Visitors and progress Update 2 Ethiopia Jan 2013

Update 2 from Ethiopia

Dear Hopethiopia partners and encouragers,

Thank you so much for the prayers and encouragements. It has been a very short but very mission trip. Today is the last day and we will be spending the day back onsite in Harbu Chulule.

This last weekend we travelled to Prayer Mountain in Southern Ethiopia. This was the main reason for the mission trip this time.  8 of us including our Ethiopia Director, community services program manager, 3 pastors, Yodit (our Ethiopian nurse and repeat mission team member), Gelebo our driver, and myself, traveled to Ambaricho which is about 9 hours south of Addis.

This mountain movement was started about 15 years ago when 5 people gathered to pray for the land and the people. The land had been ruled over for many generations in a way that was oppressive and gave no freedom to the people.  This last January 19th 250,000 people gathered to pray and worship on the very top of the mountain. Our team showed up this year to join the crowds of people and it was an incredible experience. People stream up the mountain from 4 different directions and at any time there seems to be thousands coming and going.  Some people walk for a few days to get to the event, and others such as myself travel from quite a distance. This year there were a few Canadian and American visitors.

The hike itself is somewhat strenuous but can be easily made if one takes the time and is careful. Being at 10,500 feet above sea level this hike gets the heart pumping and as I said when I addressed the crowd it was the best fitness event ever, a place where you could get physically and spiritually fit.. The oldest participant that I saw was 86 years old. He was a well known “elder” and people welcomed him enthusiastically. We were very lucky as we were able to drive right up to the foot of the mountain where we started the hike which took a couple of hours. We spent about 7 hours up there praising and worshiping and mostly praying. The founder, Dr. Desta and myself both delivered messages to the crowd and we also had the opportunity to dedicate his new book on the Prayer mountain movements.

There are also quite a few “Prayer mountains” across Ethiopia but this is most likely the largest gathering. There was a great sense of hope and unity and each of us left with something very special that had been imparted to us I guess you could say that it was a “Mountain top” experience.

Once we were back in Addis there was much to work on. More meetings with Ethiopian Airlines, setting up the brick building training program that will happen later this week, meeting with President Girma etc. We also got to meet with 2 of our sponsored youth (Tesfaye and Saladin) that are attending high school in Addis.

For my last day in the country I returned to Harbu Chulule with a guest from Calgary.  Ketsela has been a supporter of Hopethiopia for a long time and has dreamed of joining us onsite from the beginning. We visited all of our different projects and had an opportunity to visit some of the sponsored widows and families. We all had a great time praying and she was able to get an excellent overview of the projects.

Arrangements were made to start the brick building facility training this Thursday. About 15 people will gather for some intensive training and the best 6 will be chosen to run the operation. We will need a large number of bricks to be made in order to complete the first cluster of homes, to build our volunteer centre, and to start the community complex. Also the water distribution system will soon be built in order to help supply Harbu Chulule with a consistent supply of water

Blog, Mission Trips

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