Wow! A lot of things are going on and a lot is left to come. Hold on!
Today is the last day of school and I am now administering my last final exam as I type. There is a true since of freedom in the air, some of it bad. Some students have lost all drive for school and, as of a week ago, stopped coming to classes all together. But for the 8th 10th and 12th graders their biggest challenge this year is yet to come. In a matter of weeks they will be taking their national exams that determine whether or not they continue to the next grade and for 12th graders it determines College and career possibilities. Needless to say, some of my 12th grade student’s are stressed out. Please pray for Yonas (John). He was the best student in all of my classes until this semester when fear and anxiety took hold of him. He has been so petrified of this National Exam that he has trouble studying and is even considering not taking it. Pray that the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, would guard his heart and his mind in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).
This weekend I leave for Hosanna, a town about a two hour bus ride south of here to visit my Compassion child, Mesfin Teshome. I have had a relationship with this young boy for the past 6 years and I am very much looking forward to the opportunity to get to meet him face to face. The trip was actually canceled because of the elections that were held last week and the political unrest that was expressed 5 years ago during this time. But things are safe this time around and Compassion has made an exception for me to be able to visit my child. After Hosaina I will be visiting two of my friends who attend college in a town south of there and then doing some sightseeing for the next few days in a town that is named by the locals “the third most beautiful towns in Ethiopia” not too far away.
I get back home just in time for a second tour of Ethiopia, only this time north. I will be taking a “Sky Bus” (which is a really nice bus that serves food and drink and goes really fast) up to a town called Bahir Dar which is home of lake Tana and some famous islands churches on the lake (for those of you who knew Anthony P., this is where he lived during his time here). I will be staying here for a few days and then continuing on to a town Called Gonder, home of the famous Ethiopian castles. If I have time I will also travel further north to the Simian Mountains, home of Ras Dashen the highest mountain in Ethiopia at 4,620 meters (14,008 feet) and maybe do some hiking.
Then it’s home for my final week in Ethiopia and the final goodbyes. I will be hoisting a End-of-the-School-Year / my birthday party for all teachers and friends I have made in Ethiopia. There’ll be about 100 people in attendance and we’ll be killing the “fattened calf” in celebration… no joke! We’ll also be having a bonfire testimony time for the house kids on the compound where we say our goodbyes. Not looking forward to that…. sad times.
So, at this point you must be asking, “How on earth is he going to want to come home?” Well, I really do want to come home. The truth is, I have a lot to look forward to. It involves a new car, a new school and a moving to a new state. Here’s the story.
A few months ago I was sitting in a crowded coffee shop in Addis. It was so crowded that I had to sit at a table with three other men who just so happened to be two evangelists and a pastor who shared a few mutual acquaintances with me. Through a series of events we ended up going to a local church that afternoon and praying together. One of the men started prophesying over me and told me that I would be going back to school for another two years. This was very unexpected because grad school was the last think I had in mind for what’s next. I told God, “I’m finished with school; I don’t want to go back for another two years.” But I continued to feel God’s push in this area. And then , things just sort of fell into place for me to attend a two year ministry school called Morning Star University (MSU). It’s a school that I have visited in the past and one that I have been very interested in going. It just makes since for me to do it now. The school is in NC so that’s the moving to a new state part.
And as for the new car… well that’s just cool. I have been praying for a car for the last five years or so and trusting in God’s timing. Up till now I haven’t really needed a car as I have lived in biking distance from most things like school, work and stores. And God has always provided a borrowed car or a ride in the past when I needed it. But now God decided that it’s about time that I have my own car. My parents decided to give each of their son’s (and one adopted daughter) a chunk of change that would help us all in buying a car. I was able to get a loaded 2005 standard six speed grey Toyota Matrix due to the generosity of my parents and a really good deal from a car dealer friend of mine. The cool part is this is the same car that I was praying for 5 years ago and even test drove back then. And God’s even answered my prayer for a sun roof. Call me vain, but I like the sky and God likes me enough to give me a window to see it. Here’s a picture of my actual car waiting for me in my parents driveway!!!
· Safety for all my traveling in the next two months.
· Financial provision for a lot of expenses after not having a job for the past year.
· A place to stay in NH for the three weeks in July.
· That I would not idolize my new car and worship it in my heart but rather recognize it as a gift and a tool from God.
I have so much to praise God for. Will you join me?
· Answered pray in being able to see my compassion child.
· A successful completion of this amazing school year.
· God directing me to and providing for school at MSU in NC
· My new car!
· The joy of living in the will of God.
Grace and Peace,
P.S. I haven’t heard from some of you in a while. Drop me a line when you get a chance. firstname.lastname@example.org