I woke up to the sound of chanting this morning – the chanting/prayers from the muslim church start early and then the Orthodox church is later. Though it’s not our faith it’s kind of neat to listen to.
We attended church with Aki at Gospel Light Church. We got there about 15 minutes before service started and the place was about 1/4 full. But about 5 minutes into worship the place was packed. (Yes, it’s just like America – people walk in mid way through worship.) Their worship time was about 40 minutes long – standing the entire time. Pretty much one song led straight into another one. Every once in awhile Aki would lean over to Dustin and explain what the song was saying – “My story begins at the cross” etc. Then there was announcements, the offering and then the message.
We were able to listen to a translator via an earbud which was nice. Apparently had he been given some notice he would have had the service pre-translated. So he was kind of doing it on the fly. Obviously we didn’t get it all – there was a lot more Amharic than English, but we got the basis of the message which was based on Samuel and Eli’s sons. And the words “hallelujiah” and “amen” sound the same in any language!
After church (which was a little over 2 hours total) we had lunch again at Island Breeze and then a quick stop at the Hilton to use the ATM. There are only about 3 ATMs in Addis. Then we went to Fekadu’s office to pick him up. Mark and I, since we missed all of the fun yesterday, HAD to go back and see the kids one more time. We first stopped by the Ethiopia Guest House to collect all of our bags. Jen and Dustin went from there to their new hotel via cab (though Aki went with them) and the drivers took us and Fekadu to the Girl’s home.
We were able to tell the kids how sorry we were that we had missed all the fun. Earlier in Fekadu’s office we had given him an envelope with the remaining money in it – in all it was $1,200. He told us that just yesterday the kids had been saying they needed new shoes, clothes and also for their school sports uniforms. He told them they did not have the money right now and they prayed that God would provide. This afternoon Fekadu was able to tell them that God had provided and we were able to share that it was not just from us, but from our friends and family in America who also care for them.
Since we couldn’t play soccer again, the kids gave us some gymnastic demonstrations (they call it “circus”). When I have a chance I’ll show you the video. It’s pretty funny. Even Mark and Fekadu got in on the action. We then went in to one of the rooms and pulled out all of the clothes that we had brought – misc. items from friends, tshirts from our church and all the socks, underwear and hats that people had donated. We called the children over. We had enough hats to give one to each child. Then they each got one other item of clothing plus socks and underwear. They were so appreciative.
After that we just spent some time playing with the kids – soccer, volleyball, basketball. The kids all want to have their picture taken, either with a friend or with you. Then, of course, they want to look at it on the camera. I even replayed the gymnastics video for them.
When it was time for us to go they gathered in a large circle. They sang us a song, we prayed for them and then they blessed us. More hugs and lots of tears as we said goodbye. They really are such amazing kids. There are some that stick out more than others and perhaps I will tell you more about them another day.
We left Hope for the Hopeless, picked up Aki at a taxi area, dropped Fekadu off near his home and then Aki saw us to our new hotel. They didn’t have our reservation but it was not a huge problem. After looking at the standard room, we realized that it would be rather cramped with the four of us and our luggage so we opted for the two room suite. They will bring 2 beds in tomorrow for the kids and set them up in the living room.
The good news is that they have wireless internet that is really pretty good. The bad news is that the hot water is barely lukewarm. I’m hoping that’s a fluke 🙂
Tomorrow morning the driver picks us up at 10:30 a.m. to take us to the orphange. We can’t wait to get the kids!!!!