Plunk April 07 Update
Counseling at clinic. I had to reduce the file size, so it is a bit blurry.
This article gives a small picture of the interesting beliefs of the Orthodox Church. I am still trying to read and research about their doctrines and hope to do a case presentation to the staff in July on the topic.
This is the testimony of Danut, a woman in our project. It will blow you away.
Two weeks ago, Teddy gave me an incredible opportunity to preach to three groups of 25 of our beneficiaries each week for the next 3 months. Sometime mid-summer we will be moving these beneficiaries to churches in Lideta. We are doing this because they are relatively healthy, to let the church take on some mercy ministry thus fulfilling part of its purpose, and so we can take on 75 more beneficiaries in Lideta who are desperately sick.
The first time I preached to one of the groups of 25 about trusting God’s plan in light of an unknown future some of them started crying. They told me that this project has literally saved their lives by providing rent money and medications. Many have also come to Christ in the last few years. This is an enormous change in their lives. I will take them through Scriptures concerning faith, trust, suffering, and other topics in the oncoming weeks to encourage them.
Abrahat is in bad condition. I visited her in December and then did not see her until a few weeks ago. Alemu told me she had been admitted to Black Lion hospital and had been there for two months. Now when I visit her see looks almost worse than before physically, but sadly she is emotionally and spiritually wounded from her stay in the hospital. She feels so one cares for her and constantly tells me she wants to die even though we visit her regularly along with members of her support group. Black Lion is the only government referral hospital for all of Ethiopia. It is one of the only hospitals to which our beneficiaries have access because they are very poor.
In light of Abrahat’s situation, I have told Tishoma, one of our staff members who does drug adherence counseling in Black Lion hospital, to inform me when our beneficiaries are admitted so I can visit them. I hope to do weekly rounds to let them know we care and that God has not abandoned them.
Medical clinics with the Menlo Park team have gone well. This was the first clinic in our Bole project. We also had a few clinic days at two churches to help them with outreach to their local communities. I did pastoral counseling after the beneficiaries had seen doctors in the clinic. This involved me asking them about their life and encouraging them emotionally and spiritually based on their situation. I handed out many Amharic bibles and explicitly explained the gospel to many. For details of the clinic, see my blog.
Pictures of clinic and home visits.
I went to the famous Fistula hospital last month and want to direct you to my blog for more details about it. I will be home June 5th-24th and will give you more details in my May update.
-It is cultural to hire women to wash clothes/dishes and do housework. It provides income for them and helps us. So, we hired a woman in the project, Zayada, who happens to be Muslim. She bleached all my underwear, but I forgave her.
-If someone is 20-30 years older than you or is 50 years old, they are called shimagolie (old person). Unlike our culture, this is considered a gift from God and is very respected. Older people have their own verb endings, so it is always interesting to figure out which ending to use when meeting a new person. I have yet to master this skill.
-During holidays, all stores and restaurants put blades of grass on the ground. Especially during Christmas and Easter, lots of goats, sheep, and chickens are in town for sale to slaughter.
1. A miracle has happened with Elsa. She was referred to the Psychiatric hospital and the medications have really turned her around. She feels and looks much better. She was even smiling and laughing when we visited her last week. This week her support group went to house and walked her to the office for a meeting. Praise God!
2. Praise for the work of the Menlo Park team.
3. Prayer for spiritual strength as I care for so many in the midst of deep need. I try to listen to at least 4 podcast sermons a week. Pray also as I visit beneficiaries in various hospitals in town to encourage them.
4. Continued prayer for seminary application process. Everything is in, and an interview will be soon.
5. Prayer for planning boys program with English teaching and support group talks/income generating activities.
6. Pray for Abrahat spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
7. Pray as I preach to the 75 beneficiaries each week and for them as they make a huge life transition.
8. Pray for Girma, one of my Ethiopian co-workers who is Orthodox. He translated for me this week at one clinic during counseling and was shaken emotionally by one woman’s story. He asked me a lot of theological questions afterwards and wanted a Bible. He is now reading a new Amharic bible I gave him for the first time. You can read more about this experience at clinic on my blog.