Hi everyone…not a long post, but Trent is off to Jinka today to do some teaching with a group of church leaders and I didn’t want to let the opportunity to send e-mails go by without saying hi. We are so indebted to each one of you who follow us and pray for us and support us so we’re sending you a bit of cheer to brighten your day…
Desta and Lily
Yesterday I was inspired by a message from one of my SIM colleagues, Dave Bremner, SIM Deputy Director for East and South Africa. In a nut shell, he challenged us to examine our work in the mission for acts based on faith instead of the works we do based on our own strength and wisdom. I must admit, that I put lots of time into planning, preparing, and implementing ideas that I think will fly. But prayer, an act based on believing that there is a sovereign God that is actively accomplishing His will through me, his vessel, does not figure into much of my work. Rarely if ever do I just pray and strike out into unknown waters based on faith and a hunch. But I want to….so here it goes. SIM is in desperate need of a facility built specifically for boarding students. Boarding students are those children of down country missionaries who need a place to live as they gain an education away from their Moms and Dads. Currently there is a building on the SIM press compound in Addis Ababa which SIM is proposing to gut and then rebuild the inside to serve for the specific purpose mentioned above. The problem is that we have no one scheduled to do the construction. The project needs to be completed by August 2013, so if we don’t find someone pretty quickly, then we will be forced to shelve the whole idea and just make due for another school year. So I am hoping by sending this email that God has specifically place someone out there who is just waiting for an opportunity. If you think this might be you, then take a look at the house plans I’ve included below and then pray about the possibility of you coming to Ethiopia to build this building for us. I’m waiting to hear from you. Just click on the links below to see the prints.
Greetings from Soddo, a town 5 hours south of Addis. We left Addis today, after finally procuring Trent’s work permit late Friday afternoon. Three weeks in Addis was more than I had bargained, for and we were all ready to hit the road. We have a 6 1/2 hour drive to Alduba tomorrow and we can hardly wait to get back home and see our friends. The lack of internet continues to prove challenging, so I wanted to be sure to write to tell you 1) thanks for praying for our work permit and 2) please pray for Trent’s upcoming outreach December 17-20.
I had wanted to take an updated family photo to post for Christmas, but alas, it didn’t happen. Hopefully I’ll get one taken soon… Merry Christmas!
For those of you who do not get our prayer letters, here is our most recent…
This photo was taken on Sunday October 21st. I was still in Texas. Trent and Jessie had gone and picked her up from the lady who had first taken her. She was 4 days old. The kids affections for her have never wavered once. They’ve been in love since that first day and still can’t keep their hands off her
Jack, Lily, and Desta
Beauty for ashes,
Strength for fears,
Gladness for mourning,
Peace for despair….
Those are the words of a song by Crystal Lewis that came to my mind when I first returned to Alduba following my short visit to the states. As I was up in the middle of the night with jetlag, a motherless newborn wanting to be fed, and a mind filled with thoughts and questions that wouldn’t leave me alone, these are the words that seemed to answer my desperate prayers. It’s a paraphrase of Isaiah 61:3. I couldn’t shake it.
Gladness for mourning. Really? And so it seemed…God had taken what had been a very sad time for us and interjected this little peace child, this little bundle of joy whom you couldn’t help but smile at, even at your saddest moment. Could it be God was replacing the loss of a family member with the addition of another?? Here I must insert the other verse which has really come to life to me this last month: Isaiah 55:8, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways…As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” So true.
Gladness for mourning. That portion of the verse in Amharic reads, “Beliksom fanta ye desta zeyt” which would be paraphrased, “in the place of mourning (which is the same word used for funeral) the oil of happiness/gladness/joy…” So God, right at the height of this season of mourning anointed our heads with an oil of gladness. He brought joy where there had been only sorrow and pain. He brought us desta. He brought us Desta.