Tuesday, October 7, 2014

This Summer in Ethiopia

by Parsons Rieker, Madeline Rieker, and Patterson Sheehan

Parsons
This summer, we had the amazing opportunity to venture to the country of Ethiopia for a missions trip with our school, St. David's School. We partnered with a youth group in Addis Ababa, and served primarily at two different orphanages. We built relationships with the children and taught Vacation Bible School type lessons and shared the Gospel with them. The language barrier was difficult, but playing and laughing with the children was not. Although we mostly were there for missions, we also had the opportunity to experience the culture through hikes, lions, and dancing.
Madeline

On one of the days, we helped to host a carnival for about 800 orphans from all around Addis. We painted faces and played games with kids. They had a worship service that was all in Amharic and so some of the kids from the youth group translated for us. About thirty kids accepted Christ that day, including three little boys from one of the orphanages where had been working. It was so incredible to see our new friends accept Christ and know that even if we never see them again on earth, we would see them in heaven. 

Overall, we grew so much from this experience. We learned tons about the magnitude of God's love and how blessed we are. All of our interactions with the children were bittersweet- full of joy, but heartbreaking at the same time. It was an incredible way to step out of our comfort zones and encounter God in new ways.

Patterson

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