We may have a court date. Or not. But maybe. Or maybe not. This has been the roller coaster of the last couple weeks. The Minister of Women’s Children’s, and Youth Affairs (MOWCYA), who we need an approval letter from to pass court, is supposed to have our letter written by Friday. If that happens (and it is NEVER definite, it may or may not happen), then our agency would ask that we be allowed to go to the court on Friday and give our consent and do our paperwork. If our letter is not there, our court date will not be until July 10th. Why? I have no idea.
If you think of it this week, please pray that our letter has arrived on Friday. Alan needs to come home to work, and the sooner we pass court, the sooner the boys can live with us.
In other news…… we’re moving! Here in Ethiopia, that is. Our temporary home will no longer be the Selah Guest House, instead we will move into Levi and Jessie Benkert’s house. It is working out very well. Levi and Jessie are leaving Thursday to travel to the U.S. to do a fundraising and awareness tour and will be gone until October. Here is there schedule, if you’re anywhere near one of these cities, go listen to them speak! http://bringlove.in/summer-2012-tour/
The Benkert’s offered for us to move into their house while they are gone. We will have a room for the boys, a room for the girls, and a guest room for grandparents or guests who come to visit. (Hint, hint- any takers? Anyone want to come stay with us in Ethiopia? It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!) We will take care of the house for them, and they can rent out the portion of the guest house that we are currently living in to other families to make money for Bring Love In. It’s a win/win situation! Thursday is the official moving day.
During Sunday services in the church we are attending, the pastor is going through the book of Colossians. Chapter 3 was our text yesterday. Some of the points hit home for our situation. Verses 12-15 caught my eye, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other, as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”
Eric (the pastor) read a quote from an Esther Bible study that I loved. He said, “In the eyes of the world, it’s not your relationship with Christ that counts, it’s your resemblance to Him.” I, as a Christian, know that it is my relationship with Christ that counts. But outsiders don’t know that. How do I look to them? Am I conforming to the likeness of Christ?Eric charged us as a congregation, and I’m going to charge you, with this statement: “Is your life consumed with compassion for the people around you, no matter where God has you?” Whether you are here in Ethiopia or in Plant City or in New York City or anywhere else on the face of the earth, are you treating people with love? Compassion? Timothy Keller talks about how if you act like you love someone, the feelings always follow, but sometimes it takes months or years of acting out of love to be able to feel love. Are you forgiving others? That’s a big one. Forgiveness does not mean you have to like someone or forget what happened, it means letting go of that feeling of judgment and wanting revenge. Giving it over to God. I have learned how hard that is and sometimes you have to ask daily for the ability to forgive, but just do it! There are people who have been harboring bitterness toward someone in their life for so long that it seeps out of their pores. It is impossible for a bitter person to fully love the people around them and show them grace.
Once again, at the end of those verses, it comes back to being thankful.
So, today I am thankful for popcorn, a clothesline, flowers that Alana picked and wore in her hair, a place to worship on Sunday, and toilet paper.
Here are scenes from the last few days…….
Alana wore her new Ethiopian dress to church:We were allowed to take “Y” and “P” on a field trip to get ice cream. Ice cream here is a real treat. There is no ice and drinks are not usually cold. But, guess what? They don’t like ice cream! Bwahahahaha! They don’t know that the end of most outings in the Kicklighter family ends with either a trip to You Say When Yogurt shop or in the purchase of a half-gallon of ice cream to take home and share. Obviously this is something we will have to work on.
We gave Wide an extra night off this weekend and I cooked for the first time since arriving. It was wonderful to be back in the kitchen! The sauce, rice, and green beans were good, but the steak was really hard and chewy. Oh well, at least I tried. Jayde requested potato soup today, but I was missing the majority of ingredients that I use at home, so I made it up. It worked pretty well and was tasty. Not as good as would have been with bacon, cheese, and chives, but that's okay. Yesterday I made ginger cookies. Someone at church brought Natalie baking soda (we went to 3 stores looking for it and could not find it anywhere). The recipe called for molasses and brown sugar, neither of which I had. I used honey instead, and it worked! The kids ate them up (so did the adults) so I made two batches yesterday and another one today. I'm looking forward to cooking more once we move into Levi and Jessie's house.
Remember when I said we were bringing a bit of redneck to Ethiopia? You can rephrase that to be "Southern" instead of redneck. I'm about to tattle on Scott and Natalie. They are from Northern California. We were talking as they sat on the couch, and Scott said something that included the words, "all ya'll". We laughed and laughed when it came out of his mouth. I think he was shocked. Then, about 2 minutes later, Natalie said it! We have 3 more months to fully convert them. I think we're off to a pretty good start. Now we just have to teach them the words to some of the country songs on our I-pod. (Natalie- you have a beautiful voice, I'd like to hear you sing, "Big Green Tractor", okay? By the way, Zumba is just a different form of line dancing. Right?)
I have a post coming about driving in Ethiopia. It is flat-out CRAZY. I thought I was scared when Alan drove us through down town New York City years ago. NYC has nothing on Addis Ababa.
Thank you for praying for our court date! Love you all!