Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Death Of Our Doggy Friend

We had a funeral this weekend. Our dear dog died on Saturday night. 

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We had a chance to say goodbye on Saturday morning and pray that she would quickly pass as she was in so much pain from old age and an illness. We all cried and will miss her. Even little Tiger, when he saw her in the grave said, “May-May!” his nickname for her and then even our Ethiopian friends cried. 

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We were going to bury her without the girls being present but I realized it felt important for me to see it and so I asked the girls and they also wanted to witness it. I realized how we have talked about death and funerals but we have missed some big ones in the USA and this was cathartic. 

This morning when Yeshi came, I told her the news (in Ethiopian culture, bad news is never delivered over the phone). We went to the burial sight as Yeshi and Macy have been good friends and cried together in the freshly turned dirt.

Thankful we have friends here to share our joys and griefs.  

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

To The North!

Addis has been a whirlwind for great to be in the city, so many benefits but also a different pace of life as we try to pack so much in. 


The girlies have been so brave at the international school here, they don’t love to be the “new kid” all the time but they have persevered.

We hope to go back to Injibara tomorrow morning. Will you pray with us for safe and uneventful trip and smooth transitions for the kids? We are tired, Tiger is teething and having a hard time with sleep, Miss T has been getting up for the day between 4:00 am and 5:00 am. Jon’s mornings are starting between 3-5 am as he works on new rhythms for his online MBA program and our schedule here has been full. 

Thanks for your prayers!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Vikings and Travels and Life, Oh My

Happy Ethiopian New Year! Today starts the year of 2010 in Ethiopia. It is hard to be away from our highland home on holidays as it is always a sweet time with neighbors but we needed to be in Addis for this time. We are here for a conference, as well as Jon is starting his online MBA program and he has several teaching engagements. The girls get to go to the international school for four days this week and are nervous/looking forward to it. 

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Watching the airplanes land, waiting for our flight to Addis from Bahir Dar.

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This picture may not be that exciting to you but to us, we see FRUIT and fresh produce!  In our local market, we can buy carrots, potatoes, garlic, cabbage, a kind of swiss chard type of thing, tomatoes and sometimes lime and lettuce. In town we can get bananas and we have eaten a lot of these but guava, mango, cucumber and good oranges, welcome to Addis!!!

We have been studying Vikings in school and one Saturday afternoon, Eliza and the girls put on a delicious Viking feast for the family, complete with costumes and accents.

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Okay, I can’t handle the baby Vikings. 


We ate our Viking stew up in the attic because I think that’s what Vikings do. :)  It is still cold and wet and so outside isn’t a great option for picnics. It was such a sweet memory and I am so grateful Eliza took the time to make this delicious meal.


Because of the rain, we have been having occasional bonfires inside our hut. I love how the smoke seeps through the grass roof.


I tried to make a cast iron skillet cookie…kind of a flop but fun to try. :)

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Look at this sweet crew. Tiger is 13 months, Miss T is 6 months and baby boy, yet to have an official name is 3 months. His mama, Alemitu, is such a gem. 

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Thank you for your prayers for the medical cases. This is mom and dad to the little baby who was sent to Addis for surgery. She had one surgery on her foot and has check-in appointments in Bahir Dar with two more surgeries scheduled in Addis. Frehiwot (the mama) reminds me of myself and how I would handle my baby in pain, she’s a mess. We talk regularly and we are thankful for the open door for relationship. Next surgery scheduled for October 9 I believe.

Thanks to those of you who have told us you are praying for the medical cases. There has been so many and we are thankful for the open doors to relationship it brings but it also brings a sobering heaviness at the way life is fleeting and the small windows we have to speak hope and truth.

Can you pray with us for these cases too?

Challie: He was the sweetie with a bone infection we met before we left in June 2016. He still has a terrible infection and the leg may need amputated but he is back talking with doctors and the first thing to try will be intravenous antibiotics. His family is so sweet.

Milke: When packing for Addis Ababa, I heard there was a woman at the gate who wanted to talk about her hands. I was in a huge hurry and mumbled all the way out that we can’t help everyone and we want to focus on children. A beautiful young woman stood there with her brother. We greeted and then chatted a bit. Through the conversation it came out. She is a widowed mother of three. Her mother has died, she has a brother but no one else to count on. She pulled her hand tenderly from underneath her scarf. It looks like rough old tree bark, growths all over the hands and knuckles. She can’t use them anymore. She has cancer. One hospital in Addis Ababa does chemo and she has gotten herself to Addis three times for treatment. She has four more times left but has no more money as she has sold everything in her house. We sat down and talked and then I was overwhelmed with the dire situation. “I can’t die, there is no one to take care of my children”. These kind of situations leave us broken but grateful for the opportunity to help, speak hope, pray together. When Jon came in, I had to leave as I couldn’t hold back the tears anymore. He sat down and said to her brother. “She doesn’t just need more chemo, she needs a miracle”. Will you pray with us for a miracle? Not just for her physical healing but spiritual as well. Pray for those kiddos on their own as their Mama is pumped full of chemicals over the next three days in Addis.  

Thank you for your love and support for our crew. Your prayers are heard and are sustaining.

Happy New Year! Now we are off to celebrate with some friends and yummy food!

Friday, September 1, 2017


Yeshi came in today, so sad. Her neighbor was sick for three days, with rabies and she passed away yesterday. She has five small children, the youngest being a 10-month baby girl. It’s my tendency to want to fix everything, make it okay. This can’t be okay, so I will send along some formula and a bottle but it truly pushes me to prayer. 

A few Saturdays ago, we were able to enjoy God’s nature at a nearby crater lake. It’s a beautiful lake (unfortunately being deforested) but still refreshing and feels like a “get-a-way”, not bad for a 20 minute drive.


Getting out of the van, Tiger boy spotted Colobus Monkeys


Can you spot it? They were jumping through the trees.


We picnicked,


hiked a bit,


Found little gray monkeys ( I forget the variety),


Played a few rounds of silly games,


and found tadpoles in one puddle, frogs in the next. 


It’s not always easy to really get out in nature here as we’re often a spectacle in this incredibly populous country. Miss T doesn’t mind. We are currently stretching her a bit as her preference for Mama makes it hard for her to be with anyone else. 


Thanks to Eliza for all the photos! It’s so nice she grabs her nice camera! It’s great to get so many family photos.