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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

hello family!

it's currently a balmy 80 degrees (or so) here, and sunny. beautifully sunny. and it's barely 8:30. we heard there is snow in denver and in the mountains near bozeman so i'm sure it'll be a rude awakening when we land in billings on sunday evening. (we kind of might deserve it though, after 2 weeks of perfect weather.)

it's wednesday morning, which means we have about 2-2.5 work days left. we have a lot to do, but each morning we walk into that building and proclaim our amazement at how far it has come. yesterday we began the cement floor. ron ordered a cement mixer so we didn't have to mix it by hand, but we did carry load after load after load of cement on these little wood and tin "wheelbarrows" that in and of themselves are not light. then add 4-6 shovel fulls of cement and you've got some sore muscles today.

we have so much help from the church members, people on the street, children, the pastor, his family, etc., that we don't even know what to do with ourselves. without them, we definitely wouldn't be as far along as we are. it's beautiful to watch them work on their church and claim it as their own. they're so proud of it and so excited to get it built and have a place of worship.

speaking of worship, we spent saturday with new hope having church with the kids and sunday we went to the foursquare church. ron gave a powerful message and we then blessed the children and pastor kena and his wife titu. that church is going to be a lighthouse for this community. that's already apparent and it's not even completed.

this week dona is working with the children to get new sponsorship letters and photos (mark is doing an amazing job) and we are rush-rush-rushing to get everything done in the next 3 days before we come home.

evan and i found out we can order ...... GRILLED CHEESE AND TOMATO SOUP from our hotel's restaurant and we started a new trend. it's almost as good as grandma's.

we have been earnestly praying for each one of you and we are beyond ecstatic to come share this amazing adventure with you. please continue to pray for our safety and health as well as the people we are connecting with here.


Round Tuits

It’s 4:30 AM here. A kamikaze mosquito has had me under attack for an hour or so – you know, the ones that buzz your ears -. Even with earplugs, I couldn’t sleep. So, I’m on the balcony looking at the stars trying not to wake Josh, my roommate.

We have gotten a lot done in three days. The roof rafters of eucalyptus are almost up. We resolved 220v tool problems and low voltage issues by slicing our American extension cords and wiring into the main line coming into the church (don’t try this at home). We hope to be putting up sheet metal today (maybe – this is Ethiopia you know and anything can happen).

Yesterday we had a pause in the building while we cut ‘Round Tuits’ for the kids. You know what those are – thin slices off a tree branch in the shape of a coin. When you get one, you never have the excuse of not getting something done because you didn’t get “around to it”. Anyway, I took these 2 inch wooden coins and wrote a name on one and a date on another and gave them to the hardest working lady I’ve ever seen – Lily. (She can use a handsaw faster and longer than any of us white guys – SERIOUSLY). And, she loved them. Once she had a few, then others wanted them. So, Warren made more and more –and we handed those out with verse references, hearts, smiley faces. Everyone loved them, and in the giving, we left smiley faces and warm hearts in everyone who got them.. We had time to drill a few with holes for necklaces and I’m sure we’ll drill a lot more today.

Warren commented that when I stared, he wondered about wasting time. But when he saw how they were received and saw the connection it made with people we couldn’t connect with because of the language, God showed him the time use was invaluable. (Me, I was just wasting time and having fun! Little did I know I was going to be a mini sermon illustration for us all).

So, as today starts, we are all going to try to remember that God wants to help us get work done, but he also wants us to see that he has plenty of time for us to get around to doing lots of other little things that show His love for people. We don’t have to wait and get around to it. I’m going to make Little Round Tuits for the whole team.

Thanks for sharing that Warren.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Here are a few pictures Steve Hovis took of the church we're building. Over the past few days we have the rafters up and are working on finishing the support for the tin "shingles."

We began painting yesterday, and hopefully we'll be able to finish the concrete floor. On any given day we have probably 10-20 Ethiopians helping us so immensely. Everything is coming along great, our team is wonderful and hard working. Thank you for all your prayers!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Greetings from Ethiopia

Hello family!!!

We are here and safe! It's mid-day Wednesday and we cannot believe how much God has already accomplished here. The church is coming along with so much help from so many Ethiopians. We are learning to do things their way and to be patient as usually, this isn't how we would do things. =] It's hard, but it's effective. They're hard workers and they know their matterials.

Dona, Pam and Linda are working at the orphanage planning the VBS for the kids. They are in awe of the stories and Evan and I get to share Philippians with them tomorrow. It's our favorite book, we are so excited.

The children are so healthy and so happy and have grown so much. There was not a dry eye in our group when we first met those beautiful faces.

Please keep us in your prayers as several of us have gotten quite sick from the water, bugs, and heat!

Love to you all from ETHIOPIA!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

the church

Dawit has sent us some pictures of where we'll be working these next few weeks. you can really get an idea from these three pictures just how simple everything is. there are no backhoes, no inspectors, no state of the art machines and tools to get the work done.

but can you see what there is?


people who love God and love people and are so excited to build up this church and spread his word. and really, that's all you need.

pray for these people, friends. ask God to bless them, protect them, shelter them.

and pray for us as we step out of our comfort zones maybe a lot, maybe a little.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


hello family!

here we are, just a few short days from our departure and i just wanted to say hello and ask for your prayers as we begin our journey into this wonderful country.

as you probably already know, this team of 18 amazingly gifted and talented people will be spending two weeks in the tiny town of ambo, ethiopia, where we'll build a new foursquare church.

this is going to be a completely different trip than any of the veteran ethiopiaers have been on. you see, usually we work at the new hope orphanage with the children that many of you sponsor (and thank you, thank you, thank you).

but God's work is neverending and this trip we're branching out to the community of ambo to bring his light and salvation.

we'll still get to see the beautiful smiling faces of those precious orphans, and we promise to give them plenty of hugs and kisses from all of you.

i would ask that you would keep us in your prayers and on your mind over the next three weeks as we embark on this journey. please pray for our protection and safety, for our health, for God to go before us and make a way for us, for continuity and connection within our group, for our precious children at New Hope as well as the precious children of the community we'll be ministering to. let God speak to your heart and please just lift us up as we go to complete His work for the kingdom!

i'll be attempting to update everyone during the next few weeks, but in the past the internet has been spotty and sloooow. but of course, there will be plenty of pictures and stories when we return; but for now, here are some pictures from my previous trips.

blessings and love to each of you,