Sunday, October 9, 2011

EthiopiaSmile 2011 - Day 7

When we travel as a group in Africa it's typically in these multi-passenger vans. But not today...

This morning there was a 7-vehicle convoy of Land Rovers out in front of the hotel to carry us to our next stop. Because we were about to go on a trip WAY outside of the capital city.


We were heading to a place called Dube Bute - a tiny village about 6.5 hours way. Ya know - the type of place with huts like above - where they rarely see vehicles let alone us lighter skinned folks...

I was really excited about this trip for a couple of reasons. First off - our leaders Moody and Emily have spearheaded a ton of projects in this village. One of their sons is from this village and God has really worked through them to make a serious impact in Dube Bute. Something like close to half a million dollars has been raised through Glimmer of Hope for projects in this village and we were about to see first hand the impact that things like water points, schools, clinics and bridges could have on a village like this.

Secondly - Mebrate is known to be from this region. I couldn't be any more excited to see some of the area where our girl was born and spent the first part of her life.


As we approached the access road to the village in our convoy a few things started happening. First - we received an escort from about 50 horses - all dressed in their ceremonial decorations. Uh... very cool.

Also - people just started lining the road - almost as far as you could see. They were screaming and yelling and chanting and singing...


They were waving and smiling and shouting "hallelujah!"


We finally reached one of the first projects to be completed - a bridge that would allow much easier access into the village. People were EVERYWHERE! They had walked from far and long - most with no shoes - to come be part of this special celebration.


There were news crews and important political figures from the region there. This was a REALLY big deal to the village! Right as Emily was set to cut the ribbon on the new bridge - the clouds opened up with some of the hardest and coldest rain I have ever felt.

Afterwards - here is what Moody said to me:

"Right when we could have tried to take credit for this and make this about us - God sent that rain down on us and reminded us that it wasn't about us at all but completely about Him."
And that is just ONE of the MANY reasons why we love this family. They inspire the heck out of us...


After the rain stopped we all crossed the bridge and made the trek into the village.


There were even more people up there. They were ready to celebrate - complete with tents, and cameras and bands... it was crazy!


Moody and Emily got to address everybody - and of course proclaimed Christ the whole time letting the village know that Jesus was why we were there and why the projects had been done...


Afterwards they walked us through the village to show us the various projects that had been completed. Here is the Alexander Family sitting at a desk in one of the school buildings they had built. There was also a clinic, a living quarters for the clinic employees as well as 8 water points already drilled and in place...


The residents of Dube Bute were SO EXCITED. They were so grateful. And they probably have no idea of the blessings they bestowed upon us as we visited their village. We later learned that this type of reception - where the entire village comes out for a welcome - is typically reserved for prime ministers or presidents. Wow...


On the way out of the village I simply couldn't stop staring at the beautiful surroundings - and wondering if Mebrate could have been born somewhere around these parts. Something about it all felt like home to me.

We made it back to a local hotel to spend the night before our trek back to Addis the next day - tired, emotionally beat but in awe of the God we serve and the people He loves...

Afterwards - I told Laura this. We've brought our kids home from Africa and have even buried a son there - but this may have been one of the most amazing times I have ever spent on African soil. Thanks Alexanders - for allowing me to be a tiny part of this incredible journey!

1 comment:

La Dolce Vita: The Sweet Life said...

Absolutely amazing. Had chills just reading this. Truly THIS is making much of God.