Sunday, December 21, 2008

Our First Full Day in Ethiopia

Today was our first full day in Addis. We both slept well last night, though we did wake up around 4am when the Muslim prayers began being played over the city speakers. These continued for a couple hours, so I don't think we ever really were able to go back to sleep. Around 8:30 am or so we went to the restaurant here in our hotel for breakfast. We ate with the Stager family from Washington. Zack had an omelet and I just had toast and jelly with tea.


At 10 am we all met in the lobby to go to church. Robel, our fantastic guide took us to his church, the International Evangelical Church (IEC). It was about 30 minutes from our hotel. The church building was a very nice facility. There were probably around 450 people there for service. The service was very much like what we would think of as a contemporary service, with a praise and worship team, drama, and a main message. The biggest difference in this service and what you would find in an America service (and much better in my opinion) was the amazing diversity! At one point, the praise team was made up of people from 7 different countries! Now that is how church should be! It was a beautiful picture of the body of Christ. We truly enjoyed the service and we were so thankful Robel took all of us.


Church lasted almost two hours, so after church it was time for lunch. We ate at the Lime Tree Restaurant. Zack and I shared a pizza- it was different than pizza in the US, but very, very good! Zack also tried a macchiato- I took a sip- it was very strong, even too strong for Zack's liking! But not bad….


After lunch we stopped at a small grocery store to stock up on bottled water as you CAN NOT even get a sip of the water here in your mouth! We also bought some juice- it is very good here!


One thing that really stands out to me about Ethiopia is the sheer amount of people that are always out and about and in the middle of the streets. The driving is probably like most foreign countries in terms of the chaos. What adds to it here is that people are always out in the streets! I thought we were going to hit them many times!


And our course, the poverty is immense, there are shacks made from tin and mud everywhere, and it is very common to see people just laying by the side of the roads. The saddest thing is to see the children everywhere- many will come up to your van when you are stopped and beg for whatever you will give them. It is very hard to tell them no. I can understand now how it would not be uncommon for someone to abandon a baby here- it is not like the USA. I am so thankful that we can help on child (Caleb) but it does break my heart as we can't help them all…..


So, tomorrow is the big day!! We are all so excited and many times throughout the day we have found ourselves talking about our children! We have all waited so long for this day, and it is going to be here in less than 24 hours! It still seems like it can't be real. Please continue to pray for us- we feel great, and so far show no signs of getting sick! Zack is a little more tired today and beginning to feel the altitude, but other than that, we are great! We know tomorrow will be an emotional day, so please pray for us and Caleb on that front too….Of course, we will try to post pictures asap, but the connection is very slow here…That's all for now!




Pete Juvinall said...

Godspeed! It was a blast to read your update; I remember a bit of that stuff :). Robel's church is actually closer to the guest home (the place we stayed). Addis View is a lot closer to everything.

Soak up tomorrow and rest well tonight! We love you and are praying for you guys!

Kelly said...

YEAH for the Caldwells!!! I have been praying for you guys and will continue to do so... in a couple of hours, you will meet your son... Woo HOO!!

Pete Juvinall said... goes without saying that we thought Caleb was super cute and can't wait to see picts of you guys together! :)

Danielle said...

Oh Rebecca and Zack! What an experience at SO MANY levels! I am praying and stalking. Love, Danielle

Karen said...

we are praying for you guys & so very excited & thrilled for the big day!!!! blessings!!!

Jessica said...

Hey Rebecca and Zack!! I'm glad you guys made it over there safe.....I hope you have a Merry Christmas with your cute little baby boy!

See ya soon!!

Cheryl said...

Congratulations Rebecca, Zack and Caleb! He is Beautiful and you are all very Blessed! We are praying for your family. The Asente's from Ohio Rich, Cheryl, Joe and Justin (friends of Rebecca's parents )

E said...

I'm blog stalking and I love reading your honest & heartfelt posts! I'm praying for you guys and hope your meeting tomorrow will be blessed!!! I can't wait to read all about it! I'm also praying you guys stay fit & healthy for the rest of your journey!

Much love,

Nunez Family said...

I Love seeing lil man in your arms! Praise God he is with you now! I heard he was sick:( we'll be praying for good health, I know how important that is & Yes praise God you caught it early! Siah had TB & we caught it before he got actively sick with it. He still has to take all the meds but its hard to see your babes sick so I coun't it as a blessing. I know Caleb is n Gods care:)
Lots of Love,
Ana Nunez