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Alexandria Covenant Church Travels

From the Homeless to the Famous and in Between

Jennifer Martinson

My current favorite in worship music is, “For the One” by Jenn Johnson. Lyrics say, “Oh how you love us, from the homeless to the famous and in between. You formed us, and you made us carefully. We are your children.”

And we have seen exactly that today. While eating breakfast at the hotel in Addis Ababa, we ran into Francis Chan. No kidding. (I had just been telling Sydney about him last night. Because, while I’d been considering this mission trip, Keith and I were going through his marriage study. Francis would reference trips to Ethiopia, and it would feel as though God was encouraging me to go.) I never would have guessed we’d meet him here!

I think the fun of bumping into Francis is perhaps what gave me a permanent smile throughout our 3-4 hour bus ride into the mountains of Yetebon, Ethiopia. Because we drove through some tough stuff to take in. Yet, it was all so intriguing at the same time. We saw cars, mopeds, trucks, and large buses traveling the same chaotic roads as horses, donkeys, goats, and sheep.

We saw poverty unimaginable, including street vendors in cities and grass huts in country-sides. We saw mamas carrying babies, kids carrying chickens, and mules carrying water.

Children stood on the edges of very rough winding roads with vehicles traveling at high speeds. But they would wave to our bus, and then literally BEAM, as we waved back to them. What bright eyes, huge smiles, and shiny teeth--made ‘carefully’ indeed.

Upon arrival at Project Mercy, we divided out our luggage and all supplies that were brought over for the clinics and the kindergarten. We found our rooms and settled in. The kitchen staff prepared a wonderful lunch of injera, with toppings of lentils, cabbage, rice, and chicken. We were also served delicious flat bread and Ethiopian coffee. Today being Sunday, has a ‘sit on the porch’ kind of feel here. That is, if you feel like sitting on the porch when it’s 85ish and blaze sun at an altitude higher than 8,000 feet.

We did manage a sunny tour around the compound. My personal favorites were the flowers and food gardens. From a few daylilies like at home, to gorgeous hibiscus trees. From common herbs like at home, to plentiful avocados and bananas. Eating is farm to fork around here for sure.

We’re resting now. Later tonight, we will enjoy another meal together. And tomorrow, we will all divide to our various assignments. It’s gonna be good. Thank you so much for your continued prayers!

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From the Homeless to the Famous and in Between