave (and if you remember our trip last time- even then there are no guarantees!) but as far as while we are in country, we have a few contacts who we plan to meet up with who will help us to get around and everything, but we are going to have to just go with the flow! Just to clarify- we are going by ourselves- not with a group, organization or agency.
Anyway, here is what we hope to do in our very short time away.
4/20 WED: Leave CA
4/21 THURS: Arrive in Dubai. Stay overnight.
4/22 FRI: Arrive in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at 11:30am. Meet with a few contacts and discuss some business. Drive up and visit with the kids at the orphanage for a few hours.
4/23 SAT: Go to drop-in center on the way to our kids' orphanage. Stay and play with the kids all day. Talk to N and M about the adoption(!) Help with any projects if needed.
4/24 SUN: EASTER. Not really sure what the plan is but Easter is the biggest holiday in Ethiopia and we want to spend the day with the kids. Right now it sounds like they are trying to get the bus to bring the kids to the city and we will all go to the stadium for an Easter service. We will just go with the flow! After the service, go back to the orphanage for the feast and Easter egg hunt.
4/25 MON: Kids are back to school all day. Go with one of our hosts to the Mercato, Kidhane Mihret, Layla House, Kolfe, and Korah. The director has invited us for a meal at his family's house.
4/26 TUES: Go back up the mountain for the last time and see the kids at school. Go back to orphanage to play, give lots of hugs and then say goodbye. :( Boo. Flight leaves Addis at 7:30pm.
4/27 WED: Arrive home in CA.
Phew! Doesn't that make you tired just reading it? It will be a whirlwind of a trip and I am sure it will be exhausting in more ways than one, but we are so excited about what the Lord is going to do!
As you know, our 12 year old Jensen will be traveling with us but we are always sad to have to leave any of our kids behind. Our oldest will be participating in a local mission trip for the first few days that we are gone, but for most of the time we are away our 3 kiddos will be at their amazing Auntie and Uncle's house in the country- having fun and running around with all the cousins. Papa and Grandma will be helping too and we cannot express enough how incredibly grateful we are for such supportive family! They are the reason we can even do any of this!
And YOU. Our other family and friends. You have been incredible. We have received so many donations, offers to help and prayer support from so many of you. You are all a part of this trip. What a huge blessing you are! THANK YOU!
Please be praying for our preparations as we get ready to leave in a few days. There have already been many obstacles to get through and some sadness as well. I will update again before we leave with specific prayer requests for our time in Ethiopia.
4 DAYS! It's so close I can taste it!