In preparation for this trip, I reread my journals from 2016. One sentence said, “Relationships are what matter.” Man, what a reminder that was. A prayer I continue to have throughout this journey is a mind that is open and intentional. As we entered the town of Addis all the familiar sights and smells brought me back.
Though it was the same, it all also seemed so different. This time I wasn’t just seeing all around me, but I had an eye locked on the people. I forgot how many there were. They wander the streets all day and night. I couldn’t help but tear up as I thought about the 6 million stories and lives here in Addis, now mine included. But where does mine even fit in? On the first day back I found myself thinking, “what in the world am I doing here?”
This is a scary thought when you have just spent 3 days traveling to get halfway across the world to a place familiar yet so unknown.
During this trip I have so far questioned my purpose in every way, but have remained focused on trusting God, knowing He is in control and taking in all that I can.
Today, our first day with the kids, was one of excitement, love, and learning. Not only was the learning done through what we are teaching them (English and Bible stories) but it was done in rebuilding relationships with the kids. It took a bit for our group to warm up, but once we were started, the kids began their ruckus. After school, we had the opportunity to visit one of the families’ homes. The mother prepared a coffee ceremony for us. This included corn on the cob, eaten mostly piece by piece rather than big bites, mixed nuts, popcorn and dark, rich coffee. It was amazing to see all she did to provide us a welcoming and how she so selflessly served us while we visited. On the way walking to the house I walked with Aida and we chatted quite a bit.
Though there was a significant language barrier, I enjoyed sharing stories and laughing with her.
Following the gathering, I spent the car ride conversing with our driver Ishy. He told me his story of coming to Christ and how it has affects him today. He said that it was a mission group that returned year after year that showed him the love of Jesus, and he realized that was what he wanted all along.
Today gave me some purpose.
The song lyric that keeps reflecting in my head is, “God you don’t need me, but somehow you want me.”
This is so true regarding the place I am in. The weight of the world is off of my shoulders in knowing that God’s will can be fulfilled no matter if I am here or not, but I want to be a part of it and so does God.
So, as I end my day, I no longer ask, “what in the world am I doing here?”, but rather, “what in the world are you trying to do through me, God?”
This question may never be answered, but I know God has a plan in it all.