When we first started talking about the possibility of staying in Ethiopia for the three months while we waited for our children’s paperwork to be cleared, I admit that on my part, it was all about me. I wanted to keep my kids close. I didn’t want to meet them and then leave them. I wanted help with the language. And the culture. And the transition. All of those things are still true. I am so excited about the thought of not having to leave my children in the orphanage for an extra three months. I can’t wait to hold them and hug them and not have to leave them behind.
But an interesting thing has happened. While we have been busy planning out the details and figuring out all that needs to be figured out for us to do this, God has been busy working on my heart.
When Scott and I got married, he was very open with the fact that he felt called to missions. One day, he told me, we would spend some time overseas doing missions work. He didn’t know when or what that would look like, but he was sure of what God had placed in his heart. I just nodded politely, smiled quietly, and inside kept thinking, “We’ll just see about that!”
But just as God opened my heart to the idea of adopting four children, He has also burdened my heart for the people of Ethiopia. I am amazed and humbled that I will get the opportunity to live and work in Ethiopia for three months. I am so thankful that we will get to be God’s hands and feet for just a few of the people who so desperately need to feel His love. What an opportunity it is to leave behind all that we know, the comforts of home, the security of the familiar and to step into this other world for this short time in our lives!
Honestly, part of the excitement for me is knowing that this is for just a short time and knowing that eventually I will get to come home to all that is “safe.” But I can say now, as I have never been able to say before, that my heart is much more open to the idea of missions than it has ever been. I heard a pastor say once (and have always remembered this), that the safest place to be is in the center of God’s will for you. Who knows what God has planned for our future? Certainly a year ago I would never imagine that we would be traveling to Ethiopia, spending three months working with the orphans and widows there, and come home with four new children!
Here is a short video about the capital city of Addis Ababa, the place that we will be calling home for a short time. Please take the next 5 minutes to watch this. And then pray about what God might be asking you to do. Not necesarrily for these people or this country, but what does God want from YOU? How can YOU be His hands and feet?