Coming back wasn’t as easy as I thought

Coming back wasn’t as easy as I thought

I wish I knew what I wanted to say right now. I wish I could take the sights, sounds, and smells and bottle them up so you could experience them too. But on the other hand, I don’t. I don’t wish to do that because it absolutely breaks a person to see what you see in a world of broken, messy, and organized chaos. In fact, I feel that all I am doing is observing the world around me and taking it in, but my mind does not know what to do with these foreign, cluttered sights. I want to take each encounter of Addis and put it in a perfect box in my memory and stow it away for the rest of my life, but I am realizing that is not how this trip is going to work. Having experienced this trip last year, I thought I knew what to expect. I thought I had all the messy, dirty parts of Ethiopia seared into my brain so I wouldn’t have to work through it all over again. Boy, was I wrong. While I percolate on the brokenness of it all, let me instead tell you about a beautiful and precious memory I have so far.

If any of you followed our blog last year, you may have heard a thing or two about Kalkidan. Kalkidan is a fierce and wild soul that loves outrageously; and she loved my dad, Chuck. Needless to say, leaving her was tough. Yesterday was our first day of teaching English and seeing the kids. Miraculously, we arrived at the school before the busload of kids did so we unpacked and prepared for a whirlwind of a day. The next thing I know I see Kalkidan run into the room, jump into my dad’s arms, and scream, “Chuck!” with teeming delight. If I had to describe what it meant for your heart to smile, it would have been how I felt in that moment. She beamed with radiant joy as she gave me a hug as well. It was like I was home. It felt like I was right where I was supposed to be, lost in that moment, and loving the kids who have loved us so well.

I hope to have some grand “aha” moment by the time I get back, but that is not up to me. All I know is that I am standing here in Addis Ababa with arms wide open, praying that God would break my heart for the very things that break His. So far, He is answering that prayer like a flood. Until next time,


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