First of all, I would like to thank Jesus for taking me to Ethiopia for the second time. I didn’t think I could have a better experience than the first trip, but Addis Abba a second time does get better. Addis is like an onion, smelly, and each year I get to go back, I get to see a new layer. Last year everything was new, and everything was perfect, like a fairy tale missions trip. I came back from it and nothing really changed, I was still a greedy American child, and I believe I still am, but instead of greedy, I am blessed. Coming home from this trip, I learned that I am still learning. I am learning who I am, and who I want to be. I know one thing for sure: I want to be Ethiopian. I learned that I am American, and the world sees me as an American, and the world sees me as money. We visited Bethel, a ministry that gives women a job instead of begging or prostitution, and on our drive up the road we were met by happy, joyous children running around our vans screaming “money”. This and every other day in Ethiopia broke my heart. I don’t know if I can say I am proud to be an American, but I can say I am blessed to be an American, I am blessed to live in a country that freely allows me to see how much it sucks. Let me assure you this is not the only thing I took from my trip to Ethiopia. The people I met while we walked to Tomoca, drove to Bethel, served in our house, and walked on the roads taught me and showed me relationship. And God is showing me that I need to live more for relationships and less – a lot less – for myself. I am learning that I have a lot to learn, and everyone around me is willing to help teach me whether I agree or disagree. I want to learn about everyone else’s lives, and I want to learn about the world, and I want to learn how to love like Jesus (and Ethiopians). Lastly, I would like to thank Jesus for the life he has given me.
– Malea Tesseneer