Sunday, July 31, 2011

Day 23 - Addis Ababa Retirement?

Church this morning was fantastic again.  I absolutely love worshiping God there.  His presence is evident because I sense His spirit moving there among the people.  Today, my favorite song leader lead us in worship.  She is the one who led us the first week we were here with Hillsong worship songs.  I absolutely love the beautiful lyrics Hillsong worship team writes about the Lord.  They help me articulate so much that I want to say to Him.  Every week in this sermons series the pastor is on, a member of the congregation gets up and shares their testimony of how they re-connected with God during difficult times.  This week the sermon was on Re-connecting with God by Demolishing Strongholds.  A guy from California, who now lives with his wife and son in Addis, shared his testimony about how God delivered him from drugs and a life of promiscuity.  At age 13, he was arrested for selling drugs at school, and his life had spiraled down from there until God revealed Himself to him when he was 21 and reading the bible only to prove its irrelevance and inconceivability.  Shortly afterward, God allowed him to meet a woman that He had protected from much of the evil in the world.  This woman was the young lady leading worship this morning.  What a blessing he has received in her.  Now they serve in Ethiopia teaching people about the value of life, God's love, and His grace.

After church, Mom and I went to Lime Tree by ourselves.  It is above the spa we visited the other day.  It's a very "whole food" type restaurant with fresh juices, sandwiches, baked items, and some dinner-type dishes.  We got curry chicken and vegetables with white rice, ate half of it, and saved room for the vanilla and chocolate marble cake in the window at the cash register.  We were only able to eat half of the cake, but it was delicious.  The icing was like cream cheese with a little bit of sugar...not too sweet.  The machiattos we had combined perfectly with the cake that satisfied our craving.   One of the cool things about Lime Tree is that it is attached to an Ethiopian book store.  It's kind of like a tourist book shop with history books on Ethiopia, regular fiction and non-fiction best-sellers like you'd see in America, and children's books with English and Amharic translations.  Mom and I were thrilled to pick up several books for Zane that I know he will appreciate having so much when he is older.  One teaches household Amharic words by taking an adopted Ethiopian boy through his new house.  The other one teaches the Ethiopian legend of the origins of coffee, another is a book on Harar, Zane's home region, and another is a general Ethiopian history book in pictures.  The last item we purchased Zane will be able to enjoy now, a CD of Ethiopian children's songs in Amharic!  We have not seen anything else like these books as we've been shopping, so we were delighted to stumble upon them today.
By the way, all of these books cost us $28.35 USD!

After our great finds, we headed to the transition home where we saw Zane for a couple of hours this afternoon.  He was excited to get outside and walk again today; however, today he was Mr. Independent!  He walked several times all by himself, without hesitation, straight into my arms with the biggest, most proud smile you can imagine.  He was really into the car and truck again that Mimi gave him.  We rolled it to each other over and over again.  He's getting so much more coordinated with everything he does.  It's amazing how much progress he's made physically since we've been here.  With Mark and I, Zane learned how to walk up and down stairs (with support) throw, "catch", and kick a soccer ball.  With Mom and I, he's learned to roll the cars, balance on the curb (with support), slide down the slide in the playground, and climb playground equipment.  It's really awesome to watch him develop so quickly.  He absolutely loves praise, and he's great at getting it from all of us!  
Today he wanted to feed himself with the spoon and the dinner they brought out was soupy pasta stars.  Remember the pasta stars comments?  Zane usually hates pasta stars!  Not today.  He would NOT eat them when I tried to feed them, but he ate almost the entire bowl when I allowed him to feed himself.  Ha!  (I shouldn't say that he almost ate the entire bowl because about 1/4 of the bowl ended up in my lap, as Zane would put the spoon in his mouth sideways, upside down, and every which way.)  It was neat to see him try to do it on his own, but I hope he still wants his mommy to feed him sometimes!

Tonight we just walked about 10 minutes to Kaldi's Coffee down a street much like Bourbon Street in New Orleans; however we didn't see anything inappropriate, if you know what I mean.  I feel like such a "big girl" venturing out on my own.  There were people everywhere, and so many kind "Allo's" and "Hi's".  There is a Kaldi's on almost every corner of Addis, just like Starbucks, but this Kaldi's is a two story with a full glass window facade and it's packed with people.  Unlike Starbucks, Kaldi's offers outstanding Carmel Machiattos for about $0.88, Machiattos for $0.70, and scoops of icecream for about $0.50.  I could spend the rest of my days hanging out at Kaldi's with my two favorite food groups:  coffee and icecream.  Mom had chocolate icecream made with real cocoa powder, and I had kiwi icecream!  Not to mention our terrific Ethiopian coffee!  Between cheap coffee, icecream, food, and books Addis Ababa may not be a bad place to retire!

On the walk home, a guy about my age said, "Jesus loves you" sort of passively as we walked by him.  I turned around, smiled, and said, "Jesus loves you too."  He replied, "You know that?"  to which I said, "Yes!  Of course!"  Louder now he smiled and said, "Bless God!"  I love the encouragement we both received in that moment from the Lord, just knowing that we weren't alone in the world.  We both know the risen Savior!  It was a perfect ending to a wonderful day.

1 comment:

Cole said...

Ava and I prayed for y'all this morning . . . that the letter would come quickly! She was so sweet looking at the pictures of Zane. She wanted to know if that was her baby brother and if we could go get him now! Praying you'll have him HOME soon!