“Sit, Sit”

“Sit, Sit”

Today is our second day working with the kids at Bring Love In and it already feels like it’s going by too quick! I got to play soccer with all the boys in the morning (which they were very skeptical of at first because girls do not play soccer here) and then, as a whole team, we visited 3 homes in the afternoon. In all of it – the soccer, conversations, exhaustion, diesel fumes, long car rides – God has been at work in me. He has been using the people of Addis Ababa to gently remind me of His truths. I have felt Him saying “just be, don’t do”.

If you know me, you know I’m a “do-er”. I am Type-A – always prepared, always organized, always doing something productive. Within the first few hours here, I began to see that Addis is not a place for Type-A people. Time is very flexible and plans are always changing.

Our first full day here, we sat down at 7am to talk about the morning activities that would take place with the kids only 2 hours later (at 9am). I had a general idea of what we would be doing, but felt so unprepared and nervous. Everyone else seemed to be totally okay with a loose plan and few instructions, but I was struggling on the inside. I wanted to know more so I could be more helpful – be able to do more. However, I felt like I was struggling to even comprehend how the hours of the day would sort of play out.

We arrived at Bring Love In and I was scared – scared to meet the kids, scared to not be able to help them, scared that I had nothing to offer. They welcomed us with songs and flowers, coffee and popcorn, hugs and eyebrow raises. But in the back of my mind I was still thinking about what I had to do next. How I had to somehow help them with their english while teaching them a tie-dye craft.

After the welcome ceremony, we headed upstairs to our craft. I stumbled through some shirt folding patterns with unsteady hands and a flushed face. They smiled and nodded along as I did my best to explain. At the end of my demonstration, I offered to help all of them fold and rubber band their shirts. After I finished talking, they got right to work, folding the shirts near perfectly. I wandered around waiting for girls to ask me for help, but they never did. I wanted to help, to be useful, but they didn’t need me. So I just kept wandering around in the circle. That’s when I heard the “sit, sit” from Wenge. She didn’t want me to work, she wanted me to visit. After the girls were done, I saw an opportunity to do something useful so I started picking up trash and used dye bottles and Charity started to mop. Again, Wenge said “no, sit, sit”. That’s when I realized that the staff and kids at Bring Love In don’t need anything from me. They don’t want me to do stuff for them. They just want me to be with them. To “sit, sit” and talk. To build relationship.

I feel like this is what Jesus wanted to remind me of in my relationship with Him too. Stop doing and just be with Him. He doesn’t need me to do anything for Him – after all he is the big ‘G’ God of this world with all power and authority.

My prayer for this trip was that God would “DO immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
(Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV). My time here in Addis so far has shown me that maybe I should put to rest my efforts to “do”, and leave that to God for a while. Instead, I should just focus on “being” – with Him, with the kids here, and with the team. And I bet that through this time “being”, He will begin to use me in ways that won’t really feel like “doing” or striving at all. Rather, the things He calls me to do will be able to be done out of overflow of a life-giving relationship with Him. This relationship that enables me to do can only be formed when I learn to be with Him fully.

I want to learn to “sit, sit” more with Jesus and others. I think the people here will continue to teach me that and it makes me excited for the next week.

Olivia Bierma

Comments are closed.