After hours and hours (and then a couple more hours) of travel, our team is on the final stretch today, flying from Dubai to Addis Ababa. Friends old and new await us there, and we are expectant of twelve very full days.
Our team is made up of third, second, and first-timers. High school age to middle age. Married couples, friends, an entire family. While this trip is certainly about the ways we will spend our time and energy serving alongside our friends at Bring Love In, as well as several other Ethiopian ministries (more on that to come), it is also a journey that joins our group together in an unforgettable experience. No one goes to Ethiopia and returns home the same person. Some have unexpected disruptions to their lifestyle after returning home. Some see every person they meet a bit differently. Some experience a slow-burning shift in perspective that takes years to germinate. Toss in a healthy disenchantment with consumerism. All are changed.
The ripple effect of decisions is felt clearly on trips like these. One couple’s wild calling from God and their subsequent decision to follow it are what created Bring Love In. Other ministries all over the city, in Ethiopia, and around the world have similar stories. Chains of life-altering events are created when people decide to do something good. It’s true that bad decisions can have equal effect on the world around us. But we’ve probably read enough bad news for the day, right?
When people are able to take even a small portion of their time and energy, focus it away from self-interest and towards a need they find in the world around them, the Kingdom of God breaks through.
We’ve just left a country where many children are neglected, abused, abandoned, and simply not cared for. In every state in the union, the foster care system takes on more kids every day. In Montana particularly, the need has grown exponentially in the last decade. Today, we’ll arrive in a country with millions of orphans and its own great needs, but also some of the closest family bonds and welcoming people that you will encounter in this world. The lesson is the same everywhere: family bonds hold societies together.
By looking out for children – truly caring for them – wherever we are, we prove with our actions that we want to see God’s Kingdom here on earth.
Look for a pond, so to speak, where you can throw in even just a pebble. Your act of kindness and mercy is a simple, small (and yes, let’s be real, sometimes costly) decision that will ripple through someone’s life.