We left Tampa at 1:53 p.m. EST and flew to Washington D.C., changed planes, flew to Germany, changed airlines, had a short layover in Sudan, then arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at 9:10 p.m. Ethiopian time on Saturday night (2:10 p.m. Plant City time). The time here is 7 hours ahead of our time in Florida.
We were picked up at the airport by Levi Benkert, founder of Bring Love In, and Scott Putnam, whose family is sharing our guest rental house with us. We needed two cars to get all the luggage in and transported to our house.
Our guest house in Ethiopia has a guard that stays outside and opens and closes the gate for us.
He lives across the street with his wife.
This is the guard shack for our street. The guard watches over the street to make sure everyone is safe.One of the things we are working on while we are here for Bring Love In is finishing fixing and furnishing this guest house. It will eventually be used to bring in extra money for the ministry by renting to families here with mission work, adoption, etc. We are staying downstairs in two bedrooms. There is a small bedroom with a double bed that Alan and I are staying in...
....and a large room with 5 beds for our children across the hall, with a bathroom in between.
The middle floor has a shared kitchen, dining area, and living room. It's very nice.
Outside there's a courtyard the kids can play in.Sunday morning we attended church with the Benkert family. They go to a church plant that was actually sponsored by a church in Jacksonville, FL, which we thought was pretty cool. The church has been open here for a year and has a mix of local families as well as families that are here serving in ministry. They are involved in the community. We even met a little girl that walks every week to church without her family and accepted Christ a couple weeks ago.
Here's the inside of the church:
Everything here is behind a gate. We were very blessed to spend our first morning in Ethiopia worshiping with some very special families.
The Benkert family is letting us use their van. In another post I'll explain why it's so hard to have a vehicle here.
There is coke- yay! When you buy a soda from a local store, you drink it, then return the glass bottle. A soda from the local store costs about $.30.
Our drives around town have been very interesting. The housing discrepancy is huge. Most housing looks something like this:
But there are also nicer homes that are very expensive. One like this would cost about $450,000 in American dollars because it's in a nicer part of town. It is very difficult to get a mortgage here, and no one gives car loans.
Along the roadway, there are not only cars, vans, and buses that are vying for spots in the lanes, but people walking, and donkeys, cows, and goats roaming, grazing, or being herded.
There is much more to post. I am going to post again in a few hours because we met our boys and want to share our day with you!