September 21, 2015
village day 1.
About an hour outside of Bahir Dar is a little town that crowds around the tiny two way street that heads further north into the Amhara region.
Three minutes before you reach this town is a little opening that reveals an unpaved and rocky trail that is also used as a road for cars, even though it probably shouldn’t be.
Fifteen minutes up this road is a field of corn rows and green open pastures where cows roam somewhat freely. It’s also the location of village that is the home to about 66 families.
These families are farmers and their life depends on their crops and their livestock. They all live in one room (two room tops) houses. For most of the families, their cattle and other farm animals live in their houses with them. It’s a bit cramped, a bit smelly, and a bit dark because of a lack of windows.
But it’s their home and it’s all they know.
Our team of 14 (plus Mesfin and Dan, 6 translators and 6 disciple makers/local pastors) came traipsing through this village unsure of what was going to happen that day but super excited about what we were about to experience.
Each of the 6 teams was tasked to visit 5 homes and “check in on the chickens” that we had sent them a week earlier. By checking on the chickens, we then had the opportunity to visit with the families, learn a little more about their stories, warn and educate them about human trafficking in the area and share Jesus with them.
So off we went, each in teams of two Americans and three to four Ethiopians (including our village guides) to go check on chickens. We walked at least a couple of miles, plowing through cornfields that were 7 feet high and trying to avoid all the animal poop on the ground to go check on these chickens.
Honestly, I would say that checking on chickens is one of the weirdest things that I’ve done and I’m super unqualified to check on them. I said “oh look, chickens” and “1,2,3,4,5 – yay all the chickens are here” each time I checked on them.
But, sitting and talking to the families was definitely worth the awkwardness.
Ashley and I were able to visit with at least a member from each household… and about 30 children that followed us wherever we went… but made sure to keep a safe distance. They loved Ashley though, as she would pull out her camera, take a picture of them and then they would all crowd around her in awe of the picture on the tiny screen.
We were able to share the priceless cube that talks about human trafficking with each family. Most of them had heard about human trafficking- as there were 3 conductors (or traffickers) that had taken some girls from another village. Two girls were able to escape and go home, however they are sick with TB and most likely, are HIV positive.
They were, however, super thankful to gain a better understanding of what to look out for and what happens to the children that go with the conductors.
We also were able to share Jesus with everyone we talked to, including the wife of an Ethiopian Orthodox priest. (Off the record, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is a works-based community, while the Jesus that my team and I serve is all faith-based. Oh, and Ethiopians don’t like Christians all that much).
Because of Jesus and his amazing love for every human, Ashley and I were able to see 25 adults take the action of accepting the truth about Jesus and make a decision to have a relationship with God.
God is good.
Our whole team, altogether, was able to watch Jesus at work in the lives of 62 adults and 25 children, as they decided to follow Jesus.
And that, my friends, is what we would call a huge win.
(PS. I know I skipped the fourth day. sorry)