Today was our last day at the Field Office. Yesterday, Ermias showed me, on a map of Ethiopia and surrounding countries, where churches have been established and are growing. The Sudanese government (Sudan is west and north of Ethiopia) has recently given permission for the Church of the Nazarene to establish churches in the south, but there is fighting there now and it is dangerous for the missionaries and church planters to travel there. After learning of how much work is being done to expand the church there, I was able to share my recommendations for improvements in their use of the accounting software and in accounting principles, which were very well received. All the people we?ve been working with are very bright and eager to serve God in the best ways possible. What a pleasure it is to work with them and call them friends! They are an excellent example to us!
The electricity is a problem today. When we arrived early, it was fine, as was the Internet access, so we were able to touch base with e-mail. But soon the electricity stopped and was on-and-off all day. The lull in activity gave Dan a chance to run an errand with Getachew and gave me an opportunity to speak with a man who we?ve seen here, but not gotten to know. He told me that he was back after 3 days with his family; his father died on Monday (at age 70, very old by Ethiopian statistics) after being ill for several months - not knowing Jesus. I was touched; he said that he tried to tell him many times about Jesus but, we agreed, that our job is to do the telling and God?s job is to do the saving. He was glad he had tried.
Ermias and Mulu met us out for a special lunch today. Aynadis was invited too, so she helped us drive to the Lucy Restaurant at the National Museum. ("Lucy", as you may know, is the name given to the oldest human remains ever found - and she was found here in Ethiopia. Lucy is currently in the U.S.) The restaurant was very African, with woven bamboo walls and roof, but open to the outside. The walls were decorated with finely woven fabric trim, colorful and with gold threads; with mud-and-straw tiles; sections of cow hide; shelves with typical wood items like banks and lampstands. I almost had to pinch myself - we are really enjoying Africa, this land so rich with culture and tradition! We all enjoyed our lunches, Dan?s and mine included mango juice, traditional soup, beef over spinach-flavored noodles, and dessert of mango and avocado.
We each got a big hug from Aynadis this afternoon and she promised to keep in touch by e-mail. While our basic work is finished here at the Field Office, we plan to return to help organize their storage area so they can access the resources they have. Also, we plan to meet Ermias and Mulu Sunday morning to go with them to church with a Sudanese congregation. Ermais has ask Dan to speak there. It?s hard to believe that we are able to experience SO many things while we are here! Such blessings!