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Month: May 2011

Day 2

Day 2

oh, how i missed hauling rocks on my back in a potato sack.  seriously.  today, as far as manual labor goes, that we all we did… rocks.  back and forth.  we would walk the trail from the pile where our ethiopian friends would ask, “sint? (or “how many?”) and we’d tell them 2, 3, 4, or 5 scoops from the shovel (as you can probably imagine by my physique, i routinely asked for 5).
one time on our way to fill up our sacks my friend (and team member), trecie told me the life motto she had developed.  she said she could either choose to look to the left and make her life about that, or she could look to the right and make her life (or day) about that.
as we hiked the path back to the pile that was slowly (very, very slowly) depleting you could look to your left and find a 100 yard hedge of thorn bush lined with trash, dead roots, and even a bone or two.  or you could look to your right and take in Bright Hope’s garden brimming with green vegetables shooting up through the dirt, neat rows, and freshly watered soil.  trecie said it’s her goal to look right.  i like that.
maybe this whole comparison is a tired cliche or maybe all of us are traveling our own path with the option to look right or look left (or maybe we get to choose our own cliche).  sometimes my american self has a tendency to focus on the trash, all the death and decay.  and it’d be easy to fall into such perceiving here in ethiopia because you can always find signs of death and decay.
but personally, i’m going to start looking at the garden, because in the garden i see life and growth and opportunity and beauty.  when we look to the garden we see what God intended and we see that there is always hope.  hope for growth.  hope for something beautiful.  hope for new life that’s vibrant and captivating.
joe dirt (from the movie, joe dirt) says, “life’s a garden.  dig it!”
i’d say the ethiopian people (at the least those i’ve met) spend the majority of their time in the garden, living the growth and beauty and life of something hope-filled.
i want to follow that example and choose life, not the death and decay of a trash heap where all we see are the remnants of life that’s been thrown away.  images of what could have been.  this choice is mine and it is yours.  the garden or the garbage?  and remember, God intended the garden from the beginning and Jesus came so that we might “have life and have it to the full.”
join me in choosing the garden, whatever path you might find yourself on, and let’s start digging…
-chris townley

Day 1

Day 1

There is an energy here like no other. Let me take you on a walk with me down a dirt road filled with music, hope and heartfelt greetings. In the distance there is a smokey shadow that hovers over the hillside. Shepherds herd their sheep on the same streets and children light up when they see our China faces. Bananas hang from the shopkeeper’s window with perfectly lined avocados, onions and lemons below. Inscents and dust fill the air.
We are safe. We have everything we need because God is here. We have all learned the best lesson of all: that WE is better than I but nothing is better than the laughter of an Ethiopian child…
May 12, 2011
Trecie Wheat

Rampant Immapancy

Rampant Immapancy

Our team has heard it’s fair share of “why are you going to Africa right now” and isn’t all of Africa in upheaval?”  To be fair, sort of. However, in my experience (which is neither deep nor wide), people usually talk about Africa as “Africa”…not about individual countries within the continent – mostly because we don’t actually know how big it is!

I’ve encouraged our team to talk to their worried friends and family about this:  At the moment, Mexico is #3 on the list of places the US Government advises you NOT to travel to.  That being said, would you have a moral dilema visiting Texas? Unless you don’t like to sweat or hate accents, my guess is no. So let your fears be assuaged, Ethiopia is more than a hop, skip and a jump from Egypt/Libya and has been pretty stable for the last 5 years 😉