Our team rolled out of the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport around the same time a sizable thunderstorm was rolling in. The cool mountain wind gave us a surprisingly “Bozeman” kind of welcome to Ethiopia. Our friends Ishy, Ephraim, and crew skillfully loaded our large pile of 50lb suitcases atop a van, and we drove off as the rain and lightning descended on us. As we tooled along the streets of Addis, familiar sights, sounds, and smells returned – familiar but not diminished. Bustling commerce living beside poverty, people in every stage of life, everywhere, doing everything. Sometimes I have no idea what they are doing. They seem to be waiting. We arrived at the guesthouse in a heavy rain and pulled all our bags inside. They had received a good soaking, but nothing that some time inside couldn’t dry out. Lightning was still crashing around us.
Not to be too clever here, but I think God has some more storms to stir up… if we let Him. The kind of storms that blow around inside a person… Pollution-cleansing rains (fresh starts), winds that mess up your hair (and plans), and close calls as the sky sends down cracks of lightning. There will be foreboding moments of darkness, uncomfortable downpours of water from the sky, and foggy van windows preventing us from seeing all that we think we should be able to see at that moment. Because God uses discomfort and uncertainty to bring things to our attention – namely Himself and our place in His world. And then, each day this week and next we get to see the bright young faces of the kids of Bring Love In. Some are hiding deep pains of the past while displaying genuine smiles that represent their joy of the moment. Pain and joy, dancing together in the rain, in the storm. Stay tuned.