Sowing Seeds

Sowing Seeds

There were many things that I was anticipating when coming to visit the ministry in Addis Abba, and many more questions.

What will the food be like?  What will the culture be like?   What will we be doing each day?  Will the kids like it?   Where will we be staying?

The first step off the plane was the beginning of sensory overload.   The sights, the sounds, the people (so many people).  And it wouldn’t be right not mentioning the insane driving skills and endless undisciplined vehicle traffic.   Or maybe it was the goats, cows or occasional horse drawn cart that was intermixed with all of those people and vehicles that seemed like utter chaos (until you realize it is more like a orchestra).   I realized early on there is simply no way to try and describe Addis Abba.  If they say a picture is worth a thousand words then I would say a thousand words would not describe the picture.

I’m  not sure if it was the prolonged delay and wondering if we would even get our visas?  Maybe the thousands of miles and hours of flight time?  Was it the lack of sleeping or the clouds of diesel smoke?  I’m not sure because it didn’t anticipate what was coming next. 

Day two; my head was spinning in a fog when we sat down to teach the youngest children about Jesus and various Bible stories. With all the commotion of the first day, I seemed to miss that which was most important, the bond between those on the Journey team who had been here before and the older children.  

The long hugs, the smiles that only connect long lasting friendships, the occasional tear of joy, the stories, and all of the laughter.  It was apparent that, that kind of connection began a long time ago. 

It’s not that I took teaching the younger kids lightly, it’s that I didn’t grasp the significance of it.   I realized the longer term Journey team members also once taught the younger kids and they were now seeing those younger children turn into teenagers, and even young adults.  Then I began connecting with Thomas and all of the wonderful people who have been around since the beginning. All of those postage stamp images I saw during the Elevate Orphan Sunday services were now the faces sitting next to me.  They were the faces connected to the arms wrapped around me and the hands that were holding mine.  Random curiosity, me in them, and them in me. 

I was experiencing what Paul was speaking in Galatians.

Galatians 5:6. “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”

5:13. “Rather serve one another humbly in love.”

5:14. “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

5:22. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”

I was seeing the fruit  And I was also learning how to plant seeds. 

– Jon

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