“I’m in Ethiopia,” I keep telling myself. The first few mornings I would wake up and remind myself of that. One day when we were in the classroom teaching, I bent over to pick up a piece of trash and I said to myself, “I’m in Ethiopia picking up scraps in a classroom just like I do at home.” The task was so basic, yet so profound. How is it I find myself in a classroom teaching English to students in Ethiopia? Life is a journey, and not always an easy one
In coming to Ethiopia it is so much easier to ‘see’ and experience the brokenness than it is at home. But, are we really that much different? When looking at my own life, the reason I’m even here is because God has been able to use my brokenness to get ahold of my heart. July 18, 2016 is the day sweet freedom and total surrender entered my life. It does not come as a coincidence that God has brought me here on that date 3 years later. His timing is so perfect and he is so faithful and good. When I had no control over things going on in my life, when I was at my breaking point, when I was totally broken and had no more strength, that’s when God broke through. It took God giving me the permission to let go of control and to totally and fully put my trust in him. I now live in his freedom. I am free to love; I am free to have compassion; I am free to be who he made me to be.
So, I’m in Ethiopia. Yes, I can see the brokenness, but I can also see the beauty in the smiles and hugs of the sweet children at Bring Love In. I see the beauty in the moms as they bring us lunch and make us coffee and popcorn. I see beauty in the lives of those who work with the kids and families year round and those who so graciously host and drive us. I see beauty in the lives that are changed through the love of others.
I’m in Ethiopia, half way around the world in a completely different culture. Our lives are so different and yet they are so the same. We are all broken people who need the love, grace, and mercy from an amazing Savior! The more broken we are, the more God’s light can shine through us.
God is at work. I saw a beautiful display of his love and forgiveness in action. Yesterday as we were getting ready for lunch, some of the students who were a part of the altercation Carl talked about returned. They had time over the weekend to process all that had happened. They came to personally apologize to the team. They began to shake our hands and say I’m sorry. The handshakes quickly turned into hugs. One of the girls began to cry. How neat to see she had been broken and that love began to break through.
God is so good. It has been such a blessing to be a small part of these children’s lives. They have so much love to give. May I be able to love others so freely.