It is late at night on December 30, 2014 and we are writing from the Bethel Guest House in Addis Ababa. Today was our first full day here after arriving late last night (technically early this morning). To change things up a little bit, I’m going to blog in reverse chronological order from when we left.
Today was an awesome day where the Lord was able to prepare us for the week ahead. We were able to meet with Onisimous to brief what the week would look like. More importantly however, we established a relationship with our hosts, who greeted us beyond joyfully with Cake, Coffee, Popcorn, and very kind words. They are an incredible group of people who already are displaying evidence of the passion for the Lord that He has instilled in each of them. About 15 out of their 30 employees were here. We were also able to initiate a deeper relationship with our van driver.
We got here around 3am after arriving at midnight and waiting three hours to get our visas and collect our luggage. Unfortunately, one bag did not arrive, to the disappointment of Bethany. However, we were all in great spirits as the excitement of arriving at our mission destination was much greater than the minor inconvenience of one lost bag. When we got to Bethel, we had about two hours to kill until the start of the Texas Bowl, which we were able to live-stream and cheer on our Hogs for at least the first half until everyone (except Chad) was defeated by jetlag.
Our flights were relatively smooth, and most of us were able to sleep decently as they were over our normal sleep schedules, in addition to checking several movies off of our lists. We did have one minor scare however at Chicago O’hare. Having about a 10 hour layover, we elected to go out into the city where we got some lunch and then took the bus to the Willis Tower Skydeck (formally Sears Tower). After waiting in line for four hours, we finally made it up to the 102nd floor of the tower, and the sight was breathtaking. Seeing as we had three and a half hours until our flight, we assumed we would be fine, as the ride back to the airport takes about 30 minutes, and we already had our boarding passes. As we arrived at our terminal, we proceeded to security, but were stopped because apparently Qatar Airlines makes its passengers carry Qatar boarding passes, as opposed to the exact same ones that American printed for us. Now y’all know for future reference if you ever fly Qatar. Well no big deal so we thought, until we walked over to the ticketing line for Qatar, which wound around the roped off lanes, plus half a mile down terminal (not exaggerating). At least the line was not moving. After starting to worry, and definitely pray, we were informed about ten minutes later that we could proceed to a shorter line that only took about 20 minutes. Phew.
It sure seems like more than two days ago that we woke up at 4:30 to drive to XNA.
God has big things in store for the rest of this trip. We can feel it buzzing in the air … well more like the Spirit moving inside of us. Regardless, we don’t know everything that is to come in the next few days, but we are available to be used by the Lord however He desires. We would love y’alls prayers for support and empowerment.