Sleep is such a docile predator. A necessary component of life that preys upon all of us. Whether we resist sleep like toddlers do with a plethora of excuses and counters or succumb to its attack by snuggling and cocooning into blankets for extra comfort. Thus one’s sleep is so drastically altered when traveling internationally.

Ours for example has been cut short the night of the July 4th, extended on a fourteen hour plane ride, and roughly attempted in a time zone of heat and dust.
Then when landing in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; with the sun shining and the the air surprisingly fresher than anticipated we put off thoughts of exhaustion and global distance to be there in the presence of our friend and driver Ishy. With bags stowed and hotel rooms on a bustling and noisy street ensured, we decided to go to a dinner early knowing that tiredness would catch up, as it always does, and no amount of natural cane sugar Coca Cola could defy it. Thus after dinner, the gentle rocking of Ishy’s stick shift van through the blockade of traffic made most of us nap in a jerky fashion not unlike being on a fishing trolly rolling with the tide.

Night fell in Addis, distant lightening clouds look ominous but were ineffective. The group decided, or allowed themselves to go to bed right away before our debrief in the morning when we see the Bring Love In children and workers.

Like I mentioned above, sleep is a docile predator. For now in writing this it is 3:30 AM in Addis Ababa or 6:30 PM of the day before in Montana.

And I am awake.

The sounds of the city outside are finally quieted. Only the alley cats are hissing loud enough to be heard. Yet there begins to be another sound which is echoing through the floors of our hotel, the morning baker, I can only assume. With a random pot clang and shuffling of feet on the cold marble steps. I lay in my rented bed wondering where does this Ethiopian man or woman sleep. In a space that allows for sleep to be accepted or if it is a difficult process from the external forces within this city. From there, how did this baker get here, was there walking involved (as many Ethiopians do) for kilometers or crammed into a late night taxi van overloaded with people. Is it a pilgrimage to work for this baker that is constrained by time or carefully planned out? Don’t you ever wonder what all the other people around you are doing?

That’s what my mind is wrestling with instead of sleeping now at 3:50 AM.

Yet, here is what I do know. Jesus slept. In pivotal moments when he succumbed to it. As well in times of rest after holy excursions and messages.
Jesus slept, maybe not in hotel room floors after fourteen hour flights across the world, but he slept so that he could be present with the people he knew and the ones who knew him.

So here is my ask to all of you who will follow our trip: blog post by blog post, intermittent text through faulty WiFi, or picture sent from afar.

That while you sleep you would subconsciously and deeply of the personal connections you have with the eight team members of this trip. For when we will sleep half a world away your daily prayers will sustain us and encourage us to be there for the people we know here in Ethiopia and the one we will know.

It is now 4:00 AM. I am going to try to fall back asleep as the city begins to stir so I can be there on this first Monday in Addis that will be so life-giving with our friends and family of Bring Love In.

Keep following this blog space to hear the rest of the teams thoughts, emotions, and experiences for the rest of our time here. Good night and good morning.

– Carl

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