Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Plunk November 07 Update (last one)

Dear Supporters,

It is weird that a year is near its end and that I am home. It is good to be back and see people, but I also miss those in Ethiopia.

I have learned a lot about others and myself through working in such a different environment. It is difficult to know how to steward this experience, and I trust it will take a life time. I feel the next step for me in my journey is seminary. So, I will be going back to school in January. I have appreciated this experience, and am excited to finish my education and see what God has for me long term.

The Lord has enabled me through your support to spiritually counsel many, lead many men through the book of Mark, and hopefully plant spiritual seeds. With spiritual ministry, it is difficult to measure impact. Trust has to be given that even though some seeds were seen to grow, others will soon come to fruition eventually. This has been a big struggle for me while ministering in a medical project, but I trust the Lord to call those he predestined.

My co-worker, Alemu, reminded us of that at my last staff meeting. He said the fruits of my labor won't be seen now, but we have faith in the power of the word that some of these people will be in heaven.

Thank you so much for all your encouragement and support throughout the last year. Please feel free to email or call me to catch up.

Prayer Request
1. For transition both culturally and practically with moving to St. Louis.
2. Details like a job for next spring and health insurance while taking classes.
3. Thanksgiving for eventless travel home.
4. For the continued efforts of the project, and for spiritual seeds to come to fruition.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

October 07 Update

Dear Supporters,

Tigist (patience in English) has been in the project since the beginning. She was a commercial sex worker to make ends meet and got HIV. Since then she has become a believer and has led many other beneficiaries to spiritual and emotional comfort as well as taken many to church.

I visited her in Black Lion Hospital in April because she had surgery for a mass on her uterus. She had a large smile and was upbeat even though she has no family that she’s knows of. Her support group was fundamental in caring for her. I’m sorry to say that the surgery didn’t help much, and she was told she had cancer (sarcoma). I visited her in her house (the equivalent of a corner of a room). She was very emaciated, vomiting all her food, and has a lot of discharge. For these reasons she is very depressed and scared of dying. She went to be with the Lord last night, and I went to her funeral today.

September 28th was the national Meskel celebration. Meskel means cross in Amharic, so the Orthodox church believes that the actual cross of Jesus was found on that day. Here is a website to explain it a bit.

The team from Boston has just arrived and will be here for two weeks. The spiritual impact of teams is usually very deep. They will be helping with our support groups, doing many home visits, and running a few medical clinics.

It is a relief to say that rainy season is over. The sun is out everyday, and the temperatures are much warmer. It does wonders psychologically.

It’s amazing that a year has gone by so fast. I will leave Ethiopia on November 7th, stay in England for ten days, and then arrive back in Memphis on the 18th.

Thanks for keeping in touch. I love to hear from you.

Prayer Requests

1. Pray for the staff and me as I transition out of Ethiopia and make a speaking schedule with churches.

2. For safe flights in November.

3. Prayer for a real peace about what to do in the spring.

Jim Plunk
Missionary to Ethiopia