Faith Alive

Faith Alive

Throughout this trip I have felt a multitude of emotions. I knew that by coming to Ethiopia and participating in my first missions trip I would get to have once in a lifetime experiences and make incredible relationships. But, while I focused on all of the positive aspects of this work I disregarded the challenges that I would see and feel. 

When we first got to Addis and met the kids at Bring Love In, I was overwhelmed by the instantaneous amount of love and joy that was offered to 15 strangers. We were greeted with hugs, flowers and songs. It was incredible to see how much love and happiness the kids had after coming from such rough backgrounds. As we continued to spend time with the kids in our individuals classes, relationships blossomed.

Each time I talked with one of the kids I was amazed by their willingness to share their stories. Every one of these kids has been through so much heartache and pain and I can not even begin to fathom the depth. And despite their past circumstances every single person exclaimed the power of Gods love and how it has transformed their lives. 

I led the painting/arts and crafts class. Every day was filled with so much laughter and joking. Even when we didn’t have enough paints, or bracelet thread or all of the materials to create the perfect Pinterest craft, our class was perfect. There was so much connection and utter joy that I forgot where I was and who I was with. I realized that the girls in my group were just wanting to have a good time creating, in a fun and loving environment. 

Having conversations with girls in my class and asking normal questions about what they like to do for fun, their favorite subject, or favorite music to listen to every topic turned back to God and their undeniable faith. Even the artwork that the girls made in our class showcased their love for the BLI ministry and Gods grace with little sayings of “I love Jesus” or “God saves” in English and Amharic. 

It’s funny talking with the team about our expectations for the trip and our preconceived notions and I realized I had many. I expected that our team would make a huge difference in the lives of these kids, and while that may be true, they had the biggest impact on me. They showed me what unconditional praise and love for God does even in the darkest of times. It is one thing to hear in church about the power of the Holy Spirit but a whole different thing to feel and see it in the midst of some of the hardest circumstances. We talk about leaning in to God’s power and I often forget what that looks like, but seeing the kids at Bring Love In fully embrace their faith can only be described as ‘faith alive’.  A phrase my mom explained to me where you feel the Holy Spirit with your entire mind body and soul. It isn’t just something that you think about, faith is a part of every aspect of your life and is interconnected with your very being. 

And then to go to other ministries across Addis like AHope and Embracing hope and see the power and impact of the Holy Spirit. The kids at Embracing Hope, who live right next to Korah the dump in Addis, despite their circumstances of living in the deepest poverty had so much laughter and love for Christ. 

To see how all of these people are so connected with God and continue to praise him and all that he does, is and has been the most incredible experience of my life. This was a testament to the power of God and the joy that he brings even the darkest of times. 

– Samantha

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